Chapters · Giveaways

We’re back…

… and we come bearing exciting news.

We have successfully relocated our headquarters to the deliciously chaotic city of London. Apologies for the elongated radio silence, we have been trying to settle down, to find a healthy balance between work hours and endless pages – being read, being written and being experienced.

Challenge accepted.

Even though we are fully committed to bringing Infusões d’Alma back from its limbo, posts will most likely remain scarce for the next couple of weeks. However, as actions sometimes speak louder than words, we are going to give away a copy of Kate Tempest’s The Bricks that Built the Houses to keep you company while we try to figure this whole thing out.

Novelty.

This is the first time we are giving away a copy of a book that we have yet to read. Even though we adore Kate Tempest, we are taking a leap of faith with you on this one.

Shall we begin?

All you have to do is leave a comment below sharing the title of a book you wouldn’t mind moving into.

You have until the 1st of April to participate. May the odds be ever in your favour, beautiful friends. Oh, and let’s keep in mind the bookish surprises… there will certainly be some of those as well 😉

With all the love,

Infusões d’Alma

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Reviews

“Jessica Jones: Alias [Vol.4]” by Brian Bendis & Michael Gaydos

I only realised I had no clue about how exactly Jessica had obtained her powers the moment I opened this last volume. It was a first step down a memory lane that grew into quite an experience. Again, they managed to create an emotional balance that had its peaks without ever being too much of anything. There was time, and space, for the whole spectrum to play out.

That said, I must confess I shuddered when Killgrave was first mentioned. I believe he was disturbingly well portrayed throughout the TV series, having left quite a dent behind, and was certainly not expecting his written version to feel even creepier. It was one of those surprises that I could have lived without, but that I am now embracing.

Speaking of surprises, I felt rather nostalgic running into Jean Grey. Even though my relationship with her character is based only on the X-Men movie series, I always thought there was something incredibly soothing about her. Her presence ended up being quite reassuring.

Back to the expectations discourse, I found the ending to be rather unexpected. It was… different, I guess, a step into a future that will certainly never be the same.

Alas, it’s over. Sigh. I feel as though I should give The Pulse a go, having had such a great time with Alias.

Giveaways

The Hat Has Spoken

We would like to thank Ayustika, Elaine and Lodie for participating in our celebratory giveaway.

Congratulations, Elaine! The hat has spoken and you are the lucky winner of our bundle of favourites. Please email us over at infusoesparaaalma@gmail.com to arrange the safe delivery of your newest treasure.

Also, as we couldn’t be more grateful for having you as regular readers, we will be sending bookish surprises to Ayustika and Lodie.

That said, we would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the silence that might soon follow as our “headquarters” move to another country. We are going on an adventure and it’s bound to be a bit hectic at first.

There’s absolutely no need to worry, though. We shall be back as soon as possible and more giveaways will certainly ensue.

Stay tuned!

Again, always and forever, thank you. Happy readings 🙂

Reviews

“Nothing” by Janne Teller

Pierre Anthon announced, on his first day as a seventh-grader, that there was no meaning to life. After professing his truth, he abandoned the classroom and found refuge on a plum tree. As his classmates walked by on their way to school, Pierre Anthon reminded them of the lack of meaning in their stride, setting them on a frenzy to prove him wrong.

“I’m sitting here in nothing. And better to be sitting in nothing than in something that isn’t anything.”

Nothing by Janne Teller had me immediately thinking of Lord of the Flies by William Golding. The mood seems quite similar, but I believe Nothing takes a step further into the abyss. To be quite honest, I am still trying to figure out what exactly that entails.

I should start by mentioning the writing style as it’s probably the most tangible thing about this book. There is something incredibly peculiar about it. It feels raw, like over-scrubbed skin, making every single ghost of an emotion grow into something immeasurable. There are also the overpowering silences. Having read the whole book out loud, it is impossible to label them chance or even coincidence. I believe this book was skillfully designed to create a sort of emotional echo that feels claustrophobic at times.

That said, I have been meditating about the ending for hours. At first I was disappointed, having expected something groundbreaking to happen, an extraordinary lesson to arise from a middle that had me shuddering. Then I started thinking, and by that I mean definitely overthinking the whole thing. As readers we witnessed these events, we read through them holding onto an ending yet to come, an ending that we expected to deliver hope, meaning. However, just like the children, we encountered none after having deposited everything. Disturbing beyond words, yes, but perhaps not beyond reason.

“There was definitely something that mattered in spite of everything, even if that something was something you had to lose.”

I can’t help but think that Pierre Anthon is partially right. We do tend to forget our role as creators of meaning, setting its weight on time instead, time that has no shoulders to carry it on and no hands to deliver it with. Thought-provoking, is it not?

All in all, the only thing I am sure of regarding this book is that it is certainly going to haunt me for a long time.

Reviews

“The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams

“The apartment faces an alley and is entered by a fire escape, a structure whose name is a touch of accidental poetic truth, for all these huge buildings are always burning with the slow and implacable fires of human desperation.”

Tennessee Williams astounds me with his ethereal plays. He creates, designs, these scenes, these people, and they seem to float across time and space, endlessly relevant. It all happens within walls, within transparent curtains of humanity, the surroundings at times blurry beyond general contextualization, but was there ever any more truth?

“The scene is memory and is therefore nonrealistic. Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart.”

There is an unbelievable amount of detail in The Glass Menagerie, more than enough to effortlessly outshine the delicate figures that Laura all but worships.

Speaking of them, how incredible is it that the voice of reason arrives with the stranger, with the outside perspective? Jim, once upon a time Laura’s dream, the “long-delayed but always expected something that we live for”, arrives in the scene with a dose of reality gentle enough to cut through glass. Oh, and if it isn’t then that delicate Laura too learns how to let go of the unicorn, perhaps accepting its difference to lie beyond the horn – a dream broken into freedom.

Speaking of freedom, it sweeps Tom off his feet. I will be forever in love with the way Tom sits movies on the opposite side of moving. The power of self-consciousness is incredible. When we think too much about walking it feels as though we don’t actually know how to do it. Same happens when we think about breathing, suddenly the possibility of forgetting how to do so, of missing one breath, the breath, becomes absolutely terrifying. The glass breaks, it startles them awake from their dream, and steps are taken with determination.

Speaking of determination, there is Amanda. Not quite here or there, wanting the best for her children, wanting them to learn from her tales, memories and dreams in one. There is a palpable duality to her, one that broke and mended my heart, again and again.

Together they are an intricate event, and they remain so, even after parting ways. I believe that is why the portrait of the father, the “telephone man who fell in love with long distances”, is present at all times. He might not be there in person, but he is there in them. Past, present and future co-existing.

Forgive me my muddled thoughts, but my world expands at each of Tennessee William’s words. I must definitely see The Glass Menagerie on stage, and would rather like to have Anna Chancellor as Amanda.

Reviews

“Jessica Jones: Alias [Vol. 3]” by Brian Bendis & Michael Gaydos

“I hate buildings.”
“You hate buildings?”
“And yet I live in New York City. So imagine how it is to be me.”

I never thought I would end up finding such a relatable character in the superhero universe. That said, please do bear with me, I haven’t been this excited about a character in quite a long time. You see, I tend to read my way into novels, their characters becoming like distant family, faces that you can’t quite picture, but voices that you would recognize just about anywhere. I believe this particular medium, the way the writing is combined with the art and spread across the page, dilutes the barrier between where the reader stands and where the text exists, blending them into one final composition that wouldn’t otherwise exist. Mind you, I think this event is valid for any relationship between reader and text, the latter assuming many different forms, but there is something magical about this one in particular.

Speaking of magic, this third volume begins with an issue drawn in a completely different manner, in a completely different style. While I must confess I found it slightly harder to read, the art was sublime. I felt the need to share just how incredible it was. Also, narratively speaking, the bold change, choice, ended up making sense, which only had me falling even more in love with the whole production.

Focusing on the story arch itself, I found myself beyond invested. They delivered quite a different and interesting angle, exploring just how far humanity is willing to go to be, to feel, special, powerful.

I am honestly in awe of the shade of realism, of relevance. Jessica Jones is just like everyone else, like you and me, peeking at the glossy magazines at the store, criticizing them for their content and yet going for a quiz; she has issues dealing with feelings, she makes bad choices, mistakes, and ends up getting hurt. She also saves lives though, and not always by using her powers. Quite a lesson, huh?

Hilarious, clever, emotional, beautiful, and pertinent beyond words. I need more.

Reviews

“The Sound of Seas” by Gillian Anderson & Jeff Rovin

I remember having mentioned a certain turbulence when reviewing A Dream of Ice. I was referring to the process of getting back into the storyline after a rather long intermission. I am pleased to announce that nothing of the sort happened when starting The Sound of Seas. To be quite honest, it surprised me how quickly I fell back into it, as if we had never truly parted ways. For such a dense novel, in the sense of being incredibly rich in detail, I find that to be extraordinary.

“Either everything matters or nothing does.”

I am in awe of how Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin managed to tie such an immense amount of loose ends in less than three hundred pages. It does feel condensed, perhaps even slightly rushed, but I believe it wouldn’t work any other way. It’s as if all the information gathered becomes this one point of energy that then expands into everything.

Speaking of everything, there are at least three topics I believe were addressed in a rather particular and relevant way: the concept of balance, blending love and hate instead of sitting them on opposite chairs; the concept of language, the way we create and comprehend meaning; and the reference to the unknown, to the fear associated with it and its many, possibly catastrophic, consequences.

“Nothing is ever truly lost, so long as it is remembered.”

I must confess I was expecting a much more straightforward ending. However, I think that going with something on the verge of ethereal was a brave decision, one that has the boundaries fading, glowing into possibility beyond the last page.

It’s the kind of novel, the kind of saga, that has its characters carrying on with their conversations as it fades into black; the kind that ends with an extreme close-up shot that grows into extreme wide as the characters walk away and blend with the horizon; the kind that could be represented as a sunset.

If I had to choose just one word, I would describe The Earthend Saga as interesting. Cleverly written, engaging, intriguing, it succeeds at being incredible without touching the realm of ridiculousness. To be fair, it’s impressive how real, how possible and pertinent, it all seems.

Giveaways

January the 1st 2017: Giveaway

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO INFUSÕES d’ALMA.

One word in particular comes to mind: proud.

Three hundred and sixty six days, an endless amount of words, read and written, a universe of tears and laughter, sorrow and bliss… Oh, it was quite a journey, and it was a pleasure to share it with every single one of you.

One full year. Can you believe it?

To celebrate such a significant moment, we decided to give away three of our favorite reads from 2016. All you have to do is leave a comment below with three of the seven titles we shared yesterday. Yes, you get to choose the treasures you will hopefully end up taking home.

As to make it easier, here’s the list:

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

You have until the 20th to participate. Best of luck to you all!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone 🙂

P.S. The winner shall be announced on the 23rd.

Chapters

December the 31st 2016: Favorite Reads

December the 31st 2016

Dear fellow book lovers,

this year might have been a bit of a roller coaster (the understatement of the century, perhaps), but we made it. Through breathtaking ups and heartbreaking lows, through hardbacks, paperbacks, ebooks and audiobooks, we made it. Oh, and it was an absolute pleasure to share it with you. We hope that 2017 will be everything you need and want it to be.

We would raise our to read piles for a toast, but that’s probably not wise. Instead, we leave you with two (one might be the loneliest number, but two doesn’t even begin to cover it either!) of our favorite reads of the year.

Ana’s Favorites:

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Mandy’s Favorites:

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

Teresa’s Favorites:

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

Favorite debut:

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller

As Neil Gaiman once wrote,

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

With love and amongst pages,

Infusões d’Alma

Poetry · Reviews

“Let Them Eat Chaos” by Kate Tempest

Let Them Eat Chaos is one of those books, one of those poems, that everyone should somehow run into, meet, and end up reading at some point, for one reason or another. It should be destined.

Condensed in these words resides a truth that could swallow the world into wholeness.

“This poem was written to be read aloud.”

As you pronounce each and every word, as you taste them, as you feel them, they become real in you, they become you.

The fact that Kate Tempest wrote this, that a fellow human being wrote this, is hopeful, is hope. Let it be contagious, let it be contagion itself.

“wake up and love more”