What has been proved about Shakespeare's life is not much (He is at once the best known and least known of figures), so this volume is a succinct histWhat has been proved about Shakespeare's life is not much (He is at once the best known and least known of figures), so this volume is a succinct history of what we do know of his life, enriched with a bit of Elizabethan and Jacobean history. And so engaging that I devoured in only 2 days!
Now I wonder if I should read more about Shakespeare, from Shakespeare, from Bill Bryson or about British history? I know what I'll be recommended ;) BUT very likely I won't follow that route! :)...more
Another Portuguese classic from the 19th century (I’m on a quest to read all written by Júlio Dinis), with his typical plot: siblings, family life, coAnother Portuguese classic from the 19th century (I’m on a quest to read all written by Júlio Dinis), with his typical plot: siblings, family life, countryside, a romance opposed by society/family which is only reached once paramount obstacles are overcome. Also spiced up with Portuguese historical context of liberals vs absolutists in the first part of 19th century and the decadence of the noble families from rural areas.
In this one the love story is frailer since the couple in love is probably the less engaged in making it turn into reality… But some of the secondary characters make it worth reading: Gabriela, the young rich widower with straightforward vision, Ana do Vedor, a tough countryside woman who raised the children of the noble family, is impulsive and acts on what she believes is right/correct or frei Januário, a clergyman only interested in his belly who can complain a lot but take no action on anything…...more
My first from João Tordo and it won't be the last one!
The story is kinda crazy, but well built. The characters are unusual, but believable. The authorMy first from João Tordo and it won't be the last one!
The story is kinda crazy, but well built. The characters are unusual, but believable. The author's writing style made me always want to read more, even when the plot got less exciting and also with un-likable characters.
A frustrated, wannabe, disillusioned, hypochondriac writer gets an invite for a paid conference in Budapest. So there he goes on an unforeseen and dangerous adventure!
It was unexpected to read a Portuguese book where the plot took me to Budapest (where I currently live) and also to see the Italian Mussolini-built city of Latina being mentioned on this book - it's such a small place which I've visited by chance!
(It somehow reminded me of "Budapeste" by Chico Buarque")...more
A Portuguese classic written in the 19th century, but surprisingly (or maybe not!), so readable and easily addictive! I'm now on a quest to re-read (aA Portuguese classic written in the 19th century, but surprisingly (or maybe not!), so readable and easily addictive! I'm now on a quest to re-read (along) Júlio Dinis' novels, after having read most of them on my teens.
One of the advantages of having a short memory for book plots is that I can re-read beloved books without having any spoilers and re-enjoying them as if it was my first time read!! :)
Two sisters, two brothers, the countryside (where people remain truthful and honest), the city (which "corrupts" those who were previously on the good path...) and religion (which is starting to lose the over-influence on society's life) are the ingredients for this novel. As it was published in chapters, it is full of unique episodes where the main characters interact, develop and show us what the ideal man & women were like in the past. And make me realise how little was expected of women!...more
Este foi o primeiro livro que li do José Jorge Letria, depois de ter ouvido elogios aos livros infantis dele.
Eu queria muito poder dar 4 estrelas a esEste foi o primeiro livro que li do José Jorge Letria, depois de ter ouvido elogios aos livros infantis dele.
Eu queria muito poder dar 4 estrelas a este livro: por ser de um autor portugues, por ser sobre Portugal (e o Brasil), por ser um livro histórico e por se ler bastante bem; mas a história contada nao o merece. Nao é que a história seja má, mas é pouco desenvolvida para as minhas expectativas. Existem algumas ideias que sao repetidas ao longo do livro (sim, o narrador reconhece que está a ser repetitivo, mas o leitor nao necessita de ler as mesmas ideias descritas tantas vezes...), o contexto histórico é bastante claro e muito presente, mas a vida deste portugues que foi para o Brasil com a corte é demasiado vaga: fez amizades com pessoas com quem discutia política, servia a família real (em especial o príncipe Pedro) e conheceu uma rapariga com quem decidiu casar, mas ficamos sem o conhecer na realidade, a nao ser por aquilo que ele diz de si próprio, e talvez ele nao seja o melhor juiz de si próprio...
No entanto, é um livro que me deu prazer em ler, que apreciei pela forma como está escrito (em bom portugues, que nao me irritou pela simplicidade do vocabulário nem pela desnecessária utilizacao de palavras "caras") e pelo que aprendi e relembrei acerca deste período marcante da história de Portugal e do Brasil.
E gostei também de aprender que segundo o Padre António Vieira "somos um povo que tem uma pequena pátria para nascer e o mundo inteiro para morrer" :)
(Editora Oficina do Livro: erros ortográficos num livro nao me parecem aceitáveis: "Nao ouve nem aplausos, nem risos, nem..." "..que o futuro imperador decedisse que ficava...")...more
Sometimes it's not so much about what you write, but how you write. And João Tordo has it! With an easy to follow flow of words, he has us locked in hSometimes it's not so much about what you write, but how you write. And João Tordo has it! With an easy to follow flow of words, he has us locked in his writing and he can tell us anything that we'll keep on reading!
He starts on an unlikely point: a car where two men are travelling hits a boar on a Galician* road. This then triggers the Mexican occupant to start talking about his life, mentioning events he'd kept secret from his friend. And this is just the beginning of a journey for the Spanish university professor, the listener, while trying to find the missing pieces of his friend's narrative.
And now I can't wait to read a book from Tordo with a story that I actually care about (though to be honest, he did manage to make me care for Saldana Paris, Teresa, Andrea and the narrator! This is the second book I read from him, a Portuguese writer that I'm now discovering.
*Galician = from "Galicia", a Spanish region just North of Portugal...more
Terminei agora de ler o livro e só me apetece dizer: "quero mais!". Quero ler mais sobre viajantes/escritoras de qualquer época, que viajaram para quaTerminei agora de ler o livro e só me apetece dizer: "quero mais!". Quero ler mais sobre viajantes/escritoras de qualquer época, que viajaram para qualquer lado, de qualquer forma. Quero ler mais escritos da Sónia Serrano! Quero ler agora alguns dos livros mencionados neste livro.
Este livro encerra duas das minhas paixoes: ler (nao tanto escrever!) e viajar (confesso que de uma forma mais turística). Ler sobre mulheres que viajaram em épocas em que isso era mal visto, com perigo da própria vida foi empolgante! A Sónia conseguiu que eu imaginasse cada uma das viajantes individualmente, com uma personalidade própria (nao sei se próxima da real), o que me fez muitas vezes ter dificuldade em parar porque queria ler só sobre mais uma!
Este livro foi uma óptima surpresa! Prenda de aniversário do D. que segundo sei seleccionou este apenas pelo tema que tinha a certeza me iria interessar! :)...more
Mário de Carvalho is in my top of contemporary Portuguese writers. However, short stories have never been my cup of tea and (despite the obvious titleMário de Carvalho is in my top of contemporary Portuguese writers. However, short stories have never been my cup of tea and (despite the obvious title – duh!) I didn’t realise what this book was about when I bought it. I am nevertheless happy that I have read it – I really enjoy Mário de Carvalho’s writing style and some of the stories made me feel in Portugal! “Carolina, Fernando e eu” was definitely the favourite one! Most others felt a bit average and a few left no impression whatsoever on my brain....more
The story of a trip from innocence to guilt, from childhood to adulthood. Here we have episodes and incidents in Katalin útca (street), neighbours goiThe story of a trip from innocence to guilt, from childhood to adulthood. Here we have episodes and incidents in Katalin útca (street), neighbours going through difficult and rough times before, during and after 2nd WW. Very dense and intense.
Magda Szabó is a Hungarian writer that I've discovered when I moved to Budapest and with a single book (“The Door”) has managed to turn me into her fan! Unfortunately, most of her works are not translated into English (and my Hungarian is definitely not good enough to read the original text!), so I decided to try this Spanish edition. Mission accomplished without issue, so I will definitely be reading more Szabó’s books in Spanish!...more
Mário de Carvalho displays his command of Portuguese language on these two short stories. However, that was not enough to make me look forward to readMário de Carvalho displays his command of Portuguese language on these two short stories. However, that was not enough to make me look forward to reading this book. The plot was, in both cases, quite frail and I kept losing the thread, to be carried away just by the words.
If in a couple of weeks I'll be asked about what these stories are about, I'll very likely be unable to answer...
I miss the Lisbon background in his books. The Lisbon that I also know and miss! Please write more about the stone sidewalks of this city and less about imaginary cities & German named characters :P...more
I bought this book on an impulse because I'm trying to read more books in Portuguese and written by Portuguese writers. I'm also trying to encourage mI bought this book on an impulse because I'm trying to read more books in Portuguese and written by Portuguese writers. I'm also trying to encourage more books to be published as paperbacks - and the best way I've found to do this is by actually buy them! So this was one of the cases.
I had never heard about this book nor the author, so it was a very nice surprise to discover both! With these pages Álvaro Guerra became an author I definitely intend to read more from! It's such a good feeling to discover a good book and a new writer by chance!! :)
In this book we get to hear about the world and Portuguese events between 1914 to 1945 as seen by the eyes of the Vila Velha's inhabitants and also about their lives and (some) secrets. It's a fiction book that feels like non-fiction. I've found this very well written and a pleasure to read! ...more
This is the story of two women who have distinguished themselves in 17th century Angola. One is a former slave, daughter of an African slave and an unThis is the story of two women who have distinguished themselves in 17th century Angola. One is a former slave, daughter of an African slave and an unknown white European man, who due to a decision from the Inquisition court is deported to Loanda (in Angola); the other is the daughter of a powerful man of Loanda's society and his African wife.
I gave this two stars: one since there is a book, another for the interesting theme. Because the execution is from my point of view quite poor. The dialogues are very naive, some seem to be taken from children books, like the ones I read to my niece. The historical background is presented in a very detached way from the story itself (sometimes it felt like I was reading a non-fiction book) but then surprised me by including opinions defending the 'brave Portuguese'. The way the novel is constructed also makes it boring: first part focuses entirely in one of the main characters, the second focuses on the other, but then describing *exactly* the same situations with slightly different words, and when the characters discuss the events, these are described a 3rd time...
Funnily enough, one of the characters, that is meant to be a follower of the devil, hopes that God may help her.. - Sebastiao, vou partir imediatamente e queira Deus que ainda chegue a tempo de poder fazer alguma coisa!
And a funny (for me!) sentence: Anna ficava espantada com as palavras da amiga e com a sua sabedoria. E as coisas que ela dizia iam fazendo eco na sua cabeça. -> faziam eco porque a cabeça estava vazia??...more
I give up! I've tried a couple of times, but I just couldn't understand what this one was about and even when I skim read it, nothing seemed to happenI give up! I've tried a couple of times, but I just couldn't understand what this one was about and even when I skim read it, nothing seemed to happen. Too many books, too little time!...more
I've decided to give José Luís Peixoto a second chance with a non-fiction book about a topic I'm quite interested in: life in North Korea. And he passI've decided to give José Luís Peixoto a second chance with a non-fiction book about a topic I'm quite interested in: life in North Korea. And he passed the test! :) I'll move to a third book from him in the near future.
This one is a description of his trip to North Korea, which was organized in 2012 to celebrate Kim Il-Sung's 100 birthday. We are given a short summary of 20th century Korean history, but Peixoto focuses mostly on accounting his trip of 2 weeks. How he found the Koreans poor and felt that as a foreigner he was quite privileged, how he didn't believe most things he was told by the guides allocated to his group and felt lack of freedom, but was surprised by seeing young children feeling safe enough to go alone to school on public transportation.
Having previously read a bit about North Korea, this book didn't bring me so much new knowledge, but I was curious to see the country through his eyes. The eyes of a Portuguese man who was raised in a free democratic country (but as all others, not perfect!).
I'd have been curious to read about his impressions on South Korea and comparisons to North Korea, had he done a similarly organized trip of 2 weeks there as well. How is Korea still one, and how the years of separation have drifted them apart?
I was undecided between 3 and 4 stars, but decided to round it up as I really like his writing style! :)...more
Paulette is a (bit clumsy) super hero: a sociology student during the day and a vengeful hero in the evening. Furthermore, she also has a weakness forPaulette is a (bit clumsy) super hero: a sociology student during the day and a vengeful hero in the evening. Furthermore, she also has a weakness for cute guys and a strange allergy to alcohol that makes her do unexpected things.
This is a silly story, but since it's a comic book, it was a good try for me to read in French! :)...more