Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Gray Lady's Notable Books of '07

100 notable books of 2007

and check this new movie out:
The year my parents went on vacation

Isn't this amazing: Digital library project boasts more than 1.5 million books

From Pubs' Lunch:

NBCC: Books Critics Recommend and Love

The National Book Critics Circle has started a monthly Best Recommended list, polling their nearly 800 members plus their prize winners and finalists to find out what recently read books they "have truly loved." With votes from about 300 critics and 200 writers, they are starting with a list covering all of 2007. The picks include:


1. Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

2. Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke

3. Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policeman's Union

4. Philip Roth, Exit Ghost

5. Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses


1. Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I'm Dying

2. Alan Weisman, The World Without Us

3. Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine

4. David Michaelis, Schulz and Peanuts

5. Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes

Click through for poetry picks and more on their methodology.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Sometimes it's really as easy as that except that is when you do everything else but get around to putting your thoughts down on 'paper.'

I've been writing this post in my head now for several days and, well, shame on me for not doing anything about it.

My holidays were nice and sort of anticlimatic, maybe I was just expecting too much or maybe my standards are just too damn high?

I recently read at Guanabee that some Hispanics don't celebrate Thanksgiving, really? No, really? Because all the Puerto Ricans, I know sure do, I mean we do it Spanish style - no yucky cranberry sauce and our stuffing has Sazon and Chayote in it but still, a turkey by any other name, no?

And, how once again Ms. Puerto Rico has taken the Ms. Universe title even as haters maced her dress and tried to take her down? Damn, ladies, really - is it that serious? Reuters

Also, now you can really hear what your favorite authors have to say as debuts.

Lastly, Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but there are news reports of Green Monday, supposedly next week and there are plenty of book deals out there to grab!

Barnes & Noble:

25% off highest priced item: T4N3B6W

Expires December 10, 2007

$5 off $50+ when you pay with paypal L9H7N4X
10% on entire purchase B9R3D4A

expires 12/9/07

Combine these coupons with 20% Paypal cash back

Borders: 40% off any book, minimum $20 good at Borders on 11/26 and 11/27.

You have to be a member, but it's free.

Dover Classics:

The Dover Holiday Discount: $10 Off

Dear Reader, I'm happy to say that the Dover Holiday Discount is here—and I'm only sharing this holly jolly news with friends like you.

From now until December 2, 2007, you can save $10 on orders of $40 or more. Your Holiday Discount is good on our entire collection of over 9,000 titles so it won't take you long to find something special for everyone on your shopping list.

Just use Coupon Code CM88 during checkout to take advantage of this outstanding offer. Scroll down for more information or use this link to start saving $10 now

—Save $10 on Thousands of Great Gifts for Children & Adults!

Dover books and gift sets already boast the lowest possible prices, so any extra savings are a cause for celebration. Since your Dover Holiday Discount can be applied to our complete collection of titles, you can even save $10 on our most recent releases, including Fun Kits, Pocket Puzzles, Stained Glass Coloring Kits, and more.

Of course, you can also choose brilliant books from all of the categories that have made Dover famous: Children's Books, Clip Art on CD-ROM, our Thrift Editions of the world's most famous literature, Mathematics, Crafts, History, and much more.

Coupon Code CM88 expires on Sunday, December 2, 2007. Use this link to start browsing our books now—

It's Easy to Save $10 with Your Dover Holiday Discount!

1. Fill your Shopping Cart with at least $40 in merchandise and click Check Out

2. Enter Coupon Code CM88 and your shipping information

3. Complete check out—your $10 discount will be automatically deducted from your total


The Scholastic Store takes up to 60% off toys and books during its latest sal e with free shipping via coupon code SSBF07. Over 240 items are available, with prices starting at $3.57

Strand Bookstore: Click here to redeem your earth friendly gift from the Strand.

Limit one per customer. Offer expires January 15, 2008.

Hearst Magazines - $5 subscriptions

Check this out too: SavvySource, an online parenting site that reviews toys, preschools, camps, and books, and lets parents share activity ideas, will launch a creative way to capitalize on the holiday shopping season. In partnership with a non-profit organization that deals with early childhood education, the web site has put together a quiz that helps parents assess and track the development of their child (aged 2 to 6), and receive a personalized list of recommendations for age appropriate educational toys, books, and activities -- all cleverly linked to Amazon via an affiliate code. Via readwriteweb

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sometimes it Does Come Down to Just 1 Person

or two. How crazy is this?

Two Brothers Feuding May Result in the End of an Entire Ancient Language — An indigenous language in southern Mexico is in danger of disappearing because its last two speakers have stopped talking to one another. The two elderly men in the village of Ayapan, Tabasco, have drifted apart, said Fernando Nava, head of the Mexican Institute for Indigenous Languages.The men are the only fluent speakers of their native language. More…

Monday, November 19, 2007

Life is a Party!

I saw Celia (the show) last night. It was poignant, electric and absolutely me made me cry, Mami absolutely loved it too!

I decided this song will be my new motto: La Vida es Una Carnaval!

Unfortunately, by the end of the show a terrible migraine had come on and I woke up after having the most horrid nightmare this morning. I dreamt that something had gone awry in the world and at nightfall these monsters that looked like something out of Lord of the Rings or Eragon came out and tried to capture people and tear them limb to limb, eating them alive. Imagine awaking to that...

I do feel burned out somewhat and perhaps being consumed alive is just another metaphor of being sucked dry emotionally and spiritually. I need to start refueling myself.

I'm looking forward to some family time on Thursday and the holiday weekend. I'm not one to go shopping amongst the mobs on Black Friday so I look forward to the sweet respite from work. I also want to go see Beowulf in Imax.

I don't know why but there is something magical and incredibly comfortable about going out with your loved ones on the holidays, the nippy air, cuddling and coming back home to the warm coziness of your hearth and bed.

If you're in the city, here are some great things for you to do and see:

- 2 nd EDITION -

November 27th - December 1st, 2007
Presented by Columbia University and Instituto Cervantes in collaboration with The Film Society of Lincoln Center.
Curated by Marcela Goglio and Claudio Iván Remeseira

Tuesday, November 27th, 6-8pm
Dir Leon Ichaso, 2007, 116m
Instituto Cervantes, 211 East 49th St. (and 3rd Ave)
*Filmmaker Leon Ichaso will be present

El Cantante is the dramatic-biography of Puerto Rican salsa pioneer
HectorLavoe. The film follows Lavoe's (Marc Anthony) passionate relationship with Puchi (Jennifer Lopez) and his skyrocket to international fame. But,even when he has it all, Lavoe is unable to escape the allure of drugs and his personal pain.

The rest of the screenings will take place at:
Davis Auditorium
Columbia University, 500 West 120th St. (between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave)
For further direction, please visit Columbia Unversity's website.

Wednesday, November 28th, 8-10pm
Dir Judith Escalona, 2004, 29m.
*Filmmaker Judith Escalona will be present

The Krutch is a surreal narrative about a Puerto Rican psychoanalyst with a long-suppressed identity problem that erupts with some dire consequences. The film is unique in exploring the mental anguish and shame associated with racism. Stylistically akin to Buñuel with an eye towards Godard, it occupies an absurdist space that keeps it from descending into the maudlin clichés of realism. With Jaime Sánchez as the mysterious Dr. Gúzman and Cathy Haase as his unsuspecting patient Mrs. Kleist.

preceded by:

Dir Yolanda Pividal, 2006, 17m
*Filmmaker Yolanda Pividal will be present

Every weekend, hundreds of Latino immigrants pack the dance clubs of
Jackson Heights, Queens. There, they meet women who will be their dance floor partners for two dollars a song. Through the eyes of Victor, a patron, and Liz, one of the ballerinas, this film dives into the solitude and expectations of men and women who leave their families and countries behind to work in the United States.


Dir Felix Rodriguez, 2005, 50m.
*Filmmaker Felix Rodriguez will be present

Art, labor and family blend in this intimate documentary about performance artist Caridad De La Luz, better know as 'La Bruja'. Born and raised in the Bronx, this daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants takes the number 6 train to downtown Manhattan where she performs at popular New York City venues. She reads her poetry in Joe's Pub, stages her one-woman show in the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and performs at Def Poetry Jam. But opportunities are scarce and she struggles to make ends meet in an industry where 'to keep it real' often means to work for free.

Thursday, November 29th, 8-10pm
Dir. Mitch Teplitsky, 2007, 67m
*Filmmaker Mitch Teplitsky will be present

After 15 years in New York, Nélida Silva returns to her birthplace in the Andes to fulfill a lifelong dream of hosting the Fiesta Patronal--a week of dance, music, and ritual honoring the town's patron saint. But Neli's changed, and so has the village. At the same time, Cynthia, a dancer raised in Queens by her Peruvian mother, embarks on her own journey, determined to know the real Peru. A cross-cultural road trip, propelled by traditional music and dance rarely seen outside of Peru, but with a universal core story: the yearning for roots and connection in a globalized world.

Friday, November 30th, 8-10pm
Dir Henry Chalfant, 2006, 55m
*Filmmakers Henry Chalfant and Elena Martinez will be present

The film is a portrait of the South Bronx, the beleaguered New York community that was infamously destroyed by urban renewal, arson, gangs, drugs and violence. Yet at the same time, this borough contributed enormously to the popular culture of the world and has had an impact way beyond its size. In the 1950's, the streets pulsated with the rhythms of Cuba and the hot new urban sounds of Latin Jazz, Mambo and later Salsa. On these same streets in the 1970's, a new generation spun records, rapped and danced to the funky beats of Hip Hop. From Mambo to Hip Hop is the story of how an oppressed community can survive and thrive through cultural expression.

Saturday, December 1st, 8-10pm
Dir Alfredo De Villa, 2002, 89m
*Filmmaker Alfredo De Villa will be present

Washington Heights tells the story of Carlos Ramirez, a young illustrator burning to escape the neighborhood and make a splash in downtown's commercial comic-book scene. When his father, a bodega owner, is shot in a burglary attempt, Carlos is forced to put his dream on hold and run the store. In the process, he comes to the realization that if he is to make it as a comic artist, he must first engage with his own community.

Photo ID may be required at door. To make a reservation and further information, email or call (212) 854-6698.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Now Playing: Love in the Time of Cholera & Bella


I'm going to be busy seeing Celia-on-Broadway, so if anyone sees these movies this weekend, please leave me your comments!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez & Racial Controversy of her Book's Movie


In a letter to EUR, Valdes-Rodriguez said she was disappointed with some of
the negative comments in the feedback section directed at Martin Chase for
taking on a Hispanic-helmed project. The author wrote:

When The Hollywood Reporter this week announced my deal with legendary film producer Debra Martin Chase to turn my bestselling novel The Dirty Girls Social Club into a movie, along with producer Nely Galan, I was overjoyed.

It marked not just my book making it to the big screen, and my first foray into the world of screenwriting. It was also a landmark collaboration between a seasoned African-American woman producer (Martin Chase) and two newcomer Hispanic women producers (me and Galan) in the white, male-dominated world of American film.

While Galan (former head of Telemundo Entertainment and creator of reality hit The Swan) has plenty of experience in TV, Martin Chase (the award-winning producer of The Princess Diaries and its sequel; Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and its sequel; and The Cheetah Girls movies) generously took us under her wing in a way no non-minority or male producer would have, and showed us how to get a movie made.

In short, she believed in us. It made me realize that a key to Latino success in all sectors of American business would likely come in the form of mentorship from successful African-Americans.

What I did not expect was the nasty backlash Martin Chase is getting from some people in the black community who seem to think she ought to stick to telling only those stories they believe are "theirs." These comments are running rampant on black entertainment web sites, such as Eurweb.

The hostility against Latinos among some blacks who assume Latinos have nothing in common with them is startling, but not altogether surprising, given the way the U.S. media neglects to mention our shared African roots, with nonsensical headlines like "Hispanics Outnumber Blacks," which is as absurd as "Fruit Outnumbers Oranges."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Amazon's Best of '07

Discover the Best Books of 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Book Recommendation Service

If you've ever wandered about books that are similar to your favorite picks, here's service, I spotted on lifehacker that does that allows you to discover them easily and even keeps a booklist for you! Sweet.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Who Says Teens are Reading Less? I do

"As the content of young adult literature matures, libraries are experiencing a boom in enthusiastic teen readers. Teens say they're attracted to the printed word because today's literature honestly reflects their lives..."

So says this interesting article, however, while it sounds like good news I wonder if this is true accross all socio-economic strata and in inner cities where libraries are closing due to funding and poorer families don't frequent bookstores.

Also as usual, I see that the majority of teen readers spoken of this article are female, which leads me to wonder once again "where are the books geared at our young men?" Are there really niche books out there for all as is claimed by the article? You tell me.

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