Hola a todos:

Los que me seguís hace tiempo recordaréis que no hace mucho decidí compartir de nuevo mi primer post. He estado pensando en otros posts y series que tanto yo como vosotros, mis lectores, han disfrutado, y recordé los posts sobre escritores y obras clásicas, que tanto disfruté. He decidido intentar seguir con la serie regularmente (si puedo una vez al mes) y para celebrar la ocasión, he querido compartir de nuevo el primer post de entonces, dedicado a Cervantes. Por cierto, agradezco las sugerencias tanto de autores como de obras clásicas que os gustaría ver en el futuro. Y ahora, mi post de hace casi dos años sobre:

 

Juan Martínez de Jáuregui y Aguilar, Miguel de...

Juan Martínez de Jáuregui y Aguilar, Miguel de Cervantes, c.1610 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hace unas cuantas semanas decidí empezar a dedicarle algunos de mis post de invitados a escritores clásicos en inglés, en parte porque me pareció que era de justicia después de escribir tantos posts de autores modernos, y en parte porque me daba la oportunidad de visitar sus vidas y obras, ya que muchas están ahora disponibles, en formato electrónico, baratitas. (Por cierto, si tenéis la suerte de vivir en otros países que no sean España, os dejo enlaces gratuitos). Hoy he decidido que les ha llegado la hora a escritores en lengua española. Y por supuesto, es de justicia empezar por Cervantes.

Breve biografía:

La vida de Cervantes no le tiene nada que envidiar a muchas novelas de aventuras de esas que siempre han tenido mucho éxito. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra nació en 1547 en Alcalá de Henares (no se sabe la fecha con seguridad aunque se acepta el 29 de Septiembre ya que era San Miguel y era costumbre bautizar a los niños con el nombre del santo del día) , el cuarto de 7 hijos (por casualidad mi post en inglés es sobre Jane Austen que también era una de 7 hijos) . Hijo de un cirujano (sordo) Don Rodrigo de Cervantes y doña Leonor de Cortinas (d.1593). Rodrigo fue a la cárcel debido a deudas impagadas y esto trajo dificultades a la familia. Miguel estudió Filosofía y Literatura en Italia y se alistó como soldado en Nápoles en 1570. Fue herido durante la batalla de Lepanto y perdió el uso de su mano izquierda (convirtiéndose en ‘el manco de Lepanto’) en 1751. Unos años más tarde el galeón en el que viajaba fue capturado por unos piratas y lo tuvieron de esclavo en Argel. Intentó escapar sin éxito pero su familia consiguió pagar el rescate en 1580.

Cervantes se mudó a Madrid y tuvo una aventura con Ana De Villafranca. La pareja tuvo una hija, Isabel de Saavedra. En 1584 se casó con Catalina de Palacios y empezó a escribir obras de teatro y poesías, incluyendo La Galatea (1585) su primera obra publicada (un romance pastoral en verso y prosa). Como sus escritos no le daban muchos ingresos consiguió un trabajo con el gobierno, de cobrador de impuestos para la Armada Española. Debido a las deudas estuvo en la cárcel más de una vez.

English: Don Quixote in the monument to Miguel...

English: Don Quixote in the monument to Miguel de Cervantes in Madrid. Español: Don Quijote en el monumento a Miguel de Cervantes en Madrid. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

En 1604, Cervantes, su mujer e hija vivían en Valladolid, pero después de publicar Don Quijote se mudaron a Madrid. Novelas Ejemplares vieron la publicación en 1613, y os las recomiendo encarecidamente. La segunda parte de Don Quijote fue publicada en 1615 y el año siguiente publicó Persiles y Segismunda. Cervantes murió en 1616 y está enterrado en el convento de los Trinitarios de Madrid.

Enlaces:

http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/bib/bib_autor/Cervantes/

Biblioteca virtual de las obras de Cervantes

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_de_Cervantes

Cervantes en Wikipedia.

http://www.los-poetas.com/d/biocerva.htm

http://literatura.about.com/od/Escritoresporapellido/p/Miguel-De-Cervantes.htm

En about.com Literatura

http://www.biografiasyvidas.com/biografia/c/cervantes.htm

En biografías y vidas

http://www.proverbia.net/citasautor.asp?autor=188

Citas de Cervantes

Enlaces a sus obras (gratuitos pero no en España):

Don Quijote

http://www.amazon.com//dp/B004UIY0F4/

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006CA66F0/

Encontré dos enlaces…

Novelas y teatro

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004UIUUGW/

Viaje al Parnaso, La Numancia, y El trato de Argel

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004UIU2E2/

Si os apetece leer sus obras en otros idiomas, está por supuesto en inglés, alemán, francés…y estoy segura de que en muchas otras lenguas.

Gracias por leer, y si os ha gustado no os olvidéis de compartir y dejar comentario.

Como os dije entonces, gracias a todos por leer, y ya sabéis, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid, y no os olvidéis de darme sugerencias sobre autores y obras. ¡Y de hacer CLIC! ¡Que es gratis!

Hi all:
As those of you who’ve been following me for a while will remember, recently I revisited my first post. I’ve also been thinking of some of the posts that I (and you, my readers) have enjoyed since I started blogging, and I’ve realised I really enjoyed the posts I created about authors that have become classics. I’m thinking of trying to feature one of those posts at regular intervals (if I can fit them in, once a month) and thought we could revisit some of the good oldies back first to kick it off.
This is the first classic I brought you almost two years ago, Herman Melville. (The original post follows)
I usually have a guest post on Fridays. Today isn’t going to be an exception. Only instead of bringing you one of the new writers I’ve met, I thought I’d bring you a dead author. He’s surely dead, but I didn’t think that should prevent me from having him as a guest. After all zombies and vampires are all the rage these days and they’re dead too so…
I’ve been corresponding with a friend and fellow author, Mary Meddlemore and talking about reading and classics. And as I love Melville, I thought, why not? There’s also the advantage that many of his works can be downloaded for free, so it’s a win-win situation.
I have a BA in American Literature and I must say that although I knew of Melville I became more familiar with him when I was studying for my degree. I read Moby Dick several times. I must admit it’s a bit of a peculiar read (and fairly long), but I fell truly in love with it. It is ambitious, wandering, deep, funny, moving, dramatic, elegiac, philosophical, adventurous, scholarly, and bigger than life. Good candidate to the ever sought after title of The Great American Novel. Its opening lines: ‘Call me Ishmael.’ are well known and as good first lines as I’ve ever read. Simple but…
I post you links to detailed biographies of Melville.

Link to Virginia Education biography on Herman Melville. Great page.

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/bb/hm_bio.html

Another fabulous page on Herman Melville and his later recognition

http://www.poemhunter.com/poems/nature/

melv[1]

A brief summary: He was born in New York in August 1, 1819 and died in September 28, 1891, forgotten by most, to the point where his obituary listed him as ‘Henry’ Melville. He travelled the South Seas, he became known for his adventure/exotic novels (Typee, Omoo) but later deviated onto more serious writing and never quite recovered the popularity of his youth. Moby Dick (or The Whale as it was initially published) is his best known work and masterpiece, although he carried on writing, with less and less success, to the point that he stopped publishing, worked as a customs inspector in New York, and some of his works, like Billy Budd were published posthumously.
Why do I like him so much? I feel he was ahead of his time. He reminds me of the modernists (if somebody can remind you of people who came after him) and works like ‘Bartleby the Scrivener’ (that I can’t recommend enough) and ‘The Confidence Man’ are truly unique and out of keeping with the writing of his era. He didn’t shy away of asking the big questions, even when that meant loss of popularity. He pursued his poetry and his fiction beyond market and readers. Like his greatest character, Captain Ahab, he never gave up despite the hopelessness of his pursuit.
I thought I’d share one of the many passages I love in Moby Dick. This is from chapter 132 ‘The Symphony’ where Ahab is talking to his first mate, Starbuck (if you wondered about the name of the coffee chain…) about his life to that point. It’s a rare moment of self-disclosure that shows that indeed Ahab has his ‘humanities’.
“Oh, Starbuck! it is a mild, mild wind, and a mild looking sky. On such a day- very much such a sweetness as this- I struck my first whale- a boy-harpooneer of eighteen! Forty- forty- forty years ago!- ago! Forty years of continual whaling! forty years of privation, and peril, and storm-time! forty years on the pitiless sea! for forty years has Ahab forsaken the peaceful land, for forty years to make war on the horrors of the deep! Aye and yes, Starbuck, out of those forty years I have not spent three ashore. When I think of this life I have led; the desolation of solitude it has been; the masoned, walled-town of a Captain’s exclusiveness, which admits but small entrance to any sympathy from the green country without- oh, weariness! heaviness! Guinea-coast slavery of solitary command!- when I think of all this; only half-suspected, not so keenly known to me before- and how for forty years I have fed upon dry salted fare- fit emblem of the dry nourishment of my soul!- when the poorest landsman has had fresh fruit to his daily hand, and broken the world’s fresh bread to my mouldy crusts- away, whole oceans away, from that young girl-wife I wedded past fifty, and sailed for Cape Horn the next day, leaving but one dent in my marriage pillow- wife? wife?- rather a widow with her husband alive? Aye, I widowed that poor girl when I married her, Starbuck; and then, the madness, the frenzy, the boiling blood and the smoking brow, with which, for a thousand lowerings old Ahab has furiously, foamingly chased his prey- more a demon than a man!- aye, aye! what a forty years’ fool- fool- old fool, has old Ahab been! Why this strife of the chase? why weary, and palsy the arm at the oar, and the iron, and the lance? how the richer or better is Ahab now? Behold. Oh, Starbuck! is it not hard, that with this weary load I bear, one poor leg should have been snatched from under me? Here, brush this old hair aside; it blinds me, that I seem to weep. Locks so grey did never grow but from out some ashes! But do I look very old, so very, very old, Starbuck? I feel deadly faint, bowed, and humped, as though I were Adam, staggering beneath the piled centuries since Paradise. God! God! God!- crack my heart!- stave my brain!- mockery! mockery! bitter, biting mockery of grey hairs, have I lived enough joy to wear ye; and seem and feel thus intolerably old? Close! stand close to me, Starbuck; let me look into a human eye; it is better than to gaze into sea or sky; better than to gaze upon God. By the green land; by the bright hearthstone! this is the magic glass, man; I see my wife and my child in thine eye. No, no; stay on board, on board!- lower not when I do; when branded Ahab gives chase to Moby Dick. That hazard shall not be thine. No, no! not with the far away home I see in that eye!”

I hope you’ve enjoyed it and if you want to read more, here is the link to one of the free digital versions of the novel. There are more:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Moby-Dick-White-Whale-ebook/dp/B004TRXX7C/

Check ‘Bartleby the Scrivener’ on line. You won’t regret it:

http://www.bartleby.com/129/

And a link to Melville organisation, for all things Melville:

http://melville.org/

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to CLICK! (They’re all free!) And SHARE

220px-Herman_Melville_Headstone_1024[1]

Of course, as I said then, thanks for reading, like, share, comment, and I’m interested in hearing suggestions as to classics (either authors or books) you’d be interested in seeing here. I try and go for the ones where there is a fair amount of material and links to free work but that’s not an exclusion criteria and I’m planning on some that might not quite fit there…Keep reading and clicking!

Writer's quote Wednesday. Thanks to Silverthreads

Writer’s quote Wednesday. Thanks to Silver Threadings

Hi all:

I don’t know you, but I admire those who can be consistent and also get people to join in projects that inspire and cheer people up. I’ve been following the blogging adventures of Colleen Cheesebro of Silver Threadings for a while and wanted to join in one of her regular blogging features. As I love quotes (and because it isn’t technically very demanding) and at Colleen’s suggestion, I’ve been trying to join in her Writer’s Quote Wednesday. You can visit her blog in the link and join in by posting during the following week and Colleen will find you and post your quote together with many wonderful others. It’s always one of the high points of the blogging week, so…don’t miss it!.

And to today’s quote. After thinking about a variety of possible  quotes I got thinking about movies, and then, somehow of final lines. And this one was my first choice.

Nobody is perfect! From 'Some Like it Hot' Dir: Billy Wilder

Nobody is perfect! From ‘Some Like it Hot’ Dir: Billy Wilder

I love ‘Some Like It Hot‘. From the title, to the cast, the slapstick, the quick and witty dialogues…Just in case you’re not familiar with it you can check the link to IMDB above, but in brief, this film directed by Billy Wilder is the story of two musicians (played by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago. Trying to escape their demise at the hands of the mob they find a job in a touring orchestra… Only it’s a female orchestra and that means our two friends spend a big part of the movie in drag (Tony Curtis is quite cute, Jack…). As a bonus, Marilyn Monroe is the singer of the orchestra. Love isn’t far for our friends and the ending is…

Here I leave you two links, so you can choose depending on how long you have, one to the short version of the ending (the ending proper) and one to a slightly longer version where you can see Marilyn too and a fair bit of running around. You choose!
Short:

Longer:

 

In the discussions in You Tube some people wondered if audiences today would still find it funny. I surely hope so.  And as somebody said in one of the comments, Billy Wilder’s endings are all worth quoting, so there might be more to come.

Thanks to Colleen from Silver Threadings for the invitation, thanks to you for reading and watching, and if you’ve enjoyed it, think about taking part (is fun!), like, share, comment and be happy! Because, nobody is perfect!

Hola a todos:

Últimamente me ha dado por repasar las cosas que he hecho y los libros que he publicado. Aunque más recientemente he publicado libros que he escrito hace poco, cuando empecé a publicar lo hice por libros que hacía tiempo que había escrito y estaban guardaditos en el cajón. Aún me quedan unos cuantos esperando a ser desenterrados (o a convertirse en zombies, quién sabe) pero ya veremos.

A cambio de una traducción (que me está encantando, pero como no está acabada no os digo más), Paloma Caral accedió a revisar mis dos primeras novelas en español, ‘El hombre que nunca existió’ (en la que sigue trabajando) y ‘Gemela Maldad‘. Hace poco Paloma me entregó la versión corregida de Gemela Maldad, y aproveché para crear una portada nueva y publicar la versión mejorada.

Paloma Caral correcciones

Paloma Caral correcciones

Y ya que menciono a Paloma Caral, si os interesa informaros sobre sus servicios de corrección, lo podéis hacer aquí. Porque como ella dice: Solo existe una vez para una primera impresión.

Aprovechando la oportunidad, y ya que hace bastante de la publicación inicial, pensé aprovechar la ocasión para recordaros estas novela corta juvenil y compartir el principio por si os apetece.

Gemela Maldad de Olga Núñez Miret

Gemela Maldad de Olga Núñez Miret

Érase una vez un par de gemelos, un chico y una chica. Rut era rubia, ojos azules, de piel muy blanca y muy buena. Max tenía el pelo negro como el carbón, los ojos grises, y era huraño y malo. Su vecina de al lado y compañera de fatigas, Hilda, intentaba ser amiga de los dos, pero no era fácil. Los dos hermanos no se podían ver y ella siempre se encontraba en medio de sus peleas intentando mantener la paz. Max opinaba que su hermana era una pesada y aburrida, imposiblemente perfecta, y Rut no podía soportar las travesuras de su hermano y su pésimo comportamiento. Le tenía miedo. Rut era demasiado perfecta e inocente, como una niña pequeña, para poder sobrevivir en el mundo real, tanto que Hilda sospechaba que algún problema había, pero no sabía cual. ¿Era Rut el ángel que todo el mundo creía? ¿Estaba enferma? ¿Por qué no se comportaba como una chica de su edad? Cuando los dos gemelos empezaron a hablar del destino y a decir que “algo” iba a ocurrir Hilda se preocupó. ¿Qué podía hacer? Y desgraciadamente “algo” ocurrió.
‘Gemela Maldad’ es una novela corta juvenil (aproximadamente 55 páginas) que empieza como un cuento de hadas, trata de amistades que sobreviven a todos los contratiempos, de tragedia, romance, y también tiene un toque de fantasía/paranormal. Con una historia que engancha, buen ritmo, y unos personajes misteriosos, intrigantes y entrañables os hará pensar. Si tenéis mucha imaginación y os gustan las lecturas compactas y gratificantes, ¿por qué no la probáis?

Y aquí la muestra:

La amiga de Hilda, Rut, era la chica más bonita y encantadora de la pequeña ciudad donde vivían. Su pelo rubio era brillante y fino como la seda, sus ojos azules como zafiros, su boca roja como el coral. Si hubiera vivido en una época diferente los juglares le habrían dedicado sus canciones. Rut era el orgullo y deleite de Yorktown. Y era lista, y generosa, y amable. Lo tenía todo.

Rut también tenía un hermano. Max era su gemelo, pero casi nadie habría adivinado que estaban emparentados. Él era muy alto y delgado, su pelo espeso, rizado y negro como el carbón, sus ojos grises como la pizarra, sus labios eran delgados y su boca casi nunca sonreía. Él era la oveja negra de la familia, y a Rut y a él la gente les llamaba «el ángel y el demonio».

Hilda los conocía a los dos de toda la vida. Eran de la misma edad y, de hecho, sus familias se conocían desde antes de que ellos nacieran. Sus padres solían salir en citas dobles y se casaron en una boda conjunta. Vivían en casas contiguas y era como si todos fueran miembros de la misma familia. Hilda siempre había creído que era su obligación ser la amiga de Rut y Max. La tarea había sido muy fácil con Hilda, que era amiga de todo el mundo, pero Max nunca había sido un chico fácil de querer. Cuando jugaban juntos de niños, él torturaba a los animales, a los insectos, se peleaba con otros niños. Rut siempre había intentado alejarse de él y de evitarle, ya que no soportaba ningún tipo de violencia, pero Hilda no era nada delicada y Max siempre había asumido que Hilda estaba de acuerdo con lo que él hacía. Le había dicho muchas veces que no le gustaba su comportamiento, pero él insistía en que sus palabras eran solo una pose. Max siempre era tan desagradable como podía con su hermana. Ponía animales muertos en su cama, gusanos en su comida, le arruinaba los vestidos. Una vez, Hilda detuvo a Max cuando estaba a punto de prenderle fuego al pelo de su hermana mientras dormía. Rut se despertó con la discusión y le pegó un bofetón cuando se enteró de lo que estuvo a punto de hacer, pero él solo se rio. Ni amenazas de Rut, ni advertencias de sus padres, ni castigos de sus profesores obtenían resultados, ya que a él no le importaban.

El verano del diecisiete cumpleaños de los gemelos, Max le había dado un descanso a todo el mundo y había decidido irse de acampada con otros jóvenes. Las dos familias habían tenido un par de semanas de paz y habían estado preparando la fiesta de cumpleaños de los dos, tranquilos y en perfecta calma.

—¡Hilda! ¡Hilda!

—¡Oh, no, ha vuelto! —murmuró Esteban, el padre de Hilda.

—¡Hilda!

—Ve a ver qué quiere antes de que acabemos todos sordos o locos —le ordenó su madre, Mandy.

—Vale, vale. Ya voy.

—¡Hilda!

Hilda salió al jardín sintiéndose como una mártir. ¡La de sacrificios que tenía que hacer para mantener la paz! Max estaba agitado, corriendo por todo el jardín. Abrió la boca y empezó a decir:

— ¡Hil…! ¡Ah, estás aquí!

—Sí, Max, aquí estoy. ¿Siempre tienes que ser tan ruidoso?

—¡Cállate! Quiero enseñarte algo.

Max agarró a Hilda del brazo y la arrastró por encima de la pequeña valla que separaba los jardines.

—Ten cuidado, ¿no?

—Perdona. Ven, deprisa.

Hilda y Max entraron en su casa a través de la puerta del salón que daba al jardín. Hilda saludó a la madre de Max, Eleonor, y a su padre, Patrick. Rut estaba sentada en su habitación con la puerta abierta.

—¡Ah, Rut! ¿Cómo…?

Max empujó a Hilda hacia su cuarto.

—No le hables. No has venido aquí para hablar con ella, has venido a ver algo.

—¿Cuándo vas a crecer de una vez, Max? Sabes que también soy amiga de tu hermana y…

—Para, por favor, mira.

Max encendió la luz. Su habitación estaba pintada de negro, las paredes y el techo, con extrañas inscripciones cabalísticas y dibujos diabólicos. Allí siempre estaba oscuro. Se quitó la camiseta y le enseñó la espalda a Hilda.

—¿Qué te parece?

Hilda se quedó sin habla. Era un tatuaje increíble. Un águila negra, con las alas extendidas, atacando a una paloma blanca. El pico del águila goteaba sangre y el color rojo del tatuaje era muy intenso y vivo, parecía latir. La paloma tenía los ojos azules y llevaba una espiga de trigo en el pico. Los ojos del águila eran grises y las alas brillaban iridiscentes. Era un tatuaje extremadamente vívido. Y su significado estaba tan claro que Hilda no lo podía ignorar. Max siempre llamaba a Rut «paloma blanca». A menudo le cantaba la canción. Era horrible.

—¿Por qué lo has hecho, Max?

—Había un tío muy bueno haciendo tatuajes muy cerca de donde acampamos. Es un diseño propio.

—Ya me había dado cuenta.

—¿Por qué no te gusta? ¿No te parece bueno?

—Es bueno, increíblemente bueno, pero ¿qué significa?

—¿Qué significa? Nada. Es solo un tatuaje.

Max intentó usar su cara más inocente, pero no le surgía de forma natural. No convencía a nadie.

—No me gusta la simbología —dijo Rut.

—«Simbología». ¡Qué palabra más bella! Me encanta como hablas, como un libro.

—Adiós, Max.

Rut le dio la espalda y se dirigió hacia la puerta.

—¡Espera, espera! ¡Me he hecho otro tatuaje!

—Si es como este, preferiría no verlo, gracias.

—Es muy diferente. Adivina dónde está.

Aquí el enlace en Amazon (de momento disponible en Unlimited, pero no por mucho tiempo):

http://bit.ly/1yFIF35

Gracias por leer, y ya sabéis, si os ha interesado, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid y haced CLIC! 

Hi all:

I’ve been in a somewhat nostalgic mood and have been looking back at some of my early posts and writings. Although more recently I’ve been publishing books that I have written not so long ago, to begin with I started by publishing books that I’d written over the years but had been ‘for my eyes only’ until then. I still have some that I haven’t decided what to do with and a pile of unfinished stories that I must go over again, but…

In exchange for the translation of one of her novels (and I’m enjoying the job enormously, but I’ll tell you more when all is finished), Paloma Caral has revised two of my early works in Spanish ‘The Man Who Never Was’ and ‘Twin Evils?’. She’s still hard at work with ‘The Man…’ but finished ‘Twin Evils?’ (that I’ve called ‘Gemela Maldad’ in Spanish) and now I have a new sparkling version of the novel in Spanish. As I also created new covers to go with it, I thought just in case some of my more recent readers don’t know anything about the novella, I could tell you a bit about it.

 Twin Evils? by Olga Núñez Miret

Twin Evils? by Olga Núñez Miret

Once upon a time there was a pair of twins, a girl and boy. Ruth was blonde, blue eyes, very fair and really good. Max was dark haired, grey eyes, broody and bad. Their next door neighbour and pal, Hilda, tried to be friends with both but it was not an easy task. They didn’t like each other and she found herself in the middle trying to keep the peace. Max found his sister impossibly perfect and tiresome, and Ruth could not stand her brother’s bad boy attitude and his horrible behaviour. She was scared of him. Ruth was too perfect and child-like for the real world and Hilda suspected something was wrong but didn’t know what. Was she the angel everybody took her for? Was she ill?  When both twins started talking about fate and said that “something” would happen she worried. What could she do? ‘Twin Evils?’ is a New Adult novella (under 60 pages) that begins like a fairy tale, talks about friendship against all odds, tragedy, romance, and has a touch of the paranormal. Fast paced and entertaining with intriguing, mysterious and ultimately lovable characters it will make you feel good but leave you wondering. If you have plenty of imagination and love a compact and fulfilling read, try it out!

And as a sample, I leave you the beginning of the novella:

Hilda’s friend, Ruth, was the prettiest and loveliest girl in town. Her blond hair was fine and silky, her eyes blue like sapphires, her mouth red like coral. She would have been chanted by the poets of old if she’d lived in a different time. Ruth was the pride and darling of Yorktown. And she was clever enough, and generous and kind. She had it all.

Ruth had a brother too. Max was her twin, but hardly anybody would have guessed that they were related. He was very tall and thin, his hair was thick, curly and black like coal, his eyes grey like slate, and his mouth had thin lips that hardly ever smiled. He was the black sheep of the family, and Ruth and him were known as ‘the angel and the devil’ by the population.

Hilda had known them both all her life. They were the same age, and, in fact, their families were friendly before they were even born. Their parents used to go out on double dates and they got married on a double wedding. They lived in contiguous houses and it was as if they were all members of the same family. Hilda had always felt that it was her duty to befriend Ruth and Max. The task had been very easy with Ruth, she was friendly with everybody, but Max wasn’t an easy boy. As a child, when they played together, he used to torture animals, insects, fight with other children…Ruth always shied away from him, she couldn’t bear any type of violence, but Hilda wasn’t squeamish, and Max had always assumed that Hilda approved of what he did. She told him many times that she didn’t like his behaviour but he insisted that her words were only a pose. Max was always as nasty as he could be towards his sister. He put dead animals in her bed, maggots in her food, ruined her dresses…Once Hilda stopped him when he was about to set his sleeping sister’s hair on fire. Ruth woke up with the discussion and slapped him when she heard what he was about to do, but he only laughed. No threats from Ruth, no warnings from his parents, no punishment from his teachers made any difference to him.

The summer of the twins’ seventeenth birthday, Max had given everybody a break by deciding to go camping with some other youngsters. They had had two weeks of peace, and the two families had been preparing the twins’ birthday party at ease, in perfect tranquillity.

“Hilda! Hilda!”

“Oh no, he’s back” Hilda’s father, Steph, mumbled under his breath.

“Hilda!”

“Go to see what he wants, before we all end up deaf or mad.” Mandy, Hilda’s mother, ordered.

“All right, all right. I’ll go.”

“Hilda!”

Hilda marched into the garden feeling like a martyr. The sacrifices she had to make to keep the peace! Max was restlessly running up and down his garden. He opened his mouth and began:

“Hi…Oh, you are here.”

“Yes, Max. Here I am. Do you always have to be so noisy?”

“Shut up! I must show you something.” He grabbed Hilda by the arm and dragged her over the fence.

“Be careful, will you?”

“Sorry. Come, quick.”

Hilda and Max entered the house through the back door of the lounge, opening into the garden. Hilda said hello in passing to Max’s mother, Eleanor, and his father, Patrick. Ruth was sitting in her room, with the door open.

“Oh Ruth, how…?”

Max pushed Hilda into his room.

“Don’t talk to her. You aren’t here to talk to her. You’ve come to see something.”

“When will you grow up, Max? I’m your sister’s friend too, and…”

“Stop it, please. Look…”

Max switched the lights on. His room was painted in black, walls and ceiling, with strange cabalistic inscriptions and devilish drawings. It was always dark inside. Once he made light, he took his T-shirt off and showed Hilda his back.

“What do you think?”

Hilda was speechless. It was an incredible tattoo. A black eagle, with spread wings, attacking a white dove. The eagle’s beak was dripping blood, and the red colour of the tattoo was very intense, quasi pulsating. The dove had blue eyes and was carrying a branch of wheat. The eagle’s eyes were grey and the wings looked shiny and iridescent. It was an extremely vivid tattoo. And the meaning was too clear for Hilda to be able to ignore it. Max always called Ruth ‘the white dove’. It was horrible.

“Why did you do that, Max?”

“There was a guy incredibly good with tattoos nearby. It’s my own design.”

“I’ve noticed that.”

“Why don’t you like it? Isn’t it good?”

“It’s good. Real good. But, what does it mean?”

“Mean?…Nothing. It’s only a tattoo.”

Max tried his most innocent expression, but it didn’t come natural to him. Not convincing at all.

“I don’t like the imagery.” Ruth said.

“Imagery. Lovely word. I love how you talk, like a book.”

“Bye Max.”

Ruth turned her back on Max and stepped toward the door.

“Wait, wait! I have another tattoo!”

“If it’s like this one I’d rather not see it, thank you.”

“Oh no, it’s very different. Guess where it is.”

Ruth had stopped and turned to look at Max, but shook her head and carried walking.

“I’m not interested in games, Max. I have things to do.”

Max ran to the door to prevent Hilda from leaving.

“Come on…I’ve been away for two weeks and you haven’t even asked me how it was or how I am, or nothing. I’ve missed you, you know? And you don’t even care enough to ask.” He whined.

“You haven’t asked me either. You only came shouting…”

“OK, I’m sorry. I just had to show it to someone or I would have exploded. I haven’t showed it to anybody.”

“Is it a surprise then?”

“Yes, yes. You won’t tell, will you?”

Max and his secrets. Hilda had been selected as his official confidant many years back and she had never managed to get rid of the privilege. Although, Max never quite confessed everything. He always kept something to himself. That made things slightly easier for Hilda. Sometimes. Sometimes it made them worse.

“You’ll have to show your parents. They’ll find out.”

“I will, soon…But keep it quiet in the meantime, OK?”

“Fine.”

“Now, guess where I have the other tattoo.”

Here the link in Amazon. At the moment is available in Unlimited too but that might changes shortly…

http://bit.ly/1xSh8tU

Thanks for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Hola a todos:

Como recordaréis, después de hablar un poco sobre los libros en audio, decidí dedicarles un post al mes, así que hoy os traigo los audiolibros de un autor conocido, querido y prolífico, que nos había visitado con una de sus novedades, y que además publica sus audios usando sonolibro que yo no conocía, así que me pareció una buena ocasión para explorar otras opciones, tanto para lectores (y oyentes) como para escritores. Esta la definición que ofrece Sonolibro de lo que es:

Los sonolibros son dramatizaciones en audio, con actores, efectos de sonido y música. Recreamos libros, relatos e historias para que puedas disfrutar de una experiencia inmersiva, alejada de los tradicionales audiolibros. –

Para más información (incluyendo un video):

http://www.sonolibro.com/pages/que-es-sonolibro#sthash.6sjwTGX4.dpuf

Autor Mario Escobar

Autor Mario Escobar

El autor es nuestro buen amigo Mario Escobar.

Licenciado en Historia y Diplomado en Estudios Avanzados en la especialidad de Historia Moderna, ha escrito numerosos artículos y libros sobre la Inquisición, la Reforma Protestante y las sectas religiosas. Trabaja como director ejecutivo de una ONG y es director de la revista Nueva Historia para el Debate, colaborando como columnista en distintas publicaciones.

Apasionado por la historia y sus enigmas ha estudiado en produndidad la HIstoria de la Iglesia, los distintos grupos sectarios que han luchado en su seno, el descubrimiento y colonización de América; especializándose en la vida de personajes heterodoxos españoles y americanos.

http://www.sonolibro.com/audiolibros/autor/mario-escobar#sthash.D4VCZDhQ.dpuf

En esta página podéis encontrar sus libros en audio. Como muestra decidí dejaros unos cuantos (y hablando de muestras, la página de sonolibro os da la opción de escuchar una muestra para que os animéis).

El Secreto de los Assassini de Mario Escobar

El Secreto de los Assassini de Mario Escobar

EL SECRETO DE LOS ASSASSINI

Las aventuras de este trio son perfectas para escucharlas en un audiolibro dramatizado en español. El secreto de los assassini es un“thriller” que nos entretendrá mientras realizamos un viaje largo, o por las tardes paseando, o mientras se realizan labores automáticas.

Hércules Guzmán Fox, George Lincoln y Alicia Mantorella van a ver interrumpido su viaje de placer. Al salvar a Yamilé de sus perseguidores, se van a ver involucrados en una aventura que jamás podrían haber imaginado. Los acontecimientos les llevarán desde el caudaloso Nilo y los desiertos de Egipto, hasta Turquía y Grecia; y todo ello con el trasfondo de un conflicto bélico, del que no saben si podrán salir indemnes.

En este sonolibro* sabremos cómo Hércules, en un acto de generosidad, va a ser capaz de renunciar a lo que más quiere.

* Sonolibro: audiolibro en español dramatizado con distintas voces para cada personaje, música y efectos sonoros, que proporciona al oyente una increíble experiencia inmersiva.

http://www.sonolibro.com/audiolibros/mario-escobar/el-secreto-de-los-assassini#sthash.c46RrPCb.dpuf

El mesías ario de Mario Escobar

El mesías ario de Mario Escobar

EL MESIAS ARIO

A medio camino entre la novela de aventuras clásica y el thriller más contemporáneos, esta novela histórica nos lleva, a través de tres argumentos  que van apareciendo como salidos de una muñeca rusa,  a una endiablada búsqueda llena de enigmas, persecuciones y giros. Pasaremos por  por Madrid, Lisboa, Colonia, Viena, Sarajevo y Munich, hasta llegar a una conclusión electrizante.

Madrid, verano de 1914. Varios profesores se han automutilado en la Biblioteca Nacional y dos agentes, Hércules Guzmán Fox y George Lincoln, tienen que averiguar por qué lo han hecho. Todo parecer tener relación con un enigmático libro traído a Europa por Vasco de Gama en su primer viaje a la India. Los agentes deberán emprender una vertiginosa carrera que los lleva de una clave a otra, descifrando mensajes ocultos durante siglos. Un rompecabezas que deberá resolverse antes de que Europa entre en guerra y las profecías se cumplan.

http://www.sonolibro.com/audiolibros/mario-escobar/el-mesias-ario#sthash.7bI16e70.dpuf

La conspiración del Maine de Mario Escobar

La conspiración del Maine de Mario Escobar

LA CONSPIRACION DEL “MAINE”

Alguien escuchó esta conversación entre dos importantes políticos estadounidenses a finales de 1898:

– Estados Unidos necesita Cuba. No me interesa cómo, pero hágalo, general.

–  Lo tenemos todo planeado señor. Podemos mandar un acorazado a La Habana, hundirlo nosotros mismos y echarles la culpa los españoles; tendremos la excusa perfecta para declararles la guerra.

–  Pero la guerra …

–  No se preocupe, señor; no tienen absolutamente nada que hacer

Un  thriller de ritmo trepidante, lleno de secretos oficiales, conspiraciones y luchas de poder, que nos lleva desde los bajos fondos de La Habana a los elegantes salones de Washington.  Esta obra dramatizada por los actores, con un ritmo frenético, transporta al lector hasta la conspiración sin resolver que marcó la historia de España y del mundo.

http://www.sonolibro.com/audiolibros/mario-escobar/la-conspiracion-del-maine#sthash.HwIk00b1.dpuf

Apocalipsis de Mario Escobar

Apocalipsis de Mario Escobar

Apocalipsis. Saga Completa

La criminóloga Priscila Serrano es una joven agente del FBI, que se especializa en perseguir asesinos ritualistas.. Cuando empiezan a morir sacerdotes en la ciudad de Miami, su jefa le asigna el caso.  Fuerzas sobrenaturales parecen controlar al asesino y….

Aparecen los cadáveres de varias chicas jóvenes en Nueva Orleans y en el lugar del crimen hay signos de ceremonias de vudú, el FBI envía a Priscila a la ciudad. Las chicas eran vírgenes y ……

Un anciano religioso sospecha que el nuevo arzobispo de su diócesis podría estar involucrado en unas muertes extrañas a las que rodea un halo sobrenatural. Priscila conoce al arzobispo y ….

Una de las becarias que acompañan al nuevo candidato republicano a la presidencia de los Estados Unidos hace una llamada desesperada a Priscila Serrano, diciéndole que ha notado un misterioso comportamiento en el candidato, y ….

Interpretado por: Jose D. – Nilo

http://www.sonolibro.com/audiolibros/mario-escobar/apocalipsis-saga-completa#sthash.WlM38fQM.dpuf

Apocalipsis también está disponible por partes y podéis acceder a ellas en la página del autor.

Gracias a Mario Escobar por traernos sus audios, gracias a todos vosotros por leer, y ya sabéis, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid, y haced CLIC!

 

Hi all:

You’ll remember that last month, after some posts about audiobooks I decided to try and feature them once a month in my blog. Although we’ll come back to the rest of Pauline’s audiobooks (people were very taken with her stories), I thought I’d bring you something quite different, for those of you interested in memoirs and true stories. I’ve heard lots of good things about this book (by all descriptions is a hard read, but some things must be said and talked about, no matter how hard) and I knew you’d be interested. Here is Taylor Fulks and her book My Prison Without Bars.

My Prison Without Bars by Taylor Fulks

My Prison Without Bars by Taylor Fulks

My Prison Without Bars: The Journey of a Damaged Woman to Someplace Normal [Audible Audio Edition]

by Taylor Evan Fulks (Author), Em Eldridge (Narrator)

My Prison without Bars: The Journey Of A Damaged Woman To Someplace Normal is a novel based on a true story…Taylor’s story. My Prison without Bars is a courageous and harrowing journey through the catacombs of hell, from the mind and voice of a little girl, living with her own monster underneath her bed. Written in first person, this novel is not a memoir, but more a psychological thriller based on true events; chronicling one woman’s attempt to claw her way out of the darkness of Child Sexual Abuse, while struggling to find normal, in a not-so-normal world. It is poignant, dark and graphic; not for the faint of heart. This novel will make you feel… *Warning* this novel is graphic and disturbing. It may trigger csa victims. It is intended for 18+ readers.

Here I decided to leave you a couple of reviews that you might find illuminating:

5 Stars Deneale’s Book Buzz

ByDeneale K. Williams “Deneale”on October 25, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition

When I went to Taylor about reviewing her book, she warned me about it first. Giving me an escape: should I want or need one. I assured her I didn’t, and decided to read it, and also found a real soul Sister along the way as well.

Through out Twitter, as well as email, Taylor and I chatted as I read. We opened up to one another and found a lot of similarities. But, that’s not what you’re here for is it?

This book is eye opening. I have underwent so many emotions as I read, I couldn’t keep up with myself. If anyone had been watching me read, they would’ve thought I was insane. Not only do I read abundantly faster then most, I talk to myself out loud. Especially when characters um…. (How to word this professionally) irritate me. I was laughing at her word choices: “ass crack of dawn” and the fact that Taylor speaks just how she would in person as she does in this book. She holds back nothing. You can tell, your opinion, my opinion? It doesn’t matter. She just wants to teach others not to suffer as she has, to learn from her mistakes; (not that the mistakes were hers in the first place!) I also feel, that as Taylor wrote this, somehow she was hoping; like a journal “God willing” maybe it would or could help her to move on. Whether it has or not, only Taylor knows.

Taylor is a survivor. Whether or not her Mother truly even “wanted” her as a Child, only God and her Mother know, but with these words and life lessons that Taylor has and had endured, it shows us: she survived and so can we! She went through terrible things, many of them. Always surviving and striving to succeed.

In the end, at the very last chapter and the Epilogue I was crying profusely. Before that, I was dumbfounded to learn that all along, her Mother knew she was being raped and molested. In so many ways, I found it hard to contain my anger and upset with the “people” who had been in Taylor’s life.

I will tell you this: I do give the book five stars. I wish I could give it more. It was a deep and painful read. But very close to my heart. And I am truly grateful that Taylor Fulks was born and is alive today to educate us and share with us, so that others will stand up and speak out against their attackers, even if they are: “family!” Family or not, that is not love!

To Taylor: You have survived for reasons and sharing your story was and is one of them, to teach others that where there is a will~there is a way.

5 STARS WHAT A TERRIBLE AND YET WONDERFUL STORY

By WILMA CONLEYon October 9, 2014

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

MY PRISON WITHOUT BARS by author Taylor Fulks is a *****5 Star “or more” read.

Taylor Fulks bares her heart and soul here readers!!

She is an excellent writer able to take you to the depths of despair, and the heights of joy.

What a story!! I am at a loss for words.

What a woman!! Please read MY PRISON WITHOUT BARS.

You will not view the world as you did before this experience.

Thank you so. Much Taylor Fulks. Job very well done!!

http://www.amazon.com/My-Prison-Without-Bars-Someplace/dp/B00PCSR1Z2/

Just in case you prefer the Kindle Edition:

http://www.amazon.com/My-Prison-Without-Bars-Someplace-ebook/dp/B00AKKMDIM/

Author Taylor Fulks

Author Taylor Fulks

Here a little bit about Taylor Fulks and her Amazon page:

Taylor Evan Fulks is a native Texan transplanted years ago to southern Ohio, on the banks of the Ohio River. She is a wife, a mother of two “almost grown” daughters, and does open heart surgery to help pay the bills. Always an avid story-teller, Taylor decided to put her pad and pen where her mouth is. “My Prison Without Bars” is her debut novel. Her writing genre of choice is mystery/romance. Even though her debut novel doesn’t fall into that category, she felt compelled to start with this one, find peace, and put it on the shelf.

http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Evan-Fulks/e/B00ACWUKM4/

Thanks so much to Taylor Fulks for sharing her book with us, thanks to all of you for reading, and please, like, share, comment, and of course CLICK!

Writer's quote Wednesday. Thanks to Silverthreads

Writer’s quote Wednesday. Thanks to Silverthreading

Hi all:

I’m trying to keep up with the Writer’s Quote Wednesday Feature and thank Siverthreading for the chance to take part in this awesome joint post. It’s a great way to get inspired, share and meet new bloggers.

I had something in mind, but then I read this quote and thought…I think I have the right picture. So this is my quote for today, from Junot Díaz:

Being a writer is an excuse to be a professional reader.

Being a writer is an excuse to be a professional reader.

I love the quote and must admit that was part of my logic when studying American Literature. I “had” to read books! And doing the PhD on films, I not only had to read books but also had to watch movies!

If you want more information about Junot Díaz, this writer from the Dominican Republic came to fame after publishing in 2007 The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. He went on to win the Pulitzer Prize with the same novel. If you want to check, here you can check some of his stories for free. And this is a brief article with highlights from an interview and link to the full interview.

Thanks for reading, thanks to Colleen from Silver Threading for the opportunity (and go on and join in too), and you know, if you’ve enjoyed it, like, comment, share and visit Colleen’s blog!

Hola a todos:

Como sabéis me gusta compartir mis lecturas y las reseñas que escribo y ésta novela la leí hace algún tiempo pero no había tenido ocasión de compartirla y me pareció que ya tocaba.

Yo sospecho que todos conoceréis ya El juicio de Dios de Enrique Ríos Ferrer, pero por si acaso os dejo la descripción que incluye algunos comentarios que no os querréis perder.

El juicio de Dios de Enrique Ríos Ferrer

El juicio de Dios de Enrique Ríos Ferrer

VATICANO Un secreto guardado durante Siglos, y una mujer sola, enfrentada a un mundo despiadado regido por la ambición y el poder.

Sus preguntas no iban a obtener respuesta, pero provocarían que la más dura batalla legal de la Historia, estuviera a punto de producirse.

Los mejores abogados del mundo estaban preparados. Los de la Iglesia; para impedirlo.

PALOMA GOMEZ BORRERO (Roma) Periodista y escritora. Experta en la Santa Sede.

He leído con extraordinario interés la novela “El Juicio de Dios” ya que a medida que pasas las páginas, te va capturando, manteniéndote hasta el final en suspenso. Estoy segura que si viviera el gran Hitchcock le habría pedido los derechos para llevarla al cine. Además de muy bien escrita , es muy original el trasladarnos, para enlazar la trama con la Historia , de la época actual al Imperio romano. Y muy bien documentada. La sorpresa final, te hace pensar en esos renglones torcidos de Dios para escribir derecho. Mi más sincera enhorabuena al autor.Atendiendo los deseos del mismo, se le ha hecho llegar un ejemplar al PAPA FRANCISCO I con la esperanza de que sea de su agrado” .

UNA JOYA EN AMAZON Por Blanca Miosi (Caracas, Venezuela) Autora de los Best Seller mundiales; La Búsqueda o El Manuscrito, entre otros.

“El Juicio de Dios” es una novela muy recomendable por su originalidad y por su complicada trama, digna del mejor de los orfebres Un relato, cuya fuerza e intensidad en los diálogos no deben perderse. En medio de una trama de tanta acción, agradecí especialmente la primera conversación entre el cardenal Noldo y el encargado de la Biblioteca del Vaticano, Roncelli; para mi gusto un ejemplo de cómo hacer un diálogo en el que se destila humor sin que el narrador intervenga demasiado. No voy a adelantarles el final, pero a mí me satisfizo una enormidad. Pude respirar tranquila, y lo digo literalmente. Una novela para disfrutar”

UNO DE LOS MEJORES LIBROS QUE HE LEIDO por Purificación Estarli, autora de los best seller “Las arrugas del tiempo” o “El secreto de las margaritas”

“El Juicio de Dios” es un libro que hay que saborear despacio, como si se tratara de un buen vino, con calma y sin prisas. Sin duda, es una maravilla de obra.

El Juicio de Dios es uno de esos libros que deberían estar en lo más alto de cualquier ranking de ventas. Una sucesión magistral de capítulos entrelazados por un hilo invisible que te mantiene en vilo desde principio a fin. Por todo lo anterior, recomiendo abiertamente y al cien por cien su lectura.

HACIA TIEMPO QUE UNA NOVELA NO ME ATRAPABA CON TANTA INTENSIDAD. ¡Extraordinario! Sylvia Cabot Lectora

MAS QUE ENTRETENIMIENTO Lola Mariné, autora de los best sellers “Nunca fuimos a Katmandú” o “Habana Jazz Club” .

“He disfrutado con la lectura de “El juicio de Dios”..Los diálogos me parecen magníficos y muchos de ellos llevan a la reflexión. Si buscáis algo más que entretenimiento en un libro no os perdáis El juicio de Dios”

UN LIBRO QUE YA ES IMPRESCINDIBLE PARA MI Por la historia y sus excelentes diálogos. Mercedes Añoto. Lectora

MAYTE ESTEBAN autora de los best sellers “Detrás del cristal” o “La arena del reloj”

La novela tiene una complicada secuencia temporal, que nos sitúa, en un impactante principio, en 1.578 en Dinamarca, para luego trasladarnos al prólogo en 2004, en el que conocemos a Giselle, las mujer que pondrá la demanda a Dios, o mejor dicho, a su representante en la Tierra; el Papa. Esta es una novela de las que te gustaría ver convertida en película.

Muchos compañeros que ya la han leído, la califican como una joya. Lo es. En serio.

No os perdáis el book tráiler.

EXCELENTE NOVELA Por Frank Spoiler. Poeta y autor entre otras de; “Sucede a diario” o “Poesia desde las entrañas”

“Poco más puedo añadir a lo que ya se ha dicho de esta fantástica novela histórica, de acción, thriller, o incluso romántica. Sencillamente GENIAL. Felicidades al autor, por su excelente trabajo de documentación.

No sé si hace falta que incluya mi reseña, pero ya puestos…

El juicio de Dios de Enrique Ríos Ferrer. Mucho más que un juicio.

El juicio de Dios a primera vista es una novela sobre un juicio y una complicada búsqueda, un juego del gato y el ratón, entre dos equipos de abogados que se enfrentan intentando encontrar un documento vital para el caso. Este documento podría representar la diferencia entre una crisis de credibilidad para la Iglesia Católica y la simple crisis de fe de una creyente enfrentada con una tragedia personal extrema.

A pesar de  lo envueltos que nos vemos en el seguimiento de los pasos que se siguen para intentar la localización del tal documento, quizás la cuestión de fondo es otra. ¿Cuál es la naturaleza de nuestras creencias? ¿Dónde termina la responsabilidad de Dios y dónde empieza la de los hombres?

La narración nos lleva desde el Tsunami en Tailandia a la Roma clásica del emperador Constantino y su lucha por afincar la religión cristiana, pasando por la Italia Renacentista y la Zaragoza de la Guerra de la Independencia.

El autor es ambicioso y crea un complejo entresijo de historias, épocas y personajes, todos centrados alrededor de este documento, que como los McGuffins de las películas de Hitchcock, se convierte en una excusa para hacernos cuestionar cuáles son nuestras prioridades y qué nos podría hacer cambiarlas. ¿Una tragedia de colosales proporciones? ¿O la mala suerte crónica de cada día?

Puede que el final os parezca sorpresivo, u os desilusione, pero si lo pensáis bien…A mí me parece un final feliz.

Si os gustan las lecturas inteligentes, complejas, sobre temas fuera de lo común, os lo recomiendo. Os aseguro que os hará pensar y probablemente os emocione. A mí me pasó.

http://www.amazon.com/El-Juicio-Dios-incre%C3%ADble-Historia-ebook/dp/B007A53ORY/

http://www.amazon.es/El-Juicio-Dios-incre%C3%ADble-Historia-ebook/dp/B007A53ORY/

Muchas gracias a Enrique Ríos Ferrer por su libro, a vosotros por leer, y ya sabéis, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid, y haced CLIC!

Hi all:

As you know apart from writing and translating (when I have time!) I read books and review in a variety of places. And every so often I bring them here for your information. Today I have a varied selection. See if you find something of interest:

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly. Non-stop action and dragons in China.

Thanks to Net Galley I got a pre-release copy of this novel. It’s still in pre-order, so you can read about it before it comes out.

The Great Zoo of China is a good romp, a fabulous ride and a fast-paced adventure/thriller book. You have to be prepared to suspend disbelief and to not mind if situations are stretched a bit far, but if you are happy to do that…you’ll have a fun read.

The book reminded me of Jurassic Park and reading the interview with the author at the end (that I recommend to readers and writers alike) I was not surprised to discover it was one of his favourite books.  The main differences are the setting and the creatures. If Jurassic Park could be seen as a criticism of capitalism’s lack of scruples, one has to wonder, what would be crueller and hungrier, capitalism run amok or communism desperate to become the biggest power by hijacking the world’s attention? While you might have your own opinion on how likely a scenario this is, the possible reasons provided as background don’t interfere greatly with the enjoyment of the story, unless you take them too seriously.

The Great Zoo of China (hardback cover)

The Great Zoo of China (hardback cover)

The similarities with Jurassic Park go from the pseudo-scientific details (although this book’s premise is more fanciful if you like myths and dragons you’ll enjoy the thought), to the size of the creatures, little children, and families, the action-packed episodes and our wondering who (if anybody) will make it out live.

I liked the female hero although we get but a few glimpses of her previous life and there is little psychological depth, but she has guts aplenty. It’s easy to root for her.

To begin with, the book made me think of a huge action movie, later of an adventure computer game where the main character is always looking for a new weapon to fight the big menace (here really enormous). It also reminded me of horror movies with the scary monster who refuses to die and always keeps coming at you. And of the old movies by instalments where you would go from one nail-biting cliff-hanger to the next without time to catch your breath.

The book is a quick and easy read and a page turner. It made me very aware that there are only so many ways one can say big, huge, enormous…

If you’ve read many books in this genre I don’t think it will break new ground or be utterly surprising but it achieves its aims successfully and it is big. If you want escapism, a read that will make you jump and keep you entertained, this novel more than fits the bill.

This is the pre-order link:

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Zoo-China-Matthew-Reilly-ebook/dp/B00MENIERC/

The Serpent Papers by Jessica Cornwell

The Serpent Papers by Jessica Cornwell

The Serpent Papers by Jessica Cornwell. Alchemy, codices and witches in Barcelona

I requested a free copy of this novel from Net Galley when I read the description and saw this was a book about a quest for knowledge, the search for an old manuscript, and the action took place in part in Barcelona. Being from Barcelona and having loved books and reading all my life, it was difficult to resist.

The Serpent Papers is the story of the search for an old illuminated manuscript (a palimpsest to be precise) that has been hidden for years to prevent its destruction. The links of this manuscript with alchemy, an enigmatic figure (Rex Illuminatus confused  at times with the historical figure of Ramon Llull), immortality, witches, and women’s murders make for a complex story. At the heart of the novel there’s a scholar/detective/expert, Anna Verco, who might or might not have some paranormal powers (that might instead be due to organic reasons). Like in many of these books, the search for meaning also becomes an inquiry into the main character and what she stands for.

Cornwell (granddaughter of John le Carré) builds up a complex structure to tell her story. Letters from different periods, accounts of previous attempts at investigating Rex Illuminatus by other experts, interviews of people who knew the victims, dreams and hallucinations…All of them sound and read real, showing a breadth of knowledge and characterization rich and convincing. The language can go from the poetic and lyrical to the mundane and down-to-earth, changing registers with ease.

I loved the little snippets of folk story and legends of the city of Barcelona, the descriptions of the landscape of the island of Mallorca, and the challenges the story poses. It is not an easy read and it can be demanding, both of one’s attention and also of knowledge and deductive capacities. I wondered if a cast of characters for the different eras with some brief descriptions might not make the reading experience easier.

Men using their power and violence to silence women, women being cast as witches as a way of shutting them up, and centuries of attempts at keeping secrets under wraps are not new ideas (at times it made me think of Lars von Trier’s Antichrist although the novel is more complex) but that does not detract from a solid novel that I kept imagining in a big screen near us. I can see actresses fighting over the main character and Barcelona and Mallorca looking very handsome indeed in the adaptation.

I understand this is the first in an ‘alchemical thriller’ trilogy. The appeal and the pull on the imagination of the subject would keep readers coming back for more. Readers who like books about intrigues in a historical setting and with conspiracy theory backgrounds will enjoy it, although I suspect it might be slightly more demanding than previous titles that have become very popular.

In a separate note, I wasn’t sure about the Catalan sentences. There were a number of typos and I couldn’t work out if it was phonetically recorded rather than intended as orthographically correct. More consistency in that aspect would have made the book more seamless for me (that would not be a problem for people not familiar with Catalan).

Just in case you want to check what others have said, here is the Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/21/the-serpent-papers-jessica-cornwell-review

Here the link to the actual book:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Serpent-Papers-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00MELZJM2

 

Alex Haley's Roots. An Author's Odyssey by Adam Henig

Alex Haley’s Roots. An Author’s Odyssey by Adam Henig

Alex Haley’s Roots: An Author’s Odyssey by Adam Henig. Shining some light on the Roots controversy.

This is an informative account of the period of time in Alex Haley’s life following the publication of roots and the TV series but it is not a complete conventional biography. Although it does not delve deep into the author’s motives (it is not a deep psychological portrait), it does a great job of reviewing existing sources and even on occasions adding new material from interviews. I was aware of some of the controversy surrounding ‘Roots’ but not of the evidence and details that unfolded. This is a must for people interested in Roots and Haley, and considering its length, it offers a good summary of the sources. I’d love to see and read more of the extensive sources the author explored to produce this work, as there seems to exist much untapped potential.

A well-written and compelling account of a fascinating work (however we might choose to define it) that changed people’s perception of African-American history and stories.

As an author, I also enjoyed the collection of blogs chartering the journey of Adam Henig to, first research, and finally self-publish the book. I hope more books will follow.

http://www.amazon.com/Alex-Haleys-Roots-Authors-Odyssey-ebook/dp/B00HRN891A/

Thanks to all the authors for their books and special thanks to all of you for reading. Please, like, comment, share, CLICK and above all, keep reading!

Demelza Carlton's Place

Background behind the books - how mermaids have sex, the location of Lucifer's lair and pictures that tell a thousand words

ianprobertbooks

Author and journalist

Oxiaction y otras Prendas Delicadas.

Relatos y colada poética a secar sin centrifugado previo.

mindlessfloyd

A collection of nonsensical words thrown together

Suburban Hobo

Navigating the New Normal in NJ

The Dictionary of Victorian Insults & Niceties

Together we can give the nineteenth century a voice in the twenty-first century.

Bittersweet Sensations

Where the aftertaste of your feelings last

La Señora de los Milagros

A la Madre de los cristianos

Book Club Mom

Read this, not that!

Barbara Edwards Comments

Riveting Romance With An Edge

20.000 lenguas

Blog bilingüe de traducción e interpretación / Bilingual translation and interpreting blog

Oasis Interfaith Ministry

A Peace Church | A Radically Inclusive Church | A Pluralist Church | A LGBTQI Affirming Church

The Lightening and The Fire

What have you done with your own Life?

Izzy-grabs-life

ASPIRING SUSPENSE AUTHOR | LITERARY SEEKER OF GROWTH | BETA READER | A FRIEND

Jennifer Nichole Wells

Fine Art Photography & Print Based Graphic Design

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 17,956 other followers

%d bloggers like this: