Moving!

I started this blog so I could keep my book reviews (rather, my opinions on books) separate from my personal blog. Over the months that followed, I realized this made little sense, since I use my personal blog to talk about every other interest I have. So I decided to close this blog and keep posting my opinions on my namesake blog, which you can find at sofiaromualdo.wordpress.com.

Thank you to everyone who’s been following me and / or posting comments on my reviews. I hope to see you on my other blog. Happy Readings!

Fórum Fantástico 2011

No passado fim-de-semana, eu, a Janita e a Catarina metemo-nos numa camioneta rumo à capital, por ocasião de mais um Fórum Fantástico.

Não há palavras para descrever o acolhimento que tivemos por parte do pessoal de Lisboa (em especial por parte da Paula, que até cozinhou francesinha em nossa honra!). A companhia revelou-se tão extraordinária que acabámos por não assistir a quase nada, e deixámo-nos ficar pelo átrio em alegre cavaqueira. Foram dois dias repletos de bons livros, óptima comida, conversas interessantes e pessoas espectaculares.

Optei por passar a maior parte do tempo a filmar, em vez de fotografar, mas tenho algumas imagens que não poderia deixar de partilhar, como as fotografias da comida e as de grupo (se eu parecer gigante na foto, a culpa é da comida mexicana… Erm, da distorção da lente) e uma da sessão de “Sugestões de Leitura” com Ana Cristina Alves, João Barreiros e Artur Coelho. A primeira foto de grupo foi tirada pelo Luís Corte Real. Nos próximos dias irei partilhar o vídeo.🙂

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Vol. 1 by Philip K. Dick, Tony Parker

Rating: *** (3 out of 5)

Review: A graphic adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, the novel that served as an inspiration for the movie Blade Runner. However, I wouldn’t call it a graphic novel exactly; it feels more like an illustration in the style of a graphic novel. The difference is that there’s a lot more text that appears to be lifted exactly from the book (I didn’t check this, but it felt like everything was there, included the “He responded absently” after the dialog balloons). It’s a bit distracting.

This adaptation seems to be particularly directed at those who have seen and loved the movie but who aren’t aware of the original material. For me, having seen the movie and read the book, this adaptation didn’t bring anything new. The artwork is ok, but very straightforward – I was expecting something more experimental and daring. The cover gallery at the end, however, is gorgeous, and I fell in love with the Collector’s Paradise Exclusive by Scott Keating.

Overall, this is a nice read, but not unmissable if you’ve read the original novel.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Rating: **** (4 out of 5)

Review: Coraline is a girl who loves exploring, and spends the days in her vacations trying to fill her time with interesting things, and failing. Her parents never seem to have time or patience to play with her, and she is baffled by the way adults never seem to really hear what she has to say. One day she finds a door that opens into a brick wall, and when she goes back to explore it, the brick wall has disappeared and in its place is a tunnel, and in the other side of the tunnel, her other mother waits for her, with black buttons instead of eyes…

This is a short and lovely story, with creepy undertones, which is very much what I expected from Neil Gaiman (and that’s a good thing). Once again, it had me wishing his children’s book had been available when I was growing up. I’m sure I would have loved Coraline even more.

Recommended for both adults and children.

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Rating: **** (4 out of 5)

Review: It’s sometime after the war, and U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels has arrived on Shutter Island, to investigate the disappearance of one of the patients in the psychiatric hospital there. But there’s something strange about the institution and the situation…

I’ll admit, I wish I read this book before I saw the movie. As it is, I already knew everything that was going to happen, and I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more if I had been able to be surprised… But still, this is a pretty good story, and the writing is gripping.

Recommended, specially if you haven’t seen the movie yet.

A Sociedade Literária da Tarte da Casca de Batata by Mary Ann Schaffer

Rating: *** (3 out of 5)

Review: I came across this book a year ago, in a meeting with fellow readers – not exactly a book club, just a community of readers and friends who get together for their love of fantasy and literature – in which we exchanged books with one another. I had never heard of this book and had no idea what it was about, and I have to admit, its title didn’t help (whatever a potato peel pie is, it must be dreadful). Now, more than a year later, I decided to give it a go, and it’s nice that a book about the power of books to pull people together should have reached my hands this way.

I knew little about the occupation of Guernsey during WWII, and in my opinion one can never know enough about these things. Humanity seems to forget easily, and those of us who didn’t live through the war should know what it was like. The stories about the survivors and the history of the place were easily the best part of the book, together with all the literary references.

Other parts I didn’t like so much. The writing style didn’t convince me as 1946 writing, but then again, I’m not exceptionally savant in those things and may be wrong. But the fact that it was written in epistolary form, although fun at times, didn’t convince me, as all the letters sounded like they were written by the same person. At least they weren’t ridiculously long, like I’ve seen in other epistolary novels.

Still, this was an entertaining read, with some funny and touching moments.

Encontro Bang! Porto – Halloween

É aquela altura do ano outra vez. Os zombies e as bruxas saem à rua, e o pessoal do Fórum Bang! também. Desta vez o encontro foi fora de portas, no Jardim da Cordoaria, e fez-se um piquenique com cupcakes caseiros, cupcakes mutantes, Pringles, chá gelado do Lidl, uma lanterna em forma de abóbora, chá quente, e com a participação, como não podia deixar de ser, de personagens estranhas da cidade do Porto.

Infelizmente não estava muito inspirada para a fotografia, pelo que as imagens não espelham as boas horas que se passaram. Mas estava inspirada para a cozinha e fiz, pela primeira vez na minha vida, cupcakes, um dos quais foi destruído e comido por uma das tais personagens estranhas, que parecem sempre ter um fascínio qualquer por mim – problema de que só me poderei livrar, segundo o Rui Ramos, quando deixar crescer um bigode.

Seguem-se as provas fotográficas dos meus cupcakes temáticos (que ficaram cor-de-rosa por dentro, e não vermelhos e assustadores como eu queria), o local de encontro e piquenique inicial, os cupcakes mutantes da Elsa, os cães que pensavam fazer parte de uma estátua, a Janita a mostrar fotografias chocantes à Elsa, e a reacção da Catarina e da Janita ao meu Kindle (mwahahaha).

O próximo encontro será provavelmente por ocasião do Fórum Fantástico em Lisboa. Stay tuned!