martes, 18 de julio de 2017

Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries, and Lore - Paula Guran

Although this is a rather large book, the review will be short and sweet.

Sci.Fi, Gothic, Mystery, Existential, you name it. This book touches on a variety of topics and genres, al revolving around the theme of books, libraries and librarian.

A book that is alive, another acts as a philosopher's stone, a baby as payment for a late return, witches, authors living after their deaths through their books, and much more.

What I love the most about anthologies is that they are a great medium for discovering new authors, some that I would probably never have heard of in other circumstances.

My favorite stories were:

5 stars
- Exchange by Ray Bradbury
- Paper Cuts Scissors by Holly Black
- The Green Book by Amal El-Mohtar
- The Fort Moxie Branch

4.75 stars
- The Inheritance of Barnabas Wilcox by Sarah Monette
- The Midbury Lake Incident by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
- What Books Survive

4.5 stars
- If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Xia Jia
- Ad Librum by Paula Guran

4 stars
- In Libres by Elizabeth Bear
- In the House of the Seven Librarians by Ellen Klages
- Special Collections by Norman Partridge

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Original language: English
Language read: English 
Publisher: Diamond Book Distributors 
Edition: ebook (provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)
Expected Publication; 05/30/2017


* NOTA: No hay reseña en español porque por el momento solo está disponible en inglés.

jueves, 13 de julio de 2017

Eileen - Ottessa Moshfegh

(scroll down to see the review in Spanish // Reseña en español debajo)

The story was disturbing, intriguing, disgusting and twisted -all in a good way. The writing style is gripping and makes you want to finish the whole thing in one sitting.

Then why 2.5 stars, then? you might be asking. The problem I had with it was hearing the author say that she wanted to write something different, strange, that would get her noticed so she could become famous. Hadn't I learned that, I would have given it 3.5 stars. 

I don't like it when authors o publishers think they are better than the reader/consumer, that they know what we like and would buy; them trying to play puppet master as if we were chess pieces.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Original language: English
Language read: English 
Publisher: PENGUIN GROUP (The Penguin Press)
Edition: ebook (provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)


(Scroll up to see the review in English // Reseña en inglés arriba)

El libro es perturbador, intrigante, desagradable y retorcido (todo en el buen sentido). La escritura es atrapante y hace que te quieras comer el libro de un saque.

Se preguntarán "entonces, ¿por qué solamente 2 estrellas y media?. El problema que tuve con este libro fue que me enteré que la autora dijo que quería escribir algo diferente y raro, que le diera notoriedad, porque quería hacerse famosa. De no haberme enterado de eso, este libro se llevaría una estrella más.

Me molesta cuando los autores y/o editoriales se creen mejores que el lector/consumidor porque "saben" lo que nos gusta y vamos a comprar; que jueguen al titiritero y nos quieran manejar como piezas de ajedrez.

Estrellas: 2,5 de 5 
Idioma original: inglés 
Idioma de lectura: inglés
Editorial: PENGUIN GROUP (The Penguin Press)
Edición: ebook (proporcionado por Netgalley a cambio de una reseña honesta)


REVIEW: Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living

Manjula Martin did a great job editing this collection of essays and interviews on what the title says: writers, their lives, money, finance and advertising, among other topics.

This collection allowed me to discover new authors, make up my mind on others I had been curious about and also rediscovered a few.
Because I usually do mini reviews of each component in collections and anthologies and there are so many essays compiled in this book, I am going to "pull an Aesop" and provide morals I got from some of them or quotes that I feel summarize the main idea of the essay. Please do bare in mind that some concepts may sound or even be similar and not all of the essays will have a summary. Here we go:

The book is divided into three sections:

1) EARLY DAYS, which delves into the making of a writer and the process to being published.

In Owning This, Julia Fierro talks of herself as a bookaholic, comparing books to people (as if they were living beings) and even considering books as her family. They will always be what she turns to when in need of comfort and company.
Moral: Stay true to yourself.

With Compliments: Nina MacLaughlin took the plunge and left her journalist job, but then her new way of making a living ceased to exist. What could she do next? Keep writing for free as a means of keeping herself occupied and trained.
Moral: Never stop doing what you love.

Faith, Hope and Credit: Cheryl Strayed gives a realistic view of income and success as a writer.
Moral: Some things are not as they seem.

On Staying Hungry by Rachael Maddox.
Moral: Keep the balance.

Porochista Khakpour did an amazing job at giving Joyce's famous work in Portrait of the Artist as A Debut Novelist. Here she describer what vould be called 'writer's stages'.
Morals: What you've been wishing for can happen -and probably will- when you least expect it.
              Believe in -and don't be so hard on- yourself.

Colin Dickey's The Mercenary Muse could be described as a short history of the writing business from the Greeks to today.
Quote: "Wrtie from the heart, not from the pocket."

Running the Widget Factory by Susan Orlean.
Moral: It is always good to try things out, because practice makes -almost- perfect.

The Wizard by Alexander Chee.
Moral: Money doesn't necessarily mean success, because what you get paid isn't always what you're worth.

You Are the Second Person by Kiese Laymon.
Moral: Don't compromise your ideals for "success," and never stop doing whatever makes you happy.

Five Years in the Wilderness by Cari Luna.
Morals: Sometimes you don't need others to conquer your dreams.
            One must know when to step aside.

Freedom by Richard Rodríguez.
Moral: The image you project is how you are seen.
            Luck generally plays an important part.

Work Hard, Read Dead by Yiyun Li.
Moral: Perspective is key to creating a realistic story.
Quote: "If you get there first, it doesn't mean you're the best."

Let's Suffer, Let's Starve by J. Robert Lennon.
Moral: Art for Art's sake osn't possible because money gets in the way..

2) THE DAILY GRIND, which tackles the struggles of working writers.

The Best Work in Literature by Manjula Martin centres around going up in the professional ladder.
Moral: Don't underestimate your day job or overstimate your freelance one.
Quote: "The best work in literature is walys done by those who do not depend on it for their daily bread." - Oscar Wilde.
Quote: "Work is work, even when we call it art or love, or culture and even when it's not. I want ro be valued, as much as often as possible, regardless of which clock I'm punching."

The Insider by Kate McKean.
Morals: If you pay attention you'll have something to learn from every experience.
             Take advantage of the knowledge you've gained from life itself."
             Play with the cards you are dealt.

Against "Vs." by Leslie Jamison.
Moral: That which influences a writer's work isn't only literary.

Love for Sale by Harmony Holiday depicts the perspective of people of color.
Moral: Celebrate people who add to the country's culture.

Unlikeable by Emily Gould is the most feminist of the bunch.
Moral: Don't try to please others and be liked if that means acting like a person you are not.

Sad Birthday Lady by Meaghan O'Connell is the only one that bothered me immensely and inspired the rant that follows.

Freedom by Richard Rodríguez.
Moral: The image you project is how you are seen.

Freedom by Richard Rodríguez.
Moral: The image you project is how you are seen.

Freedom by Richard Rodríguez.
Moral: The image you project is how you are seen.

Freedom by Richard Rodríguez.
Moral: The image you project is how you are seen.

Freedom by Richard Rodríguez.
Moral: The image you project is how you are seen.

Freedom by Richard Rodríguez.
Moral: The image you project is how you are seen.

3) SOMEDAY, which comprises hopes, dreams and advice.


4.5 stars:
- Worth by Jennifer Weiner
- Unlikeable by Emily Gould
- The Jump by Sarah Smarsh
- Not A Complaint by Nell Boeschenstein

4 stars
- The Wizard by Alexander Chee
- A Sort of Fairy Tale by Malinda Lo
- Like a Fish in A Tweet Suit by Jonathan Franzen
- Portrait of the Artist as a Young Novelist by Porochista Khakpour
- The Best Work in Literature by Manjula Martin

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Original language: English
Language read: English 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Edition: ebook (provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)
Expected Publication; 01/03/2017