Reading Bad Reviews

Whenever a book piques my interest, the first thing I do is go on Amazon or Goodreads and read the bad reviews.

Why?

Because, for once, I believe that by reading the bad reviews you get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t in that particular book. Also, I’ve found that those who didn’t like the book are particularly more detailed in their reviews. They aren’t just raving about how awesome and freaking amazing that book was. And then I suppose it’s simply because I’m more likely to buy a book that also has some bad reviews. All five star reviews looks pretty suspicious and I just guess that reading about a book’s flaws makes me want to buy it more. Continue reading

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A storm is coming

In His Last Bow, one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, there’s a scene that I particularly enjoyed.

At the end Holmes addresses his good friend Dr. Watson with these words, “There’s an east wind coming, Watson.”

To which Watson replies, “I think not, Holmes. It is very warm.”

And Holmes concludes with, “Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age. There’s an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it’s God’s own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared. Start her up, Watson, for it’s time that we were on our way. I have a check for five hundred pounds which should be cashed early, for the drawer is quite capable of stopping it if he can.” Continue reading

Love and… uhm… stuff

It’s Valentine’s Day, and, well, Yahoo is offering lovers the chance to auto-compose romantic e-mails. They’re kind of funny, but I’m not sure how many of you want to send their loved ones the same e-mails as a thousand others.

Anyway, even if you hate this day (for various reasons), there’s one undeniable fact: “We make art because we are capable of love. We can feel our surroundings, not only touch them or see them or smell them or whatever. We can feel them on a level that doesn’t really make much sense. It’s like… some people choose to think that they’re sad because it’s raining outside, while others believe that it’s raining because they’re sad.”

It’s really nice to fall in love. There’s not much I can say other than that. There’s hope and courage and strength for those who love truly. If you’re not in love, I hope you do fall in love one day. And even if you do get hurt, there’s nothing to make you feel more alive.

That’s it, actually.

Opening Lines

There’s no denying it: the opening line has a special place in literature, mostly because of its task: it has to build a transition for the reader, to submerge him in the world of fiction.

It does for fiction what a movie trailer does for film. You know what to expect, you catch a glimpse of what the book will be like. Great openings set the tone for the story. Continue reading

If I had one wish

I’d ask that all the great people I’ve met in the past couple of years live in the same city. I’d want to have them all one or two blocks away.

All the artists that I’ve come to admire and wordship and envy, I’d like for all of us to meet and exchange ideas and talk about art and life and love.

We would inspire one another, and the world would stop feeling so empty. Or filled with ridiculously shallow characters.

Sadly, most of them live so far away that I can only dream of visiting…

A Random Sunday Morning Post

First, here’s a picture of me:

Yeah, that’s me now. More or less. I think this photo is 4-5 years old. But anyway, it’s more recent than the one before. And I was wearing cooler glasses.

In other news, I’m working on a new blog series for the next week. It’s about blogging and some of the tools I use, like Zemanta, Wordads, etc. I think it’s gonna be fun.

Now, for a question. If I were to compile my most popular essays on writing and art into an e-book, edit them, format them, add a nice cover, would anyone be interested in reading it? (the e-book that is.)

Who the *$&% Is Cristian Mihai?

I know a lot of you have already read my about page. Some of you may want to know more. Some of you don’t even think I exist. Conspiracy theories abound as to who I am and whether or not I want to take over the world. Or just the Internet. The thing is, I’m pretty real. Also, my about page is 100% accurate.

But for anyone who’s curious to find out more, here are ten random facts about Cristian Mihai. Continue reading

Beautiful

This is one my favorite paintings. The Floor Scrapers by Gustave Caillebotte. Not only that I don’t know why I like it so much, but I can’t even find a message behind the painting. I can’t dissect it the way that I like to do with other paintings.

It’s just beautiful. Continue reading

And the Nobel Prize for Literature 2012 goes to…

Mo Yan, a Chinese writer who “merges folktales, history and the contemporary,” like Peter Englund, head of the Swedish Academy, said.

If this were a news site, I’d now add a couple of useless facts about Mo Yan. But this is not a news site, so if you want to read more, you can go here or here. But I’m going to tell you what I think about the Nobel Prize for Literature. Continue reading

iCancer: Crowdfunding an Anti-Cancer Virus

Today I received this in a newsletter from Indiegogo:

“Researchers in Sweden isolated a virus that successfully attacked cancer in mice. Then, because of a lack of funding, the virus was put in a freezer before it could go to human trials. Now, a team in London is crowdfunding an effort to get the treatment ready for testing and make a potentially world-changing scientific breakthrough. If you have a million dollars and change laying around, the team will name the virus after you — but even a $25 contribution will make you a part of medical history.” Continue reading