Saturday, December 27, 2008

Twitter - Incredible

News items like this: Man Blogs During Plane Crash, Lives To Twitter The Tale continuously amaze me!

Some interesting & free stuff:

If you have a Sony eReader, go to the following link, and they will offer you 9 free ebooks download, it's in the center of home page.

FREE - Robin Cook's 'Foreign Body' Webseries on ITUNES / Web
The 50 episode 'Foreign Body' webseries is FREE on Itunes & the web. This is a prequel to Robin Cook's thriller 'Foreign Body' on medical tourism. On Itunes, the episodes are in the form of podcasts.Itunes: Just search for "Foreign Body" in Itunes and download the podcasts.

The book:
Episodes on Web:

Authors pick 2008 favorite Latino books offers January 2009 calendar

Each month, the Calendar offers quick classroom activities, lesson plans, Web links, and texts pertaining to various reading–related and general interest events. Here is a sampling of the links for January. There also are links relating to other noted authors and events, and more. For further information, visit the website. The is a nonprofit website maintained by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English with support from the Verizon Foundation, and in association with the Thinkfinity consortium. Visit the main site.

Miami Herald names Junot Diaz’s novel top literature event of the year

A Bookstore Comes to East Harlem: The book stops here: Neighborhood store determined to survive

Free ebook download: "Thriving on Less" from

The eBook market has yet another new player: the Foxit eSlick $229 USD here [via Tech Digest]

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy B'day, Mami; Happy Kwanzaa and....

This post has been a long time coming and here I am tardy as usual. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I want to give send a very big happy birthday to my mom, who is both my hero and has that special ability to make crazy. LOL! Love you mami!

I have so much to do today but I wanted to make a quick post before I go buy peas for my paella. I hope everyone takes advantage of all the great books sales after the holidays, they are calling today the second Black Friday of the year.

I also wanted to post my news round-up:

The Trouble with Boys

Is Latino culture putting a low emphasis on education? Ernesto Caravantes, author of the controversial book “Clipping Their Own Wings: The Incompatibility Between Latino Culture and American Education,” stopped by the Rocky editorial board, along with former Gov. Richard Lamm, to argue that Hispanic families were putting other cultural considerations ahead of education from

24-hour live Christmas channel launches

New “Che” Trailer: Benicio del Toro

Book review: ‘Latino Spin’ - Public Image and the Whitewashing of Race By Arlene Davila from

I didn't even realize had it's own book cataloging feature: Amazon YourMediaLibrary

"A nine year old boy writes a hit book about dating and then sold the Film Rights: How to Talk to Girls

Twentieth Century Fox has optioned the rights to 9-year-old Alec Greven's How to Talk to Girls, the first of a four-book series from HarperCollins, which is a sister company to Fox. According to Variety, "The film deal encompasses all four volumes. The studio hasn't set a writer yet or assigned a producer . . . Fox bought the book preemptively, before Greven began logging airtime on TV shows including The Today Show and Ellen.""

"The Argentine

The Argentine, the first part of Steven Soderbergh's two-part movie on the life of Che Guevara (followed by Guerrilla), opens December 12. Benicio Del Toro stars in this biopic based on Che's diaries. The tie-in edition for both films is from Ocean Press, distributed by Consortium is available on January 1."

Review: The Chicano/ Latino Literary Prize. An Anthology of Prize-Winning Fiction, Poetry, and Drama from

Free Gifts from Bleak House by Claire KirchBen LeRoy, publisher of Bleak House Books, a division of Big Earth Publishing, thinks nobody, no matter how dire their economic circumstances, should be deprived of gifts this holiday season so during the month of December, Bleak House Books, and its sister company, Intrigue Press, will give away more than 100 frontlist and backlist titles to readers, who, hopefully, will pass them on to others.“As I listened to a piece on NPR about shopping being down, and people stressing about not being able to give presents, it struck me: we’re ahead of projections, and this is one way we can help out. I can’t stuff [readers] with cash, but I can help them get books,” LeRoy said. Read on »"

Check out: "Daily Routines: How writers, artists, and other interesting people organize their days. They don't mean that generally. This is descriptions of the daily flow of specific people."

Critics Say Newbery-Winning Books Are Too Hard for Young Readers (WaPo) Are you kidding me?

This is awesome; Powells will buy back your old books and even pay for shipping.

WhichBook - Just finished another book and wondering what to read next? Head to - a book suggestion tool that can recommend you what books to read next based on type of books you like. Read more: WhichBook - Online Book Suggestion Tool.

ThePlagiarismChecker - Check papers for plagiarism online. The site has something to offer both to students and educators. Students can use it to check their papers for missing citations before submitting them. Educators on the other hand may use it to check submitted projects and papers. Read more: ThePlagiarismChecker - Check Papers For Plagiarism.

Book-bot - Find and read non-copyrighted books online for free. It has over 14.000 copyright-free items including titles by Aristotle, Émile Zola, Victor Hugo, Mark Twain and many other well-known authors. Read more: Book-bot - Read Non-Copyrighted Books Online.

Dozens of NYC Schools Are Without Libraries

Book News from the UK:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Book=Gifts Video

Red, Blue, young, old, everyone agrees books make great gifts! Hey, if Elmo, Jon Stewart, Maya Angelou, Frank McCourt, Cesar Milan, and Judy Blume say so - then you know it's true.

Las Comadres & Friends National Latino Book Club

In case you are already stockpiling for 2009, here's some good news:

Las Comadres, the Association of American Publishers and Borders have picked the 2009 reading list for las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club, which was launched in June. Every month at Borders stores around the country the book club discusses English-language works by Latino authors. (For more information, visit or

The reading list for next year:


When the Ground Turns in Its Sleep by Sylvia Sellers-Garcia



Notorious by Michele Martinez (Morrow)




Rogelia's House of Magic by Jamie Martinez Wood (Delacorte)


Sweet Mary: A Novel by Liz Balmaseda


Dark Dude by Oscar Hijuelos (Atheneum)


Reclaiming Paris: A Novel by Fabiola Santiago (Washington Square Press)


The Arrangement by Sofia Quintero (Random House)


Tell Me Something True by Leila Cobo (Grand Central)


Lima Nights by Marie Arana (Dial Press)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

December Bareness

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

- 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

- The Latinidad List via

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: 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:

- Long time friend of Literanista, Juan Tornoe has a post on

The Book Review posted its list of 100 Notable Books for 2008

- Here the Hachette Gift Giving Guide: & the 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 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

- 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:

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