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geek_cover_1Happy Ada Lovelace Day everyone! A time to celebrate women in science, technology, engineering and maths.

When editors Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders had the idea for this anthology of essays about women in science, technology and geekdom in general the response was beyond their expectations. They were contacted by women from different fields, social backgrounds, sexual orientation and ethnic background. The strength of “She’s Such a Geek!” lies in this variety and the fact that the challenges and barriers these women had to face were, in the end, very similar.

One common thread was the identity of a girl and woman geek in a male-dominated world. My passion is words and languages and I work in communications, so I can only imagine what it’d be like to love physics instead and at a crucial time in my upbringing have a physics professor openly tell a class that women can never be as good as men. This happened to one of the essayists and also to one of my best friends, who today is a successful marine biologist.

To overcome something like this requires a lot of resilience, self-confidence and supportive family and peers, so it’s no wonder that so many women give up along the way. I was surprised by how many women benefited from taking women studies classes in college, even when their majors were it astronomy or theoretical physics, and not so surprised how having female role-models help them overcome their self-doubt.block1Credits: Hark, a vagrant

Another common topic, also connected to identity, is sexuality. Many of the essays talk about maneuvering the fine line between being attractive and being take seriously, which apparently are inversely proportional:

During my first year of graduate school, three female classmates who frequented the clubs of Boston hit a serious snag in their search for boyfriends. Time after time, guys approached them – only to walk away the minute the women mentioned their occupation. So my friends started lying. They claimed to be flight attendants, yoga instructors, or kindergarten teachers. And the dating pool magically widened.

Some of the essays about mathematics and genetics were a bit over my head, but I still enjoyed them for the writers’ pure passion for their fields – it was fascinating to read about the joy of solving an equation or the eureka moment when maths just clicks. Still, my favorite essays were written by the gamers. They’re also incredibly varied, from the players to the programmers, from the hacker of adult sites to the leader of an all-female war game squad, from tips on how to conquer a virtual empire to the ethics of topless-girl-on-bikes games. So. Much. Fun.

The essays were written by women who mostly grew up in the 60s, 70s and 80s, so I’d be curious to read a similar book written by younger generations. Would the same barriers come up?

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Previous mini-reviews in the mystery category: Malice (Kyoichiro Kaga #4) by Keigo Higashino, narrated by Jeff Woodman and Hounded (Andy Carpenter #12) by David Rosenfelt, narrated by Grover Gardner 

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The Dead Will Tell (Kate Burkholder, #6) by Linda Castillo, narrated by Kathleen McInerney

An Amish family is murdered after a botched robbery, but no one is brought to justice. Thirty-five years later, a series of mysterious murders all have in common a connection to that almost forgotten horror. Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is chosen to investigated and the case will strike a chord with her: many years ago she was also part of the Amish community before deciding to leave.

The story was interesting, mostly because of what I learned about the Amish. Castillo really captures the tension between them and the “English” community in what (I thought) was a realistic way. The book also had good pacing and characterization, especially for a relatively short mystery, but the actual plot was less catching (whodunnit easy to figure out). Don’t have much to say about it – it’s one of those books that get a solid three-star because it was good but don’t produce any strong feelings. I’m afraid I’ll forget all about it in a year or two…

When books are told in the first person a good narrator is essential, and in this case Kathleen McInerney discreetly but confidently became Chief Burkholder. She was a good choice for this book – her voice is expressive but calm, which suited the Amish theme, but could also handle the action scenes. Also, she was comfortable with German words and sentences. I’ve added a couple of books to my Audible wish-list because of her, so that’s a good sign!

MissingYou_Coben_lgMissing You by Harlan Coben, narrated by January LaVoy

Yes, that rarest of things: a stand-alone mystery book. But one that was not my cuppa. The story revolves around Detective Kat Donovan, who’s persuaded by a friend to enter an online dating site. On her first time browsing profiles she comes across one with the photo of her first love, but under a different name.

This triggers a plot that involves kidnapping, live burials, mafia, prostitution, closeted parents, mental illness and I don’t know else all wrapped in coincidences that should be confined to Dickens. And don’t get me started on the romance *eyes rolling to the back of my head* Sorry to be this blunt but it’s a short post and it’s that kind of day and that kind of book.

I know Miss Susie, my fellow mystery category armchair judge, disagrees with me, but I felt that LaVoy’s narration was often over the top – she positively purred at some points (see her interpretation of a drunk guy trying to pick up women at a bar). On the positive side, LaVoy’s narration style really matched the book, so she was a good casting choice. I guess?

17910157Providence Rag (Liam Mulligan #3) by Bruce DeSilva, narrated by Jeff Woodman

A bit like Malice, Providence Rag puts a twist on the typical sequence of a mystery plot, which made him stand our from the other books.

During the start of his career as an investigative reporter, Liam Mulligan helps police arrest one of the youngest serial killers in recorded history. The community wants him in jail for life, but a loop-hole in Rhode Island’s law dictates he must be free at 21. Through a series of fabricated charges the killer has been kept in jail, but now one of Liam’s colleagues decides to report on these illegalities, igniting the anger of the justice system and general citizens against the newspaper. While Liam’s colleague pursues a story that will likely release the killer, Liam goes after a legal way to keep him behind bars.

It’s an interesting premise and ethical dilemma that actually sparked a good debate at my dinner table one night. I had fun with the different characters and the way the story was told, with different POVs and with interludes, although I wouldn’t mind a more fleshier characterization of the main people.

Providence Rags probably has the biggest number of speaking parts of all the books in this category and Woodman really does an amazing job in distinguishing each one of them. Often it’s a very subtle different, but just enough for the listener to easily follow a dialogue without getting confused about who’s talking. He managers several different accents, intonations and pitches, which is a hard thing to pull off and a sure indication of the narration’s quality. My first audiobook by him, but definitely not the last.

18214414The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2) by Robert Galbraith, narrated by Robert Glanister

The only book in the list that I listened to before Armchair Audies started, and by far the story that gave me more pleasure to follow. I like to think I’d feel the same if it wasn’t so famous, but who knows? The fact is: JK Rowling is an amazing story-teller and her characterization is on a different level from any other on the mystery list.

This second novel sealed the deal and I’m now completely engaged in the lives of Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacot (and shipping them hard!). It’s also one of those books where you can tell the author is having fun in writing about the publishing business, exposing its dirty little secrets.

As an narrator, Glanister started off with an advantage because I can’t resist a British accent 😉 He doesn’t get as many opportunities to shine as Woodman (see above), but for such a deep voice, it’s pretty impressive the range Glasnister managers to pull off. He doesn’t make women sound too whinny or childish and is the perfect voice for Cormoran (rough with teddy-bearish glimpses). There were some characters that could easily come out as stereotypes if read by a less professional narrator, but Glanister keeps them well under control.

My perdition for the 2015 Armchair Audies mystery category

I’d say it’s a call between Jeff Woodman and Robert Glanister, but since I have to chose one, I’ll go with Woodman. Mostly for his flexibility and creativity in creating so many distinct characters in Providence Rag.

The best of luck to all nominees!

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It’s that time of the year again: the Audible nominations are out and the Armchair Audies are open for business! Jennifer and Bob launched it in 2012 and it rapidly became one of my favorite book bloggers events. Glad to see the Audies gaining track in general, so much so that Audible even has a dedicated page.

The last two years I’ve tackled the History category, but this year I’m changing to Non-fiction. Two reasons: this category is almost always overwhelmingly US-centered and once again Audible doesn’t offer some of the nominees to non-US-based costumers (so frustrating!).

On the other hand, lots of good arguments in favor on Non-fiction this year: all books are available, Malcolm Gladwell, cheese, environmental classics and no book too long.

Are you participating? Which category are you “judging”?

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Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill, narrated by Sandy Rustin
Was always curious about Scientology, it’s good opportunity to know more.
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants written and narrated by Malcolm Gladwell
I’m a Gladwell fan, so this book sealed the deal for me.

The End of Nature 
by Bill McKibben, narrated by Jeff Woodman
A 10th Anniversary Edition of an environmental classic. I’ve heard good things about McKibben.

The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese
 by Michael Paterniti, narrated by L.J. Ganser
CHEESE! This is the one I’m more looking forward to.

Thank You for Your Service
 by David Finkel, narrated by Arthur Bishop
A journalistic-style book about life after coming home from a war.

Yes, it’s that time of the year again: the Virtual Advent Tour is here and this year I have the honor to open the festivities together with Becky.

Being a city girl, I could only experience one of my favorite Portuguese Christmas traditions when we’d spend the holidays with my mother’s family in her hometown. The Christmas Fire (“Fogueira de Natal” or “Queima do Madeiro”) was a special occasion when all the village came together.

On Christmas Eve, just in time for Midnight Mass, the boys of the village would light a big fire in the middle of the church square. The whole village would gatherer around it throughout the whole night, singing, chatting and roasting chouriço.

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All photos from Loriga’s Christmas Fire 2012 taken by Tiago Lucas

Nothing like a roaring fire in a cold night to create a sense of community and coziness. It was really something I looked forward to as a kid and unfortunately haven’t experience for years.

In my mother’s village, Loriga, we kept things pretty simple: the wood was collects by the municipality and the fire was put out on Christmas morning, but other villages around the country have more complex traditions. Some examples:

  • The Fire must never be put out between Christmas and New Year or the Day of the Kings.
  • The wood must be from an olive tree because that was the wood of Christ’s cross. But paganism always finds a way in, so it is also said that the main log should be as fat as possible: the fatter the log, the fatter next year’s pigs.
  • The wood that does not burn must be preserve, to protect homes from thunderstorms and other divine acts of wrath.
  • The wood used in the Fire must be stolen by the village’s young men. The Christmas Fire is part of the traditional “Ritual Thefts” that also happens during the Fires of Easter and the “Popular Saints” (summers solstice).

As with so many Catholic traditions, the Christmas Fire has pagan roots. It started as a celebration of the winter solstice, when many communal fires would be lit out in the open. The Fire would keep Darkness away and symbolize the heat, light and life-giving properties of the returning sun. This is also the origin of the Yule Log.

Merry Christmas everyone! 🙂

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9780143011408This book is set in a world (yes, world, more than place) I don’t usually come across, not event through books, so it was the perfect choice for A More Diverse Universe.

The Whale Rider is about the Māori tribe of Whangara, in particular the relationship between eight-year-old Kahu and her great-grandfather Koro, the chieftain. In each generation a boy is chosen to lead the tribe, so it was a big disappointment for Koro when his first great-grandchild was a girl.

Since Kahu’s birth Koro is on a mission to find the tribe’s future leader outside his closest family, which makes him blind to every attempt by Kahu to get noticed and loved by him. He also doesn’t notice her mysterious abilities, until the whales come to die in Whangara’s bays…

They swam in brilliant shoals, like rain of glittering dust, through the greestone depth – hapukumangakahawai, tamuremoki, and warehou – herded by shark or mango ururoa.

How beautiful is the Māori  language? Not all the book has that many foreign words in one sentence, but the glossary at the end was useful several times.

This is one of those YA books that at first seems simple and sweet but if you think about it long enough becomes complex and sweet. The story alternates between the Whangara family and the story of the whales that are coming towards them. In between you’ll also get snippets of the legend of Whangara tribe’s origins and the reason behind their bond with the whales.

This book stood out to me because the “magical” elements are weaved in in such a subtle way that it made me think twice before actually classifying the book as “fantasy”. Some people told me over Twitter that the movie is even better – do you agree? It entered my list of Favorite Modern Takes on Old Legends.

On the background of Kahu, her great-grandfather and the whales are other stories and events that make this book a great choice for class or bookclub discussion: the rational vs. the irrational, the human vs. the animal, the strength of Māori women, breaking tradition towards an inclusive culture (Kahu being banned from Māori classes because she’s a girl – sniff), racism, etc.

Some people told me that the movie is even better than the book – do you agree? Must get my hands on it soon.

witi_IhimaeraAbout Witi Ihimaera (from the New Zealand Book Council website)
The first Māori writer to publish both a book of short stories and a novel, Witi Ihimaera considers ‘the world I’m in as being Māori, not European,’ and his fiction develops out of this perspective. He creates imaginative new realities for his readers, drawing from autobiographical experience. In 1996 he also moved to foreground his sexuality, describing Nights in the Gardens of Spain as keeping faith with his gay audience.

He writes new work for opera and his novel, The Whale Rider, has become an internationally successful feature film.

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A More Diverse Universe 2013

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Other thoughts: Dogear Diary, Care’s Online Bookclub, the Brooke and the Bookish, Buried in Print, Fifty Books Project (yours?)

One of my favorite blogging events of 2013 was the first edition of The Armchair Audies, organized by the Literary Housewife and the Guilded Earlobe. The idea is that bloggers choose at least one category of the Audies Awards, listen to all the nominated titles, and then make their predictions.

Last year I chose the History category, had lots of fun, but failed miserably in my prediction. After seeing the 2013 nominees I’ve decided to stick to History, even though, as last year, there’s an overwhelming focus given to American History (and the world so big!).

Here they are:

 

Da-Vincis-Ghost-2781964Da Vinci’s Ghost: Genius, Obsession, and How Leonardo Created the World in His Own Image
Toby Lester
Read by Stephen Hoye (Tantor Media)

The story behind the Vitruvian Man – the nominee I’m most curious about.

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hash-9e50e4ffcbd9f8ddfe3385fe3295495b6a57f04cSeason of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love
David Talbot
Arthur Morey (Brilliance Audio)

A history of San Francisco in the crazy years between 1967 and 1982, “when the city radically changed itself—and then revolutionized the world“.

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UntitledL.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City
John Buntin
Read by Kirby Heyborne (Tantor Media)

After San Fran in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, enter LA in the 50s. Portrayed as “the white spot of America“, it hid “crooked cops, ruthless newspaper tycoons, corrupt politicians, and East Coast gangsters“.

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Twelve-Desperate-Miles-2804587Twelve Desperate Miles: The Epic World War II Voyage of the SS Contessa
Tim Brady
Read by Joe Barrett (AudioGO)

How cool does this sound? It’s a movie in the making:

“The Dirty Dozen meets Band of Brothers in this true story of how a rusty old New Orleans banana boat staffed with an unlikely crew of international merchant seamen, a gang of inmates from a local jail, and a French harbor pilot spirited out of Morocco by O.S.S. agents in the trunk of a Chevy, were drafted into service in WWII — and heroically succeeded in setting the stage for Patton’s epic invasion of North Africa.”

UntitledThe Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-Kept Secret
Kent Harman
Read by Dan John Miller (Tantor Media)

A book about the West Coast’s recording studio scene of the ’60s. A bit too similar to Season of the Witch, but it still sounds… groovy.

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UntitledPacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942
Ian W. Toll
Read by Grover Gardner (Audible, Inc.)

Pacific Crucible tells the story of the first months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history (Pearl Harbor) and seized the strategic initiative.

I though military war, especially naval, was not my cuppa until I started reading Patrick O’Brian. I’m hoping this book will have the same effect.

2012 was an emotional roller-coaster, but there were some really cool things happening:

  • Got pregnant!
  • Touched a stone that came from the Moon
  • Flew a kite for the first time (a kite I made myself!)
  • Climbed the Etna Volcano in Sicily
  • Watched Firefly for the first time and became a committed Browncoat
  • Watched Doctor Who for the first time and became a committed Whovian
  • Learned how to cook Brussels sprouts to perfection
  • Tasted Key Lime Pie in Key West and Muscat d’Alsace in Alsace
  • Touched the oldest tree in Belgium: Caesarsboom

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I also did pretty well in the books department (considering), although I didn’t read as many as in 2011 – 84 books (minus 15). What I’m really proud of are the results of my 2012 Literary Commitments. They were:

Less challenges, more read-alongs and other community-building events

I only joined two challenges but participated in lots of other events* such as read-alongs, card and book swaps, special days, joint-reads, etc. They were all successful in making me interact more with the book blogging community, which was extremely rewarding. If I had to choose my favorite event of year I’d go for the 1st edition of the Armchair Audies organized by The Literate Housewife and The Guilded Earlobe.

Read more in different languages

Unfortunately I didn’t pick up any Spanish books, but I did read six in Portuguese and three in French.

Re-read more

I re-read seven books (only three in 2011) and they were among the best of the year.

Read War & Peace

Check!

Celebrate Dickens & Shakespeare

Dickens was never a favorite, but because of his anniversary I was determined to honor him. I ended up doing it by reading Claire Tomalin’s biography and A Christmas Carol.

I had never read anything by Shakespeare until 2012, when I tackled A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth. Also, I watched two of his plays: A Comedy of Errors and Henry V (a great midnight session at the Globe Theater in London).

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At the Globe Theater, in good company, waiting for the show to start…

Like I said, feeling pretty good about these commitments 🙂

Now a bit of geekish statistics (2011 figures between brackets).

formatFormat

All pretty much the same, except there was a slight increase in ebooks, probably because of the Project Gutenberg Project.

Genre

Genre

Disclaimer: not an exact science, just some figures to give me an idea if what I’ve been up to (e.g. a classic can also be historical and a mystery, a YA can also be sci-fi or fantasy, etc).

Last year, the top “genre” was fantasy but apparently this was a classics year (only 4th place in 2011). Interesting to see the slight decrease in “uncategorized fiction”. Children’s books also had a relatively big cut (something tells me that will change in the upcoming years…).

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Type

Also not an exact division (at least one graphic novels was non-fiction).

The supremacy of fiction once again, no surprise there. I’m proud of my adventure into theater and my intro to poetry.

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languages

Languages

Better, but not quite there yet. Would love to increase the other two languages and include Spanish (which I actually read better than French).

Looking at my list I notice I’ve only read one translated book – War & Peace – but then again, I can argue that for me reading in English is reading translated lit…

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PLANS FOR 2013

No plans

With a baby on the way it’s best if I really don’t make any big plans for 2013. I can only say that I’ll try to be around as much as possible and read as much as possible. Some general ideas:

  • Continue to re-read more (thinking about 84 Charing Cross Road, another Guy Gavriel Kay, another Austen, North & South)
  • Continue to read in different languages. Before the baby news hit, 2013 was suppose to be my year to learn more about Portuguese history. I’ll still try to give it a go.
  • Participate in the Armchair Audies 2013

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Happy 2013 everyone!

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*2012 book blogging events, for posterity:

Read-alongs
The Importance of Being EarnestRed Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastards #2)A Midsummer Night’s DreamMacbeth

Challenges
Southern Literature Challenge, Africa Reading Challenge

Special Days
Ada Lovelace Day 2012The Daphne du Maurier SeasonShakespeare Reading Month

Swaps
All Hallow’s Read SwapVirtual Advent Tour 2012Book Bloggers Holiday Card Exchange

Buddy-reads
The Meantime – Nine short stories from Brussels (with Joanna), Tea With Mr. Rochester (with Shannon) and O Testamento do SrNapumoceno da Silva Araújo (with Francesca)

Other projects
Where in the World are you Reading?Armchair AudiesReading Shakespeare Project: a Play a MonthBook Blogger Buddy System, Small Press Fortnight, Project Gutenberg Project (cont. from 2010)

img_606X341_1211-Christmas-Tree-Polemics-Brussels (1)(credits)

Brussels-Christmas-Tree

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What you see above is one of the most talked about topics in Brussels and has even made it to international media. Instead of the real tree that usually adorns the city’s Grand Place during the holidays, this year the City Council decided to dabble in the modern arts and try something new.

The result is called “Xmas 3”, a 24 meter high electronic structure made mostly of steel. For 4 euros, you can even climb it and get a 360° view of the UNESCO-protected square.

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(what the usual tree looks like –  credits)

As you can imagine, it wasn’t a popular decision. Since its inauguration, around 25,000 signatures have been collected in an online petition against it, and it has been a recurrent topic in the media. The reasons that lead to the decision of doing away with the tradition tree vary. While the official stand is that it’s a way to show-case the city’s “avant-garde character”, others believe it’s a politically correct choice, so as not to offend non-Christians, especially Muslims. This sparkled a lot of debate about larger social issues.

Whatever the reasons, no one is indifferent to it. I’ve heard it called “The Scaffolding” and “The Pharmacy” because when green the glowing cubes look like the popular green cross.

What say you?

A video of the daily light show around the tree (it’s quite a sight…)

It’s not everyday I get to read a book set in my adopted city of Brussels, so I got all excited when I found out about The Meantime.

My fellow Brussels expat Joanna and I got together to do a buddy-review, and one of the authors (thanks Monica!) gave each of us a give-away copy (a first for The Sleepless Reader) . So if you’re interested in knowing more about this unique-yet-largely-unknown city, just post a comment with your email and I’ll do the  lottery on the 13th. It’s open internationally.

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Meantime-Nine-short-Stories-From-Brussel-Monica-Westeren-Alfredo-Zucchi-Dany-G.-ZuwenAlex: I sometimes think how cool it must be for people who live in places like New York or London to often see their cities in books. This is the first time I’ve ever read a book set in Brussels, which is strange because it has such a unique history and environment. First impressions: I liked the variety of the authors’ nationalities and was surprised how that translated in stories that made a lot of sense put together.

I though there where some that really captured what I see as the essence of Brussels: the quick connections, the mutability, the melting-pot, the new-comers sense of being adrift and yet the possibilities, the grayness of the sky.

Joanna: I thought the same thing about finally reading a book set in a city I know! Brussels is such a unique city too, international like many others, but more transient I think. I always thought that many aspects of life here would be interesting for others to read about too, just like it’s fun for me to read about the excitement of New York.

In general, I liked some of the stories more than others, but I guess that’s the beauty of a short story collection, there is something for everyone. Several of the stories brought me back to my younger years spent here, the years of not really knowing myself and not really understanding what I wanted and all the confusion offered by the endless choices of life in Brussels.

Which story did you identify with the most?

Alex: I’d have to chose the first one, [insert title + author when I’m closer to the book], about the guy starting to fall in love but at the same time applying for the job in South America. I was also like that when “landing” here – the feeling of being without any anchor, but also of knowing that everything is starting and that the possibilities are endless.

I’ve had job interviews here that went exactly like that… and also loved to see the sentence that starts most Brussels conversations “Where are you from?” I felt this story really captured the essence of my Brussels: transient, definitely, but also full of energy and a true melting pot. A bit of a micro-cosmos that tends to turn towards only itself (isn’t that the criticism of most people who don’t live here?).

I though that some of the stories were only set in Brussels and didn’t do much towards capturing the unique spirit of place. A missed opportunity, I guess. What was you favorite?

Joanna: I don’t know if I have a favorite, I identified aspects of several of the stories. In “The Lovely Streets”, I liked the mention of all the choices available to a 20-something, but also the mention of none of those choices involving passion or love. So we make our choices based on what a great opportunity they are in general, but we don’t stop to think about what we REALLY want to do with our lives. I was like that too and only recently stopped chasing ‘great opportunities’ to figure out what makes ME happy.

I also loved the small talk in ‘A Belgian Wedding Picture’. I think all the weddings I’ve been to here have been exactly like that! And I loved the “The Commissioner and the Pig”, the working life was really realistic… until the ending, which I didn’t think rang true of anything.

Oh and all the languages worked into “From Brussels South to Ottignes” and the sad, distant relationship in “Bear Dance”.

Basically, I can’t say I loved any of the stories, but I liked aspects in many. I also disliked a couple, I didn’t think they fit in with the rest of the collection…

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Alex: There were also some stories that didn’t do it for me (or maybe it’s just a Brussels I don’t recognize?). But it surprised me how the big majority felt like they were part of a set, probably because they were all told in the first person and the main characters had more or less the same age – I understand that was part of the challenge set in a Creative Writing class that kick-started the whole project?

One last thought: when finishing I wondered if people who don’t love here would get the Brussels thing. Why it is such a unique and interesting place to live. I think it’s likely they would, that’s why I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it to everyone.

Joanna: Yes, it was a Creative Writing group that ended up writing this book – their requirements for the stories were that all the stories should be written in the first person, the main characters should be 25-35 years old and the story should take place in Brussels. They ended up with such a variety of stories and I think that people would definitely get the Brussels thing based on them. Recommended to anyone who wants to read an original collection about a place that’s underrepresented in literature.

where-in-the-world-are-you-reading1TrishKailana and Lisa have come up with an interesting monthly meme – Where in the World Are You Reading – to get bloggers to share a piece of home. Each month will have a different theme.

This month: Companion
December: Holiday Reading Escape

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It’s clear that this month’s theme had a pet in mind, but since I don’t have one, I’ll post a picture of me and my most frequent reading buddy: a nice cup of tea.

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And with a theme like Companion, I can’t resist also adding a little geeky inside-joke. I’m only missing an Inara figurine!

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