"When I was a kid, my mom didn't take me to toy stores, she took me to bookstores (and museums). It all started with her, reciting poetry and song lyrics. When I began to read, it was mostly scary stories and fantasy; after a brief rebellious phase, I read almost all of Agatha Christie's novels, a few terrible romances, and Harry Potter and Tolkien. In High school I preached about Edgar Allan Poe and Horacio Quiroga - to the dismay of the nuns in my Catholic school-, before moving on to banned classics that described my reality, like 1984.

By the time I started University, I had read half of Borges' work and, instead of studying Physics and Chemical Elements, I hid in the Library to read about magic mirrors and impossible characters of the Latin American boom (Cortázar). When I started Comp. Lit, it was game over: Deleuze & Guatari, Barthes, Eagleton, Jung, Calvino, Rilke, Benjamin, Woolf, Ajmatova; I wanted to read it all. Once in the US, I reread some books in English and have since tried to read contemporary American authors, particularly women:Didion, Plath, Lahiri, Yanagihara, Moore, and so on.

My weakness, though, will forever be Venezuelan poetry (Cadenas, Montejo) and anything related to Greek mythology.

A few reviews of books that opened doors and worlds:"
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The Duino Elegies By Rainer Maria Rilke Cover Image
ISBN: 9781618952288
Availability: Not On Our Shelves - Available within 1 to 5 Days
Published: Bibliotech Press - February 16th, 2017

Striking and ethereal, Rilke mourns poetry and beauty, the world, and himself with the delicacy and definitiveness of his mystical prose.

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The Pleasure of the Text By Roland Barthes, Richard Miller (Translated by) Cover Image
By Roland Barthes, Richard Miller (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780374521608
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hill and Wang - January 1st, 1975

A seductive way to view writing, reading, and the beauty of text as a combination of words weaved together, their meaning, their rhythm, the way they feel when they’re spoken. A beautiful text about texts written in delicate prose that reveals Barthes’ immense wisdom.

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1984 By George Orwell, Thomas Pynchon (Foreword by) Cover Image
By George Orwell, Thomas Pynchon (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780452284234
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - May 6th, 2003

Fear is the word that constantly comes to mind when reading 1984. Fiction copying reality at its best, Orwell's timeless novel describes the fear we might feel of a one power that sees and controls all.

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The Complete Cosmicomics By Italo Calvino Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544577879
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - September 8th, 2015

Nonsensical and yet perfectly reasonable, this series tells the evolution of the universe through the eyes of an ever living character that sees all, feels all, and lives all. A perfect bedside book to be melancholic, ponder about life itself, or laugh at the silly ideas we make of ourselves.

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Silk (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Vintage International) By Alessandro Baricco, Ann Goldstein (Translated by) Cover Image
By Alessandro Baricco, Ann Goldstein (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780307277978
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - August 28th, 2007

With his particular economy of words, Baricco weaves a love story with the weight of far off lands and birdcages, and the lightness of silk and feathers.

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The Days of Abandonment By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein Cover Image
ISBN: 9781933372006
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - September 1st, 2005

Crude and piercing, a description of separation, divorce, and single motherhood has never been so accurate. As with all her work, Ferrante displays a side of women rarely exposed: their raw suffering and their raw sexuality, proving how human and flawed they are, even at their best.

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The Year of Magical Thinking (Vintage International) By Joan Didion Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400078431
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - February 13th, 2007

Who knew Grief could be beautiful and hopeful as well as sharp and painful. Didion's writing is poignant and eye opening, and she spares us of nothing in her portrayal of loss.

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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel By Ocean Vuong Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525562047
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 1st, 2021

An almost aggressive and yet gorgeous take on what it feels like to be a first generation American, a writer at heart, and a queer boy who discovers his sexuality in the wheat fields of Connecticut.

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Heartstopper #1: A Graphic Novel By Alice Oseman, Alice Oseman (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Alice Oseman, Alice Oseman (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781338617436
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - May 5th, 2020

Sweet, funny, and honest, this graphic novel doesnt mince words on gender, sexuality, and mental health. Indispensable read for teenagers and adults willing to understand our current world and the one to come.