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sábado, 14 de marzo de 2015

Existentialism Is a Humanism - Jean-Paul Sartre

Rating: 
29/07/14

Man is nothing other than what he makes of himself.
— Jean-Paul Sartre

Existentialism Is a Humanism
If you are interested in Existentialism, this is the book you should dive into. You will find an energetic Sartre defending his views on many subjects. I was immediately drawn to one opinion in particular: existentialism emphasizes what is despicable about the world. I have read that before. Most people apparently want to read about beauty and bliss and puppies and all those things that are part of one side of our reality. Denying the ugliness of the world does not vanish it at all, unfortunately. It is there, in all its glory while you are closing your eyes. Some authors have been labeled as violent freaks, racists or misogynists because they wrote about those issues—about the cruelty and selfishness that also characterizes human beings—as if they were more than mere narrators. Some people mistake honesty with a defense of whatever the awful subject the book deals with. Speaking about it doesn't justify it.


I have already wrote about Sartre's beautiful and accessible writing while reviewing Nausea. This book is no exception. I also found a subtle humor that made the reading experience even more enjoyable.
Those who easily stomach a Zola novel like "The Earth" are sickened when they open an existentialist novel. (19)

I am quite intrigued by that, now.

Sartre felt the need of making a statement in favor of this doctrine. But why do people criticize it? Some because they have read about it and know what it is all about. Others because they have heard about it... And that is much more common than most of us think. We tend to judge what we do not know. And in most cases we do not even bother in getting to know it. We judge and we fear. And we talk. That is why Sartre made and answered the following question: "What, then, is 'existentialism'?" He then started by explaining one of the most important principles of the doctrine: existence precedes essence. That alone might sound confusing, but Sartre's masterful use of metaphors and engaging prose made it all possible.
In a universe where there is not a god, man is born empty without a specific purpose. He creates his own essence while making decisions based on the well-known concept of freedom. A thing every man pursuits but few could handle.

Freedom without God. Without that sense of protection. Because we do feel safe if we are only acting according to something that has been decided before we were born. Every bad consequence would not be our fault. But, in a world sans God, we become a little, lonely dot with nothing above us but stars. And that's a horrifying thought.

The author later affirmed that when man makes a choice, he does not make it just for himself but for all humanity. Those choices reflect on us what we think a man should be. Try not to feel pressured for the great responsibility that represents making choices that concerns all people in the planet.
Choosing to be this or that is to affirm at the same time the value of what we choose, because we can never choose evil. We always choose the good, and nothing can he good for any of us unless it is good for all. (24)

Debatable.

There are certain words that people use to arrive to the conclusion that existentialism is a depressing way to look at the world: anguish, abandonment, despair. They are all related to what the author explained about man's existence in a godless world. A man that is aware of the fact that he is responsible for himself and for the rest of humanity. That kind of responsibility surely creates anguish, but it does not prevent men from acting. As for the abandonment issue, it is not as negative as it sounds. He simply meant that if God does not exist, then we are alone without excuses. We are alone and free. That thought led him to one of the most memorable lines of the book:
That is what I mean when I say that man is condemned to be free: condemned, because he did not create himself, yet nonetheless free, because once cast into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. (29)

Freedom has been defined as the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. From a certain perspective, Sartre made his point. Without God, everything is permissible. However, the freedom (or lack of it) we have to deal with everyday, the freedom that is far away from the abstraction of a concept, that entails earthly matters such as work, people, love, well... that is another issue. The absence of necessity is too rare.
Can a person be happy while knowing that he is free because there is no God but, at the same time, not so free because he is a victim of some system? Just like there are several concepts of freedom, there are many factors that restrict them, making the man feel like a powerless individual immersed in a situation he cannot complain about without being replaced in a heartbeat.
On one hand, we are condemned to be free; on the other, freedom is apparently nothing more than theory, something we experience by convincing ourselves that we are free while being constrained by political or economical factors (Locke explained it with much more precise words).
Yes. There is an answer for every side of the term. We can be free or we can convince ourselves that we are. Birds still sing while they spend their lives in a cage—whether it is because of joy or plea, that is another matter.

There is another interesting passage about signs. We often look for them while going through a difficult situation. Sartre skillfully explained that we are the ones that find a particular meaning in those signs. They may mean something different for everybody; in any case, that meaning is determined by us.
This is what "abandonment" implies: it is we, ourselves, who decide who we are to he. (34)

The last word used to describe existentialism was “despair”. That alone, yes, it does not sound too warm and fuzzy. But add some context to it, and... still, it does not sound good. I had some trouble trying to digest this idea.
It means that we must limit ourselves to reckoning only with those things that depend on our will, or on the set of probabilities that enable action... From the moment that the possibilities I am considering cease to be rigorously engaged by my action, I must no longer take interest in them, for no God or greater design can bend the world and its possibilities to my will. In the final analysis, when Descartes said "Conquer yourself rather than the world," he actually meant the same thing: we should act without hope. (35)

From a practical point of view, the time we spend hoping for a result is time wasted. Sartre encourages us to act. To do something in order to achieve what we want and not to wait for others to do it for us; people or a superior being, whichever the case may be. Reality exists only in action.

By the end of the book, there is a commentary on The Stranger. Do not miss it.

If you are new to Sartre's philosophy, then this remarkable essay would be a perfect introduction.
It is not only a book that sheds some light on the matter and rectifies many misconceptions, but a book that gently encourages you to do some introspection. Shall we?

Okay. Stop for a minute. Breathe. Take a look around. Look back; contemplate your present. Where are you right now? Are you the person you have always wanted to be?
"Get up, take subway, work four hours at the office or plant, eat, take subway, work four hours, eat, sleep—Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday-Friday-Saturday—always the same routine..." (77)

Do you feel free?





A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy - Miyamoto Musashi, Victor Harris (Translator)

Rating: 
17/11/13

I do not know how I got here. I did not even know I had this book. But I am glad I read it.
This book was written by Miyamoto Musashi, a Japanese swordsman that had his first duel when he was 13 years old. It is divided into five “rings” (earth, water, fire, wind, void) that describe strategies and principles of martial arts, with a touch of philosophy that kept me interested.
Among all the tactics that can be used, he shared his insightful thoughts on several matters. Martial arts are not just about technique. There are some principles to follow; there is a clarity of mind to be reached. You have to be able to find a balance between a world of war and a world of peace.
The last "ring", the Book of Void... what a way to finish a book. Outstanding.








I Could Chew on This: And Other Poems by Dogs - Francesco Marciuliano

Rating: 
17/11/13





After the awesome book that enlightened me about cats' behavior and intentions, I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats, I had to read this one.










I had dogs and cats, and I love them equally. I mean, there are some prejudices about dogs being dumber than cats, supported by media everywhere.


But I don't believe that, really...
Anyway, lovely book of poems. It has four chapters that help you to understand your furry friend, a little bit more. There are some insightful points of view here. They have feelings too, you know. For example, if you're about to give them some food, don't stop to do your stuff, feed them first. You already showed them the can/bag of food. THEY KNOW. Don't make them feel this way:

Dance of Joy

This is the dance I do for you, do for you
This is the dance I do for you
As you get my can of food
This is the twirl I do for you, do for you
This is the twirl I do for you
As you open my can of food
This is the leap I do for you, do for you
This is the eight-foot vertical leap
I do for you
As you stop serving my food to answer
the phone
This is me running in a sheer panic,
wild panic
This is me running in desperate,
gasping, blind panic
As you continue to talk on the phone...


… THIS IS ME LOSING MY [censored] MIND
MY [censored] BRAINS, MY [censored] COOL
THIS IS ME WONDERING WHAT THE [censored]
COULD BE SO [censored] IMPORTANT
THAT YOU’RE STILL ON THE [censored] PHONE
This is me realizing I was howling out loud,
really loud
And that perhaps I overreacted
just a little
And so this is me eating the food
you give to me, always give to me

Touching.

There are little gems all over this book:
Where Are You?!?

I was so worried
I was so scared
I thought that I had lost you
And the life that we both shared
I searched through the entire house
From the basement to the attic
The living, dining, and bedrooms
Even the trash cans, because I was frantic
Up and down the staircase
Back and forth across the halls
In and out through every door
Louder and louder were my calls
I had given up every hope
I had given in to despair
I had given the bad news to the pet cat
Who gave me a look before re-licking her hair
But just when all seemed lost, I found you
And it gave my heart a rush
To see you sitting—startled, but alive and well
So if you don’t mind,
I’ll just stay here until you flush


The desperate sense of loss in this poem is overwhelming. You can only imagine this dog's smile when its owner was found.

I Dropped a Ball

I dropped a ball in your lap
It’s time to play
I just put a ball in your lap
So it’s time to play
See that ball I placed in your lap?
That means it’s time to play
You can have your emergency appendectomy
Any other day
But I dropped a ball in your lap
And now it’s time to play


Yes dog, people should know their priorities!

Wingman

I wag my tail
I tilt my head
I give a little wink
I flash my smile
I show my belly
I give a little lick
I do it all
From sit to speak
To attract women far and near
Then you chime in
With something about “fan fiction”
And I realize we’re going to die alone


Lassie

How come
With just a few barks
Everyone can understand
That Lassie is saying
Timmy fell down the well
But with my endless whining and gnawing
You can’t understand
That I am saying
I’d rather the earth swallowed me whole
Than go out in public wearing this raincoat


I loved this book. Happy reading!






I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats - Francesco Marciuliano

Rating: 
23/07/14


Suck on that, Baudelaire. Now this is what I call real, heartfelt poetry. Cats had the need of explaining themselves, of sharing their thoughts and feelings through these amazing poems. Outstanding work, honestly.
One of my favorites was:

WHY ARE YOU SCREAMING?

Why are you screaming?
What did I do wrong?
Why are you crying?
How can I make it right?
Would you like it in a different color?
Would you like it in a different size?
Would you like it in a different room?
I just wanted to show my love
I just wanted to express my thanks
I just wanted to put a dead mouse on your sheets
But now you are screaming
And I don't know how to make you stop

It reminded me of a good anecdote that I have already mentioned: when my cat broke that 80 year-old set of cups. Now, I can picture him looking at me saying “Why are you screaming? What did I do wrong?”.
Oh, wait, this one describes the scene beautifully:
THAT TOP SHELF

I think I can jump to that top shelf
I want to jump to that top shelf
I know I can jump to that top shelf
I am jumping to that top shelf
I missed that top shelf by a good six feet
And now everything is on the floor
And I'm left wondering
Why people even bother buying china
If it breaks so easily

Another one that I liked was “Separation”. It is a touching poem about love and jealousy. When I think of jealousy I think of Othello, but recently, while reading Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, I found an interesting passage that explained how Othello actually was a trustful man, according to Pushkin. People pushed the idea of deceit on him simply too much. That does not happen with the truly jealous man, who is ready to hide, spy and do shameful things that reach the point of moral degradation. Anyway, it is an interesting point of view, and cats are also capable of these kind of thinking process. Hence, this poem:
SEPARATION

You can have the CDs,
I will take the string
You can have the TV,
I will take this fuzzy thing
You can have the kitchen set,
I will take this crumpled foil
You can have the car,
I will keep this rug I soil
You can have the beach house,
I will take this tissue box
You can have everything,
Ooo I want those dirty socks
You can go to hell, I will see to that
For how dare you come home
smelling of another cat?

There are more of these powerful poems that show us how cats are affected by, say, a move, a leash (“The Leash”, so funny), a castration (“Seriously”, hilarious), a bath, an irritated human look because he almost falls thanks to a cat between the legs (when that is just another way to show affection, unless the cat is really trying to kill you. For more tips, read this one ).

It is not just about family, these talented felines also wrote poems about
work
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play
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and existence.
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It is a charming little book with hilarious poems written by talented kitties. What more do you want? After reading this, you will be able to look at your cat straight in the eyes and say: “I get it. I really do get it... furry face.”





Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants - Matthew Inman, The Oatmeal


Rating: 
16/02/14

Sunday. 6.34 p.m.
I have a million books on my currently-reading shelf.
I'm reading a new one.
And, apparently, I don't care.

Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear UnderpantsI chose a Matthew Inman book for my Sunday-funny-light-sometimes-not-so-light read. I need some laughs with my classics, you know. Anyway, it wasn't what I expected. Quite a disappointing start (and it didn't get much better). This is the guy that created a hilarious book called How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You. So my train of thought was something like this: “Wait, what? What happened? What am I reading? It's not comedy, it's not drama, what is this? Should I keep reading this? Oh, this is going to be a painful read. Oh my god, this isn't funny. If there's no comedy in this, I just look like a ridiculous grown-up woman reading a book with silly pictures. Okay, I know I can't call myself a grown-up but I kind of look like one and that is what people would think if they saw me reading this thing. This is just sad. Gah! Maybe if I fake a smile. … … … Can't. I need cupcakes. Why do I need cupcakes?”

Babbling over. So. The book. Well, after that first comic, it got a bit better. The second one is called “American vs. British accents”; it was funny-ish. Still an improvement. The third one, “What it means when you say literally”, okay, that was funny. And educational. Some people don't know when to use that word but want to use it anyway because they think it makes them sound smart. Well, it doesn't.
Sample:

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Other comics I liked: “Cobwebs” (been there, done that), “If my brain were an imaginary friend” (that's one the best), “The crap we put up with getting on and off an airplane” (so true), “How to fix any computer” (well... I use Linux; if I can use it, then it's not that hard, believe me), “This is how I feel about buying apps”, “When to use i.e. in a sentence” (not funny but helpful), the metric system reference and... I don't think I can mention another one. According to the book description, I was going to get "brilliant, irreverent comic hilarity".
I'm still looking.

So, to be honest, there are some good comics in this book. They're about ordinary situations to which everyone can relate to and all that with humor and irony (sometimes, sarcasm). However, other comics are completely forgettable. Unfortunately, there are plenty of those. Some pictures seemed to be there to simply fill a page and nothing more. I wanted to finish those to get to the next page. And so on. And so on. Until I reach to the funny joke that I didn't want to stop reading because I kind of knew that the next one wasn't going to be that good.

I like Inman/The Oatmeal/whatever. I like him. He doesn't know that because he doesn't know I even exist, but I do like him. And I loved “How to tell if your cat...”. Having read that one, I can't give this collection more than three stars.






Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened - Allie Brosh

Rating: 
05/01/14


This is kind of how I look right now while writing these humble thoughts.

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Do you see that smile? That little face. It's like a child on sugar overdose after eating half a cake on his birthday during vacations at Disneyland. So, I'll try to control myself.


Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That HappenedI was smiling since its introduction. After reading all her “Warning signs” I just knew it was going to be a hilarious book. I didn't know this was such an Internet sensation, that she had a blog and all that. I don't so I'm a bit out of that world, you know, blogs, Twitter, Tumblr, the thing with the paintings, pictures, whatever. I heard about this author a couple of months ago. (Thanks GR Awards for letting me know about this book. I know I couldn't vote because I haven't read a single one of those new books, but I'm trying to keep up. Even though next year I'm guessing it will be the same thing and I'll be reading those new books after the whole event is over.)

I love mixing genres. You can't be all about the serious stuff (well, you could, but you'll be a victim of a massive dullness, and that's fine by me). I love humor and I'm so glad I find books like this one, once in a while. People often think it's easy to write a funny book. Well, it's not. It's not like putting a bunch of stupid words all together. And believe me, I read one of those and that's not how it works. Well, for me, at least. These people seem to be clever, witty, charming. All things I can only imagine, but I'm guessing that's how they are (?) If they're not, don't tell me. Do not kill my illusion.

Anyway, this book has funny anecdotes and hilarious drawings. You can look at this picture with some random sentence next to it, and still can't help a good laugh, no matter how serious that sentence is meant to be.

An overwhelming excitement . (Kind of my reaction when entering an old-looking library.)

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A giant asteroid is expected to hit the Earth in a matter of weeks.

description

From now on, all books must be read using electronic devices and paperbacks are forbidden.

description

Hmm. OK, bad example. And maybe that only happens to me.

Anyhow, the anecdotes, the jokes, the hilarious observations on life, its weirdness and awesomeness and the awkward drawings... all that makes an amazing combo. After “Warning signs”, I laughed at “The simple dog”. I'm a cat/dog lover, I can't choose. Right now, I have a cat and I'm not frustrated because he won't do what I tell him to do. I know he's not stupid. Moreover, I'm pretty sure his IQ is higher than mine. He won't listen to me because he simply doesn't want to. He knows the sound of my voice, when I'm petting him and when I'm angry because he just threw a glass off the table. So, he chooses when to obey. A free spirit who's not so free when I'm holding his food.

The next chapter is called “Motivation”; I looked it up so I would be able to understand what these pages were all about... And when I familiarized with the term, oh my, how I laughed!

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Yep, that usually happens to me with Diet Coke bottles.

By page 40-something, I was laughing my teeth off. My cat was staring at me, seeing his owner laughing at some screen, wondering how to google “how to tell if my owner is retarded” (well, that was the word). However, I couldn't help it.
Fear and shame are the backbone of my self-control. They are my source of inspiration, my insurance against becoming entirely unacceptable. They help me do the right thing. And I am terrified of what I would be without them. Because I suspect that, left to my own devices, I would completely lose control of my life.

Aw. I fell in love with this human being.

I also loved “The God of Cake”, the “Depressions”, especially part II, “This is why I'll never be an adult” (nothing I can relate to; oh no, not me... not me, at all), “Thoughts and feelings” and many other fascinating anecdotes that made my weekend (yes, this was the highest point of my weekend; no, I'm not pathetic!)

If you enjoy good comedy, this is your book. If you don't, well... I'm really sorry. Really.

So, this is it! I loved this book. I loved it

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Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell

Rating: 

29/08/14

Yes. From Faulkner to this. I read everything. Okay, almost everything. But lately, I've been enjoying these little jewels that are freaking hilarious. I fell in love with Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops only by looking at the cover (I just admitted that I judged a book by its cover, again). “Do you have any books by Jane Eyre?”. I just knew this one was going to be a funny read.
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

I love humor. It is an essential part of life that helps you to bond with people (or avoid people), to recover from difficult times, to see life differently. (And, honestly, you have to have a functional brain to be funny. It is an art and I admire those gifted people. It is not for everybody. It is a bit sad to witness someone trying to be funny when his or her nature is as dry as a bone. It hurts. And if you kind of like the person, you have to pretend it was a witty comment and fake a smile. That hurts even more. It is like you are forcing your muscles to move and form a smile, because you cannot laugh, you just can't. But, when you least expect it, your voice conspires with the little muscles that were forced to work, and this weak, creepy giggling comes out. It is physically and mentally exhausting. ... ... Well, ending this rant now. I know how GR loves off-topic reviews.) Anyway, I like reading weird and humorous stuff that makes me forget, for a couple of hours, about whatever problem I may have. And there are so many unusual and awesome authors that I would love to have a cup of coffee with. Jen Campbell, bring cake.

I laughed from page one. You see, the book starts with a serious problem: you want to buy a book but you don't remember the title and its author. The bookseller cannot help you that much. However, if your asking about a book and the only information you can give is that you read it in the sixties and the cover was green... Tough, huh?

Besides that one, I found other nice anecdotes. People (sadly) looking for Anne Frank's sequel, people asking smart questions...
CUSTOMER: Do you have any old copies of Dickens?
BOOKSELLER: We’ve got a copy of David Copperfield from 1850 for £100.
CUSTOMER: Why is it so expensive if it’s that old?

...and giving smart answers...
CUSTOMER: Who wrote the Bible? I can’t remember.
CUSTOMER’s FRIEND: Jesus.

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(imagine that)

…and customers sharing their thoughts:
CUSTOMER: “Doesn’t it bother you, being surrounded by books all day? I think I’d be paranoid they were all going to jump off the shelves and kill me.”

I'm sorry, customer, but where the hell have you been buying your books?

I really enjoyed this book. It is nice to see all the fun, weird and sometimes sad things that a bookseller (like any other seller) has to put out with (it is a sad fact that people don't read as much as they should; they ignore so many wonderful things so they ask the most stupid questions ever). Customers can be such rude, disrespectful creatures sometimes. I know that. I talk to clients on daily basis and I also hear some crazy things and people speaking to me in a bad tone are always around. However, as a customer that loves to read, I don't get a very nice treatment all the time, and I don't even ask too stupid questions, at least, not that many. I often arrive after the annoying customer left (the one that says things like “You’re a shop, for Christ’s sake, you’re here to offer me a service.”), and I get all the bad manners and faces because now, the bookseller is cranky and the rest that has nothing to do with it, shall suffer. That is not fair, either. We are all humans, sure, but manners are everything and they go both ways. I went to a certain bookstore a couple of times and I am still waiting for them to answer my “good mornings”. “Yes? No. Yes. $80” (scene ends with the sound of coins on my hand). No desires of going back to that place, I can assure you. And don't get me started on those places that correct your mispronunciations with a sarcastic smile. Hey, they are English or Russian names, it is not like I didn't know how to pronounce “Lopez”.
Nice and rude people, everywhere. That's life.

Anyway, I could go on and on because every one of these peculiar bookshop moments delivers a topic to talk about. But I think I've reached the off-topic limit for today.

I loved the book and I strongly recommend it to those who are looking for some hilarious material, whether you are a customer or a bookseller.
There are several other great anecdotes. Fine, two more samples.

This one is adorable:
CUSTOMER: Do you have this children’s book I've heard about? It’s supposed to be very good. It’s called ‘Lionel Richie and the Wardrobe.’

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Yes, that is how my brain worked.

And this one made me go through all the five stages of grief. I denied it, I just couldn't believe I was reading that. Then, I was angry enough to punch something. Then, bargaining. I was ready to make a deal with that person, not sure what kind of deal. Negotiation with that human being would be pointless. Later, of course, I felt a bit depressed because this situation made me lose faith in humanity. And finally, I accepted it. I accepted it all. Different people with different tastes and we have to respect that... no matter how bad we want to save them.
BOOKSELLER: Hi, can I help you at all?
CUSTOMER: I don’t give a damn about books – they bore me.
BOOKSELLER: I’m not sure you’re in the right place, then.
CUSTOMER: No, I am. I just wanted to ask what specific colour you painted your bookshelves? I love this colour. I mean, the right colour can make books look more appealing, can’t it?
BOOKSELLER: Can it?
CUSTOMER: And the smell of the paint takes away the smell of the books, too. Which is also a plus.

Yeah... Acceptance. I think I lied. I am still working on it.

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All My Friends Are Still Dead - Avery Monsen

Rating: 
03/11/13


This guy did it again. A hilarious book that I wished it was longer (is that remotely correct?). Loved it. Loneliness is a serious matter, I should know, so you must have a dark and twisted kind of humor to really enjoy this. 

Big fan over here.

There's people and animals complaining about having all their friends dead. There's a bored angel complaining because all his friends are still alive. All sort of objects whining because they're pathetic friendless things waiting for some affection, or because their friends aren't exactly what they expected. Even poor Mr. Grim Reaper wants to connect with other people, but, sometimes, no matter how badly we want to be friends with someone, it's beyond our control and people can be severely injured...

There are some hilarious cartoons like this one:


Even if you consider someone your friend, that doesn't really mean they feel the same way. Learn how to detect your real friends, if you have any! If not, well, hmm, one less thing to worry about.








Amphigorey - Edward Gorey


Rating: 
30/11/13

Amphigorey
I loved this book! This is a collection of fifteen stories and drawings. Gorey's artwork is stunning. And his twisted, creepy sense of humor is just my cup of tea (not everyone's cup, I know). It can be dark but funny at the same time. It's not about some silly, creepy stories, there's a dark reality here that can be found outside this book. So, if this is too twisted and horrifying for you, can you survive watching the late night news?


My first Gorey was The Gashlycrumb Tinies. And I just immediately connected with this weird little man. Most of the times, there's a lesson to be learned in these stories. So, it's weird but also hmm... educational.







All My Friends Are Dead - Avery Monsen

Rating: 
03/01/14


All My Friends Are Dead

This is a funny book about people with no friends because of several reasons: meteors, age, lonely jobs, Internet, death.









I felt sorry for all the characters but especially for this tree.



I mean, look at it, a lonely piece of wood whose only companion is a bunch of indifferent leaves. Not even birds' nests. He turned into a coffee table and, surrounded by hundreds of objects in some house, still had no friends.

It seems when you're desperate to connect with people, you become some sort of friend repellent. So don't try too hard...

Anyway, whenever you think you're alone in this world, that you're a cool, interesting but friendless person, buy this book (I'm assuming you'll just have to buy it yourself) and remember, you might be alone but, ironically, you're not the only one feeling that way.

There must be a club, somewhere.







How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting Against You - Matthew Inman, The Oatmeal

Rating: 
09/05/14


These days I've been experimenting with some awesomely weird books. Yes, people may think that I'll never grow up, but these books I've read that seem to be for kids, I assure you they're not. Suggestion: if you don't want kids suffering awful traumas or to be potential psychos...
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...turn off the TV and give them some Roald Dahl to read.

So, this book is not only useful, because it offers some great ideas to know if your cat is plotting to kill you, is also too damn funny. There are several explanations about cats and their behavior: direction of ears according to each kind of mood, what they love and hate, how they see us. Also some hilarious cartoons about the Bobcats: angry, bossy and selfish working cats that bully everybody in the office. They wear little ties, steal everyone's lunch and hates the “howler monkey”. (I can think of a few people that fit the “howler monkey” kind of guy; yes, quite annoying fellas).

It also shows us cats' big battle against the Internet. Big lesson to remember at all times: when they demand attention, you should listen. Your furniture would be grateful.
Anyway, this book finishes with what's like to have a baby and to have a cat. Mothers' could think it's a harsh and twisted kind of humor (?) Well, I liked it...

All in all, it's a hilarious book that every person with a cat should read. These superb and intelligent creatures that treats dogs and humans as idiots and slaves, respectively, are great companions, especially on rainy afternoons when you're reading an awesome book by the window with a cup of coffee next to you. (Yes, I'm focusing on the nice aspects.)

I love animals, and right now, I have a cat. Well, yesterday, this nice feline broke a set of cups that has been in my family for 70 or 80 years. I wanted to leave him with only five lives, but once I saw such a little and innocent face, what could I do?

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I feel powerless.


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The Gashlycrumb Tinies (The Vinegar Works, #1) - Edward Gorey

Rating: 
10/11/13





I've met the guy that inspired the awesome Tim Burton, finally. And as I figured, his weird awesomeness is breathtaking.

This is a book apparently for children (it is NOT) that, with quite a morbid sense of humor, teaches the alphabet. Twenty-six ways to die and lovely pictures describing each one of them.
This would have been such a funny way to learn the alphabet, although I'd probably be a hypochondriac or a sociopath by now. Who knows.

My letter is F.

f

Now that's a bad way to go.







sábado, 7 de marzo de 2015

Return Of The Bunny Suicides - Andy Riley

Rating: 
11/12/13


I got it! Another doses of where-are-your-meds-freak kind of humor. This is just as good as its predecessor, The Book of Bunny Suicides, which I reviewed here. (Although, I found this one a bit creepier.) These bunnies imagined some really weird ways of taking their own lives. Weird and exhausting ways.

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And complicated. Sometimes, even more complicated than life itself.

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And disturbing. This must be painful as hell.
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I will never look at grated cheese the same way again.

One can't help but to wonder what happened to those little and troubled souls that they felt life was just too much. And here I am, laughing at their creative ways of killing themselves. I feel horrible. I'm smiling AND I feel horrible.


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