Painé y Juan Cruz, by María Cristina Casadei

34328679Painé and Juan Cruz have a lot of things in common. They were born on the same day and both are very loved by their parents. Painé is mapuche*, Juan Cruz is criollo**. They met one morning in which they both disobeyed their parents and went to play near the railways. Pretty much since the first moment they become friends and leave on an adventure, accompanied by a lost puma cub, meeting a lot of new people and exploring the natural surroundings.

This is a children’s book lent by a friend during my vacations. She meant to show me the beautiful illustrations it has, but I went on and read it. It’s a great book I believe for kids living and growing up in Rio Negro, the province my friend is from and where I spent my summer vacations. It shows a bit of the different cultural background that compose today’s population in the area, and talks about the particular environment in the region, teaching kids to value and respect their historical and natural backgrounds.

* a group of indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina

** Latin Americans who are of full or near full pre-colonial Spanish descent, distinguishing them from both multi-racial Latin Americans and Latin Americans of post-colonial (and not necessarily Spanish) European immigrant origin.

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Malvinas: el sur, el mar, el frío, by VV. AA.

30114268English translation: Falkland: the south, the sea, the cold

This book compiles several graphic short-stories which have the Malvinas War as main subject. They portrait the life around that time, the current life of veterans, ghosts from the past, a remembrance to those who didn’t come back, their families, episodes of war and such things.

This war occurred in 1982, when Argentina confronted Great Britain over Malvinas’ sovereignty. It was a desperate measure from a dying dictatorial government trying to gain acceptance among the people, but it turned out as such a tragedy, where a lot of young men lost their lives and a lot others got theirs ruined.

Up to this day the wound remains open and our nation keeps claiming sovereignty over the islands, but through diplomacy.

This book was lent to me by a friend during our vacations.

Eric, by Terry Pratchett

64262Eric is the Discworld’s only demonology hacker. The trouble is, he’s not very good at it. All he wants is the usual three wishes: to be immortal, rule the world and have the most beautiful woman fall madly in love with him. The usual stuff.

But what he gets is Rincewind, the Disc’s most incompetent wizard, and Rincewind’s Luggage (the world’s most dangerous travel accessory) into the bargain. The outcome is an outrageous adventure that will leave Eric wishing once more – this time, quite fervently – that he’d never been born. (from Goodreads)

One of the great things about Pratchett’s books are all the “real life” allusions inserted in this fantastic universe he created. In this occasion you’ll find Faust, Aztec’s society and mythology, the war of Troy, the Odyssey, the hell, according to Dante and some other sources, the creation of the universe, and probably a lot of other things that I’m forgetting. We meet again with Rincewind and the Luggage, and we have a glimpse of Death, of course. The book is filled with Prachett’s trademark humour and storytelling, BUT…

Of all of Discworld’s books I’ve read, this was my least favorite. Despite all of the good things that one can expect and the Pratchett gladly serves, this book felt like it could be so. much. more.

It’s not a bad book, it just feels a bit loose. Probably not the best for a beginner in the saga, mostly because it lacks of all the muchness of, at least, the previous books (I didn’t advance much in the saga to have an idea of how the later books are).

La Divina Comedia, by Dante Alighieri

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English title: The Divine Comedy

A landmark of world literature, The Divine Comedy tells of the poet Dante’s travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise in search of salvation. Before he is redeemed by his love for the heavenly Beatrice, he learns the meaning of evil, sin, damnation, and forgiveness through a series of unforgettable experiences and encounters. (from Goodreads)

I’ve been wanting to read this for a long time, and since I got Eric (see below) for Christmas, and knowing it made references to this book, I borrow a copy and started reading right away.

Lucky enough the version I read was adapted into prose, because if it was heavy like that, I can’t even think how much hard it would have been reading it in verse -_-

I was prevented beforehand by the friend who lent it to me that the best part was the Inferno (so now I understand why it’s so often published separately), but it has its highlights throughout the rest of the book. It’s just that there were too many times when my eyes passed through words but couldn’t retain a single phrase, so I had to re-read again and again and again. Paradise was just too annoying and all I could say to myself was “don’t give up now, you’re so close to the end!”

Sailor Moon #1, by Naoko Takeuchi

32051163Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna, a talking cat, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice, in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. She meets other girls destined to be Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts), and together, they fight the forces of evil! (from Goodreads)

Moon Prism Power Make Up!

I feel like I’ve been waiting all my life for this (pretty much). The manga is finally being published here in Argentina and as I’m writing this I’m making arrangements to go buy the second tankoubon.

I’m completely biased towards Sailor Moon, so I’m just going to say it’s absolutely awesome.

Hogwarts, An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide, by J. K. Rowling

31538647Hogwarts An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide takes you on a journey to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You’ll venture into the Hogwarts grounds, become better acquainted with its more permanent residents, learn more about lessons and discover secrets of the castle. . . all at the turn of a page. (from Goodreads)

I knew beforehand that this book compiles some of Rowling’s writings from Pottermore, which I had already read. What I wasn’t expecting was the whole “that Simpson’s episode hosted by Troy McClure where he introduces excerpts from previous episodes”* vibe. So bad that it’s good. It’s super short also, so I read it one day while commuting, it’s great to kill some time.

*S07E10

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (trilogy), by Ransom Riggs

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. (from Goodreads)

  • Hollow City

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises. (from Goodreads)

  • Library of Souls

Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.
They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all. (from Goodreads)

I read these three books one after the other. Each one of them begins exactly where the other finished, so it was like reading just one large book (the perks of reading a trilogy long after the rest of the world: I didn’t have to wait for a new book to be published)
It took me some time to get hooked on the story. I actually started with the first book last year, with the intention of reading it before the movie premiered. The first part before the manifestation and acknowledgment of peculiardom became super long and kinda boring, but after Jacob’s crossing through Miss Peregrine’s loop things turned a lot more interesting, so the next two books were read in a very short time.
It’s a nice adventure story; it often falls in some predictable and frequent tropes, but it’s ok. I think there is an excess of peculiar characters that are left underdeveloped through the rest of the trilogy, too much to handle, and barely count for anything in the end (or mysteriously vanished), like they were forced to the story just to show the weird picture they represent.

The movie works awful as an adaptation of the books, because just took some premises from the first and then did a whole WTF.
What’s up with Tim Burton and his terrible book adaptations, lately?