Writing the Seasons with Books: Spring

I don’t consider myself a seasonal reader, meaning that I don’t tend to read books in a way that agrees with the season we are in. I usually read more fantasy and adventure books than normal during summer. And Halloween is generally my favourite time of the year to read unsettling novels. However, I’m also known to read books set during the winter in the summer and gothic, creepy novels while the flowers are blooming with the arrival of spring. Thus, I won’t be recommending you books to read during this spring. Any book is a good one!

Instead, I’ve decided to take a look at my shelves and select six books with titles beginning with the letters of the word ‘spring’. This wasn’t as easy to achieve as I first thought. And I had to cheat slightly! But below are the books with which I’m writing ‘spring’.

 

Sonetos by Florbela Espanca    

Florbela Espanca was a Portuguese poet who lived during the early 20th century. Her sonnets generally delve into the topics of love and passion. But they also convey pessimism and suffering, complemented with a pinch of sensuality. Continue reading

‘EU Still 28’ Authors to Continue Reading

Throughout 2018 I read one book by an author from each of the present-day 28 EU members states. I called this project ‘EU still 28’. Some of the books that I read were written by authors whose work I was already familiar with. Others, on the other hand, were penned by writers whom I had never read a book by before.

My first time reading certain authors left me eager to know more about their work. Taking into consideration not only my enjoyment of the books that I read but also my interest in the other ones that are currently available in a language that I can read fluently (Portuguese and English), in the future I will certainly read more books by the eight authors listed below.

 

Robert Seethaler

To represent Austria, I read The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler. Having as main character Franz Huchel, it’s a story about sexual awakening set at the time of the rise of Nazism. I now want to read A Whole Life, which is about the return of a soldier to his village in the Alps after the Second World War. Continue reading

‘Nada’ by Carmen Laforet

My rating: 4 stars

The evening after I finished reading Nada by the Spanish writer Carmen Laforet, I was under the impression that nothing exceptionally memorable had happened plot-wise throughout the book. That sensation is not really accurate, though. Andrea, the main character in this novel, had a year full of new experiences, but the way in which they are narrated made them feel almost ordinary, when in fact much changed in her life. This is the story of a young woman who was trying to become independent. Being an orphan living on a meagre pension, she struggled to reconcile poverty and hunger with her friends’ way of life.

Andrea arrived in Barcelona alone to start anew and attend university. Although she felt anxious, she quickly became enchanted by the city. She was staying with close relatives at their house on Aribau Street. At the time of her arrival, seven people lived there already – her grandmother, her aunt Angustias, her uncles Román and Juan, plus his wife Gloria and their son, and Antonia, the housemaid. One of the allures of this book is to discover the characters’ personalities and back stories while reading, so I won’t say much about them. But, from early on, it became apparent that there was a conflict between Juan and Román involving Gloria.

The first character Andrea had to learn to deal with was Angustias. She was authoritarian, seemed to be fairly conservative and kept trying to repress Andrea. These characteristics can be inferred from her actions and are not straightforwardly penned. In fact, that happens with the other members of the family as well. It was via their interactions with Andrea that I started forming my own opinions about them, which made me feel involved in the story. They all seemed to be on the verge of madness to some extent. Continue reading

Book Haul – March 2018

I bought a total of ten books in March. As I didn’t buy them all at once, it was only when I decided to write this post that I realised how many they were. I can’t truly remember the last time I bought so many books in just a month. The majority of them I’m going to read for my ‘EU still 28’ project, while others were at a discount and I don’t seem to be able to resist a bargain.

To know a little bit more about each of my choices, carry on reading!

 

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

I love the covers of the books by Daphne du Maurier from the Virago Modern Classics collection. Since I’m slightly afraid that they may vanish from the market before I have them all, once in a while, I buy one of them even if I don’t plan to read it soon. Jamaica Inn was recommended to me numerous times. It focuses on Mary Yellan, who, after the death of her mother, goes to her aunt Patience’s home. Continue reading