segunda-feira, 8 de fevereiro de 2010

They Do It With Mirrors - Agatha Christie


Jogo de Espelhos (They do It With Mirrors)
Agatha Christie

176 pages

I generally love Agatha Christie, and I tend to read her books in one sitting, but that didn't happen with this one.

It's a Marple novel, and I generally do prefer other detectives (it just frustrates me that part of the solution is based on those comparisons with someone on St. Mary Mead), but I don't think that's enough to explain why this book failed to captivate me the way others have.

I think part of it was that I just didn't care about the characters all that much. I especially didn't care at all about the victim, since he practically just walked in and got killed, and there was very little to know about him. I also didn't especially care for the person they were supposedly all trying to protect: she's one of those older ladies Christie writes somethimes, very nice and very vague and very ethereal.

Also, it seemed to me that Christie's tendency to write mostly dialogue was taken a bit too far on this one, and instead of a fast-paced but rich reading, which is her usual, we're definitely entering "talking head" territory.

So, this one might actually be a rarity among my Christie collection: a book that I won't be rereading.

quarta-feira, 3 de fevereiro de 2010

Hearts West - Chris Enss


Hearts West: True Stories of Mail-Order Brides on the Frontier
Chris Enss

115 pages

I really enjoyed this book. I bought it as research for a future project, but ended up losing myself completely in its pages.

As the subtitle states, the book is composed of several stories of women and men who met through correspondance during the second half of the XIXth century and the first two decades of the XXth. Each chapter tells a different story with a few of them dedicated not to specific couples, but to people or institutions that helped bring those couples together. There's a good selection of stories, they cover people in different situations and not all of them have happy outcomes.

I loved that the book includes a lot of material from the time: journal and letters excerpts; personal ads; newspaper articles; photographs and prints. It also includes a rather detailed bibliography (which non-fiction books don't always seem to do anymore) that I think will be of good use to me when I'm in full research mode for the project I mentioned.

Also, the book really opened my eyes to how many preconceived ideas I still held about life in the West and the role of women in the expansion.
Book Depository

segunda-feira, 1 de fevereiro de 2010


January didn't go as well as planned, but I did manage to start writting more consistently, and I did figure out some adjustments I need to make to increase my productivity.

The first draft to Coração de Lobo still needs some work. There are still a lot of places that read something like [BATTLE SCENE] or [MORE DESCRIPTION] that I'll need to fill out.

Anyway, February will be a busy, busy month for me.

1. Write 25/28 days
2. Chant gongyo every morning - 28 tasks
3. Complete the first edit pass of CDL
4. Do one Japanese lesson per week - 4 tasks
5. Exercise once a week - 4 tasks
6. Listen to Sleep CD every night - 28 tasks
7. Lose 2 Kg