where the writers are
About Us

What exactly is a "book smuggler"?

Wise question, young grasshopper. We are two completely obsessed, sad, sick addicts when it comes to books. We’re not just talking a meager fix of scifi here or a quick shot of romance there. We’re talking full-blown, unrestrained, junkie-shuffling itching-my-scratches addiction. This entails spending massive amounts of our disposable incomes at various book retailers, stockpiling said books, and creating lengthy lists of what to read next. Our significant others have tried to quell the compulsion with threats, mocking cynicism, and finally with desperate pleas and interventions. This disapproval and plain refusal to accept us as we are forced the two of us to take drastic measures. To escape the hawk-like watch of les boyfriends, we contrived a way to beat the system: we order books online via the fantabulous amazon.com and have the books shipped in bulk to our respective places of work. Armed with oversized handbags, we smuggle the books home, just a few at a time, where we slip them inconspicuously into the book pile. Should someone catch on to the system, denial works wonders ("No baby, I’ve had this book for ages, I just haven’t read it yet"). So long as the telltale boxes are out of sight and safely disposed of at an offsite location, the boys will never be the wiser. Hence, our title as book smugglers. The real kicker to this story is both of us undertook the same sneaky smuggling plan unbeknownst to the other. When we found each other out, we decided to combine our brilliant, devious genius in the form of book reviews. Which brings us to… What is the purpose of this blog? No one becomes a master at blockade running and sneaking in contraband without having a voracious appetite for reading. And as avid readers with an OCD streak a mile wide, what better way to channel obsession into reviews! We will give you straight up reviews, complete with bitchy or gushing opinions, on all of our recent endeavors. The goal is to review a minimum of one book per week, per person, although Ana may post a few more in order to meet her 2008 Challenge to read 130 book until Dec 31st. Once a month, we’ll do a joint review of the same book to add a little spice and lend some differing perspectives. And since we are such obsessive dorks, anything else—movies, television shows, news bits, sports—is fair game. Welcome! And we hope you enjoy it! About Thea Three things: Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica. No not really. At least not the Bears and Beets part (although there is a case to be made for bears. Bears are badass). I’m a full-time working woman, a fresh outta college grad that needs to escape from everyday drudgery through multiple, unhealthy obsessions. Namely books of the scifi/fantasy/horror variety, dorky television shows, movies, zombies, guitar hero, and sports. Book-wise, my taste runs towards the fantastical. Which isn’t to say I haven’t been persuaded to reading (and enjoying) trashy romance novels (Ana’s influence); in general I’m much more of a speculative fiction kind of gal. I've studied history (my first love) and literature, and while trendy high-lit ficton can sometimes weasel its way into the rotation, I try to stay away from the overly pompous and pretentious types of material. With movies, I’m a sucker for true horror, anything that involves multiple explosions, and cheap humor. I watch everything I can get my hands on that sounds even remotely interesting (not to say that I review all of these movies favorably). Cultured, uber-artsy, moody flicks aren’t my jam (although if forced, under threat of torture I will watch them). Zombie movies are the best. Naturally. I am an opinionated bitch when it comes to sports. A regular hot-blooded UCLA Bruin devotee, Laker for life, T.O. enthusiast (gasp!), Dodgers and Angels lover, MMA and Boxing fanatic. Other notable obsessions include: LOST—I’m a full on, guns-blazin’ Skater (yes, I am into the girly shippy stuff and won’t ever apologize for it!); Battlestar Galactica; The X-Files; Survival-Horror video games; and did I mention anything to do with zombies? As such, my reviews/entries will deal with the above materials. Cheers! About Ana While trying to write this intro, I find that describing myself is very hard. My friends and family tell me I live in my own little world. Well, in my little world there are rooms there are filled with books and just about enough space for a few other healthy obsessions such as movies, TV shows and travelling around the world. My thing with books probably started when my grandfather read fairy tales to me. I grew up surrounded by them as my mother was a teacher and a voracious reader as well. I remember my father taking me to second-hand bookshops when I was a teenager where I fell in love with the smell of books. I like the physical aspect of the books as much as like the contents: nothing compares to holding a new book in your hands. Subject-wise my taste has changed with time. I started with the fairy tales and children’s books, moved towards Agatha Christie’s novels when I was 12, spent some time on the History and Archaeology "section" (which probably explains why I decided to study History at Uni, a degree that has never been used since graduation) and high literature in the last few years or The Classics as they say. In August 2007, something happened that changed my views on literature: upon recommendation of a friend I picked up a book from a section I had always looked down upon and in the five hours that took me to read this book , I fell in love with a new genre and a new world opened in front of me. That book was "The Viscount who Loved Me" by Julia Quinn. A new obsession was born and in the ensuing months, I went through more than 50 books by different authors and have made it my life mission to discuss seriously the merits of the genre. I also have a love for British culture. So much so that about 4 years ago I migrated from Brazil where I was born, to England, where I live with my partner. Here, my little world has expanded to include new friends, Internet pursuits and a passion for cooking. You will probably not hear a word from me on sports (unless it is the World Cup and Brazil is playing) but I will join forces with Thea when it comes to Lost and Skate. You will also hear a thing or two with regards to old, cheesy songs, I am afraid. You can follow us in our blog, The Book Smugglers