Saturday, April 29, 2017

Did Goya Go Organic?

After over a decade of hoping that some of my beloved food brands would offer better for you, low sodium and organic options of their products, I was really excited - like way too thrilled, to be honest - to discover that Goya has started offering both options on their canned beans products.

On a recent grocery shopping trip, I was looking for canned beans to puree for my infant son and found these:


How awesome! 

Now I can truly nourish my son, nutritionally and culturally. 

Thank you for listening to us, Goya!

Friday, April 28, 2017

#FridayReads: The Leavers by Lisa Ko

The Leavers by Lisa Ko 

Book description:

“The Leavers is courageous, sensitive, and perfectly of this moment.” —Barbara Kingsolver 

 An emotionally harrowing debut novel that explores assimilation and loss, immigration and homeland, independence and connection. 

One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother’s disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.

Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging. It’s the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he’s loved has been taken away--and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past.

This powerful debut is the winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for fiction, awarded by Barbara Kingsolver for a novel that addresses issues of social justice.

 About the Author 

Lisa Ko’s fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2016, Narrative, Copper Nickel, the Asian Pacific American Journal, and elsewhere. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Writers OMI at Ledig House, the Jerome Foundation, and Blue Mountain Center, among others. A founding coeditor of Hyphen and a fiction editor at Drunken Boat, Ko was born in Queens and lives in Brooklyn.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Library Apps for Book Lovers

Slowly, over the past decade, I have come over to the dark side and became a reader of eBooks. It happened slowly but it surely happened. I think it's more a convenience and practical thing for in my heart of hearts, I still dream of bookshelves and cozy reading nooks where I can inhale the warm woody, vanilla-ish scent of book leaves turning brittle over time.



While on maternity leave last year, I started reading again and discovered that somehow I had never looked into borrowing books online. I was baffled by how I had never thought to do this before but I am ecstatic at how much easier some of these apps have made keeping myself on track to read every day:

 OverDrive Media Console


Hands down, this is The top free app! It allows you to access libraries worldwide, check out audiobooks, eBooks, stream films and request books. All you need is a valid library card. It does have a few kinks but it does the job effectively.

Kindle

I use my Kindle app in conjuction with most of reading apps like OverDrive to customize my reading experience. In addition as an Amazon Prime member with Kindle Unlimited, I have access to troves of books and free magazines as well.

Bluefire Reader 

Because sometimes I review unpublished ebooks, I need an app that can support these formats. Bluefire helps make this easier too.

Do you use any of these?

Friday, February 17, 2017

#FridayReads: Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories by Mariana Enriquez

Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories by Mariana Enriquez 

Book description:

 An arresting collection of short stories, reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and Julio Cortazar, by an exciting new international talent.

 About the Author

Mariana Enriquez is a writer and editor based in Buenos Aires, where she contributes to a number of newspapers and literary journals, both fiction and nonfiction.

Friday, January 27, 2017

#FridayReads: I Got This: To Gold and Beyond by Laurie Hernandez

I Got This: To Gold and Beyond by Laurie Hernandez


About the book: (
(Ages: 8 to 12)
Gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast and Dancing with the Stars champion Laurie Hernandez shares her story in her own words in this debut book for fans of all ages—with never-before-seen photos! 
At sixteen years old, Laurie Hernandez has already made many of her dreams come true—and yet it’s only the beginning for this highly accomplished athlete. A Latina Jersey girl, Laurie saw her life take a dramatic turn last summer when she was chosen to be a part of the 2016 US Olympic gymnastics team. After winning gold in Rio as part of the Final Five, Laurie also earned an individual silver medal for her performance on the balance beam. Nicknamed “the Human Emoji” for her wide-eyed and animated expressions, Laurie continued to dance her way into everyone’s hearts while competing on the hit reality TV show Dancing with the Stars, where she was the youngest-ever winner of the Mirrorball Trophy. 
Poignant and funny, Laurie’s story is about growing up with the dream of becoming an Olympian and what it took to win gold. She talks about her loving family, her rigorous training, her intense sacrifices, and her amazing triumphs. Be prepared to fall in love with and be mesmerized by America’s newest sweetheart all over again 
Laurie Hernandez is an American gymnast, an Olympic gold medalist, and a beloved cast member on Dancing with the Stars. At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Laurie won silver in the individual balance beam competition and secured gold in the team all-around competition.

Friday, January 20, 2017

#FridayReads: The Gringo Champion by Aura Xilonen

The Gringo Champion by Aura Xilonen 

Book description:

Liborio has to leave Mexico, a land that has taught him little more than a keen instinct for survival. He crosses the Rio Bravo, like so many others, to reach "the promised land." And in a barrio like any other, in some gringo city, this illegal immigrant tells his story.

 As Liborio narrates his memories we discover a childhood scarred by malnutrition and abandonment, an adolescence lived with a sense of having nothing to lose. In his new home, he finds a job at a bookstore. He falls in love with a woman so intensely that his fantasies of her verge on obsession.

And, finally, he finds himself on a path that just might save him: he becomes a boxer. Liborio's story is constructed in a dazzling language that reflects the particular culture of border towns and expresses both resistance and fascination.

 This is a migrants' story of deracination, loneliness, fear, and finally, love told in a sparkling, innovative prose. It's Million Dollar Baby meets The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and a story of migration and hope that is as topical as it is timeless.

Aura Xilonen is a novelist and filmmaker. She won the 2015 Mauricio Achar Prize for her first novel, The Gringo Champion.
 
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