I’m back! Sort of. More or less. These are strange times we’re living in, so here I am establishing a tad bit of normalcy, catching up with reviews of books I’ve read in the last few months. And here’s what I posted so far:
- Books reviewed this month include Francesca Melandri’s Eva Sleeps (review), Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere (review), and David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
- I posted two movie reviews this month: 1917 (review) and Cloud Atlas (review). You can check out all of the past movies I’ve watched and reviewed in this tag.
- Hoping to get back on track with my poetry Instagram account next month. All my writing projects came to a standstill because of school and work back and forth but I’m slowly getting back to it soon.
And that’s about it about the blog for this month. Hope you and your loved ones are well and that you are all keeping safe!
Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey
By: Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translator)
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase
In this collection of writings and responses gathered from over 30 years of correspondence, the reclusive Italian author addresses her unwavering decision to remain anonymous, her literary inspirations, Italian politics and culture, and the role of the writer (and the publisher) in modern society. Ferrante’s voice is as direct, penetrating, acute, inspiring, and intimate as it is in her acclaimed novels.
This book invites readers into Elena Ferrante’s workshop. It offers a glimpse into the drawers of her writing desk, those drawers from which emerged her three early standalone novels and the four installments of My Brilliant Friend, known in English as the Neapolitan Quartet. Consisting of letters, essays, reflections, and interviews, it is a unique depiction of an author who embodies a consummate passion for writing.
In these pages Ferrante answers many of her readers’ questions she addresses her choice to stand aside and let her books live autonomous lives. She discusses her thoughts and concerns as her novels are being adapted into films. She talks about the challenge of finding concise answers to interview questions. She explains the joys and the struggles of writing, the anguish of composing a story only to discover that that story isn’t good enough. She contemplates her relationship with psychoanalysis, with the cities she has lived in, with motherhood, with feminism, and with her childhood as a storehouse for memories, impressions, and fantasies. The result is a vibrant and intimate self-portrait of a writer at work.
I finally read it, omg. This book has been sitting on my TBR pile for some time now. I’ve read pretty much all of her books to date save for maybe one or two of the more recent stuff, but I was pretty excited for this one because it promised to provide insight into her writing process her thoughts aout writing and her stories and whatnot.
The Sisters of the Winter Wood
By: Rena Rossner
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
Raised in a small village surrounded by vast forests, Liba and Laya have lived a peaceful sheltered life – even if they’ve heard of troubling times for Jews elsewhere. When their parents travel to visit their dying grandfather, the sisters are left behind in their home in the woods.
But before they leave, Liba discovers the secret that their Tati can transform into a bear, and their Mami into a swan. Perhaps, Liba realizes, the old fairy tales are true. She must guard this secret carefully, even from her beloved sister.
Soon a troupe of mysterious men appear in town and Laya falls under their spell-despite their mother’s warning to be wary of strangers. And these are not the only dangers lurking in the woods…
The sisters will need each other if they are to become the women they need to be – and save their people from the dark forces that draw closer.
I got this book years ago but didn’t get around to it right away–I think because of the length? Anyway aside from its eye-popping cover art, the premise intrigued me, clearly melding many Eastern European fairy tales into the story. I finally got around to reading it earlier this year, which was great.
By: David Mitchell
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase
Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies . . .
Six interlocking lives – one amazing adventure. In a narrative that circles the globe and reaches from the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future, Cloud Atlas erases the boundaries of time, genre and language to offer an enthralling vision of humanity’s will to power, and where it will lead us.
So I watched the movie first before I read the book (posted my thoughts on the movie last week) but the book has long been on my wish-to-read list. Watching the movie prompted me to finally pick up the book so here we are 🙂
The Witchfinder’s Sister
By: Beth Underdown
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
‘The number of women my brother Matthew killed is one hundred and six…’
1645. When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.
But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women’s names.
To what lengths will Matthew’s obsession drive him? And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?
Picked up this book…last year, I believe. Witches, historical fiction, a witch hunter–sounds interesting and intense!