How like a winter hath my absence been. From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year! What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen, What old December's bareness everywhere!.-- Shakespeare, WilliamOn Absence from Quotations Book
Winter and the holidays are amongst us once again - and just like last year - I feel like bah, humbug! I really don't care for the cold weather (I am always cold even in the tropics) and the consumerism, gluttony and overindulgence of the season really revulse me.
This year I've made a plan and I am sticking to it. I'm getting fewer gifts and have really snipped the gift budget for almost everyone. I feel slightly anxious that the recipients will be dissapointed since they are accustomed to being showered with stuff but this time I really reigning myself in come what may.
It's not just the recession either. I want meaning and thoughtfulness to come accross - not here's this loofah or candle (because I had to get you something, you're picky and so I just gave up) sometimes I want stuff that money can't buy.
Many are suggesting books this year as the perfect gift and I couldn't agree more. Even there though, I want the insight to come accross - don't get someone a book because they like books so here's a couple to keep you busy - get someone a book that has meaning. Perhaps this is your favorite book or a favorite author's favorite, maybe it changed your life, maybe you read this book when you were that person's age, or maybe you loved it and so will they, maybe it's a biography of their hero or a topic that fascinates them... We could go on forever.
And, while I usually don't condone writing inside books (or god forbid, margins) I've always loved getting books with signed messages on the inside cover/flap. Even as a child, I loved opening a book and seeing the message that reminded me that Titi gave it to me for my birthday and so I always leave a message for the recipient inside the book - a little piece to remind them of the memory and a little bit of my love to treasure.
Anyway, before we get to sappy here - I just wanted to say in a world where people get trampled to death or shot over material items - let's keep things in perspective, that TV or that Wii may only last a dozen years (if that) while a meaningful gift like a book or an experience (like a trip) will last forever and keep on giving.
Lastly, here's a roundup of interesting internet tiding:
- Best Book Covers of 2008 via BoingBoing & My Favorite Book Covers of 2008 (via Kottke)
- A new blog launched that covers babybooks: Readertotz and if you like that, then you'll love lookybook.com
- Hate crimes targeting Latinos increased again in 2007, capping a 40% rise in the four years since 2003, according to FBI statistics released this fall.
- Congrats to author and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, who is expecting a baby. full story here
- Some variations on the books=gifts trend: An Author's Holiday Wish List by Sofia Quintero via her blog, "Buy a Book by Somebody Black and Give it to Somebody Not Black Month" via eisaulen.com-
- The Latinidad List via marcelalandres.com
Literary Fiction – The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters by Lorraine Lopez
Every character is simultaneously original and familiar.Poetry
– Unfinished Portrait by Luivette Resto
Grounded in the reality that is the U.S. Latino experience.
Chick Lit – More Than This by Margo Candela
Though a happy ending is certain, you can't wait to get there.
Thriller – Gunmetal Black by Daniel Serrano
If Elmore Leonard were Nuyorican this is the novel he would write.
History – A Universal History of the Destruction of Books by Fernando Baez
Mind candy for the brainiacs in your life.
Lifestyle – Practically Posh by Robyn Moreno
Thrifty tips on living well, perfect for our tough economic times.
Cookbook – Simply Delicioso by Ingrid Hoffman
Fun and flavorful everyday meals that won't take all day to cook.
Young Adult – Amor and Summer Secrets by Diana Rodriguez Wallach
A Philadelphia princess goes to Puerto Rico and finds her Latinidad.
Middle Grade – The Smell of Old Lady Perfume by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez
The original title gives a glimpse of the poetic lines peppered throughout this poignant debut.
Picture Book - Sergio Makes a Splash by Edel Rodriguez
Finally—a charming tale that doesn't involve abuelitas, tamales or pinatas.
- A new book review site launched: www.ReaderSpoils.com. I believe you receive giftcards for each review you post.
- Guanabee Meets The Accidental Santera Author, Irete Lazo & notes California Man Richard Soto Keeps A Library Of Latino History In His Own Basement
- A new English news site launched with a Hispanic focus: www.latinoffice.com
- Long time friend of Literanista, Juan Tornoe has a post on hac360.blogs.cnn.com
The Book Review posted its list of 100 Notable Books for 2008
- Here the Hachette Gift Giving Guide:
http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_seasonal.aspx & the www.bookreporter.com one
- Catalan novelist Juan Marsé won the $158,625 Cervantes prize, "the Spanish-language equivalent of the Nobel prize for literature," via the Guardian.
- Books Authors Want (and Plan to Give) for the Holidays via OpenCulture, includes what Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of the Butterflies, wants to get and plans to give.
- Also, don't make the Pumpkin Coconut pie listed in the previous post unless you put a twist on it. I made two for T-day and they had absolutely no flavor. I'm thinking that the recipe need some ground cloves, cinnamon or something.
- The Triumph of Roberto Bolaño via NY Review of Books
- Shout out to gwenworld.com. Gwendolyn Zepeda has a new book out in Janaury, Houston, We Have a Problema
- Author Junot Diaz Shares Thanksgiving Memories
- "It’s Toni Morrison. Like Isabel Allende, her writing is so beautiful that you can sing her words (seriously, try it) " from 5 good things (and 5 bad ones) about Toni Morrison’s ‘A Mercy’ via writeblack.com
- books for the boy that does not read Part I & part-2
- New Interview with Editor, Adriana Dominguez by author Jeff Rivera
- I'm participating in Operation Santa and so should you!
Finally, here's a little something to put all of us in a holiday mood: