Mini Reviews: Non Fiction #1

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Hello, panda lovers! This is not a training session. Please, don’t’ panic. This is not a scam, this blog hasn’t been hacked. I’m actually writing some reviews after a year and seven days, the legend came back to life! =D

In this post, you’ll find mini reviews for:

• Georg Simmel – The Art of the City: Rome, Florence, Venice
• Jane Merrill, Keren Ben-Horin & Gail Demeyere – The Sweater: A History
• Maggie O’Farrell – I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death


*~.The Art of the City: Rome, Florence, Venice.~*

From Georg Simmel

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Rating: 3 stars
Reading period: Nov. 22th – 24th, 2018
Format: ebook
Source: Edelweiss – I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Release date: Sept. 27th, 2018

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Venice possesses the ambiguous beauty of adventure, floating rootlessly through life, like a torn flower borne on the sea.
Georg Simmel was a brilliant, groundbreaking thinker, whose wide-ranging lectures held audiences spellbound in turn-of-the-century Berlin and throughout Europe. The theories of this maverick ‘wandering-priest’ left their mark on a whole generation of philosophers, poets and sociologists, including Benjamin, Heidegger and Rilke.
The quartet of essays contained in this book includes dazzling portraits of Italy’s iconic cities of art and history, as well as Simmel’s hugely influential ‘The Metropolis and the Life of the Spirit’, one of the most important analyses of urban life and the alienation of the individual ever written.

PROS

The essays from George Simmel have a refreshing perspective on the philosophical purposes of public buildings and general classic architecture of Rome, Florence and Venice. Our fellow author gives us his own mind about a lot of sociological questions raised by famous thinkers within these three cities, making it the perfect read for a rainy day.

CONS

This is so not a travel guide… Why would the publisher describe it as so is a mystery to me. Also, George can be quite wordy to express certain ideas.

COVER ANALYSIS

Despite its simplicity, this cover is quite charming and calming, thanks to its great use of blue. I loved the illustration and the clean feeling of this design. ❤

RECOMMENDED FOR

Lovers of philosophy, sociology and historical architecture.panda-goodreads-icon


*~.The Sweater: A History.~*

From Jane Merrill, Keren Ben-Horin & Gail Demeyere

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Rating: 5 stars
Reading period: Apr. 03rd, 2017 [insert huge book slump here] – Nov. 18th, 2018
Format: ebook
Source: Edelweiss – I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Release date: Mar. 28th, 2017

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Originally knit as underwear, the sweater is a practical garment with homely beginnings and has evolved as a fashion statement. This book traces the sweater’s 300-year history as an aesthetic and craft object, telling the story of its materials and construction, national traditions, fads and fashion, and accessories. Learn about the panoply of yarns, Nordic patterns, buttons, vintage collars, runway designs, manufacturing, and today’s explorations of form, structure, and material. No matter how far we have come technologically, there is something fundamental in the art of hand craft. This book expertly guides readers full circle through the inception of the hand knit to the advancement of technology and back to knitting with natural fibers.

PROS

This book has so many pictures and illustrations! I know it sounds pretty basic for a fashion book to have multiple pictures, but trust me when I say this is so not the norm. I loved how efficient the content delivery was and, despite my huge book slump, if we only count reading time, I’ve read this so fast! Also, it’s always delicious to discover the origins of everyday-life objects! ❤

CONS

The only true con that I can think of was a matter of format – I’ve read the ebook format and I honestly had to zoom in every page, because it looked like they gave me the scanned version of the physical copy instead of the ebook version. Does this makes sense?

COVER ANALYSIS

This cover reminds me of something that VOGUE would do, which is kind of cool, but also really weird – I was never a fan of VOGUE’s covers, as a rule! xD Well, I guess it is sophisticated, at least.

RECOMMENDED FOR

Fashion lovers, history lunatics and curious people that love study books!

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*~.I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death.~*

From Maggie O’Farrell

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CR: @anneliselestrange

Rating: 2 stars
Reading period: Nov. 18th – 19th, 2018
Format: Brazilian exclusive paperback
Source: TAG Inéditos [Brazilian Book Box Subscription Service]
Release date: Aug. 22nd, 2017

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We are never closer to life than when we brush up against the possibility of death.

I Am, I Am, I Am is Maggie O’Farrell’s astonishing memoir of the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life. The childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. An encounter with a disturbed man on a remote path. And, most terrifying of all, an ongoing, daily struggle to protect her daughter–for whom this book was written–from a condition that leaves her unimaginably vulnerable to life’s myriad dangers.
Seventeen discrete encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, O’Farrell captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself.

PROS

This book is beautifully written. Maggie has a lot of sensibility for someone who has already been through so much in her life and the book is incredibly easy to read, taking into consideration its dark themes. The reader is invited to reflect upon many things while accompanying Maggie’s journey through several encounters with death, showing what truly matters in a human’s life.

CONS

I’d like to start this part by stating that this isn’t my go-to genre and it was a risk I took. I received this book inside my November Brazilian book box subscription and decided to give it a go, but even before finishing the book, I can firmly say that I would never ever buy a book with this thematic.

With this out of the way, while there are so many emotions to this book, I can’t say I felt a connection with the described happenings. As an author, Maggie is a genius, but as a main character, unfortunately, she isn’t that interesting. And honestly: what are the odds of someone brushing 17 times with death?? Come oon! That’s just awful. 😦

COVER ANALYSIS

This cover was exclusive designed by TAG Inéditos, the Brazilian book box subscription service that I have signed up to, and I have to say that I hated it. I’m not a fan of human organs on my covers, not even on such an artsy fashion.

RECOMMENDED FOR

Lovers of memoirs, deep and thoughtful books, drama and short stories, as each chapter is a full brush with death.

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~*~

And we’re done! Phew, so many books and so little time!! Thank you soooo much for reading! Hope I could pick your interest for one or two of these babies =)

As you may have notice, this last year as a very bad reading year to me. I’m done with making promises as “I’ll be back” and “I’ll post again soon”, because the truth is I have been too unpredictable even to myself. Hope you all had a lovely year since you last heard of me and hope for a better 2019 for all of us! ❤

With love,
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