There is not a whole lot to report from these two months. During both January and February, I had a lot of trouble focusing not only on books but on most things life is made of… So no more ramblings, let’s just get straight into the books!
I read 5 books during the last 2 months:
- O Essencial sobre os Elementos Fundamentais da Cultura Portuguesa by Jorge Dias
- Causas da Decadência dos Povos Peninsulares by Antero de Quental
- The Single Hound by Emily Dickinson
- Le Petit Nicolas et les Copains by René Goscinny
- Os da Minha Rua by Ondjaki
Regarding the languages, I read 1 book in English, 1 book in French, 3 books in Portuguese. Let me clarify that the book in French is a children’s book, and I read it mainly just to practice my very low-level French skills.
O Essencial sobre os Elementos Fundamentais da Cultura Portuguesa & Causas da Decadência dos Povos Peninsulares
The first book is basically an anthropological study about Portuguese people and their collective cultural identity. It was written in the 80s and, because of that, I feel like it is not really as current as it could have been, even though some of it still rings true. The only thing I really didn’t like was how it talks about Portuguese colonialism and imperialism as if to excuse it. And doing so by saying it wasn’t as bad as colonialism from other European countries. (We are against colonialism and imperialism on this blog.)
This was the exact same problem I had with the second book, even if in a slightly different way. Overall, I enjoyed Causas da Decadência dos Povos Peninsulares much more than I enjoyed O Essencial sobre os Elementos Fundamentais da Cultura Portuguesa. And this is because it talks about Portuguese and Spanish history and politics throughout the centuries explaining why the entanglement of those led to a cultural and scientific decline of the Iberian people compared to other countries.
Fun fact: Antero de Quental was part of the “Geração de 70”, an academic movement, from Coimbra, in the 19th century that revolutionized various dimensions of Portuguese culture. (Unlike colonialism, this is something we stand for on this blog.)
The Single Hound
I have always loved poetry, and some poets manage to pull my heartstrings with what appears to be little to no effort. When, in reality, we all know that writing poetry is incredibly hard.
I recently rediscovered Emily Dickinson, and what a joyful experience it has been. The range of feelings she can make me feel using so few words is out of this world.
I highly recommend this poetry collection if you are interested in poetry overall.
Le Petit Nicolas et les Copains
Honestly, there is not a lot to say! It is just a delightful set of short stories about our main character, Nicolas, and his friends. They are always fighting and getting into trouble, just like kids do. It is a sweet, silly, quirky, and quite a realistic book regarding its depiction of childhood. (but it’s not a book you read because of its realism, you know?)
Like I said before, I read it to practice my french. It was recommended to me by a friend who is a fluent speaker, she said it is really good due to its correct grammar and use of language.
Os da Minha Rua
My review of this is already available here on my blog. Please go read it! All I can say is that Ondjaki is a genius, and I want to read everything by him.
Bye, keep on reading.
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