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Stolen from daybreak777. Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag ten friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them!

Not in a particular order.

1. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.
2. Hyperion by Dan Simmons.
3. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.
4. A Storm of Swords by G.R.R Martin.
5. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.
6. Socrates in Love (also known Crying Out Love, In the Center of the World, which is the more accurate translatation) by Kyoichi Katayama.
7. In the Woods and The Likeness by Tana French (kinda cheating here but I read them back to back and they will always go together in my head).
8. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
9. It by Stephen King.
10. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

There are quite a lot that I've read in the last few years, some of them that I read when I was quite young and I should revisit at some point, and I am probably forgetting a few, but all these affected me in one way or the other.


Deep question of the day. Why do I keep falling for doomed ‘ships? I am serious about this, you guys, it’s getting so frustrating. I’ve been thinking about this matter the whole evening (yup, any excuse to not study) and I can’t remember any fictional pairing I’ve shipped in the last ten years or so that hasn’t been utterly doomed. And I might love angst a bit too much, but I’ve reached a point where this is killing me, because I am the kind of girl who gets invested, sometimes too invested, and then… bam! Disaster. I am so sick of it. I want to be happy, you know? *cries*

In case you are wondering why I am bringing this up now, I’ve been marathoning Mad Men lately (I have many thoughts/feeling about this show, by the way. It has its ups and downs and it’s not perfect by any stretch, but I’ve come to really love it). So, as I was saying, I’ve been watching episode after episode and shipping Ted and Peggy quite a bit this season. IDK, I just find them kinda adorable and I’ve enjoyed the way they work together and laugh together and have each other on those crazy pedestals –and as a fan of Peggy, I love how Ted appreciates her talents in a way that’s been very refreshing. And then the finale happened and everything went to hell. I knew something like this was inevitable because this is Mad Men after all, but whyyyyyy?

By the way, I am getting tired that every time a male character is portrayed as sensitive/emotional/candid he is written off as pathetic or weak or a wimp. I just love Ted, Okay? Even when he is being a jerk. And hey, who can blame him for falling for Peggy? I really hope we’ll be seeing him next season.

I am watching Before Midnight in a couple of weeks and I swear that if Jesse and Celine don’t get a happily ever after I am going to kill someone --I’ve heard the movie is excellent but doesn’t leave you with warm and fuzzies. Which is perfectly fine. I just hope it’s not utterly depressing?
So, for my Tana French people on the flist, I am not sure if you are aware of this, but apparently someone requested Cassie/Rob fic for Yuletide and another someone wrote this fantastic piece. The author really does a great job mimicking Tana’s tone/style and the whole thing almost killed me. It’s set some years after In the Woods and portrays what could be a very likely future for them. It’s gutting but lovely in that way that makes you want to scream of frustration and sigh at the perfection of it.

There are many lines I love about it, but this bit especially stayed with me because it’s so very Cassie, and Cassie through Rob’s eyes --and the reason the ending of The Likeness remains an open wound for me.

"Cassie’s a dark thing; Cassie’s danger; Cassie’s a knife between the ribs. Cassie was broken, when I knew her. Broken and burning. Maybe she’s gone out, now; maybe she thinks she’s whole. I don’t buy it. I can’t. I can’t suffer under the weight of what it would mean, if she were."

So, if you enjoy the pairing, give it a shot! (and kudos or/and a comment if you really like it).

There is also another Yuletide Scorcher/Frank/Cassie fic that I still need to check out, but with these new additions we have, like, 5 fics in the fandom? Yay and LOL. I want to squish them all.

PS. I hope you are having a lovely holiday! <3
I wanted to post something before I go on vacation in a few days, so here you have a couple of things :)

I finally finished Gone Girl. OMG, THAT BOOOOOOOOOK!!!! What a ride. First off, I want to say that even though I have some issues with certain aspects of the novel, I totally recommend it as the perfect summer read. I am that type of reader who loves dark psychological thrillers and enjoys being blatantly manipulated by unreliable narrators, and I thought Gillian Flynn did a good job writing a clever and very compelling mystery. I couldn’t put it down and IT REALLY MESSED WITH MY HEAD, and I truly love it when stories do that to me. It’s difficult to talk about this book without entering spoilery territory, but all I’ll say is that Flynn is a very good, psychologically insightful writer and there are some gems in the novel that are totally worth it. Also, Amy, Amy, Amy.

Cut for spoilers!Collapse )

In more book-related news, my obsession with Ms Tana French and her novels continues (lol, sorry guys, you have to bear with me on this one) and I finally got around to listening to a recent podcast Q&A/reading linked on her facebook page. It’s actually a bit long but quite interesting (even though I already knew most of what she said there, heh) and I was delighted to hear that Frank will show up in her next novel and that she still wants to go back to my star-crossed detectives –now, it would be really wonderful if she doesn’t make me wait for, IDK, another 10 years. And of course I am not expecting a happy ending for Cassie&Rob, but it would also be nice something not entirely depressing. Plus, I’ve been thinking about it and now I am not so sure anymore if I don’t want to know what happened in those woods. Um. (Though the greatest unanswered question for me still remains why I am still obsessing over this stuff after TWO YEARS lol).


I have yet to catch up with a lot of TV, but I have been watching Girls for a couple of weeks now and I saw the S1 last episode a couple of days ago. After an episode or two I tried to wrap my brain around why so many people had an issue with HBO’s show (nepotism issues aside, which are always annoying for me but shouldn’t be an issue in terms of judging quality), because I didn’t think it was that bad. The characters are entitled and unlikable, that’s a fact. But I can deal with unsympathetic characters if the story entertains me. But as the series progressed there was some stuff that really bothered me, though I forced myself to watch the entire season out of morbid curiosity. I think the first WTF bit that made me feel incredibly uncomfortable was Hannah’s date rape joke at the job interview. And it's obviously awkward and inappropriate and says a lot about the character, I suppose, but of course I would have the same problem with any person, TV character or real life, that made that kind of joke: who says shit like that? It's not funny; not to people who have suffered that, not to be falsely accused of being a date rapist, not to joke about something so heinous. And in real life, a person who couldn't see that wouldn't be a person I'd be spending much time with, but I'm supposed to "like" a TV show based on this person? No. I don't. But obviously it riled me up, and if that's the point, then it worked. I just don't have to like it. Or her. Or the show (And the same goes for Hannah’s “wanting AIDS” comment). That’s only the tip of the iceberg, but there were many things about Girls that I didn’t find particularly appealing. Sure, the show might portray the reality of some young women in a particular demographic –middle/upper class recent college grads— but eventually, the picture felt annoyingly self-aware and plain boring. Plus, that finale was terrible. So, nope. I am done with that. Sure.


On the movie front, I finally watched Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. I won’t elaborate further, only that I thought that it was really well-done and well-acted and oddly enough, --because it’s not a secret that I HAAAAAATE what Lindeloff did in Lost-- I was OK with all the unanswered questions. Besides, I am waiting for that sequel.


And that’s pretty much all. Oh, I almost forgot, I haven't watched as much as I wanted because I've been busy doing stuff and studying, but I have enjoyed the Olympics quite a lot. I always tell myself that I won't spend hours watching but then I always give in. In three words, I loved it!

I am leaving to Ibiza in a few days and even though I’ll probably lurk on my phone and leave the occasional comment, I won’t be around as much as I wish. Hope you are enjoying your summer, and “see” you in a few weeks! <3


I am posting for the sake of it because I feel I don’t update enough (though this ended up being quite wordy as usual! lol).

In which I ramble a lot...Collapse )

This is a book post

So, I finished Broken Harbor. I am not going to lie, I struggled with Tana French’s latest novel quite a bit. It’s not that I didn’t like it, exactly, because it is indeed a good one, but maybe because I know what she is capable to do with her characters and the way she can get inside their heads, I was vaguely disappointed that Scorcher didn’t grab me as much as her previous characters did. French’s style in Broken Harbor is subtly different, equally graceful and atmospheric but less lyrical and introspective --which I think was kind of the point of the novel because Mike “Scorcher” Kennedy has little to do with Rob, Cassie or even Frank and his voice is distinctively unfamiliar. (By the way, in case you are spoiler phobic and you intend to read the book you’d want to stop here, though there are only minor spoilers in this review).

Broken Harbor slightly spoilery reviewCollapse )

By the way, as a way to deal with my post-book blues I’ve just started Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’ve heard so many good things about this one and I think the writing is pretty great, though I am not sure whether I’ll be able to get past the completely unsympathetic characters --at least this is what the reviews I’ve read about this novel tell me, heh. And speaking of reviews, I opened a Goodreads account a year or so ago but I’ve hardly used it until now. I am trying to change that though and I am wondering how many of you might have an account there. Friends, anyone? ;)

Last but not least, because this is a reading post after all, the book meme that everyone, literally, is doing lately (let me tell you first that I am not that much into classics. I’ve read my share of them, I do enjoy them but I often enjoy more the discussion about these ones than the actual reading *shrugs*). Also, the selection criteria for this list strike me as a bit... odd. Just saying.

The book memeCollapse )

Look what arrived this morning! :D

I am pretty excited for this one! I know, it’s Scorcher and I wasn’t his biggest fan in Faithful Place, quite the contrary. But I’d read anything written by this woman. I love well written characters so much and Tana French’s stories never disappoint. Her characters are just so rich, flawed and dynamic I always feel like I have to say goodbye to good, dear friends at the end <3

Mmm… Now I can’t help wondering who is going to be the protagonist of her next novel (I wish she'd do another female character!).

AND PLEASE, PLEASE SOMEONE ASKS HER WHEN SHE IS GOING TO GET BACK TO CASSIE AND ROB’S STORY. I am traumatized. Seriously. I need some closure for these two.

And yeah, I got a paper copy because as much as I love my Sony reader, ebooks are not the same.
You guys, I don’t know if it’s the sun and the warm weather, or if it is that I’ve been barely able to catch some sleep in the last couple or three days, or that I’ve been so busy doing all this study and consuming too much caffeine for my own good, but I am in a sort of hypomanic mood lately! It’s a good feeling, but my body really needs some rest, gah. Anyway, just saw this Harry Potter meme at daybreak777’s journal and I thought I could use some fun! (Let me tell you that I like HP quite a lot but I’ve never been a huge fan, and I honestly have no clue what Harry Potter house I’d be in. I am kind of curious to know what you might think, especially you HP fans from my flist! :P)

ETA. Feel free to elaborate further in the comments! (You know I always appreciate that! :D)

Poll #1844160 What Harry Potter House Would You Sort Me Into?


Update + meme

Since I came back from Paris I’ve been pretty busy! You probably remember I am taking the national exam to enter the clinical psychology residency (PIR) program next January, right? Well, right now I am trying to stick to a study routine so I can cover the (huge) list of topics as soon as possible. At the moment I am building a study schedule that works for me, but I am aware that the ideal thing is 45-50 hours or so of studying a week –which, of course, it’s a lot! For the time being, I do not intend to memorize every tiny detail but I am trying to become familiar with the main concepts –which cover a wide variety of fields: from clinical psychology or psychopharmachology to social psychology. Of course, I am already familiar with all this stuff from uni, but it’s not that I have every single detail embedded in my brain. I’ve also started attending a PIR preparation course and I am quite pleased, it’s proving to be pretty helpful! The teachers are good and they are providing us with all sorts of tips to help us get the best possible score. Needless to say, when it comes to this type of competitive exams, it’s not always a matter of mere knowledge, but of how good you are at implementing strategies and tricks about a very specific type of questions. I have the first practice test (out of 8) in July and my main goal now is trying to get a decent mark, so I can get a better feel of my chances of getting a spot. But we’ll see! I know there is a lot of hard work ahead, but I am feeling optimistic and confident and, well, pretty good actually! (Did I already tell you that I love a good challenge? They give me focus and I am the kind of person who needs a goal on the horizon to keep going. Hee).

What else? Oh, yes! I have the Cambridge English Proficiency Exam in two weeks (the speaking part is next week and the rest later). I am not sure how I feel about that test, only that I’ll try to do my best and that’s it –it’s not that my English is going to improve a big deal in a couple of weeks. It is what it is. I am dreading the speaking part, though. When it comes to English, it’s like I suffer from a weird case of Broca’s aphasia or something: I understand almost everything and I can write decent essays (prepositions and phrasal verbs are a nightmare, though), but when I have to, er, you know, actually speak I get tongue-tied and stammery and I can barely form complete and articulate sentences. Gah. It’s so frustrating, because I know I can do better than that. Let’s see how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed for me! :)

On a fannish related note, I am soooooo behind on TV! It’s crazy. But I squeezed some time to watch the Fringe and The Good Wife finales. I am not going to elaborate further, but I want to say a couple of things.

Spoilers for The Good Wife 3x22 and Fringe 4x22...Collapse )

And lastly, I feel like I have to say something about The Avengers, since my flist has just exploded with all this Avengers love (yes, I watched the movie and I believe Whedon did a phenomenal job). I am having fun with all this flist squee, your posts make me want to love Clint/Natasha or Bruce/Tony or… well, any ship! They are all potentially pretty awesome, though I am not sure I can ship any of them (not yet!). It’s funny because it’s really hard for me to connect with characters from movies, and that’s why I usually prefer TV or books/comics. I feel like I need to know the characters deeply to get really invested in them, and two hours seem so little! But thinking about it, it kind of makes sense, I have always been a canon kind of girl who needs the more canon, the better, and damn, it took me a whole season of BSG to start shipping Kara/Lee!

Also, I am doing this meme that's been going around...

Ask me my Top Five Whatevers. Fannish or literary or otherwise. Any top fives. Doesn't matter what, really! Fandoms, ice cream flavours, cartoon moments, women in my fandoms, OTPs, ideal holiday destinations, goals for the future, celebrity crushes, books I wish would be made into movies, love songs. And I will answer them all in a new post (or in comments). Possibly with pictures.

And ok, I think this is all for now. Back to study! :)
So I finally watched The Hunger Games movie. Spoilers for the movie ahead!

Thoughts on The Hunger Games movie...Collapse )

In other completely unrelated news, I’ve been reading 50 Shades of Grey. I know I shouldn’t have, but because I am weak and mostly out of morbid curiosity, I downloaded the first book and have been reading bits and pieces. The success of this “novel” baffles me. Someone please explain to me who is supposed to be reading and enjoying this?? Because I don’t get it. You know, I am no literature snob. I read, literally, anything. I kind of hate Twilight, but I think Meyer’s writing skills are decent enough. But this? This is just the most appallingly awful piece of fiction I've ever seen and can’t even remotely be considered literature. The writing is atrocious as a whole, but the thing that annoyed me the most was the repetitiveness of words and language: the flushes, blushes and non-stop lip biting. And I swear I wanted to punch the protagonist every time she talked about her “inner goddess”. Besides, the story is beyond terrible. I am not talking about the porn (which is also clumsy and boring and not very arousing frankly), but the characters and the plot? Ana is juvenile and unrealistic, and the kind of heroine who has no self-esteem until she meets the hero. But what really crushes me is that women around the world are falling for this kind of extremely possessive, egotistical, stalkerish but OMG-so-incredibly-hot male character. It’s devastating.

(Plus, I think of all my talented friends in fandom who, you know, have crazy writing skills and will never be as rich or as famous as the woman who wrote this thing that is getting all kinds of unwarranted attention, and I want to cry :/).

On a more personal note, a couple of days ago was Sant Jordi’s (Saint George) day, a very typical festivity in Catalonia, with similarities with Valentine’s day, but more picturesque and cooler. The main event of the day is the exchange of gifts between loved ones. Historically, men gave women roses, and women gave men a book to celebrate the occasion, but right now the mutual exchange of books is customary. It’s a lovely tradition and one of my favorite days to wander around the ancient winding streets of Barcelona’s gothic quarter, filled with thousands of stands of roses and makeshift bookstalls. I spent a wonderful day, and I even got a book! Well, two actually (it’s funny because since I purchased my e-reader I don’t read paper books anymore). The first one is the hardcover version of In the Woods because I am clearly obsessed and my BF knows that (more on this later), my copy is really battered and it's the UK version with an uglier cover, and I really wanted the creepy but beautiful one with the white background. The second book I received is Daniel Glattauer’s latest novel, Siempre Tuyo (Always Yours Forever Thine I suppose, even though it hasn’t been translated into English yet). I love this author’s style and one of his previous novels, Love Virtually (aka. Good Against the North Wind, the literal and more fitting translation from German) is probably one of the best reads I had last year. So good! I’ve heard that Always Yours is pretty different from Love Virtually and its sequel Every Seventh Wave –it’s also romance but it has a thriller vibe, which makes me curious (daybreak777, I’ll let you know what I think when I finish! :)).

And I know you are probably tired of hearing me gush about In the Woods and The Likeness and Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox and Tana French in general. Yes I know, I can’t help myself LOL. Those books give me all the feelings!! But I am thrilled because the lovely ninety6tears  just opened a comm, dublin_murder, for any discussion, meta or fanworks related to Tana’s novels. And maybe she will organize some kind of book club/reread! –which, I might add, it sounds like the perfect excuse to read them for the first time if you are curious and still haven’t. Seriously, they are SO WONDERFUL. Tana has a gorgeous, gorgeous voice.

Also, this weekend, The Avengers!!! Yes, I am pretty excited about that. And I can’t believe I am going to Paris next week! YAY!