Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Field-tested Books

I found out about the Field Tested book reading series at one of my fave blogs, core77.com, but forgot to post about it. I really hate when that happens!

Anyway, they had their reading yesterday here in NYC (did anyone here go?)

The concept behind the Field Tested Book is truly cool: "The "notion that somehow through experimentation we could identify how our perception of a book is affected by the place where we read it. Or maybe the other way around. Maybe it’s possible to determine how a book colors the way we feel about the place where we experience it."
Read more here: Coudal.com

I've often found that not only are memories linked to sounds, smells, places, and the like but that I can often recall the whole ambiance where something in book made an impression on me and when I think about the book - I think about that moment in time and then recall the place, the lighting, the vibe, everything so that the memory and the book become entwined.

Does this happen to anyone else?

I like when this happens too and sometimes I even encourage it - like if for example, I know I will be in Georgia, I might bring a book along with me like Cane by Jean Toomer, Leaving Atlanta: A Novel by Tayari Jones, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, orThose Bones Are Not My Child: A Novel by Toni Cade Bambara.

Another element, I like that happens every so often is when not only place coincides but also time, like reading a book about the winter during December. Don't you love that?

Friday, July 25, 2008

50 Female Bloggers

The ever lovely Orli Yakuel co-founder of www.go2web20.net, one of the premier web2.0 directories and tech blogger, posted her own list of 50 female bloggers to keep an eye on.

Guess who she listed? Me! Thanks, Orli!

View the slideshow: Slides.diigo.com

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Retail Therapy and a Laugh a day

Retail Therapy and a laugh a day should theoretically be enough to keep someone happy. At least it used to be true for me. Watching Superbad the other night (way past, my bed time, I might add) and laughing really hard, out loud and unfortunately by myself - It dawned on me after feeling a tad self conscious for doing so that it had been a long time since I had laughed so genuinely and hard.

This realization made me feel sad, especially after hearing this song that had the lyrics "remember to laugh everyday." After feeling somewhat overwhelmed lately, I've been doing a lot of shopping and while I feel thrilled at the thought of all my scores (CK sunglasses to replace the ones I lost, a pair of Joe's Jeans, a Michael Kors watch, a leather blazer - much like the one I wore down to strips in college)I also feel down about not being able to contain my shopping addiction and not saving money.

Add in to the mix, that I haven't been to the gym in ages or eating right or able to get up early enough in the mornings to write and do things before I leave the house or blogging or seeing my friends more often or doing most of the things I need to do to be healthy and happy. So I just feel down and frustrated and these thing just make it a spiral downward.

I even feel frustrated by my ever-growing book pile, I guess I should read this how to overcome book fatigue. Right now though, I am reading Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith and it's just as good as everyone is raving.

Take a look for yourself:

The other day I ventured into the public library to get some books for my SO's son's summer reading list. I had forgotten the feeling of of getting books from the public library - that feeling of successfully finding the book you wanted without bothering the librarians, of getting access to the books for free, of browsing all the pamphlets and community papers.

They even have a Summer Reading website where kids can log their books and post their reviews, how cool is that?

Speaking of cool reading, you know have the opportunity to read By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho, just click here. He also has a facebook page where he posts pretty actively: Facebook.com/pages

In other news, Telex from Cuba was featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review: NYTimes.com.

If you're looking for stuff to do the http://www.nylatinofilm.com/ ends this weekend!

FictionDB is now free and check out Mygazines where you can read and browse any magazine for free.

And, you know you're a nerd when you get really excited about something like this: 100 Unbelievably Useful Reference Sites You’ve Never Heard Of

So what? - I'm a cute nerd!

I'm super psyched about the new openbook widgets at relaunched Hachette Book Group USA site: www.hachettebookgroupusa.com/books_open-book.aspx

Check out how you can post browse-able book widgets to any blog or site:

Tell me that's not the bomb!

Everyone's been discussing this book and now you can get your ears on it for free: The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman. Sign up at Thomas Friedman's website.

Here's a newer book on the subject:

Audible.com is also having a great sale on audiobooks at 50%-70%. Hook that iphone up!

or catch up on those summer reading list on your ipod:

Yesterday, I came across this YouTube for Toddlers: http://www.totlol.com/ and thought it adorable.

I also found bookadventure.org at Reginalewis.com/category/blog. "(a site by Sylvan Learning Center), children (K-8) can create personalized story lists from over 4,000 recommended titles. Kids click to check the boxes with topics they are interested in, i.e., animals, art, fairy tales, history, sports. The idea is to then print the list and bring it with you to the library.

Once they've read the books, kids can take quizzes and earn prizes for comprehension. The prizes are sent out by site sponsors and as you might expect, include books, bookmarks, etc. "

If sci-fi is more up your alley, check out us.macmillan.com/TorForge.aspx. I was very impressed by their site. They are having a freebie bonanza here

Damn, there's more I wanted to post but it's all escaped me now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It was over too soon

I got back from my trip to Tulum and Atlanta on Sunday and boy, it was quite an experience. Almost every calamity from an expired passport, delayed trips and lost money, bug bites to broken souvenirs, thunderstorms and closed airports fell upon my little bit of paradise. However, we made the best of it, after all, it could've been much worse and we at least got two spend two full glorious days in Mexico.

These are two my favorite pictures from the trip. I really need to remember to stop scrunching up my face at photo opps, especially when sun burnt. LOL!

I've been writing this post in my head for days now and I have so much I want to say and share.

I came across these free, online literature courses: http://www.litlovers.com/course/catalogue.htm and was delighted to discover them. I think they are a wonderful resource for anyone looking to sharpen their critical thinking skills and become a better reader. Who said school's in recess? School is never out is my book.

The TV show, Lost, has created a cool new book club at abc.go.com that features books that have been referenced to on the show. Love it!

Why I love blogging: One of my readers, Jesús, reached out to all the way from the Canary Islands! He sent me a Spanish translation of Michael Ende's "Mirror in the mirror." If that's not fresh, I don't know what is!

From Lacasaazulbookstore.com newsletter:

Junot Diaz will be at SummerStage on Thursday July 17, 7pm-10pm See you there!

Junot Diaz is the winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Sargeant First Novel Prize for his debut novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. In Oscar Wao, a nerdy, sexually frustrated teenager tries to grow up under the watchful eye of his mother, grandmother and sister, and a family curse that just won't go away. Alternating between New Jersey and the Dominican Republic, Junot's own birthplace, this often hilarious and heartbreaking novel illuminates the modern immigrant experience through fictionalized footnotes and multi-generational storytelling.

I've been reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz and let me tell you, I'm not surprised, ladies and gentlemen, that he won the Pulitzer. It's a little street and gritty, has ton of Spanglish and Sci Fi references and mixes in tons of intellectual and historical references. Then it's heart-warming and funny to boot. I'm actually dreading coming to end. Kudos, Junot!

Speaking of street stuff and the nitty gritty, Lady Q: The Rise and Fall of a Latin Queen by
Reymundo Sanchez, Sonia Rodriguez, is being published by Chicago Review Press. Sounds interesting.

If you steer toward the more proper side of things, check out: http://www.apostropheabuse.com/ for good laughs.

Jai over at Mamistimeout.com gave me an Arte & Pico Award. Thanks, mami!

Through July 14, bestselling author Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist is available for free on iTunes. Coelho's classic fable centers on an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago, who teaches us the importance of following your dreams. Just go to the iTunes store, Free on iTunes, and download the entire book.

Lastly, I think that's it but I'm not even sure - You can sign up for a free subscription to Latina Magazine here

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