Tuesday, July 1, 2014

As my book addiction continues...

Hey there world! Aren’t we all loving all these updates? Ah, I have so many news so let’s get to them. I don’t know if I mentioned but I did get into the Vancouver Community College, YAY ME! Unfortunately I won’t be able to go this year because of many reasons. But on a happy note I did start having classes with my voice teacher again last week and so I feel very well looked after. Gosh I had no idea of how much I missed her, she’s so much more than a coach, she’s really one of the most precious friends I have, plus she has such a wonderful soul. Anyway my voice sounds like crap because I haven’t vocalized properly for the past months but it will heal in due time.

My birthday is this Thursday and I’m actually going to spend it in São Paulo because I have a voice lesson. I’m going to be 24 and wow, suddenly I feel kinda old, twenty freaking four.

This weekend I did an experiment and went on the famous ‘balada’, that’s the dance clubs here in Brazil. It was nice, I guess. The music kinda irritated me, you see you would have about 30 seconds of the tunes you know and love and sing along to followed by 5 minutes of electronic nonsense. Hey, I’m a very open minded person when it comes to music but that electronic crap is just fucking dumb. How am I supposed to dance to something that doesn’t touch me? Mind you that I did ingest alcohol so my senses were slightly off and still I could not get into the vibe everyone else seemed to be so hooked on. I guess I’m just picky, I know that there are some great (gay) ‘baladas’ which actually play normal music, those awesome 90’s songs and pop songs that I really like so that’s where I wanna go from now on. Plus I was a bit shocked at how the majority of the girls were dressed. Some of them seriously looked like hookers, real time prostitutes plus they were so young. I guess you are thinking I’m picky and old fashioned but I myself was wearing a rather short dress but nothing compared to the extremely high heels (which I find extremely stupid for one to wear at a dance club that has no place whatsoever for you to to sit), butt length mini dresses, shorts and skirts, with the occasional crop top, I seriously felt like a nun. I’m amazed that young women think that this is sexy, exposing SO much of their bodies, I find it extremely vulgar. But anyways, I’m not going to solve the problems of the world nonetheless the lack of self respect most young women in that club have with this post.

In other news I did overdo a little bit last week at the book store buying the grand total of 9 new books. I know I have a disease, I’m a shopaholic. So that’s what I want to dedicate this post of today for, to talk about the 9 books I bought that I haven’t read yet (I did start reading one and I’m already halfway through it, I’ll save the best for last)

As my Agatha Christie obsession continues I cannot seem to be able to walk into a place and not buy if not one of her books. When I went to the supermarket for groceries last week I bought two. The Pale Horse, I do believe they used this story for the series Marple (which is a TV series for Miss Marple the sweet old lady who solves mysteries better than any police detective) but the original one does not involve my mother’s favorite bird watching old lady. For this series (as well as Poirot) they do get some of the stories Christie wrote that don’t involve Poirot or Marple and adapt it inserting either of them. But as for the book it’s apparently set on a country side village in England (aren’t they all?) where the vicar has been assassinated and suddenly many people start getting sick. Intriguing hun? Plus it features one of my favorite sidekicks, Ariadne Oliver who is a detective stories novelist always in search of new inspiration.

Then I bought Towards Zero, mind you both of them are in Portuguese. I don’t really like reading translations because normally they are very badly done but I find that whoever translates Agatha Christie for Portuguese is a standing out exception. Just like Pale Horse they also used this story for the series Marple but the original does not feature her but a Scotland Yard detective named Battle.

When I went to Livraria Cultura last Thursday with far too much time in my hands I got another Christie book but this time in the original language. My collection actually varies from Harper editions bought in the US to 60’s and 70’s editions both in Portuguese and English that belonged to my mother to the L&PM Pocket ones in Portuguese. Ordeal by Innocence was something I had been wanting to read for a while. You see I had this friend who was crazy about Agatha Christie and after he passed away his mom gave away his books to several friends and I picked out a big hard covered one called Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks. This is the sort of book that you have to be a real big fan of Agatha Christie to read and it only makes sense if you are familiar with all her stories which are MANY. So I had read every single one of the books mentioned in the first chapter (before each chapter you have a list of the books you must have read to truly understand it) but one, Ordeal by Innocence so there you have it!

Christie aside let’s turn our attention to another lady author I adore. I don’t know if I ever mentioned here but I do LOVE to cook! Ah, it’s one of the utmost joys of my life, I love to go out to buy the ingredients, selecting them one by one, making the dish all by myself while singing opera and then eating it and most importantly feeding the ones I love. And one of my favorite modern novels is in fact Julie & Julia, it inspired the movie with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. So in this spending spree I was resolute in getting a recipe book. But the thing with recipe books is that I can only get them in Portuguese because of the ingredients, many ingredients in recipes from American books are simply not sold in Brazil so it becomes quite frustrating.

I actually had my mind set on buying Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking because it’s so iconic but the store did not have it. What they did have was a ‘sort of’ translation of those two books called A Arte Culinária de Julia Child (which I roughly translate to Julia Child’s Art of Cooking). I’ve decided that just like Julie I’ll be making every single recipe in that book, already got the ingredients for the first soup in the book.

And then I spotted something that I have a very strong feeling I only bought because it had a beautiful picture of Meryl Streep on the cover in a French market all smiley faced and ‘oh, it’s so good to live in France’. It’s called Minha Vida na França (My Life in France) and it’s a memoires book written by Julia Child about her life in France.

I also got a very thin looking edition of The Great Gatsby because I haven’t seen the movie and apparently everyone knows the story but me. I only bought the thin version because all the others had very ugly covers and I so did not want to own a book with Leonardo DiCaprio’s face on the cover. It’s bad enough that I have a book that has Kristen Steward’s face on it and you all know what I’m talking about.

Moving on toward the a more modern sort of literature but always sticking to female writers I bought the book that originated one of my favorite TV series, Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell. It’s so odd to think that when I was younger and first saw this show I was so sure I was just like Charlotte. But now I feel more inclined to agree with Samantha in most things, I wish I had her balls though, she is one self confident lady, but I do have her drive.

Then I got Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophia Kinsella because let’s face it, story of my life, right? And I love the movie, it’s so lovely! Although I do know that the original story is actually set in London other than New York City.

And last but most definitely not least book I got was Fifty Shades of Gray by E.L. James. I have been hearing so much buzz about this book for such a long time that curiosity finally won over after I read the first page. After I left the bookstore I went to a close by Starbucks and started reading it, well, more like devouring it. Very early on you can tell that the book is a page turner and as a matter of fact quite amusing!

For those of you who don’t know, Fifty Shades of Gray actually started out as an adult fanfiction about Twilight. The author then got inspired to write her own story based in both her fantasies and in the fantasies of many, many women around the world. The book was a sellout phenomenon, at one point it was selling one copy per second, per fucking second!

It tells this story about a girl named Anastasia (I find that name gorgeous) who is just graduating college. She’s rather insecure and is the romantic Austen book and a cup of tea kind of girl. I find it interesting how there is very little actual description of how she looks, she’s a burnet, fair skinned, average body, messy haircut but that’s about it. I do find that rather brilliant because that makes it SO easy for the reader to imagine herself living through Anastasia.

So she’s agreed to help out her flat mate who got sick and can’t make it to interview this big shot company owner so she goes in her place. Anastasia expects Christian Gray to be a 40 year old man but is socked when she comes face to face with a young twenty something year old Greek God. Handsome, graceful, hot as hell and completely full of himself. You would think she would act extremely meek and shy around him but she actually makes quite bold remarks like “You sound like a control freak” and “So you wanna possess things” You are a control freak.

He’s intrigued by her and starts pursuing her, he asks her out and she’s most of time like “Is this even real? What the hell can he possibly want with me?”. As they get to know each other more and more and liking each other more and more Christian decides to show Ana what he’s into and how all his ‘relationships work’. He’s into BDSM which stands for bondage/discipline, dominance/submission and sadism/masochism, so he likes to tie up his partners and have his wicked way with them. But don’t worry because it’s all consensual, that’s the fun for him to have the person want to be in this situation, to make the person want to be in this situation.

Needless to say that Ana is mortified because she fell for this guy and to make matters worse he wants her to sign this contract that dictates how she has to live her life basically while she is his ‘submissive’. But, the thing is, there is a catch, because Christian also starts falling for her so he bends every single rule in his book to please her. Plus Ana has her protestations in regards to many things in that contract and changes most of them so we are really left with the sexy part and none of that real heavy stuff.

I haven’t finished yet, have about 150 pages to go. Plus it’s a trilogy so I plan on finishing it by Thursday so I can buy the other two then when I go to São Paulo. I did not expect to like this book but I did, it’s fun, it’s funny, it’s very believable in a sense that the heroin is of flesh and blood and could be just anyone which I think is one of the main ingredients of the success of the book. Yes, it does have rather detailed descriptions of their sexual adventures but that doesn’t bother me not even a bit. I mean, I have been reading fanfiction for the past 10 years so I’m more than used to this kind of stuff. And something that delighted me was the fact that the author is really one of those everyday people who writes great stuff for fanfiction and all of the sudden she’s a published author selling millions of books! I did also see a lot of writers scold her work and say it’s garbage and it’s porn and I find that so silly and it's an extreme contradiction since everybody has sex, so what’s the harm in writing about it? We’re in the 21st century for crying out loud!

Well so far so good with 50 Shades of Gray, I love it that the name comes of a line Christian says to her about him being 50 shades of fucked up. As I said it’s a very funny book and very hot might I add, especially since now I know that the guy playing Christian is Jamie Dornan, aka the Huntsman from Once Upon a Time. 

there we have it, the collection! 
And so that's it! I think that for my next post I'll be retelling my last day in NYC from February that I haven't covered yet. Dang that was a fun day! Cheers all!

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