Let Me Explain You by Annie Liontas | Review

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahStavros Stavros Mavrakis is the patriarch of a raucous, opinionated, and crazy family of Greek immigrants living in New Jersey. For some reason, he is convinced that he’s going to die in ten days so he sends an email to his three daughters and some strongly-worded sections for his ex-wife detailing his last wishes before he dies. From the get go, the first thing to notice about this book is the voice of Stavros, who’s not what you’d call conventional. He’s a handful, to say the least.

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If I could write you,

it would be like that

Andy Williams song,
Where do I begin?

Except I wouldn’t know where
or how. Perhaps a poem?

I only know few words,
but I would make sure to give you

only the right ones,
and it would be rid

of threadbare metaphors
and hackneyed turns of phrases.

I wouldn’t compare you to a
summer’s day, nor would you be

the light of my life,
fire of my loins.

I know those things fit you
like a pair of shoes a size too small,

And there might be a line or two
I could write from your eyes,

and the way they see
I wouldn’t quite understand,

but it wouldn’t matter
because beauty is never meant

to be understood,
and perfection is a myth.

If I could write you,
if I could write you,

you would be a poem
that doesn’t need to be rewritten.

Complexity and Capriciousness ( Carol Rifka Brunt’s Tell The Wolves I’m Home | Review )

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah“I felt like I had proof that not all days are the same length, not all time has the same weight. Proof that there are worlds and worlds and worlds on top of worlds, if you want them to be there.” 
― Carol Rifka Brunt
Tell the Wolves I’m Home

June, a 14-year-old socially awkward girl in 1987 Westchester, New York, dreams of existing in a different time, different place, and perhaps, a different fate. The book starts with tenderly human and brittle moments of June’s uncle Finn painting a portrait of her and her sister Greta. After Finn’s untimely demise because of AIDS, the painting goes unfinished and unravels a kind of grief inside June’s heart that will shape her existence as she teeters on the edge of childhood and maturity.

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On Riddles and Loneliness (Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-up Bird Chronicle | Review)

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“I realize full well how hard it must be to go on living alone in a place from which someone has left you, but there is nothing so cruel in this world as the desolation of having nothing to hope for.”
Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Before The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, I had read twelve books by Haruki Murakami, so I thought nothing from this elusive author should come as a shock to me anymore. But apparently, I was wrong. Continue reading

The Weather’s Really Nice Today, Don’t You Think? (A brief and unreliable guide to making small talk with someone new)

In one of my posts, I told you about my inability to function as a normal human being when it comes to small talk. Now in order to rectify that, (not that anything needs rectifying, being fabulously awkward has been working fine for me) I’ve compiled this little guide with suggestions from different sources I’ve collected over the years on not embarrassing yourself in front of someone new. (Hint: a little buzz helps.)


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Regarding Postmodern Relationships (a rumination)

You see her for the first time, standing across the classroom. But you don’t fall in love at first sight. You don’t believe in that. You believe in love at first conversation. There’s still some fragment of romance left in your being (or at least that’s what you tell yourself). It seems more than possible to you; to talk to a person for the first time and everything just falls into place. Like every string of words she says is the greatest love song you ever heard. Like the world now turns the way it was supposed to. You are swept off by the idea. It’s torrential. It’s exhilarating. And, it’s frightening.

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What DO We Talk About When We Talk About Love? (Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love | Review )

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“There was a time when I thought I loved my first wife more than life itself. But now I hate her guts. I do. How do you explain that? What happened to that love? What happened to it, is what I’d like to know. I wish someone could tell me.”
Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

I seem to have a penchant for sparse but razor-sharp prose pregnant with subtext (I’m looking at you, Hemingway). It is also something of a maxim of mine to avoid books brimming with sentimentalism and purple prose and I deeply appreciate it when a book mostly relies on implications and makes me think. As such, Raymond Carver with his collection, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, has ascended into my personal limelight.

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Regarding Words and the Poetry of Silence

Too often, I find myself writhing between the fangs of what everyone calls an “awkward silence”. I can’t help it. I’m just really not good at small talks. And although I have long since came to peace with that, the sheer uneasiness during those wordless moments tug on my sleeves like a child waiting to be fed. Like in some twisted logic, I’m responsible for salvaging everyone from that unpleasant wreck. I have to say something. Anything. (Then I proceed to say something incredibly stupid and embarrass myself.)

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