How I (subjectively) evaluate books

Five star books:

Only my best-of-all books come into this category. The most beloved childhood books (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, O Sítio do Picapau Amarelo); the books that started my love for science-fiction (The Robots Of Dawn, Brave New World, Star Trek: The Lost Years) and fantasy (The Mists of Avalon), the most beloved romances and poems (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Pride and Prejudice, Love in the Time of Cholera, Wuthering Heights, The Phantom of the Opera, Federico Garcia Lorca: Selected Poems) have a place in my Five Star Favorite’s list. These are books that remained with me after I finished reading them. I will be happy if one days the style of my books approach them and for me these books add a lot of fun and beauty to the world.

Four Stars and Three Star books:

These were very entertaining books, they didn’t remain in my heart as much as the five star ones, but they were still worth reading and a pleasure to read. I usually give four stars to the ones who were really entertaining and three to the ones which were fun, but not as great as the former ones. This is a bit of a gray area though, especially if I read a book more than ten years ago. It can be that there is a star too little due to the distance of time. One day I might read these books again, only to refresh my memory, if one day I have finished my To-be-read list of new books.

Two Stars books:

I do acknowledge the effort of the authors in writing these books, but they somehow failed to impress me in a positive manner. My opinion is neutral, and even if as usual, I like to read something new, I would rather not pick up the same book again. They might be someone else’s five stars, but aren’t so special in my opinion. In the end, it’s only a matter of personal taste.

One Star books:

These few books left a lasting negative impression on me and I would avoid giving them to anyone. Funnily enough, this only means that I considered them not at all my taste, but they can be someone else’s cup of tea. I remember reading Pollyanna and hating every moment of it, in my opinion, this book only taught a whole generation of unfortunate girls to be constantly smiling and lying to themselves instead of fighting for a better life, so this is one of my one star books. I also started reading Hyperion and found the book so confusing, I just couldn’t finish it, so it got one star too. I must say though that the mere fact that the book is listed and marked as one star shows that I found it worth mentioning, something like: “This is spinach and I don’t like it, but perhaps you find it great”. After all, aren’t we all subjective readers?

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New story from me in the March Issue of Far Horizons!

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“The Faerie Assembly”, my fantasy story with science fiction elements, is on the March issue of the digital magazine Far Horizons. Don’t miss it!

http://www.joomag.com/magazine/far-horizons-tales-of-sci-fi-fantasy-and-horr/0672579001426644083

The “Seven Things You Don’t Know About Me As A Writer” challenge.

I’ll take up the challenge:
1) I love writing. I wouldn’t write if I wouldn’t need to express myself in order to be balanced.
2) I write in English because since I was 14, I always read science fiction and fantasy English books (they were much cheaper than the translated books). One day I will translate my stories to Portuguese if I have time for that.
3) I have a general outline, but I’m mainly spontaneously a Pantser and not a Plotter. The inspired Writing zone feels to me like a word fire.
4) I’m emotionally involved in my writing. I don’t like to read intellectual books without passion so I would never write like that.
5) I love Plot twists and surprises. If my book is not a roller coaster of emotions for my readers, I have failed as a writer.
6) I rather use too little words than too many. Most books feel over explained and made too long for my patience. It is important for me to never bore my readers and I try never to explain too much.
7) I try never to think of sales when I write. We live in a world where bad books are bestsellers, so I don’t think I’ll ever be there and I’ll feel strange if I sell many books. But I don’t really count on it. Lol

My thoughts on the film Before Midnight. (This post contains spoilers)

I saw Before Sunrise and Before Sunset many years ago and I liked both films. Of course, in reality, most love couples don’t talk so much. Part of being a couple is to be part of the silent liaison a couple consists of, but again, the dialogues are what make both films so interesting.

And now, at the start of my forties and the mother of two small children, I saw Before Midnight. I couldn’t help, but to sympathize and also sometimes to commiserate with Céline.

Céline wants to leave Jesse. And I can completely understand her. How it happens that the guy doesn’t know the name of their child’s pediatrician? A father has to be present. My husband often takes the children to the doctor, takes care of them regularly, is a great father and even though my life is filled up with work all the time. I understand when Céline says that she thought about ending her life sometimes because taking care of the twins was too much for her. I understand when she says she cried when she didn’t know what to do as a mother and that made her feel guilty. Mothers sometimes feel this way. The important thing is that sometimes a husband is there to support you and sometimes he isn’t.

She then asks Jesse if he cheated on her with a fan while on a book tour and he just admits to it. Did I understand this wrong? In the film, this seems to be quickly forgotten and forgiven. Usually, a betrayal is a big deal in a couple, so I didn’t understand the idea that this isn’t more than a detail in the film.

And finally, should Céline exchange Paris for Chicago? Should she just give up her old job and give up a new better paying job in order to accommodate Jesse? Sorry, but how can she even consider such a thing? Jesse just confessed to having cheated on her.

What Céline needs is to think of herself more often. She should look for her happiness, remind Jesse of his duties as a father, get the best paying job if this is what she wants. She should not sacrifice her happiness. She has done her share of taking care of Jesse, his son, and their daughters without asking for anything in return. In the film, Jesse comes to her table and promises her that things will be better for them for now on. Let him prove her he’s being honest.