Review: Love & Misadventure

Love & MisadventureLove & Misadventure by Lang Leav

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Someone said,
“You cannot dislike a book
you have not read.”
So I did.

And I still dislike it. I read pieces of Lang Leav’s works before in tumblr. It’s appealing at that social site, I could even reblog it there. But, a collection of her pieces is just a tumblr blog with the expense of the trees. Her pieces always include relatable lines so you would think of something familiar however, it is too general that it is beautiful on the surface. It is like a one-size-fits-all shirt which the money-making ventures mass produce and expect that it can cater everyone. Like the shirt, everyone may fit in it but not everyone will like how they look in it. Read an example:

“His Cause and Effect”

He makes me turn,
he makes me toss;
his words mean mine
are at a loss.
He makes me blush!
He makes me want
to brush and floss.

Eeeeek. I like her artworks though.

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Review: The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected NonfictionThe View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The View from the Cheap Seats is a collection of speeches, introductions, and other writings of Neil Gaiman. Cheap seat is where you get a chance to be there even if you have limited view. You can also get the chance to see the big picture. Personally, I prefer the closer to stage seat so in a way, I can’t appreciate this book much more. The good news is that we do not need to buy other books to read other writings of Neil. We have access to his speeches, little musings, and writings about other authors and musicians. The bad news, however, is that we cannot all be in the loop. Because we’re in the cheap seats, we are here but we cannot reach the people on stage fully. The introductions by Neil Gaiman included, “the book you are holding” “The book you are going to read” “Come back after you read the book” which we cannot do because these are the only portions we have right now. Also, I have no idea almost half of the people he mentioned. The experience is just like having the cheap seat, you do not have the backstage access pass…unless you buy the other books he said and look for people and works he recommended.

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Review: The Martian Chronicles

The Martian Chronicles
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you like to read science fiction & short stories, I highly recommend this book. Here are some stories I enjoyed the most:

August 1999: The Earth Men
They declared that they were from the Earth. The people on the planet Tyrr were not impressed.

April 2000: The Third Expedition
Captain John Black’s expedition to Mars. They saw familiar faces.

August 2002: Night Meeting
Tomas Gomez meets a Martian.

June 2003: Way in the middle of the air
He said he can’t publish this story on 1949.
The story is about black people who did not rely on the politicians and set themselves free with technology.

April 2005: Usher II
This is where Fahrenheit 451 started. I haven’t read Poe’s Amonticillo so I’m convinced I should read it.

I listened to an audiobook of Martian Chronicles narrated by Ray Bradbury. I like that he added commentaries. After finishing the audiobook, he said that he was more optimistic than he was when he wrote this. He believed that we are going to Mars not to runaway from ourselves but to fulfill ourselves. If he would write it again, it will have a different ending. But, he said that he has total respect to the young person than he was. After reading the final chapter, he was touched by the feeling that he put in it for these people and for their hope and the face of annihilation to exist in the universe and eventually to move on out to the stars.

“I believe that we will someday live among the stars and live forever.”

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Review: No Matter the Wreckage

No Matter the Wreckage
No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The poems of Sarah Kay always give me feelings. Something like home. Familiarity, maybe. Or nostalgia. There is no spoken word poetry of Sarah Kay that I did not like. There will never be. So to appreciate this collection of poems, I listened to her through her videos online. What about those poems without her videos? I read it out loud. I’m not a good poetry speaker but to hell with it! I made the bed my stage and the pillows in my room became my audience. In those moments, there was a bubble of magic that was impenetrable.

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Review: Inés of My Soul

Inés of My Soul
Inés of My Soul by Isabel Allende

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“You will find, señora, that these conquistadors have no shame. They arrive as beggars, they act like thieves, and then they behave as if they were lords of the world.”

These conquistadors from Spain once came to my country, the Philippines, and lived like the lords of the world. The horrendous things happened to Chile were the same things happened to my country: they took advantage of our land and resources, abused our natives, ruined our culture, and imposed their religion. The Indians in their land, however, were different from our natives. Indians fought endlessly unlike the Filipinos who embraced the presence of the conquistadors. I don’t know if it was because of inherent hospitality of the Filipinos or the desire to avoid of conflict. As a result, the Spaniards colonized us for more than 300 years.

Inés of My Soul is a fresh perspective to read. I usually read about being colonized because of our history–not from the eyes of the colonizers. Inés Suárez wrote about her love and adventures from Spain to Peru and Chile. Her manuscripts were for her daughter to read. These were mostly ignored by historians for centuries. I think it was mainly because of her gender. I am glad that Allende took the chance to make a woman’s voice be heard. A female historian is rarely acknowledged.

“Courage is a virtue appreciated in a male but considered a defect in our gender. Bold women are a threat to a world that is badly out of balance, in favor of men. That is why they work so hard to mistreat us and destroy us. But remember that bold women are like cockroaches: step on one and others come running from the corners.”

The autobiographical book was woven by intuition of Isabel Allende, meticulously crafted and researched. Any similar historical fact is no coincidence.

“We are off to Chile, Inés of my soul. .”

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