Jan 10, 2012

And the Winner is...

… Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell

Although it was a hard-fought competition, our winner for one vote is Blink, a book about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. What is going on inside our heads when we engage in rapid cognition? When are snap judgments good and when are they not? What kinds of things can we do to make our powers of rapid cognition better?

Many thanks to all the voters as well as the members who sent suggestions (the books that didn't make it for this poll will be the first in line for our next reading election). 

And now, as we always do, let's see what we find and how we feel with a book that, maybe, you might not have read or even know about without the encouragement of our club and fellow members.

Suggested reading schedule coming soon!

Poll Results:

An optimist's tour of the future, by Mark Stevenson
  3 (16%)
The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht
  4 (22%)
Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell
  5 (27%)
Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal, by Tristam Stuart
  4 (22%)
Auntie Mame, by Patrick Denis
  2 (11%)

Jan 8, 2012

Small(?) Death in Lisbon

Hi all my cookies, I’d like to wish you a very nice beginning of 2012!

I have made an effort to read the book on time and to post my comments also on time… let’s start the year on time! ;)

I have enjoyed the book in some ways, for example, the way the author guides us through the two stories, one in the past and one in the present, and how they converge into one at the end of the book. I do like how I got hooked reading the book as it was progressing. I also like to have some historic references or other place’s description, it makes me ‘travel’ being at home.

I have not enjoyed the book in some ways, because it has too much sex, too much violence (both too explicit). It is true that that’s related to the homicide police work, but I think that many of the scenes in this book could be avoided or, let’s say it in another way, could be written in a more elegant way. Sometimes I find that the story is a little bit forced in its development and outcome, as some of you have already said.

But I guess this is it, this is the book, with some things we like and some we don’t, and both together come to our final review of it. I find it very entertaining, but sometimes disgusting, I like some of the narrative resources the author has chosen but not others… If I have to say a single word about it I would say entertaining, that’s all. I think it is not a neither bad nor good book, but it is more for mass book consumers, it can be better in many ways, but in some parts I got addicted to it and wanted to know, wanted to see…

Regarding the story, I thought that the mastermind behind all this vengeance was Felsen himself. Has anyone had that in mind too? I thought that was him punishing Manuel, and Oliveira, I even thought that it was him the one that killed Pedro (remember the accident? There was a BMW involved!). My personal opinion is that the book may be better with this end; everything would be solved with the same characters, coming full circle. I think that this author has some potential… I’d give him a second chance! :P

And the title? Why is it Small death in Lisbon? Almost everybody is dead in the end!

Thank you for share your thoughts and for make us choose books that otherwise I'd never read!

Ps: I have to say that, as always, I totally agree with Nayra’s comments ;)

Jan 7, 2012

Two more days to vote!

If you haven't done it yet, you still got two days to vote!
We have very interesting books and for the first time, three non-fiction at the same time!!!
The discussion is going to be deeper this time...
See you all soon!

Rocio & Macarena
No Cookies Book Club Team

Jan 2, 2012

A Small Death in Lisbon - Final Discussion

After having skipped some middle discussion, we get to the end of the book and the scheduled Final Discussion post (although Rocio already posted a great final one previous to this - be sure to read it if you are done with the book!).

The last chapters and pages of the novel are intense and full of information. There are important clues and pieces of the story along the last chapters, however it is not until the very end that we know the why, who and how of the crime. Does this give the story more mystery? Does it make the book more exciting? Does it make the denouement more shocking or, on the other hand, too hasty?

One comment for a critic to consider: "But whatever the story suggests about the violent legacies of fascism, it is the story, the high drama and low motives, and the strong writing that make the story live". Do you agree?

What it seems to be a common feeling is that the book is a page-turner, as Rocio put it.

Looking forward to reading your comments to this or any previous post!