ARCs I Must Review and Stuff I Really Want to Read But Got Too Distracted

These are things that I have to review or things I’ve been wanting to read and never got to it yet. My reading moods have been changing too much. 

1. California by Edan Lepucki (the only physical one I have)

2. The Tragedy of Fidel Castro by Joao Cerqueira

3. Love Alone by Paul Monette

4. The Spartak Trigger by Bryce Allen

5. Living in Dog Years by E. Bell 

6. Charactered Pieces by Caleb J. Ross

7. These Days by Jack Cheng

8. Endlessly by C.V. Hunt

9. Confessions From a Dark Wood by Eric Raymond

10. The Tragic Fate of Moritz Tot by Dana Todorovic

11. Ambient Florida Position by Josh Spilker

12. The Map of the Invisible World by Tash Aw

13. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (FINISH IT OFF ALREADY!)

Book Review: When You Were Pixels by Julio-Alexi Genao


Pages: 32
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance, LGBTQIA
Format: E-book

Oh short stories, I rarely read you but when I come across the little single ones that are always lonely, I always pick them and gobble them up. That sounds super creepy. I don’t even know if that made sense. So one day, I discovered this while scrolling down on Goodreads and the author of Findesferas, Leo X. Robertson, added this book and gave it great ratings. I’m assuming he’s Goodreads famous? So I was attracted by the covers color’s, because I’m a dork like that. 

“A standalone short story in the Syntax universe.
An assassin has come to Tower Oh-Seven-Two, and no one can keep him from his target.
Only minutes from escape, he suffers a violent seizure, collapsing in a service corridor.
A lonely surveillance operator becomes the only person in the building to see him fall. Antho is no murderer, but in watching the killer stumble he recognizes something that links the two of them together.
When he rescues the assassin in secret, he finds the monster on his screen is only a young man, cursed with the effects of a trauma as outsized as his deadly skill—and somehow linked to the stirring of a terrifying power. Unable to walk away, Antho makes a choice that could cost them both their lives.
He takes the assassin home.”

So my thoughts on this are generally positive, really positive. Julio’s writing is freaking beautiful, like poetry. Emotions drip from those words of his. The science fiction stuff, the setting and the actions scene are cool. However, what makes this little story brilliant, is his freaking writing. It’s just hungers for the reader’s emotions, you can feel Antho’s aching loneliness, his passion, his pain. It’s a story of being human, in a world where it seems to be irrelevant, where survival and pixels are the only thing. I read this all in one sitting on a school night when I’m suppose to go to sleep early. It’s totally worth it, I hate to say this but here is the internet way of describing this: “It gives you the feels.” It’s so human in  a robotic and lonely world (cuz you know futuristic stuff). When I found out this was a series, oh boy was I happy. I’m looking forward to this and Julio-Alexi keep writing, keep doing what you love, because it’s awesome. So if you’re looking for a sci-fi story that will make you want to cry, then read this. You can feel everything, the back breaking sadness, the loneliness, the need to fill one’s self with the presence of another being. Again, I write really incoherent reviews of things I like. 

                                                                     Rating: 5/5

My Writing Blog

Sometimes I write stuff for fun. I started during my Junior year and hadn’t stopped since. I hate writing about writing, and I think my writing kind of sucks, but I like doing it. After leaving four manuscripts incomplete and deleting them all recently, I finished a novella a few months ago, I think in January. So far, I had finished two novellas and I’m rewriting and editing them. I deleted all of my old manuscripts because they were embarrassing or the plot just went nowhere. So now I only have two complete novella manuscripts. My writing improves with every new manuscript or rewrite but I don’t know if it’s “good”. So talking about writing is something that I am reluctant to do. I once left a short story document open and my brother laughed at the first few sentences. However, he’s not really much of a reader, so I don’t know if the story really was horrible or he was just trying to lower my self esteem. It was a story from my creative writing class and I fail at writing short stories, so yeah. I also finished a chapbook called “Happiness is too Loud”. Every thing that I post about my writings are all on this blog, Little By Little. If it’s terrible let me know. 

Friday Reads #23: Reading is Going a Bit Slow

1. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

Pages: 184
Genre: Horror
Format: E-book

This is really freaking creepy, disturbing, and wonderful. I’m reading it kind of slow now because apparently am in a book funk. However, I really love this one. 

2. N.P. by Banana Yoshimoto 

To slowly crawl out of my book funk, i took this out of the library for a nice and light read. This is my first time reading Banana Yoshimoto.

Set Aside:

3. Woes of the True Policeman by Roberto Bolaño 
I love Bolaño, he’s a cool writer, but this one caused my book funk. It’s also one of his least popular on Goodreads. I can probably see why.

Book Review: My Noiseless Entourage by Charles Simic


Pages: 80
Genre: Poetry
Format: E-book

Well, this blog has been inactive for quite  awhile. This post won’t be too long anyway, because it’s poetry, and this book wasn’t as good as the beautiful book cover. 

Oyster is called “The Netflix for books” and that was how I discovered this and a bunch of others books that have been on my wishlist. There were also books I’ve never heard of. How do you think that Tao Lin novel got here? I never bought it yet in physical form. I technically ‘rented it’

There are plenty of poetry books on there. I didn’t know any of them, but chose this one.

The poetry is nice. The words are nice and build pretty images. it was more word candy than anything. I didn’t really feel anything and  a lot of them weren’t really  thought provoking. They were simple, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, there are a few that I genuinely like. However, this was really forgettable. It wasn’t my cup of tea and I don’t know, I finished it, it was a nice, quick read, but my feelings for it were blank. It actually caused my blogging funk.

                                                                        Rating: 2/5 

Friday Reads#22: I have no Idea what the heck to read anymore, too many books

1.Woes of the True Policeman by Roberto Bolaño 


Pages: 250
Genre: Contemporary, Spanish Literature
Format: Hardcover

I love Bolaño, as you guys already know. I hope this one is better than The Third Reich.

2. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks


Pages: 184
Genre: Contemporary, Horror?
Format: E-book

I’ve been wanting to read this book forever and then one day it was on sale, I’ve never been happier to buy an e-book. 

Book Review: Findesferas by Leo X. Robertson


Pages: 276
Genre: Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Science Fiction
Format: E-book

So here’s a book that I discovered through the blog TNBBC. I don’t really read too many self-published books, not because I don’t like any of them, but because I just don’t really know a lot of them or they don’t catch my interest. I also think that a lot of self published authors that don’t have much art or photoshop skills should keep the cover minamalistic or with a nice simple design, depending on the genre. There’s way too many ugly covers and I know that sounds shallow but I don’t want to read a book with a picture of a muscular  man in love with a horse woman, okay? okay. I don’t think my explanation of the plot in this story would be explained well with my words. So here it is:

“During an oil crisis-induced war in South America, Findesferas tells the story of Juan and his twin brother Matias as they fight to stay alive in the hopes of returning to their home, and normality. Juan is a poet, but since the death of his wife, he can’t seem to recapture the same creativity he used to pour into his work. Carrying a dark secret that threatens to ruin his life, can he forgive himself and make it out alive, or will his inability to escape the past destroy him? Matías’ wife Octavia is in a civilian holding in Paraguay’s capital, Asunción, trying to forge a new life with her son. When the Pombero, a malevolent spirit, comes to visit them, her brief period of calm is brought abruptly to an end, and she must make a difficult decision: offer the Pombero a live sacrifice, or let him take the twins instead. Findesferas considers the lengths we will go to in order to protect our loved ones, find new energy sources or change the past.”

Anyway, this novel is freaking wonderful. I LOVE magical realism, I don’t know why. Historical fiction is also another big favorite of mine and it’s pulled off quite well. There’s a good amount of historical and scientific facts or information, so not only are you reading a fantastical novel, you are learning a lot of history and science associated with oil and the War of the Triple Alliance. I also loved the bilingual stuff, it kind of made the novel more realistic because obviously not everyone speaks English. 

The characters are pretty developed and they do change and regret their decisions (that’s pretty much character development right?). They all have their own little unique thing and they all have their conflicts. That was pretty much most of the novel, fighting against their conflict and their human flaws. Unfortunately one of them had a pretty terrible fate (is that a spoiler?). Of course there are likeable characters and dislikable characters. I feel like every time I like a book a lot, it’s really hard to review, what’s up with that?

Like a lot of magical realist novels I have read, it has a really dreamy atmosphere, which you would expect and the tense feeling of a family that is slowly being torn apart. The relationship between the brothers are real and sad, because you know it’s not going to last long and the war raging through Paraguay destroys the relationships between the family and the people who live on the land.

There seems to be a whole political or social message going on in this novel, in my opinion. This thing with fighting over oil has been happening for a few years. I don’t always pay attention to the news and when the war was happening, I was still not paying attention. I could be horribly wrong, but the war between the U.S. and Iraq was apparently over oil? We human beings are so darn selfish and greedy, that we fight over oil. However, without oil, we won’t have electricity, plastic, and a lot of other things that you wouldn’t expect needed oil. 

Then there’s some romance, but a very fragmented and dysfunctional love relationship. Love wears away, people start to ignore each other and forget they exist. They change and the former self remains in our heads, the one that we refuse to delete regardless if it’s good or bad.

Then there’s a part, the science fiction part, where it’s all futuristic and spacey. I don’t want to spoil it, this probably is a spoiler, but the ending of the Findesferas section of the book made me want to yell “OIL IS PEOPLE!” (Soylent Green movie reference, “SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!”).  

The writing is great, descriptive but without overdoing. It flows nicely, it’s pretty good for his debut novel. It doesn’t even feel like a debut novel, it feels like his second or his third. Maybe he obsessive compulsively writes his drafts over and over?

My review will probably not give this justice, but it was an enjoyable novel, thought provoking, and entertaining novel. I don’t think I felt bored reading it because the chapters were so short. It has everything I love history, drama, science, magical realism or fantasy. There were some parts that left me confused, like the beginning, I still don’t know why the marshal ended up in maybe a glass tube thing. Some sort of weird purgatory? Maybe that was the point, because magical realism, there’s no logical explanation for the strange things. Maybe I missed it? So yeah, fun read. 

                                                               Rating: 4.5/5