Book Review: Ancient Book of Sex and Science

In this second volume in the critically acclaimed Ancient Book series, indulge yourself as you explore the strange frontiers of sex and science. From instruments of innovation and the Atomic Age to analysis of the mind, body, and seduction of the human form. Featuring broad color, shapely design, supple lines, and evocative commentary, The Ancient Book of Sex and Science is a fine art hardcover collection of images produced by some of the most highly sophisticated animation designers and low-brow artists in the industry.

This is a phenomenal book for all art aficionados. A must-have.  Continue reading “Book Review: Ancient Book of Sex and Science”

Book Review: The Woman with the Bouquet by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt

In his new collection of stories, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, author of The Most Beautiful Book in the World, probes the paradox that the events that shape our lives are often the stuff of dreams, yet nonetheless true. Humor, tenderness, irony, and exquisite writing have always been the hallmarks of Schmitt’s work. Here, he adds a pinch of philosophy.

In one story, a lovelorn writer seeks refuge in Ostende, a remote and charming town on the North Sea. His host is a solitary and eccentric octogenarian. The fairy-tale setting starts to work its magic and the old woman begins to tell her tale—an extraordinary story of passion. Bewitched by what he hears, the writer can no longer distinguish what is real from what is not, and in the woman’s account he will finally find a response to his own deep-seated grief. Here, as in the other stories in this collection, Schmitt displays the combination of stylishness and insight into the human condition that prompted Kirkus Reviews to write of his tales that they “echo Maupassant’s with their lean narratives, surprise endings, mordant humor and psychological acuity.”

It is said that there’s no creature that does not try to escape reality. There isn’t a living thing endowed with a central nervous system that does not dream. The brain is what is called an exclusion system: its purpose is to decide what information is important and what is not. There is so much information in the world that we’d go mad if we tried to understand it all.

What does this have to do with this collection of short stories?

Well, because the characters in each of the stories have this in common: they want to escape reality, they are looking for a shelter against it. If you ever felt this gnawing sense of fear at the thought that you are simply waiting for life to happen to you, if you daydreamed to the point of it becoming an obsession, then this is the book for you.

Reality cannot be negotiated with, but our imagination can be bargained with; our dreams can show us a world that will never come true.

But that never stopped us from dreaming and wishing our dreams would, somehow, come true.

The Woman with the Bouquet is one of the most intriguing compilations of short stories I have ever read.

Stupid Reasons to Read Books even if You Never Did Before

Okay, so let’s be clear about this: reading is not necessary. It does not satisfy any need, it’s not as if there’s this primordial aspect of humanity that it defines and explores. It does make you smarter, more culture, more empathetic, but all of these are optional. You can be dumb and live and long and happy life.

That being said, in a world where people read, on average, a book per year, here are some incredibly dumb reasons to read…

Continue reading “Stupid Reasons to Read Books even if You Never Did Before”

The Ideal Reader

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I’d say that I’ve come a long way from my high school years, when I was struggling to find people who’d be interested in reading my stories. I’m not going to lie: it’s important to know that someone reads your stuff, that someone cares. Makes you feel less alone, and isn’t that one of the reasons we write?

And I appreciate that, and I’m truly grateful for being able to present my ideas or ask questions, to expect a response every single time I need one. But the truth is, we never write for a bunch of people. Yes, we talk a lot about finding our target audience, about all the ways we can improve how we reach our target audience, but that soon becomes a vague term, one that is used to define different people, who only share a number of preferences.

Continue reading “The Ideal Reader”

12 Books That Will Surely Make You Cry

Art is supposed to make you feel something, right? And what more can you ask from a book other than to be moved by it in such a way that you end up shedding a few tears?

Also, psychologists claim that crying is kind of good for releasing stress and making you stronger emotionally, so here are twelve books that are guaranteed to make you cry.

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10 Movies That Were Better Than The Book

“Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes.” – John Le Carré

A lot of writers sell the rights to their books to producers who seem to have nothing but the best intentions for their works. Unfortunately, most often than not, the end result is nothing but disappointing.

Indeed, on rare occasions, the opposite is true: the adaptation improves greatly the source material. Here are 10 movies that are better than the book they were based upon.

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Art is Freedom

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“The blank page is yours. Cast aside worries over art and criticism. Imagine a land without rules. Imagine that nobody has ever told you that you cannot or should not do this thing. Those people were wrong.” Chuck Wendig

You know what’s the one thing I find to be equally fascinating and terrifying?

A blank page.

It’s the most terrifying thing… because that page doesn’t care who you are or what you wrote before sitting down at the desk, doesn’t care how many people are waiting to read your words… it just stays empty until you write something. Continue reading “Art is Freedom”

The Perks of Being a Writer

When I tell people I’m a writer they usually ask me how much I earn. I usually smile and say “enough.” I’ve been giving this answer even before I started earning money, when my stories were available for free on Wattpad.

The thing is that being a writer, or any other kind of artist, also means that most probably you’ll never earn a lot of money. Million dollar advances are extremely rare. Besides, I’m quite sure that most artists aren’t in this for money.

But what exactly do you earn if not money? Is there something else to being a writer?

Continue reading “The Perks of Being a Writer”