Hello readers! It’s the time in the semester where I am now required to read all sorts of books for final papers. I’ve included them in this month’s TBR along with a few fun books. If Spanish/Mexican culture interests you, then stick around! These books are quite interesting. If not, you are more than welcome to skip this month and come back to our regularly scheduled fiction reads for December.
Click on a title to view its synopsis:
It All Begins and Ends at The Kentucky Club
Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz
Genre: Fiction, Short stories
Goodreads Synopsis: Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s stories reveal how all borders real, imagined, sexual, human, the line between dark and light, addict and straightentangle those who live on either side. Take, for instance, the Kentucky Club on Avenida Juárez two blocks south of the Rio Grande. It’s a touchstone for each of Sáenz’s stories. His characters walk by, they might go in for a drink or to score, or they might just stay there for a while and let their story be told. Sáenz knows that the Kentucky Club, like special watering holes in all cities, is the contrary to borders. It welcomes Spanish and English, Mexicans and gringos, poor and rich, gay and straight, drug addicts and drunks, laughter and sadness, and even despair. It’s a place of rich history and good drinks and cold beer and a long polished mahogany bar. Some days it smells like piss. “I’m going home to the other side.” That’s a strange statement, but you hear it all the time at the Kentucky Club.
What I am writing about: I am using this book to write a final paper about the construction of social space inside the bar itself. This bar is located in my hometown and has a lot of personal significance to everyone in the area. It’s a place where cultural and societal differences fade and everyone can enjoy a good margarita. I’m going to use the short stories to draw a conclusion on how and why people use this space. I loved Alire-Saenz’s young adult novels and I am so glad I get to jump back into his writing for school.
Let me know if you would be interested in seeing a review!
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Miguel de Unamuno
Genre: Nivola, Fiction
Goodreads synopsis: A Augusto Pérez, un hombre bueno y simple, pero filósofo y mujeriego –o mejor dicho, admirador del bello sexo– fueron su entusiasmo y la voluntad del propio Unamuno, su creador, los que le llevaron a la tumba.
(Translation) : Augusto Pérez, a good and simple man, but a philosopher and womanizer – or rather, admirer of the beautiful sex – was his enthusiasm and the will of Unamuno himself, his creator, who took him to the grave.
What I am writing about: I am planning to analyze gender in this very famous Spanish novel. Specifically how the female characters embrace or challenge the image of the ideal woman in Francoist Spain. Hopefully this topic gets approved or else I will resort to writing about the men and their existential crises.
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Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: Science Fiction
Goodreads Synopsis: The sequel to VICIOUS, V.E. Schwab’s first adult novel.
Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.
Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.
My thoughts so far: I am LOVING this book so far! I won’t say too much because it is a sequel, but I am flying through it. Be on the lookout for a full review in the next couple of days.
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Author: Marisha Pessl
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Mystery
Goodreads Synopsis: Once upon a time, back at Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley and her six best friends were the cool kids, the beautiful ones. Then the shocking death of Jim—their creative genius and Beatrice’s boyfriend—changed everything.
One year after graduation, Beatrice is returning to Wincroft—the seaside estate where they spent so many nights sharing secrets, crushes, plans to change the world—hoping she’ll get to the bottom of the dark questions gnawing at her about Jim’s death. But as the night plays out in a haze of stilted jokes and unfathomable silence, Beatrice senses she’s never going to know what really happened.
Then a mysterious man knocks on the door. Blithely, he announces the impossible: time for them has become stuck, snagged on a splinter that can only be removed if the former friends make the harshest of decisions. Now Beatrice has one last shot at answers… and at life.
And so begins the Neverworld Wake.
Why its on my TBR: I wanted to read another book for fun this month. I wanted somenthing short and captivating and this is what fit the bill. This book has been sitting on my shelf for the past two months and I am ready and excited to jump right in. I don’t know much other than what is written in the synopsis and I want to keep it that way. I think this is one of those books where the less you know the better. Although, I have heard a lot of positive reviews and that’s an excellent sign.
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