The Sunday Salon: My first challenges

The Sunday


2009themedreading-278x3001My first new read of the New Year falls within the parameters of the Themed Reading challenge, which asks readers to pull books from their TBR stack that share a common theme. I chose Latino authors, as I have an ample supply of qualifiers.

So Far From God by Ana Castillo, written in 1993, has become required reading for some literature courses and is considered a breakthrough novel on Chicano life. Set in the small New Mexico town of Tome, the book tells the story of Dona Sofia and her four daughters, each with her own unique abilities – and tragedies. I’m loving the book, with all its Spanglish and references to both Mexican and Native American cuisine, healing arts, spiritual beliefs, and traditions.

The novel also explores the determination of women, as Sofia organizes her neighbors to preserve their heritage and improve their existence by building, bartering, and engaging in enterprises as a community. The long, descriptive chapter titles remind me of Jorge Amado, whose Gabriella, Clove and Cinnamon I will probably read next for this challenge.

well-seasoned-readerFor the Well-Seasoned Reader challenge, I am listening to Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Relin. I’ve had the book for some time, but decided to check out the audio version.

The book recounts the adventures of  Greg Mortenson, a trauma nurse by profession and mountaineer by choice. While descending from an unsuccessful climb up K2 in Pakistan’s Karakoram mountains, Mortenson wanders into the small village of Korphe. He promises to build a school and ends up building 51 of them, especially for girls, as a tribute to his sister. This is a story I’ve been looking forward to reading – or hearing, as it turns out – and so far it’s wonderful.



Filed under audiobooks, award winners, book chat, Challenges, Latin American authors, magic realism, Nonfiction, Salon Sundays

4 responses to “The Sunday Salon: My first challenges

  1. Eva

    I plan to read Gabriella, Clove, and Cinnamon soon as well! (for the Latin American Exploration Challenge)

  2. allthingsarial

    Eva, I’d love a link to that challenge! Ann, thanks for the recommendation. I’ll make a point of reading Picoult this year. So many people have recommended her.

  3. Hello. It’s Tuesday and I popped over to see where in the world you are. I noticed you are doing the same themed reading challenge I am. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if you are already reading the books for this challenge they might not count. The challenge begins Feb. 1 which I think is when we are allowed to start reading the books that count towards the challenge. I could be wrong but you might want to ask the host, Wendy, just to be sure.

  4. allthingsarial

    Thanks for the heads-up, BookPsmith. You’re right about the themed challenge beginning on Feb. 1. I’m glad you set me straight.

    That’s okay – I have plenty of other books by Latino authors in my stack to pull from come Feb. 1. I’ll read something else till then. At least So Far From God was short!

    So glad you stopped by.

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