Friday, 15 September 2017

This post sounded more adult-like when it was just in my mind...

Fairy tales are most than true:
not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

Today I will leave a short post and show one of the other things that I also want to do on this blog. I don’t really see me as a romantic guy, and I tend to scroll over, with MUCH indifference, those inspirational quotes that you find more than often on Facebook… but I do happen to have a book where I keep some quotes or parts from books that I particularly like (so how does that not make me a romantic though? 😒 I suppose I’m more like for that dreamer type than for that mellow type, did I manage to make my point?).

The quote I’m talking about today is one from G. K. Chesterton (in the header of the post). I think I first read it in a Neil Gaiman book (I love his books!!), probably Coraline? Anyways, this quote just made so much sense to me! Fairy tales are like a metaphor for life. Your life is an epic quest with lots of dragons to fight along the way. And if they can beat them in fairy tales, then you can beat them in real life! Isn’t it great to look at it like that? Pity that I’m actually not this optimistic, but this is still a great quote. I think that I should read it more often to get a new attitude… perhaps I’ll even start posting some inspirational quotes on facebook myself, but it’ll be everyday this same quote, ever and ever again, what do you think? :😝

PS: I went to check out my Coraline book to confirm if it was there or not that I had seen this quote and I was right! It’s amazing to think that I actually kept this in my memory so you can see how this quote (and Neil Gaiman’s books) really meant something to me.

(Ou se quiserem ler em Português, cliquem no botão abaixo)

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Honestly random review of Aventuras de João Sem Medo

 As a kick-starter of this blog I’ve decided to pick up a Portuguese book. If you’ve read my introduction you’re already aware that I am Portuguese and, as such, I may post with some frequency about books written from my fellow countrymen. Whenever it’s possible I’ll try to find the English translation of the book and write down its title in English as well but there may also be some cases where the book doesn’t have any translation to other languages (or at least I can’t find a reliable source that guarantees me that), like this one I’ve picked up today. But don’t feel discouraged, perhaps with this you’ll finally have that boost of motivation you needed to start learning the Portuguese language?? 😉

 So without further ado today I’ll be talking about “Aventuras de João Sem Medo” (I couldn’t find any information about editions of this book in English but its title, roughly translated, is “Adventures of Fearless John”) by José Gomes Ferreira.

 I don’t know how the education system works in other countries, but in Portugal we have something that is called Plano Nacional de Leitura (“National Reading Plan”) to promote the interest in reading in students. This plan consists of a list of selected books from which the students have to pick 3 books to read during the whole academic year and then present them to the rest of the class. Of course in my case I didn’t need this list to have to read books but I did take it as a chance to find new books to read and one of those was this one. I don’t even remember the year I’ve first read it but it was a long time ago and I couldn’t even recall what it was about (actually I didn’t even remember it existed anymore 😐 ). Then there was this time, recently, when I was scrolling down through my “tbr” (to be (re)read) shelf on Goodreads to decide on which book should I read next and I found this one. The time had come to finally pick it up again from the local library and that’s what I did a few months ago and didn’t regret it!

 At first sight, you’d say that this is a book for children, and you wouldn’t be completely wrong since it can be read by children and perhaps they’d even enjoy all the strange adventures, weird worlds and crazy characters that João Sem Medo meets along the way. It’s fun and you never know what will happen next. However, there is more to this book than what it seems and, as the author says, the ambiguity dominates in this book. This is probably something that I didn’t even notice when I first read it but it was perfectly obvious this time, the satirical nature of the book. This ambiguity was perhaps what I found the most interesting in the book, how the author managed to write a book where he so cleverly mocks the society under the disguise of a book aimed for children.

 There is also one other feature of this book that I liked very much when I finally got aware of it! I had read perhaps already half of the book when I found myself thinking that for such a young aged kid our protagonist had incredibly mature thoughts and remarks, and the decisions he’d make or the way he’d manage to overcome any troubles he got into… it was interesting to see how such a young kid (with perhaps 10 years old or near) behaved like that. But something just didn’t sound right… «where did I even read that this was his age?!». So I had to return to the beginning to read the first pages again, and then had to wait until I got to the end of the book to see that there wasn’t even any reference about his age or how he looked like. So how did I come up with this? It didn’t take long to find that this was the author’s intention all along, and I think that’s perhaps why you feel so attached to the main character. By not giving any details about how he is, it’s your imagination and how you perceive things that eventually will lead to your picture of João Sem Medo. Funny that for me it was a young kid!

 Overall it was an interesting book and the fact that it was different from what I was expecting surprised me positively and made me enjoy it even more. What about you, did you read this book? What did you think of it? Did you come up with an age or any special traits for João Sem Medo when you read the book?

(Ou se quiserem ler em Português, cliquem no botão abaixo)

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Introducing me


I was planning to start blogging already with a nice and big review about one of the books I've recently read, but I thought that I should do a proper presentation before I actually do that, so without further ado here goes!

Random note in the middle of the post: If you still haven't done it, please visit the page About Me, where I talk (guess what) about me, since I don't want to sound repetitive by copy-pasting what I've already said there and neither you don't want to miss the chance to visit it and be delighted by the easter egg I've put there!

So one thing I have to say again though and that is that I love to read. I started reading from a very young age: from comics to books without any pictures, I would read anything and I'm glad that this taste remained until today. I read a bit of anything, and I hate to give up on books - if I start reading one I have to read it until the end, whether I like it or not, taking as long as I need. However, I do have to admit that there were some books that got the best over me and had me giving up on them to my great sorrow (but I've taken notes on all of them so perhaps one day I try to read them again!). But as I was saying, I like to read different genres and types of books, but the genre I like the most is definitely horror. Unfortunately, I don't know many people that share this passion for books like I do, and even less the number of people that like to read horror, but thank God that Goodreads exists! Of course that as soon as I heard about it I had to create an account (you can visit it on the page that says Goodreads)! Finally I had a way to record all the books I read or wanted to read (prior to this, it never even even crossed my mind to just write it down on paper, shame on me... 😐 ) and finally I could discuss all my favorite books! From here, it was just a step to start writing down some personal thoughts about the books that I'd read and thus the idea to create a blog. In here I don't need to be that selective about what I write and just dump everything that I felt while reading a particular book, as well as being able to share some other personal thoughts or things that I may find interesting.

This said, after this small dissertation if you're still interested in finding out what I'll be reading on these next days just stay tuned, and thank you for visiting!

PS: You may find my posts written in two different languages so that you can choose between Portuguese and English (or try your luck by translating them to another language with the Google Translator app in the column to the right).

(Ou se quiserem ler em Português, cliquem no botão abaixo)