Monday, July 30, 2012

New Book: Before the Rain: A Memoir of Love and Revolution by Luisita Lopez Torregrosa

I have to admit that when I initially spotted Before the Rain: A Memoir of Love and Revolution by Luisita Lopez Torregrosa the cover took my breath away. It was just as beautiful when my review copy came in the mail, two weeks ago. I look forward to reading this one.


In a voice haunting and filled with longing, Before the Rain tells the story of love unexpected, its fragile bounds and subtle perils. As a newspaper editor in the ’80s, Luisita Torregrosa lived her career. 


Enter Elizabeth, a striking, reserved, and elusive writer with whom Torregrosa falls deeply in love. Their story—irresistible romance, overlapping ambitions, and fragile union—unfolds as the narrative shifts to the Philippines and the fall of Ferdinand Marcos


There, on that beautiful, troubled island, the couple creates a world of their own, while covering political chaos and bloody upheavals. What was effortless abroad becomes less idyllic when they return to the United States, and their ending becomes as surprising and revealing as their beginning. 


Torregrosa captures the way love transforms those who experience it for an unforgettable, but often too brief, time. This book is distinguished not only by its strong, unique, and conflicted heroines, but also by Torregrosa’s lyrical portrait of the Philippines and the even more exotic heart of intimacy.


Luisita López Torregrosa is the author of The Noise of Infinite Longing and was an editor at the New York Times. As a special correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle she reported firsthand on the coup attempts against President Corazon Aquino, the communist insurgency in the Philippines, and the protests in South Korea that led to the fall of authoritarian rule. Her articles also have appeared in Vanity Fair, New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, and Vogue. Follow her via Twitter @luisitalt.


You can read a short excerpt here.


If you enjoy it, you also might want to check out her other book, The Noise of Infinite Longing: A Memoir of a Family--And an IslandA beautifully written memoir about a Puerto Rican family, whose siblings reunite for the first time upon their mother's death, after having scattered to various places and various lives after they reached early adulthood. It is also a universal story about family connections and what happens to them as we grow up.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Paella Lime Lay's Potato Chips

Lay's, the world's biggest food brand announced plans to cook one consumer's recipe into a potato chip and pay $1 million for it — or 1% of the flavor's net sales in 2013.

I submitted my idea for Paella Lime Chips. What do you think? Would you eat them?

Help me make my flavor a reality, go here to like my idea.


Monday, July 23, 2012

New Book: The Invention of the White Race: The Origin of Racial Oppression

If you're looking for a direct tie to the social construct of Race and its utilization as a tool for oppression and racism, look no farther. The Invention of the White Race : The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America (Vol 1-2) might be something you want to have on hand for your next debate.


Groundbreaking analysis of the birth of racism in America

When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no “white” people, nor, according to colonial records, would there be for another sixty years. In his seminal two-volume work, The Invention of the White Race, Allen details the creation of the “white race” by the ruling class as a method of social control, in response to labor unrest precipitated by Bacon’s Rebellion


Distinguishing European Americans from African Americans within the laboring class, white privileges enforced the myth of the white race through the years and has been central to maintaining ruling-class domination over the entire working class.


Since publication in the mid-nineties, Invention has become indispensable in debates on the origins of racial oppression in America. Volume One utilizes Irish history to show the relativity of race and racial oppression as a form of social control. Volume Two details the development of racial oppression and racial slavery in colonial Virginia and, more broadly, Anglo-America. A new introduction by Jeffrey B. Perry discusses Allen’s contributions, critical reception and continuing importance.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops


- The Bookless Library. Don’t deny the change. Direct it wisely. 

The BBC has launched an easy way to find out where you weigh in on the global fat scale.

- Did you  know Centipedes are believed to the animal totems of Chiefs? I've been seeing them everywhere this summer. Even stepped on one, coming out the shower luckily we both escaped unharmed.

- A medical examiner mourns his favorite childhood sleuth's creator: Encyclopedia Brown: The Great Sleuth From My Youth : NPR

- Wired.com showcases Russell Quinn as the most wired storyteller. This summer he will release a revolutionary book that is part interactive multi-player game, Google map and goes beyond the normal boundaries of traditional publishing.

- Some Inspirational Vintage Library Posters


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Stuff I'm Totally Sweating: Global Home Decor Edition

I've always loved homes decorated with a global flair that mixes old and new and the items come with a provenance - Along the lines of Anthropologie's store vignettes (great article here and imagine having this guy's job - luckkkyyy!).

In about a month or so, I am moving out of my much-loved Spanish Harlem apartment and on to a bigger and better place outside of the city. Actually, outside of the state But I digress, so lately decorating and home decor has been on my mind a lot. Since I've been really good at supplying myself with anything I've needed for the past three years I've lived in my one-bedroom apartment, I don't really need much except one or two pieces of additional furniture and ideas on how to use what I already have to decorate. In the meantime, I've developed a love affair with Etsy, Pinterest, Fab.com and a couple of other home decor/interior design blogs that knows no bounds.

Anyway, as part of my pairing down/de-cluttering and shopping less recovery evolution, I have come to realize that 1. my decorating talents, good taste and fashion eye are going to waste. 2. I enjoy the experience of shopping since it acts as creative and artistic stimuli for my muse - in fact, it's almost cathartic. And lastly, just because I can't own it doesn't mean someone else shouldn't get to enjoy it. After all, sites like Pinterest and a million shopping blogs out there are just about that - noting cool things you should buy. So here we go!

What would a globetrotting successful Latina have in her home? I asked myself.

Here's what caught my eye recently:

1. How about a little tongue in cheek statement piece? I love the vibrant colors.

$24.99 via Art.com
2. Or a colorful, vintage Day of the Dead Retablo? This has both history and folkloric charm.

$90 via Etsy.com
3. Lastly, some original (Guadalupe / Conquistadora / Madonnas) artwork? These can be religious artifacts or womanly expressions of nature - however you interpret them, they are beautiful.

Giclee prints by Cristina Acosta, $75-300, via Etsy.com

Giclee prints by Cristina Acosta, $75-300, via Etsy.com

Giclee prints by Cristina Acosta, $75-300, via Etsy.com

Giclee prints by Cristina Acosta, $75-300, via Etsy.com

Giclee prints by Cristina Acosta, $75-300, via Etsy.com

4. Not your Mami's Coffee maker Cafetera:  These stylish and unique Cappuccino Sets by MEPRA will save you from buying those expensive coffee drinks and bring a smile with their old-fashioned new/modern charm and heart-shaped infuser, net, and press inserts.

$80 via Fab.com



Full disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post and I have NO affiliations with the companies or artists featured  here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

12 Bad@ss Traits of Creative People

Derived from yes-check
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Get Bored Easily

2. Are Fearless

3. Dislike rules

4. Ask “what if…”

5. Make lots of mistakes (see No. 2)

6. Like to Collaborate

More here: Publetariat

Check, check and check, for me. What trait would you add?


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Storytelling is Universal

"The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms."  --Muriel Rukeyser


Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser (Photo: Wikipedia)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Literacy Campaign in Peru: There's a Man Stuck in My ATM

This clever literacy campaign in Peru, displays an illegible message when you pop your plastic in and while you try to decipher it - this PSA pops up.



Friday, July 13, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops


La Playa beer can - img035_72dpi
La Playa beer can (Photo: kevindean)
- Alternate Endings:  Ernest Hemingway’s great love and war novel, A Farewell to Arms, is being re-published with the inclusion of the 39, or perhaps 47, alternate endings Hemingway considered before going with what he kept.


Discovering the Rebel at the Beach via he Beach Week series on the Tiki Tiki, stories by Latina writers on La Playa.


- Is it just me? I'm tired of blog posts about interesting bookcases that feature the same bookcases I've been seeing for the last 5 years.


- NYC: Come Out & Play Festival this weekend, combines games and technology.
Also Goldstar has $50 tickets to see three-time Tony Award winning musical, FELA!


- Alisa Valdes shares 8 Tips to Help You Stop Being Defensive


- Books A'plenty: Books I Acquired Last Year for Little or No Money


- A driver refuses to prove U.S. citizenship at a checkpoint, tells police: “That’s my business.”




How Even 'Boring' Industries Can Create Interesting Content


VERONIQUE DE MIGUEL shares Recovering from domestic violence – I did it!


Updated to add:


The 20 Most Beautiful Children’s Books of All Time according to Flavorwire


- Awesome discussion on Reddit: When did we become a country where the millionaires are jealous of the people on food stamps? A country that thinks teachers and fire fighters are soaking us dry? A country that thinks the richest who are paying the lowest taxes in 80 years are the ones being beaten up? 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

When Your Blog Readers No Longer Visit


Something's amiss! Over the course of the past year, traffic to Literanista, seems to have plummeted. I've gone over the various reasons why this happened and this is my conclusion:

Clearly, it's time to make some changes here. Look for exciting new stuff coming soon.

If you would like to leave your feedback in the comments below, I appreciate hearing your suggestions and ideas.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Video: Random House Makes A Book

A view at the Random House shop:




Many people work behind the scenes at Random House to bring each book to the widest possible audience. Here, you'll meet some of them and learn more about what's involved, from editorial and design through production, marketing, sales, and distribution.

Monday, July 09, 2012

The Book That Can’t Wait: An Anthology of Latin American Authors

"Eterna Cadencia, a publisher based in Argentina, has recently debuted a new book called The Book That Can’t Wait. This book is an anthology featuring excerpts and short works from a number of new Latin American authors, but the most important detail about this book is that it is printed with disappearing ink. Within two months of being exposed to air, the ink in the book, which is sold in a sealed bag, will oxidize and disappear, forcing the owner "to read the book in a timely fashion." via The-digital-reader



Promotion: "The "invention" got a huge media attention. The book was broadcasted in the prime time tv news of the main national tv channels, as the "Story of the Day". It was also covered by the main national newspapers and radio shows. We put both literature and the names of new and unknown latin american authors in the center of mass media attention. - We gave away the first edition the very same day we released the book. - The general sales of the Eterna Cadencia bookstore increased 43%. - This time we had the guarantee that our new authors were read, and we gave to their names an unusual and massive promotion that would have costed at least 1 million pesos to achieve trough traditional advertising." - Canneslions

Friday, July 06, 2012

2012 Hispano Bloggers Awards Nominations: Open Call for Latina Bloggers


"The 2012 Hispano Bloggers Awards is a superb tribute to the many incredible Latina bloggers who contribute to our flourishing blogger community and testament to their influence and engagement in our community," says Lucia Matthews, founder of HispanoBloggers.com.

To nominate your favorite Latina blogger, visit http://HispanoBloggers.com or email info@HispanoBloggers.com one submission for each of the following categories.

- Art/Arte
- Baby/Bebe
- Beauty/Belleza
- Career/Carrera de Celebridad
- Crafts/Artes
- Culture/Cultura
- Family/Familia
- Fashion/Moda
- Food/Comida
- Health/Salud
- Heritage/Patrimonio
- Kids/Ninos
- Life/Vida
- Literature/Literatura
- Love/Amor
- Music/Musica
- Parenting/Padres
- Shopping/Compras
- Video Blog
- Weddings/Bodas

* Dear readers: Your nominations are appreciated

Thursday, July 05, 2012

New Book: Imperfect Bliss By Susan Fales-Hill


On my radar: Imperfect Bliss: A Novel by Susan Fales-Hill 
Meet the Harcourts of Chevy Chase, Maryland. A respectable middle-class, middle-age, mixed-race couple, Harold and Forsythia have four eminently marriageable daughters—or so their mother believes. Forsythia named her girls after Windsor royals in the hopes that one day each would find her true prince. But princes are far from the mind of their second-born daughter, Elizabeth (AKA Bliss), who, in the aftermath of a messy divorce, has moved back home and thrown herself into earning her PhD.  
All that changes when a Bachelorette-style reality television show called The Virgin takes Bliss’s younger sister Diana as its star. Though she fights it at first, Bliss can’t help but be drawn into the romantic drama that ensues, forcing her to reconsider everything she thought she knew about love, her family, and herself. Fresh and engaging, Imperfect Bliss is a wickedly funny take on the ways that courtship and love have changed—even as they’ve stayed the same. 
Susan Fales-Hill is the author of One Flight Up and the acclaimed memoir, Always Wear Joy. A contributing editor at Essence, her writing has also appeared in Vogue, Town & Country, and Travel & Leisure. She lives in New York City.


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

In Thy Face I See a Map


Click to enlarge

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Which Book Should I Read This Summer? A Flowchart



via Teach.com

Monday, July 02, 2012

Guardian Books: Latin American Novels and Poetry List

Cover of "In Search of Klingsor"
Cover of In Search of Klingsor
Reading list


Mexico (the "crack" generation)
In Search of Klingsor by Jorge Volpi
Diorama by Vicente Herrasti
The Host by Guadalupe Nettel
The Blue Hour by Alonso Cueto
Don't Tell Anyone by Jaime Bayly
Etiqueta Negra magazine (narrative journalism; only available in Spanish)
Chile (the McOndo literary movement)
Bad Vibes by Alberto Fuguet
The Private Lives of Trees by Alejandro Zambra
Daniel Alarcón
Daniel Alarcón (Photo credit: Kanaka Menehune)
Colombia
The Secret History of Costaguana by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Brazil
Mastroianni Day by João Paulo Cuenca
Symphony in White by Adriana Lisboa
Argentina
The Year of the Desert by Pedro Mairal
Traveller of the Century by Andrés Neuman
Puerto Rico
Yo-Yo Boing! by Giannina Braschi
Fiona Sampson's poetry recommendations
César Vallejo: The Complete Poetry ed Clayton Eshleman (University of California Press)
The Essential Neruda ed. Mark Eisner (Bloodaxe)
The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz, ed Eliot Wienberger (New Directions)
Against Heaven by Dulce María Loynaz trans. James O'Connor (Carcanet)
Migrations by Gloria Gervitz trans Mark Schafer (Shearsman)
Anima by José Kozer trans Peter Boyle (Shearsman)
The Whole Island: Six Decades of Cuban Poetry ed Mark Weiss (University of California Press)
World literature tour recommendations
 
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