Reto lector de septiembre: Ciudades al final de la noche

Reto lector de septiembre: Ciudades al final de la noche

Hola y feliz sábado. Quien me ha seguido por un tiempo, o quien tuvo la oportunidad de ver el blog en español que hace ya años eliminé, sabrá que mi autor favorito en español es Santiago Gamboa. Como escritor y como columnista, Gamboa ha hecho de todo, y aunque realmente lo que más me gusta de él son sus novelas, hoy les vengo a hablar del segundo libro de no-ficción de él que he leído: Ciudades al final de la noche. Vale aclarar que sí, ha escrito más de dos libros de no-ficción, pero no los he leído y probablemente no los leeré. Como dije, de él me gustan sus novelas.

Leí Ciudades al final de la noche entre el 13 y el 24 de julio de 2019 y le di tres estrellas. Va en la misma línea de Océanos de arena, su otro libro de no-ficción que he leído, pues ambos hablan de lugares que el autor ha visitado a lo largo de su vida o en los que ha vivido. Sin embargo, no podría decir que Ciudades…es una crónica de viaje. Es, más específicamente, una colección de ensayos, anécdotas, reflexiones, de los cuales la protagonista siempre es una ciudad. Hay ciudades, como Roma, que son el centro de tres ensayos diferentes, y hay otras en las que el autor solamente se detiene por un momento breve pues ya les ha dedicado tiempo y espacio en el papel en otros de sus trabajos.

No es lo mejor que he leído de este autor ni lo más interesante, pero tampoco es lo peor o lo más aburrido. A diferencia de una novela de las suyas que uno quisiera devorarse de una sentada, recomendaría leer esto por partes, enfocándose en cada sección, en cada ciudad. Creo que se aprende mucho de estas ciudades al leer sobre ellas, y uno queda con la sensación de querer ir a verlas algún día.

¿Y ustedes? ¿Prefieren los libros de ficción o los de no-ficción? Cuéntenme en los comentarios.

¡Feliz lectura!

Con amor, Miss Camila

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December 2018 Owlcrate

December 2018 Owlcrate

 

Hello and happy Wednesday. This is what happens when you plan to write a post way in advance: you end up forgetting everything you had gotten by the time you actually get to sit down and write. Luckily, I saved the card we get that says all the goodies I got inside my Owlcrate for the month of December 2018. The theme for that month was “power of illusions,” and you know I love me some magic tricks.

Do you see that cute little candle right there? I love the lavender color, but I especially love its scent. As you might know by now, I don’t light candles in my room, but my mom and my sister do, so this cutie from Flick the Wick made my sister’s room smell like a dream. Honestly, every time I went inside, I had to take the unlit candle and give it a sniff. I wish there were a perfume that smelled like that, I’d totally wear that.

Because it was the December box, we got an ornament from Juniper and Ivy Designs. Now, in my house, we no longer decorate the house for Christmas, but I have my wooden ornament from this box, as well as the one we got in 2017 with the Everything Everything quote hanging from my corkboard. And yes, when I get my place and decorate for Christmas, these will for sure be my ornaments.

I got a magnet from Ink and Wonder Designs, which is now accompanied by three other magnets that I’ve gotten from Owl Crate. I love how these boxes have led me to have collections of cute stuff all over.

Judging by the stuff I’ve hauled and what’s still left for me to talk about, I can surely say that this box went above and beyond. The next item I got was a tote bag from Stella Bookish Art. Now I believe that this is the third tote back I’ve gotten from Owl Crate, and I love using these instead of plastic bags. I will have to go through all my tote bags and maybe get rid of some because I have too many by now.

The next item is one I use every single day, and it’s the magical monthly reading planner. I believe that the improvements made from the planner they sent out the previous year to this one were spot on. I love my planner with the passion of one thousand burning suns, and I even made a post about how I use it. This was made in collaboration with Blue Star Press.

This is not listed in the spoiler card, but I’m sure you can see it in the thumbnail. It is a sneak peek of King of Fools by Amanda Foody. I don’t know what this book is about, but I will read what I was sent and let you know what I thought about it.

Finally, we have the book, Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene. This book was actually signed by the author, which is even cooler than getting a signed bookplate. Additionally, we have an exclusive Owl Crate cover. I don’t know anything about it, so you’ll have to wait for my review once I’ve read it. With the book, we got a necklace and you know that I’m a total sucker for jewelry.

What is one thing you’d like to get in an Owl Crate, and one you can totally do without? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

This Is What I Needed

This Is What I Needed

 

Hello and happy Wednesday. I am a firm believer that books find us when we need them the most, and I could confirm that when I read Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick. This book will change your life, and if you feel like it doesn’t, then you need therapy. Even if it does, therapy is awesome and you should see a mental health professional at least once in your lifetime.

I’d already read The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick, so it’s safe to say that my expectations were super high. He’s got this style, that reminds me of Jonathan Safran Foer and that gets to me every single time. Spoiler alert: this wasn’t the exception.

I love that the author’s style is incredibly simple but captivating, and full of deeper, sadder undertones. I think that you need to have been through some sh*t in life to really get this book. The chapters are short, which I highly appreciate. This is clearly a psychological thing, but when the chapters are short, I can read the book faster.

From the beginning, we know that this is not your regular YA/coming-of-age story. I mean, the main character’s only friend at school seems to be her English teacher, and I think we can anticipate that this friendship might not end up in an ideal way. She reminds me of myself because when I was younger, way younger than the main character but still, I was a loner.

Nanette, the main character, becomes obsessed with this book her teacher gives her, and I can relate because there is this one book I have read four times already and it was like a bible to me. She meets the author of her bible and asks him for answers, which is something I should do too since I know the author of the book I’m obsessed with.

Every Exquisite Thing is definitely a must for me. It has made me question things about my life, and if it has that power for someone who is 25 years old, just imagine the wonders it will do for someone younger. I also love what it has to say about those friendships that kids establish with adults, in which the latter become the guides of the former. There is romance, as well, but it is not the main focus of the plot, and it is not your typical YA romance.

I also love the fact that we get inserts of poems in this story, as well as pages from the book Nanette reads and is obsessed with. I am a sucker for books that include different formats within the narration. I’m also a fan of plots that involve a quest, and this story has that. If you liked The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting by Holly Bourne, then you’ll love this book.

What is the book that has changed your life and why? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Organizing My Bookshelves

Organizing My Bookshelves

Hello and happy Wednesday. I’m excited about today’s post because I love everything related to organization, and I think rearranging my bookshelves was long overdue.

This is how my main bookshelf looked before. You’ll notice that there aren’t any criteria behind the arrangement, besides size, probably, but I say “probably” because if you look closely, you’ll notice some books here and there that clearly are not where they’re supposed to be.

There’s even a hardcover, which should have been in the other shelf, but spoiler alert, I only noticed I didn’t return it to its original home until after I was done organizing.

This little cutie is where I have my hardcovers. I’m not a fan of hardcovers because I find them unpractical to read, but they are pretty, and I have gotten most of these titles either in subscription boxes or for very cheap online, cheaper even than the paperback edition.

Like its mother shelf, there was no real rationale behind the organization of this baby, but I still wanted to change the order of the books a bit, make it seem like I did something.

Also, I’m sure you noticed that stray copy of An Abundance of Katherines. It is waiting in the pile with other books I will be reselling or giving away when I’m done with them, which is why it isn’t on the bookshelf.

This is the final product. I put all the books down, cleaned the inside of the shelves, and then arranged the books by color. I’m thinking about doing a haul series, in which I haul the books by color in each post, so I’m not going to go in detail today about the titles I own.

The top row has my books from Alfaguara, one of my favorite publishing houses in Spanish. Then we move on to the purple and pink books. The next shelf is for the black and gray titles. The bottom row is comprised of white books, then yellow, then red and orange, and finally green. My previously unoccupied bottom shelf now holds the blue books and the teal/aqua ones.

This is the new version of my hardcover shelf. I don’t know if it’s just me, or if it looks as if there are more books now. I wanted to go with the rainbow theme too but gave up on it because this is a very small shelf and there are many big bulky titles I have to fit in. I finally decided to be practical instead of creative.

I do feel that this organization is more aesthetically pleasing, more inviting, although I guess you’d have to be the judge of that.

How do you organize your books at home? Let me know in the comments below, and if you can, link me to your shelfie, I’d love to see it.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Reto Lector de Agosto

Reto Lector de Agosto

Hola y feliz sábado. ¿Alguna vez les ha pasado que entre más leen de un autor, menos les gusta? Quiero decir, aman el primer libro que leen, pero a medida que encuentran más libros de ese mismo autor, sienten que los ha decepcionado y que lo que amaron de ese primer libro no está en los otros. Yo siento que eso precisamente me pasa con Carla Guelfenbein, y de hecho por eso me demoré tanto tiempo leyendo La mujer de mi vida.

Leí esta novela entre el 20 de marzo y el 19 de abril de 2019 y le di tres estrellas. La historia básicamente trata sobre un triángulo amoroso, y es de ese tipo de tramas que comienzan cuando todos los personajes son jóvenes pero en la que, años después, cuando todos parecen tener sus vidas organizadas, se reencuentran y el triángulo sigue latente. Esta alternancia entre el pasado y el presente es común en las novelas de Carla Guelfenbein, pero siento que esta novela, tal vez por haber sido escrita hace más tiempo, era muy diferente a las otras que he leído de la misma autora.

Como dije, este libro me decepcionó. Me demoré un mes leyéndolo porque no me sentí atrapada por la trama ni sentí ninguna conexión con los personajes. Además sentí que la historia era predecible y que ya la había leído varias veces antes. Como dije, es la típica historia del triángulo amoroso de la juventud que se reencuentra años después. El contexto me hizo pensar mucho en Brideshead Revisited, y de hecho la autora cita esta novela en su libro, por lo que es más que obvio que fue parte de la inspiración para La mujer de mi vida.

¿Hay algún libro de Carla Guelfenbein que consideren extraordinario? Me encantaría leer sus recomendaciones en los comentarios.

¡Feliz lectura!

Con amor, Miss Camila

A Cutesy Summer Read

A Cutesy Summer Read

Hello and happy Wednesday. Since last year my mission has been to find, read and review more middle-grade novels, and I recently read one that I think the tween in your life is going to appreciate. I’m talking about Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy.

This book is told in alternating perspectives, which I believe enriches a story a lot and allows the reader to get to know more than one character in depth. In this case, we have two female main characters. This story centers around a road trip, so I think it is a great summer read. The chapters are short, which is a good thing because you feel like you’re advancing at a good pace. Usually, books with short chapters encourage me to read more, which results in me reading faster.

The two main characters are complete opposites, which I think will make this book even more relatable. On one hand, Lana is really childish and at times naive, while Cassie is very sarcastic and she’s all about her group of friends back home.

I like that this is a story about family and that we get to see a friendship developing. There is more depth to just a road trip, though because we find out that one of the main character’s mom might be sick and we get to experience the daughter’s fear of not knowing what is wrong with her mom.

What are you reading this summer? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

 

Another Cookie-Cutter YA

Another Cookie-Cutter YA

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

Hello and happy Wednesday. When I read the title The Night We Said Yes and saw the cover image, I thought I was going to be presented with something similar to How to Get Away With Murder, you know? Like, what did those four friends say yes to? Why are they all standing in what looks like the middle of the beach, or a deserted football field? And then I read the actual novel by Lauren Gibaldi and was very disappointed.

You know that once a book has let me down, I will find other flaws in it, and since I discovered that this was a teenage love story instead of a college murder mystery, well, let’s just say that I kept my eyes peeled for things that annoyed me. Now, I’m going to be totally hypocritical here and say that the main character was super negative. She does mention having being hurt in the past, which explains why she’s so bitter, but still.

A redeeming quality of this novel is the fact that it is a summer read, and we all know that those are my favorite books and the ones I read the fastest. I also appreciated that there was a gay character, only to find out that he was in the story as a filler and that wasn’t even present for 90% of the plot. Seriously, what was the author’s goal with that? To say that there is representation because out of all her (white) characters, one is gay? Technically there are two gay characters, but we are never introduced to one of them, we just learn from him because the other characters in the book talk about him.

Something that annoys me big time is when I can predict the plot of a book. Remember how I mentioned that the main character was bitter because she’d been hurt? Well, she’d been hurt by this Matt guy, and he’s mentioned earlier on in the novel. Also, I know he’s important because there is a companion novella titled Matt’s Story. The plot twists, right?

I really enjoyed the flashbacks and flash-forwards, and I really appreciated the fact that what happened in the past was narrated in the past tense. I think this was a clever choice by the author to give us a hint as to where we were standing in the story. It’s also one of those plots that take place on a single night, which I’m undecided about.

Like I said at the beginning, I thought there was going to be some depth to this novel, and that it was going to be more serious. At some point, it even gave me vibes similar to How to Love by Katie Cotugno or Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover. But no, there’s no depth to this book. It’s literally a novel about teenage drama. I didn’t appreciate the shallowness one bit.

Have you read any YA novels lately? Were they any good? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila