Review: “Enigma Variations” by Andre Aciman

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André Aciman, hailed as a writer of “fiction at its most supremely interesting” (The New York Review of Books), has written a novel that charts the life of a man named Paul, whose loves remain as consuming and as covetous throughout his adulthood as they were in his adolescence. Whether the setting is southern Italy, where as a boy he has a crush on his parents’ cabinetmaker, or a snowbound campus in New England, where his enduring passion for a girl he’ll meet again and again over the years is punctuated by anonymous encounters with men; whether he’s on a tennis court in Central Park, or on a New York sidewalk in early spring, his attachments are ungraspable, transient, and forever underwritten by raw desire—not for just one person’s body but, inevitably, for someone else’s as well.

In Enigma Variations, Aciman maps the most inscrutable corners of passion, proving to be an unsparing reader of the human psyche and a master stylist. With language at once lyrical, bare-knuckled, and unabashedly candid, he casts a sensuous, shimmering light over each facet of desire to probe how we ache, want, and waver, and ultimately how we sometimes falter and let go of those who may want to offer only what we crave from them. Ahead of every step Paul takes, his hopes, denials, fears, and regrets are always ready to lay their traps. Yet the dream of love lingers. We may not always know what we want. We may remain enigmas to ourselves and to others. But sooner or later we discover who we’ve always known we were.

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Review: “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng

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Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.

So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.

A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another. Continue reading

Review:”History Is All You Left Me” by Adam Silvera

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From the New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not comes an explosive examination of grief, mental illness, and the devastating consequences of refusing to let go of the past.

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life. Continue reading

Blog Post: 17 Novelas En Español Con Personajes LGBT

Note: For the awesome people following this blog – this week I am making an exception, and writing a blog post in Spanish, in which I will recommend 17 novels with LGBT characters. This is with the purpose of promoting LGBTQ+ narratives in Spanish. Given the latest events regarding the LGBTQ+ community in Mexico, I think  that now it’s more important than ever to highlight these stories, and to have readers reach them, if possible in their native language. 

Love is love.

Vale, hace un par de semanas tuvo lugar la marcha del Frente Nacional por la Familia. La marcha supone apoyar la familia natural. Por familia natural entendemos papá, mamá e hijos. Al mismo tiempo la marcha dejaba muy en claro su postura acerca de los homosexuales, y la adopción por parte de matrimonios de parejas del mismo sexo, abogando que los gays no tienen porque adoptar, y es que… las criaturas! Continue reading

Review: “The Woman In Cabin 10” by Ruth Ware

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From New York Times bestselling author of the “twisty-mystery” (Vulture) novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, comes The Woman in Cabin 10, an equally suspenseful novel from Ruth Ware—this time, set at sea.

In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another intense read. Continue reading

Review: “Practice Makes Perfect” by Jay Northcote

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Getting experience with the guy next door seems like a great idea—until the lines blur.

Dev, a geeky first year physics student, has zero sexual experience and he’s determined to change that ASAP. After a bad time in halls of residence, he’s starting the summer term with different housemates and a new plan of action.

Ewan lives in the house next door to Dev. He’s young, free and single, and isn’t looking to change that anytime soon. When awkward circumstances throw them together, Ewan offers to help Dev out in the bedroom in return for maths tutoring, and Dev jumps at the chance.

They work their way through Dev’s sex-to-do list, but what starts as a perfect no-strings arrangement gets more complicated as their feelings for each other begin to grow. If they’re going to turn their lessons in lovemaking into something more permanent, they need to work out how they feel about each other—before they get to the end of Dev’s list. Continue reading

Review:”Night Train To Berlin”by Margaret de Rohan

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‘Are you going to Scarborough Fair?’

This is the question a stranger asks a woman at Les Invalides in Paris. She spontaneously responds with the next line of the English folk song, and the man walks away without a further word.

Ten minutes later he is seriously injured in a hit-and-run incident nearby which witnesses say looked deliberate. Who is this man? Why does he seem fixated on something due to happen in Berlin on the 15th March: the Ides of March about which Julius Caesar was warned prior to his assassination in 44BC? And what is the connection with the Scarborough Fair folk song and Simon and Garfunkel in New York in 1985?

The woman’s husband, Chief Inspector Philippe Maigret of the Police Nationale de Paris, fears that what the man said was the mistaken approach of a spy – or a terrorist – and that his wife’s life is now in danger. Who was this man’s real contact? And why was he being followed by someone with links to a Middle Eastern country’s security services? When his wife and grandson disappear from the overnight train from Paris to Berlin less than a week later, Chief Inspector Maigret steps up his investigation with the help of Chief Inspector Clive Scott from Scotland Yard and they race through Europe to get their answers in a new Jaguar ‘borrowed’ from the British Embassy in Paris…

Can Scarborough Fair really be in Berlin? And can it take place on the Ides of March? All will be revealed in this gripping thriller that will appeal to lovers of suspense and Francophiles alike. Continue reading