I doubted a lot before doing this review. Usually, I like reviewing only books that I can recommend without any doubt. Maybe not perfect ones themselves, but interesting enough in some senses to deserve a review. This book made me think a lot before deciding, but I believe that after all can be good reading for a lot of different readers.

Twelve short stories which develop in Ireland, Italy, and other places. The truth is that is a book about failed, unhappy or lost in memories relationships. All the stories are well written. The characters are well presented, and their stories as well. I don’t have any doubt about the author knowledge of human nature, but not even one of the stories has an optimistic or happy ending. It is a continuous fight to survive, to save the relationship or the contact with the family or with friends. Everyone feels lonely and deserted.

The conclusion is that this book needs to be faced completely prepared to read about real life and its delusions without any sweetener.

This are the titles included in this book:

The News from Ireland

On the Zattere

Lunch in Winter

The property of Colette Nervi

Running Away

Cocktails at Doney’s

Bodily Secrets


Her Mother’s Daughter


Two more Gallants

The Wedding in the Garden

Novelist and short-story writdownloader William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork, in the Republic of Ireland on 22 May 1928.

He was educated at St Columba’s College, County Dublin, and Trinity College, Dublin. He worked briefly as a teacher, and later as a copywriter in an advertising agency before he began to work full-time as a writer in 1965. He was also a sculptor and exhibited frequently in Dublin and London. His first novel, A Standard of Behaviour, was published in 1958.His fiction, set mainly in Ireland and England, ranges from black comedies characterised by eccentrics and sexual deviants to stories exploring Irish history and politics, and he articulates the tensions between Irish Protestant landowners and Catholic tenants in what critics have termed the ‘big house’ novel. He is the acclaimed author of several collections of short stories, and has adapted a number of his own stories for the stage, television and radio. These collections include The Day We Got Drunk on Cake and Other Stories (1967), The Ballroom of Romance and Other Stories (1972),Angels at the Ritz and Other Stories (1975) and Beyond the Pale (1981). His early novels include The Old Boys (1964), winner of the Hawthornden Prize, and Mrs Eckdorf in O’Neill’s Hotel (1969). The Children of Dynmouth (1976) and Fools of Fortune (1983) both won the Whitbread Novel Award, and Felicia’s Journey(1994), the story of a young Irish girl who becomes the victim of a sexual sociopath, won both the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Sunday Express Book of the Year awards. The Hill Bachelors (2000), a collection of short stories, won both the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award for Short Stories and the Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Fiction in 2001. The Story of Lucy Gault (2002), was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. William Trevor’s latest short story collections are: A Bit On the Side (2004), on the theme of adultery; The Dressmaker’s Child (2005); and Cheating at Canasta (2007). His most recent novel isLove and Summer (2009). Also in 2009, his Collected Stories was published.

William Trevor was awarded an honorary CBE in 1977 for his services to literature, and was made a Companion of Literature in 1994. He was knighted in 2002. He is also a member of the Irish Academy of Letters and was awarded the David Cohen British Literature Prize by the Arts Council of England in 1999 in recognition of his work. He lives in Devon, and was awarded the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award in Irish Literature in 2008.

UPROOTED by Naomi Novik


Agnieszka is the next maiden that will live with the “bad” Wizard who protects the AREA. She will never leave the tower for the next ten years.

She wasn’t supposed to be the one. Her friend, the most beautiful, intelligent and skilled of all the maidens born the year of the dragon, was for sure the one. But, the day of the ceremony, the Dragon arrived, and Agnieszka was the chosen one.

Until here the story is pretty the same as usually. A maiden forced to pay the price for the security of her family and friends, living with bad men into a tower. But the story is not about this.

The author took some of the most usual topics of the fantasy stories and had made something completely different.

The main characters, Agnieszka is not beautiful, she is a small disaster with her personal appearance, and usually makes everything wrong. The Dragon (Wizard), is the best Wizard of the Kingdom, but is not handsome, is not tall, is more than one hundred-years-old.
The evil comes from a different place and can manipulate and make a hell of everyone lives.

The heroine and hero will be fighting together, and sometimes far away from each other, because both of them are strong, and they know their real duty.

The heroin doesn’t need to be rescued, and who doesn’t faint (Thank God! Finally a healthy woman), and the hero is not the one who knows better.

It is a refreshing story, and different from others fantasy stories. I will remember this one, for a long, long time.

Naomi Novik was born in New York in 1973, a first-generation American, anddownload raised on
Polish fairy tales, Baba Yaga, and Tolkien. She studied English Literature at Brown University and did graduate work in Computer Science at Columbia University before leaving to participate in the design and development of the computer game Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide.

Her first novel, His Majesty’s Dragon, was published in 2006 along with Throne of Jade and Black Powder War, and has been translated into 23 languages. She has won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel, and the Locus Award for Best First Novel. The fourth volume of theTemeraire series, Empire of Ivory, published in September 2007, was a New York Times bestseller, and was followed by bestsellers Victory of Eagles and Tongues of Serpents.

On April 26, 2011, she published Will Supervillains Be on the Final?, volume one in a new graphic novel series titled Liberty Vocational. She is also currently writing League of Dragons, the final Temeraire novel.

She is one of the founding board members of the Organization for Transformative Works, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the fair-use rights of fan creators, and is herself a fanfic writer and fan vidder.

Naomi lives in New York City with her husband and eight computers. (They multiply.)

THE PAPERCHASE by Marcel theroux

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Damien March is a journalist of the BBC in London. When his uncle Patrick dies, and he is the heir of his uncle’s house, Damien decides to cross the ocean and take a short holiday of his lonely life, and maybe become a hermit as his uncle.

The experience will show him all the things that never fitted correctly about his family, and it will reconcile him with his existence.

This story feels like diving into an old picture book, where you can discover the past lives of your elders, to find out that they were young, reckless, and sometimes silly as well. Maybe you will learn some weird stories about their lives, and you will uncover that some of them are much more similar to your life that you could never realise before. Damien will meet the family ghosts and will accept them as his own.

It can be a real story, and I read it as a real one. There are things that can not be changed, and you need to accept as they are. But, it doesn’t matter, because sometimes is better to know the truth than to have a “perfect” life.

Travel into the past to understand the present. It is a slow story. Enjoy the words, and the “pictures”. A book to relax.

Marcel Theroux is a screen writer, a broadcaster and (4) He is the son of travel writer Paul Theroux and brother of acclaimed film maker Louis Theroux.

He was born in Kampala, Uganda, in 1968. He grew up in England, was educated at Westminster School, before studying English Literature at Cambridge University and International Relations at Yale.

He has published five novels. His second novel, The Paperchase, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His fourth novel, Far North (2009) was a finalist for the U.S. National Book Award, the Arthur C Clarke Award, and was awarded the Prix de l’Inaperçu in 2011.

Far North has been translated into German, Dutch, and French.  A Japanese edition prepared by the celebrated novelist Haruki Murakami was published in April 2012.

Theroux’s fifth novel,  Strange Bodies, was published by Faber and Faber in the United Kingdom and Ireland in May 2013.  It will be published in the US by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in February 2014.

In addition to his books, Theroux has written a number of original screenplays and written and presented more than a dozen documentaries on subjects ranging from climate change to the Japanese aesthetic principle of wabi-sabi.


A WAYNE IN A MANGER by Gervase Phinn

download (1)Christmas and Nativity representations by children between six and eleven years old. The stories are hilarious. The idea that some of those children have during the rehearsal of the Nativity at their schools are fabulous. I spend almost all my time reading the book and laughing without a break.

It is incredible how children can put the point, and the seriousness of things that don’t matter anymore for us, but means the world to them. Sometimes we should remember those things, and smile.

I won’t say anything else about this book. It is a short one, full of anecdotes, and I don’t want to ruin the surprise.

Professor Gervase Phinn taught in a range of schools for fourteen years befordownload (2)e becoming an education adviser and school inspector. He is now a freelance lecturer, broadcaster and writer, a consultant for the Open University, Honorary Fellow of St. John’s College, York, Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) of the University of Leicester, Doctor of Letters  (D.Litt) of The University of Hull and the Fellow and Visiting Professor of Education at The University of Teesside. In 2005 the highest academic award of Sheffield Hallam University, Doctor of the University (D.Univ.) was conferred upon him by the Chancellor, Professor Lord Robert Winston. In 2006 he became President of The School Library Association.


downloadMy second book by the author, and again a great surprise. These are not stories for children. Some are just for laughing, others are peculiar, and few of
them a little uncomfortable to read, but all of them are pretty originals and worth the time reading.

The first story that gives the title to the book tells the story of a machine able to write books for every kind of reader. You will need to introduce some variables, and a little time and you will have books finish for readers of adventures, wars, fantasy or whatever your taste is in literature. I don’t like the idea of a machine knowing what I want to read, but that doesn’t matter, the story kept me reading every word until the end.

Mrs Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat. About an unfaithful woman thinking of herself as such a smart person, to finally discover the story of her husband.

The Butler. New rich people, completely deceive by their workers.

Man from the South. A crazy man?

The Landlady. This story remembered me a lot to the movie, Arsenic and Old Lace. But the movie was funny, and the short story is a little creepy.

Parson’s pleasure. I discovered at the beginning how the story was going to finish, and I couldn’t stop myself of thinking: What a shame the Chippendale!

The umbrella man. A funny, intelligent and naughty man.

Katrina. A war story. Maybe, inspired on one of his experiences during the war. A sad one.

The way up to heaven. Sometimes vengeance must be served in its right time.

Royal Jelly. Another film came to my mind. The fly.

Vengeance is Mine Inc. We punch for you.

Taste. Everyone can be cheated but not always they will lose.

Neck. Marriage for money with a good end.

Roald Dahl,was born on September 13, 1916, in Llandaff, South Wales. In 1953, hedownload published the best-selling story collection Someone Like You and married actress Patricia Neal. He published the popular book James and the Giant Peach in 1961. In 1964, he released another highly successful work,Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was later adapted for two films. Over his decades-long writing career, Dahl wrote 19 children’s books. He died on November 23, 1990, in Oxford, England.

SERENITY . FIREFLYCLASS 03-K64. THOSE LEFT BEHIND by Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews, Will Conrad.

downloadThe first issue of a series of four that I bought at the last London ComicCon (May 27-29). I cannot criticise anything of this comic, maybe only that there are not more.

The introduction is by Nathan Fillion, speaking about his first contact with comics when he was a child, his feelings about superheroes and how Joss Whedon gave him an opportunity to become one of them.

The art by Will Conrad is great and not only make more real with his amazing drawings but gives more force to the story. The dialogues are great as a part of one of the series.

After we have an introduction to Firefly universe by Joss Whedon, when we know what we didn’t have the time during the emission or with the film.

Firefly fans have something here even if is not all the possibilities that we were waiting for with the TV series.

There are three more graphic novels of this series, and for me, this, the first and the last one are the best.

Joss Whedon is the middle of five brothers – his younger brothers are Jed Whedon and Zack Whedon. Both his father, Tom Whedon and his grandfather, John Whedon were successful television writers. Joss’ mother, Lee Stearns, was a history teacher and she also wrote novels as Lee Whedon. Whedon was raised in New York and was educated at Riverdale Country School, where his mother also taught. He also attended Winchester College in England for two years, before graduating with a film degree from Wesleyan University.

After relocating to Los Angeles, Whedon landed his first TV writing job on “Roseanne”, and moved on to script a season of “Parenthood”. He then developed a film script which went on to become Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992). Whedon was very unhappy with the final film – his original script was extensively re-written and made lighter in tone. After this he earned screenwriting credits on such high profile productions as Alien: Resurrection (1997) and Toy Story (1995), for which he was Oscar nominated. He also worked as a ‘script doctor’ on various features, notably Speed (1994).

In 1997, Whedon had the opportunity to resurrect his character Buffy in a television series on The WB Network. This time, as showrunner and executive producer, he retained full artistic control. The series, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was a popular and critical hit, which ran for several seasons, the last two on UPN. Whedon also produced a spin-off series, “Angel”, which was also successful. A foray in to sci-fi television followed with “Firefly”, which developed a cult following, but did not stay on air long. It did find an audience on DVD and through re-runs, and a spin-off feature film Serenity(2005) was released in 2005.

Other projects have included comic book writing, the sci-fi drama “Dollhouse” and the screenplay for Marvel blockbuster Avengers Assemble (2012).

Brett Matthews is known for his work on The Vampire Diaries (2009), TheChronicles of Riddick: Dack Fury (2004) and Supernatural (2005).

Co-wrote the comic miniseries “Those Left Behind”, which bridged the gap between the TV series, Firefly (2002), and its feature film follow up, Serenity (2005), with Firefly creator Joss Whedon.

Will Conrad has been a cover artist, inker and penciler for many series including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Elektra, Serenity, She-Hulk and more.


BE WITH YOU by Takuji Ichikawadownload (2)

Takkun and Yuji have been living alone for a year, after Mio, wife and mother died. But as she promised, “When the rainy season returns, I will come back to see how the two of you are getting along.”

And she did so.

The ghost of Mio returns to take care of them

Love’s stories are completely different in Japanese literature. Their stories are full of memories, shared moments, delicacies. Their loves stories are more as art’s books about human feelings than romance.

I enjoyed the explanation of Mio’s returns mainly.

THE MAN WHO FORGOT HIS WIFE by John O’Farrelldownload (3)

Vaughan forgot his life on a 22nd of October. Every person, every place, his name all has been erased from his memory. Even his wife and children.

His disease is called retrogade amnesia, but is called second chance as well.

It is a funny story, and full of push-up. It must be horrible to lost your past, but Who wouldn’t like it to have a second chance with life.

download (4)THE LONG WALK by Stephen King

In the US where The Change and The Squads, have made life even more challenging for their citizens. The Mayor, who rules the country, organizes every year a competition for those young men that are not yet eighteen years old. One hundred of young men are chosen between all of those who wants to participate, but only one of them can win.

The prize, money and whatever thing the winner will desire. But, for the winner achieving his goal, will mean that the other 99 participants will die.

King wrote this book as Richard Bachman. I didn’t find any similarities between his horror stories and this dystopian story at all.

Sad, and make you think, Why most of the dystopian stories go through the destruction of the youngest, through some stupid competition for keeping their lives?


DSC_0002My last visit to London was a productive one. Not only for some interesting visits and shopping of books. But for these two new teas to taste.

I arrived at Camden town early in the morning. Only a few of the shops and stalls were open at this time and even less visitors.

At Camden Lock, I found this small stall TEA SHIRT ( with a small selection of teas that you could smell before deciding.

I decided for a Tea Fusion: Apple & Grapefruit and a Tea Classic: Masala Chai. On the back of the bags, you will find the information about ingredients, type of tea and preparation.

The first one, Apple & Grapefruit is the first tea that I taste that requires as much time as 10 to 12 minutes in hot water (100º C.) The ingredients are apple pieces, rose hip peel, hibiscus, lemongrass, orange peel, orange triangles, natural aroma, strawberry pieces.

The smell is spicy and bitter. Aromas of fresh grass and pine. The taste is something different, more light, but still a strong saviour. The colour is lilac.
It is my favourite one for weekend breakfast when I have time to have a couple of cup before starting the day.

The second one, Masala chai, is a black tea. The ingredients are black tea, cinnamon pieces, ginger pieces, cardamom seeds, cardamom pods, vanilla pieces, flavouring.

I didn’t follow the instruction written on the pack because it includes milk, and I don’t like it, but for me, it is perfect with honey. The smell is spicy and itches a little when smelling it. The flavour is robust and tasty. The colour is black with a brown background.
This is a good tea to start early the mornings during week days.

CHANGING MY MIND, Occasional essays by Zadie Smith

imagesMy second book by this author, and fortunately, this time, a success for me (I don’t want to speak about the first one.) The book is divided into five parts: reading, being, seeing, feeling and remembering.

The author makes a profound analysis of books, films, other writers, family memories, experiences, etc.

Besides being a writer Zadie Smith is, of course, a reader and her reflections make me think about some things that I never read before such as:

“White readers often believe they are colour-blind.” And maybe she is right, but I still think that I am a colour-blind reader, usually are the personality of the characters of the book that make me feel more or less close to them. I am never “reading them” with colours or races, and even when I have not read a lot of black writers, I have read a lot of different continents with different colours and races, and never thought of them as something else, I read them as described by the author. But, just in case, I will be more aware to my next read of a not-white author.

“Nowadays I know the true reason I read is to feel less alone, to make a connection with a consciousness other than my own.”  I would add other few reasons for me reading, but this one is quite good for me.

“Other peoples’s words are the bridge you use to cross from where you were to wherever you’re going.”

I don’t a reader of poetry, but I liked the thinks that Smith found in Wallace’s poems:

“… as his attention to that singular point in our lives when we realize we are closer to our end than our beginning.”

“… the inexorability of time made all human effort faintly ludicrous.”

“It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out.”

Zadie Smith was born in London, England, on October 25, 1975. At age 21, Smdownloadith submitted some 80 pages of what would become White Teeth to an agent, and the book was published in a few years later to rave reviews, winning numerous awards, including the Whitbread First Novel Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her third novel, On Beauty, was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and won the 2006 Orange Prize for fiction.


The night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger


The story is the kind of story that readers can always enjoy when books are an important part of their lives.

The centre plot is about a Library, a mobile one where the main character finds every reading that she had done in her life. Not only books or magazines, but her Diaries, and something so weird as the cereal boxes of her breakfasts. There, she finds her whole history as a reader, a history that has grown up every time that she finds the Bookmobile in one of her night walks through the city.

The illustrations are no the best, but the story is more than enough to enjoy this graphic novel.

I won’t say that I share the idea of the end of the story as the best, but I can perfectly understand the point of the author if she was trying to show the reader how far love for books can arrive.

Audrey Niffenegger (Biography copied from her Web site)

I began making prints in 1978 under the tutelage of William 31c2MhoQZEL._UX250_Wimmer. I trained as a visual artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and received my MFA from Northwestern University’s Department of Art Theory and Practice in 1991. I have exhibited my artist’s books, prints, paintings, drawings and comics at Printworks Gallery in Chicago since 1987. In 2013, a major mid-career retrospective of my prints, paintings and artist’s bookworks opened at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.

My first books were printed and bound by hand in editions of ten. Two of these have since been commercially published by Harry N. Abrams: The Adventuress and The Three Incestuous Sisters.

In 1997 I had an idea for a book about a time traveler and his wife. I originally imagined making it as a graphic novel, but eventually realized that it is very difficult to represent sudden time shifts with still images. I began to work on the project as a novel, and published The Time Traveler’s Wife in 2003 with the independent publisher MacAdam/Cage. It was an international best seller, and has been made into a movie.

In 1994 a group of book artists, papermakers and designers came together to found a new book arts center, the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts. I was part of this group and taught book arts for many years as an Associate Professor in Columbia College’s MFA program in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts. Until May, 2015 I was a Professor on the faculty of the Columbia College Creative Writing Department. I’ve also taught for the Newberry Library, Penland School of Craft, Haystack, the University of Illinois at Chicago and other institutions of higher learning. I am currently on hiatus from teaching in order to get my own work done.

My second novel, Her Fearful Symmetry, was published in 2009 by Scribner (USA), Jonathan Cape (UK) and many other fine publishers around the world.

In 2008 I made a serialized graphic novel for the London Guardian, The Night Bookmobile, which was published in book form in September, 2010. In 2013, the illustrated novella, Raven Girl, was published in conjunction with the Royal Opera House Ballet production of Raven Girl, which was choreographed by Wayne McGregor. Raven Girl will return to the main stage at Covent Garden in October 2015.

Currently, I am working on a sequel to The Time Traveler’s Wife. The working title is The Other Husband. I am also continuing to work on The Chinchilla Girl in Exile and artwork for an exhibition at Printworks Gallery in September 2016.