the reading list

Reading is a very personal and solitary experience for me but I do love talking about books. I'm currently on a Young Adult fiction reading spree, partly because I'm trying to write something for this age range, but mostly because my work life is so demanding that reading YA is like a breath of fresh air at the end of an exhausting day.

Luckily, I have friends who feel the same way so we can have endless discussions about books that we love and send random text messages to each other, which makes it even more fun. You know, like when you're standing in line at the post office and all of a sudden you get a message that says, "I'm listening to this song by Sun Rai and I immediately thought of Eleanor and Park", and you smile like the dork that you are because you know exactly what she meant. Yep, we definitely get attached to fictional characters.

About a month ago, I participated in Hila's book challenge to read more books written by women. Here are some on my to-read list:
  • Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
  • Maya's Notebook by Isabel Allende
  • Villette by Charlotte Brontë
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
  • The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

I would love to know what's in your reading list, too.
Or add me as a friend on Goodreads so we can be book buddies!

life lately

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'You have to live first, experience life, and later write about it.'
-- Ismail Kadaré, The Art of Fiction No. 153 from The Paris Review

Hello friends, it's been awhile. I miss you guys and I miss this little blog of mine. I feel nostalgic looking through my old archives and thinking about how I used to update regularly in the past. I really do try my best but other social platforms are more convenient for sharing snippets of my daily life so I find myself wanting to blog less often. (And by "other", it's mostly Instagram)

So, life lately. I can tell you about the happy parts and the sad parts, work is still hectic but we are almost at the end of the school year so that's definitely something to be happy about. But the most exciting part is I am inspired to write again and that writing comes easy for me these days. I must admit, it does make me absentminded and unavailable sometimes but I've also learned to say "no" and not feel too guilty about it. It's all about prioritizing, I guess.

But enough about me. How about you, how is life treating you these days?
And here is my Instagram and Twitter, I'd love to hear from you.

the waves

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But when we sit together, close...we melt into each other with phrases. We are edged with mist. We make an unsubstantial territory. -- Virginia Woolf

I've been wanting to pick up The Waves again but I can't seem to get past the first few pages. I think you have to be in a certain mind frame to read Virginia Woolf and I'm just not there right now. However, I absolutely love this quote. Especially the part about making an unsubstantial territory. It sounds so wildly glorious.

How about you, what are you reading lately? And has anyone read The Waves? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this book.

Images taken at Ocean Beach via iPhone

cinematic moments

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The San Francisco International Film Festival is playing right now and I've been really lucky this year because all the films that I've chosen were very good so far. In fact, I was so moved by this one film that I saw this afternoon that I want to talk about it right away.

Me and You is the latest movie by the iconic director Bernardo Bertulocci (Last Tango in Paris, The Dreamers) and perhaps his most quiet and simple one. It tells us about 14 year-old Lorenzo who is very detached from the outside world and spends his time visiting pet shops and listening to his mp3 player. He lied to his mother about going to a class ski trip and spends a week at the basement of their apartment building instead. Lorenzo's carefully planned solitary time was interrupted when his troubled half-sister Olivia suddenly turned up, and with nowhere else to go they were forced to share the cramped basement and tolerate each other's presence.

I'm always drawn to films about introverted and broken people who finds a shared connection in the most unexpected places, so this movie is definitely right up my alley. There is a scene towards the end of the film when Lorenzo and Olivia were slow dancing to David Bowie's Italian version of Space Oddity "Ragazzo solo, Ragazza sola" that moved me so much that I was even tearing up just thinking about it after the movie. The acting was pitch perfect and the song made it even more so.

"Tell me lonely boy where are you going to/ Why so much pain?", reads the English translation to the song's lyrics.  I think this pretty much sums up why that moment was so poignant for me. That these half-siblings who are essentially strangers saw each other's pain in a very honest way. And that by the end of the film, I felt like I've shared their inner struggles and recognized some my own, too.

Here is the film trailer. I really hope that it will be shown in movie theaters soon.

Film stills via sceglilfilm.it