Tag Archives: Latino

Sunday Salon

The Sunday Salon.comWhat a week! The toilet didn’t fall through the floor, and I am happy about that.

I finished the contemporary fantasy I began last week, Solstice Wood, and I enjoyed it much. I need to pay more attention to this genre. It was a good story, and Patricia A. McKillip writes so well. I understand why she’s won awards.

 Now I’m reading The Writing Life by Ellen Gilchrist.  Her essays are wonderful and are just the dose of non-fiction I needed. I found it at the used bookstore I frequent.

I’m well into Ines of My Soul, the audio book I’m listening to. A good historical fiction novel, and the reader  is excellent.

In the used bookstore, I picked up a hard copy of  Thirteen Senses by Victor Villasenor. Reviewers suggest reading Rain of Gold first, but I won’t. If I like Thirteen Senses, I’ll go backward and read the others. I also found a hard copy of City of the Beasts, a YA book that I considered for my friend Susan’s daughter. But the reviews are so mixed on this one, so I’m not sure.

Happy reading to all!

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Yay! My First Reading Challenge

2009themedreading-278x300I’m entering my first reading challenge with Wendy‘s 2009 challenge:

The Themed Reading Challenge is a six month challenge designed to help readers clear books from their to-be-read stacks which center around a common theme or themes. Here are the “rules”:

  1. Books should be chosen from the reader’s TBR pile (this may be an actual physical pile or a virtual pile).
  2. The goal is to read 4 to 6 books linked by theme.
  3. Overlaps with other challenges are allowed.
  4. Readers may change their list of books at any time.
  5. Readers may choose three different levels of participation:
  • Read at least 4 books with the same theme.
  • Read at least 5 books that share at least TWO themes.
  • Read at least 6 books that share MORE than two themes.

My theme: Read at least 4 books written by Latino/Hispanic authors. This is the perfect opportunity for me to move some of my TBR stack, which includes these choices:

Gabriella, Clove and Cinnamon, Jorge Amado
Swift as Desire, Laura Esquivel
Esperanza’s Box of Saints, Maria Amparo Escandon
A Handbook to Luck, Christina Garcia
So Far From God, Ana Castillo
American Chica, Marie Arana
A Simple Habana Melody, Oscar Hijuelos
In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez
The Years with Laura Diaz, Carlos Fuentes
Bitter Grounds, Sandra Benitez

I’ve read other works by most of these authors, but some will be newly discovered voices. I may refine this list a bit and go for 5 books – two by men, three by women; two based on history, three purely fiction; two set in the author’s native country, three set in the U.S. – whatever. I have until February to decide. Thanks, Wendy!

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Filed under book chat, Latin American authors, magic realism

The Messenger

Who: Mayra Montero
Why: An original concept, based on factual events. In 1920, a bomb exploded at a theater in Havana while Enrico Caruso was singing, and he fled, disappearing for awhile. That much is true. The author imagines what happened next in this love story between Caruso and a woman whose godfather is an Afro-Cuban santero. Mythical and poetic, mixing santeria and Chinese folk magic. Ran across this mesmerizing read in a used bookstore a few years ago.

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Like Water for Chocolate

Who: Laura Esquivel
When:
You miss Mexico and you’re not on a diet
Where: beach, mountains, and all points in between
Why: An appetizing approach, using recipes to tell the story, plus warm, memorable characters. I watched the movie after reading the book, and I don’t know how anyone could follow it without reading the book first. Read it, even if you’ve seen the movie!

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Filed under Latin American authors, magic realism