What I Read in February

February was a month that went by quite slowly, even though it only had 29 days. Maybe it was because of the insane amount of rain where I live, or because I avoided every single Carnaval party possible (which was a task that took around 3 weeks), or because of my choice of books. March, on other hand, has been quite fast so far.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray was first published in 1890, and it was quite polemic at the time. And, considering the current social-political environment, some people will still think this philosophical novel offends the moral sensibilities and violates the public morality. Personally, I love this book, it is one of my favorites.

This masterpiece tells the story of the breathtakingly beautiful aristocrat Dorian Gray, who was the subject of a portrait by Basil Howard. While posing for the picture, Dorian meets the hedonistic Lord Henry Wotton, with whom he becomes close friends. Afraid of future wrinkles, Dorian makes a pact with… only Oscar Wilde knows whom (this part is very sci-fi) that makes only his portrait grow old and show his sins. With the aging problem solved, Dorian goes on to live a life based on pleasure, offending moral sensibilities and violating the public morality.

Because it was written in 1890, this novel is not the easiest and fastest thing to read. But it is beautifully written and 100% worth being a classic. I feel this is one of those books that everybody should read at least once in their life.

(And yes, this not the first time I read it)

Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

This book took literally took me a month to finish, and this is because I was very obstinate to finish. Boy Erase is a memoir by Garrard Conley about his experience growing up in an extremely conservative Baptist family and being part of a gay conversion therapy called Love In Action.

The idea for the book is good: showing how problematic the idea of gay conversion is, and what is like hiding and/or denying your sexuality. The final product of this idea is awful. The author tried to do something poetic but he ended up creating a Viagens na Minha Terra* 2.0. I fell asleep every single time I tried to read this book. In the end I skimmed most of it, just so I could finish as quickly as possible. So, if you’re interested in reading this book, is better to watch the movie.

* Viagens na Minha Terra is a book from 1846 by Portuguese writer Almeida Garret, and is part of the Portuguese romanticism era. Right now, it seems to be available only in Portuguese and French (poor French!). When I was in high school it was one of those obligatory reads in many schools. This novel is so interesting that I met only around a couple of people that managed to finish it. I still have nightmares about it.

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

MaddAddam is the third and final book from the MaddAddam trilogy, which was written by Margaret Atwood. It starts where The Year of the Flood left us, and it focuses more on Toby and the Crakers, which is something I loved, it is not as confusing as the previous book was.

For me this was the perfect way to end this trilogy. We finally learn more about Zeb, Jimmy resurfaces and the Crakers (specially Blackbeard) quickly became my favorite characters.

One thing that needs to be praised about MaddAddam is Margaret Atwood’s writing skill. She managed to make such an unpoetic theme, the difficult living situation from the characters and the quest to find Adam One in something beautiful and extremely poetic.

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