Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Meet Greg Grandin, author of Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City

Greg Grandin, a professor of Latin American history at NYU, is the author o Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City.

There is an interesting story on Fordlandia, auto giant Henry Ford's utopian experiment the Brazilian Amazon, at www.tomdispatch.com

You can join the discussion and book signing with Greg at The Strand Bookstore on tonight, Tuesday, June 30 at 7pm (828 Broadway at 12th Street). No RSVP is necessary.

July Books

Coming to a bookstore near you:

I first discussed Raul Ramos Y Sanchez back in 2007. He is host of http://www.myimmigrationstory.com/ - an online forum for the U.S. immigrant community and raulramos.com.

His originally self-published book, America Libre debuts in bookstores nationwide in July.

About the book:

After years of anti-immigrant backlash, anger seethes in the nation's Latino communities. The crowded streets bristle with restless youth, idled by a deep recession. When undercover detectives in San Antonio accidentally kill a young Latina bystander during a botched drug bust, riots erupt across the Southwest. As the inner-city violence escalates, Anglo vigilantes strike back with shooting rampages.

Exploiting the turmoil, a congressional demagogue succeeds in passing legislation that transforms the nation's Hispanic enclaves into walled-off Quarantine Zones. Citizens tagged Class H-those who are Hispanic, are married to a Hispanic, or have at least one grandparent of Hispanic origin-are forced into detention centers.

Amid the chaos in his L.A. barrio, Manolo Suarez is out of work and struggling to support his growing family. But under the spell of a beautiful Latina radical, the former U.S. Army Ranger and decorated war veteran now finds himself questioning his loyalty to his wife-and to his country.\


Dreaming in Hindi by Katherine Russell Rich

Having miraculously survived a serious illness and now at an impasse in her career as a magazine editor, Rich spontaneously accepted a free-lance writing assignment to go to India, where she found herself thunderstruck by the place and the language. Before she knew it she was on her way to Udaipur, a city in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, in order to learn Hindi. In this inspirational memoir, Rich documents her experiences in India ranging from the bizarre to the frightening to the unexpectedly exhilarating using Hindi as the lens through which she is given a new perspective not only on India, but on the radical way the country and the language itself were changing her. Fascinated by the process, she went on to interview linguistics experts around the world, reporting back from the frontlines of the science wars on what happens in the brain when we learn a new language. Seamlessly combining Rich s courageous (and often hilarious) personal journey with wideranging reporting, Dreaming in Hindi offers an eye-opening account of what learning a new language can teach us about distant worlds and, ultimately, ourselves.


Side Dishes: Latina American Women, Sex, and Cultural Production (New Directions in International Studies) by Melissa A. Fitch

Moving beyond the "main dishes" of traditional literary works, Side Dishes offers a provocative and delicious new understanding of Latin American women's authorship and activism. The book illuminates a wealth of creative and intellectual work by Latin American women editors to comedians and explores them in light of their treatment of women's sexuality. Side Dishes considers feminist pornography and literary representations of masturbation, bisexuality, lesbianism, and sexual fantasies and the treatment of women's sexuality in comedy, science fiction, feminist journals, academia, and four contemporary films.


Juan the Landless by Juan Goytisolo

Juan Goytisolo has radically revised his masterpiece Juan the Landless for this new translation by renowned translator Peter Bush. Marking a turning point in Goytisolo's work from outright hostility for his homeland towards a growing appreciation and celebration of the many Muslim contributions to western culture, Juan the Landless is a desperate, sympathetic, erotic, and anarchic attempt by the greatest living novelist from Spain to reconcile himself to seeing the world as a man without a home, without a country.

Don't Stop: Books on Hip-Hop

New York Ricans from the Hip Hop Zone by Raquel Z. Rivera

(also Reggaeton by Raquel Z. Rivera)

Know What I Mean? : Reflections on Hip-Hop by Michael Eric Dyson

From Bomba to Hip-Hop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity by Juan Flores

It's Just Begun: The Epic Journey of Dj Disco Wiz, Hip Hop's First Latino Dj by Ivan Sanchez and Luis Cedeño

The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop--and Why It Matters by Tricia Rose

When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks It Down by Joan Morgan

Misogyny and the Emcee: Sex, Race and Hip Hop by Ewuare X. Osayande

Monday, June 29, 2009

Latino Art Crawl w/Heineken on July 2nd

Celebrate the many prominent Latin artists adding some color to our city with the official Heineken Art Crawl happening again on Thursday, July 2nd. Not only will you mingle with hundreds of patrons, but you’ll view spectacular artwork and drink some ice cold Heineken. The first art crawl took place on Tuesday, June 23rd. See art here The art crawl is free!

Travel through some of the city’s best Latin bars and restaurants for a special revelation of art installations from local artists commissioned by Heineken. The first Heineken Art Crawl took place on June 23rd in The Bronx, attendees witnessed Heineken’s new mural by Pepe Villegas, along with creations by Puerto Rican artists Alfonso Munoz, Erick Sanchez, and Derek Santiago.

On July 2nd, you can head uptown to Manhattan’s Washington Heights to commemorate Heineken’s second mural designed by Dionis Ortiz. There will also be featured artwork from Dominican artists, including Glenn Hilario, Cesar Isabel, Christian Paniagua, and more. This major event is so exclusive that limited information is provided, but it's guarantee that you’ll jump start the summer with a bang. In addition, only nocheLatina is giving you the necessary details on how you can become part of the two biggest bashes!

All events occur simultaneously and shuttle service will be available for transportation between locations. The Heineken Art Crawl in Washington Heights is a roaming party. Shuttle service will be available for transportation between locations for VIP pass holders. To attend, send us an email to promotions@nochelatina with your name, age, and the Art Crawl you wish to attend before July 1st. Get on our list and you’ll also enjoy complimentary Heinekens at each location.

Whether you want to explore contemporary Latin art or see how Latinos are forever changing NYC, don’t miss Heineken’s Art Crawl.


* Drink Responsibly

Que Macho! Books on Latinos & Manhood

Muy Macho by Ray Gonzalez

Men Speak Out: Views on Gender, Sex, and Power by Shira Tarrant

Hombres y Machos: Masculinity and Latino Culture (Paperback)by
Alfredo Mirande

Ethnic Labels, Latino Lives: Identity and the Politics of (Re)Presentation in the United States by Suzanne Oboler

Healing From Violence: Latino Men's Journey to a New Masculinity by Christauria Welland and Neil Ribner

The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City (Men and Masculinity) by Matthew C. Gutmann

We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity by bell hooks

What It Means to Be a Man: Reflections on Puerto Rican Masculinity by Rafael L. Ramirez and Rosa E. Casper

The Trouble With Black Boys: And Other Reflections on Race, Equity, and the Future of Public Education by Pedro A. Noguera

Changing Men and Masculinities in Latin America by Matthew C. Gutmann

Who's Gonna Take the Weight: Manhood, Race, and Power in America by Kevin Powell

Sunday, June 28, 2009

15 Essential Chicana Poets

15 Essential Chicana Poets via miapogeo.com

ESTILO HIP HOP: Premieres Tonight

From the press release: ESTILO HIP HOP

Premieres Sunday, June 28, at 10 PM on Global Voices on PBS WORLD


ESTILO HIP HOP, a new film by New York based filmmakers Virgilio Bravo and Loira Limbal, chronicles the emergence of hip hop in Latin America, its impact on youth culture and the regional politics that underscore its existence. Within the breathtaking landscapes of Brazil, Chile and Cuba, we meet Guerrillero Okulto, Eli Efi and Magia, three performer-activists who believe that hip-hop culture can change the world.

For the complete lineup and schedule, visit www.pbs.org/globalvoices.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Today is National HIV Testing Day

Take the Test, Take Control. National HIV Testing Day – 6/27/2009

On June 27, state and local health departments, community-based organizations, HIV testing sites, and AIDS service providers across the United States will participate in events for National HIV Testing Day. These activities will include health fairs, community education, special events, and extended testing hours.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Twilight Fans - New Moon Trailer

Coming to a theater near you: November 20th 2009

This is the official Spanish New Moon Logo! Courtesy of Corazon films, the distributor of the Twilight movies in Mexico.

Reading Iran

Since last weekend my soul has been haunted by the images of Neda, dying before our very eyes, in the streets of Iran. She could be me, I her. The heartbreak is painful but bittersweet - aren't we lucky to here and not there? Still our hearts grieve and our humanity empathizes. Pain, injustice, tragedy, oppresion sometimes knows no boundaries.

I thought I would put together a list of books to learn more about, celebrate and honor Iranian culture and shed light on the issues at hand:

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

Daughter of Persia: A Woman's Journey From Her Father's Harem Through the Islamic Revolution by Sattareh Farman Farmaian

Prisoner of Tehran: One Woman's Story of Survival Inside an Iranian Prison by Marina Nemat

The Quince Seed Potion: A Novel by Morteza Baharloo

Let Me Tell You Where I've Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora by Persis M. Karim

The Septembers of Shiraz: A Novel (P.S.) by Dalia Sofer

Women Without Men: A Novel of Modern Iran by Shahrnush Parsipur

Cry Of The Peacock by Gina B. Nahai

Young and Defiant in Tehran by Shahram Khosravi

Censoring an Iranian Love Story by Shahriar Mandanipour and Sara Khalili

The Stoning of Soraya M.: A True Story by Freidoune Sahebjam

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Live Interview w/Margaret Mascarenhas, author of THE DISAPPEARANCE OF IRENE DOS SANTOS

Upcoming Show: 6/26/2009 11:00 AM EST
Call-in Number: (646) 378-0039

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” the sixth installment of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Harry Potter film franchise based on the beloved novels by J.K. Rowling, comes out on July 15th but you can win 2 tickets to the NYC, LA, or Miami screening on July 13th right here!

To enter Email me with the subject line "Harry Potter Pelicula" before July 7th noon EST. Winners will be chosen randomly with the aid of random.org.

See HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE in theatres everywhere on Wednesday, July 15!”

More Info at www.harrypotter.com

* © 2009 Warner Bros. Ent.
Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R.

Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Ent. All Rights Reserved.

A special thanks to Warner Bros. Ent. for the prize giveaway.

Please see Additional Prize Terms and Conditions below:

Entrants are not obliged to purchase any products in order to participate, and the purchasing of any products does not influence your chances of winning a Prize.

· Prize winners may be required to take part in reasonable post-competition publicity for Warner and may be filmed, photographed or otherwise recorded by Warner or other third parties for publicity and he/she consents to the use of his/her personal data for such purposes.

· Prize winners may be required to sign a Prize Acceptance Form before the Prize is awarded. If a Prize winner is under the age of 18 years, a parent or guardian may be required to sign a Prize Acceptance Form before the Prize is awarded.

· There is no cash alternative to Prizes which are subject to availability, non-transferable, non-negotiable and non-refundable. Prizes may not be sold, offered for sale or used in connection with any other competition or promotion by the Prize winner.

· Prize details are correct at the date of this Agreement. Events may occur that render the Media Promotion itself or the awarding of Prizes impossible due to unforeseen circumstances or reasons beyond the control of Warner. In this situation, Warner may at its discretion vary or amend Prizes so as to provide reasonable alternative Prizes and Prize winners agree that no liability shall attach to Warner or parties connected to Warner as a result.

Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Ent. All Rights Reserved. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K. Rowling.

Latina Cooking: The Healthy & Low Fat Version

Many of Mami's recipes are tried and true and extremely delicious but it's with a heavy heart (literally) that I often look inside her kitchen and see the stuff she is using to make them.

Here are my suggestions to make the same dishes (only healthier, lower fat, carbohydrate, sodium and caloric versions)

* most of this applies to any ethnic diet

- Ditch the manteca/lard! (seriously, I can't believe people still use this stuff)

- Read the labels! If you use Achotina to flavor your food, you should know it contains lard.

- When you start reading labels you will notice the high amounts of sodium in some of our favorite keystone products; like adobo, bouillon, etc. Either buy the lower sodium versions or make your own and don't add any salt to your dishes. Also rinse your canned beans.

- Cook with canola or olive oil only or a use a mister. They are much healthier for you and remember not to use so much, a tablespoon will do.

- Rice, we love it don't we? If you have to eat white rice, serve yourself a cup (the size of your fist - well, my fist - I have little hands) not a half-plate full. If you want to really go healthy, try using brown rice. I usually make mine with some homemade sofrito and boil it with some low sodium chicken broth.

- Make your own condiments when you can. First off they taste so much better fresh and you can completely keep track of what is going in there. Make your own mojo, sofrito, salsas, dry adobo, flavored oils, vinaigrette, etc., I like to drop a couple of achiote seeds into a separate jar with oil to make very reddish and paprika flavored oil - great for yellow rice.

- Use lean meats, clean and trim the fat.

- Eat fish at least once a week (and not fried).

- Instead of frying; try broiling/grilling, steaming or sauteing.

- Use butter/margerine sparringly - in most cases olive oil and/or cooking spray will substitute.

- Use turkey sausage and bacon as a replacement for fattier pork versions. For even healthier versions, make your own turkey sausages.

- Use low fat dairy and cheeses or use soy products instead.

- Reverse your daily intake of food. If you were brought up like me, then a typical breakfast at home was a piece of bread or crackers with a piece of cheese and cafecito. Lunch was something filling enough to send you to bed and dinner was sort of in between. This cultural phenomenon worked well when we left for the fields at the rooster's crow and could take siestas but that isn't the case anymore.

Begin your day with a full blown breakfast. It's going to power your day! Fruit, protein, fiber should all be components. Coffee is actually fine too. It actually helps your metabolism. Lunch should be your big meal, if your are eating carbs, this is when you should eat them so your body has time to digest them and use up the sugars. Dinner should be really light. Some protein and some veggies or a salad.

- Make your own delicious fruit and low fat smoothies for breakfast and snacks.

- Don't eat after 7 pm. I know most of us are not even home by then but you should eat your last meal at least three hours before you turn in. And if, you need a midnight snack, cereal or a yogurt is good.

- Ditch the white bread. Look for whole wheat breads and if you like to bake your own look for diabetic bread/biscuit recipes.

- Ditch the soda (sorry cola champagne). You don't need it. Drink lots of water. Be cautious with the fruit juices too - they have tons of sugar and calories. You can cut down on the juice by adding seltzer water (plain carbonated water) to half a glass of juice to fool your self into drinking more water and less sugars.

- Be on the lookout for low-carb, baked versions of your favorite snacks. You can find low-carb wheat tortillas in many places as well as baked tortilla chips. You can also make your own.

- Sweet potatoes are healthier than regular potatoes and if you want to ditch the potatoes all together cauliflower is a good substitute for mashing.

- There are many low-starch/carbohydrate veggies to use more of : squash, chiles, quelites, nopales, jicama, yucca, tomatillos, and chayotes.

- Accompany your meals with some veggies and nice green salad daily. Go heavy on the greens and light on the carbs.

Have fun and be creative! You can easily make any meal healthier.

Want to make some empanadas? Just like Mami's but so much better for you. Instead of ground beef try ground turkey and instead of frying them try baking them. Yes, baking them. You can see a recipe here: weight-watchers-points-recipes. Just use turkey instead of beef.

You can still eat your tostones, just don't deep fry them. Instead fry in a bit of canola oil and drain off the extra oil. Or how about some Oven Fried Yucca?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

BookSeer: What's in Your Book Future?

bookseer.com is a Pandora for books. The simple webapp asks you which book you read last and then uses Amazon and LibraryThing to suggest what you should read next.

Here are the Top 20 searches so far:

Top 20

The Book Seer | What Is The What- 269 [This is slightly unfair as it is one of the pages linked to by StumbleUpon)
The Book Seer | Twilight - 116
The Book Seer | Harry Potter 74 [Note - Librarything has a lot of problems with this request]
The Book Seer | 1984
The Book Seer | The Road 55
The Book Seer | Neuromancer 52
The Book Seer | Atlas Shrugged 30
The Book Seer | Pride And Prejudice 27
The Book Seer | The Bible 26 [some great left-field recommendations for that]
The Book Seer | Outliers 24
The Book Seer | Enders Game 23
The Book Seer | On The Road 23 [Note the difficulty Amazon has compared to Librarything when no author is entered]
The Book Seer | The Catcher In The Rye 22
The Book Seer | ウェブ進化論 22 [No idea, sorry, but from the recommendations, looks pretty cool]
The Book Seer | Infinite Jest 21
The Book Seer | The Secret History19
The Book Seer | The Stand 19
The Book Seer | American Gods
The Book Seer | The Book Thief 18
The Book Seer | Catcher In The Rye 17

Español: Battle of the Titans

Very big difference here: Not that Obama's Spanish is perfect but Bloomberg's is painful to listen to and understand

Youtube Launches Neat Movie Trailer Section

Very cool, now where is the book trailer section?

On Being Latina

I am not your fetish.

My name is not Maria, “Oye, Mira,” Mamacita, or Bonita Applebum.

I am not your Malinche.

I will not do the Macarena for you.

Nor do I know how to make Pasteles from scratch.

When you meet me please refrain from telling me about your love for tacos.

I cannot be your Vida Guerra, Jennifer Lopez or Watermelon woman (Google it).

Nor will I press your shirts, wash your dishes or take your kids to the park.

I am not your Magdalena, Madonna, martyr.

I can’t be bothered to teach you Spanish.

Don’t assume I have a tattoo somewhere or a knife or some mace.

Resist the temptation to heap on the cultural clichés: caliente, spicy, hot Latin mama/lover, hot-blooded, chili pepper hot, spitfire…

No, I’m not from the projects.

I don't practice brujeria nor do I know how to cast spells.

Don't think if you play some reggaeton in your ad, it will make me want your product.

I’m not from the Block or on the 6 Train.

Don't assume I have 8 kids (and, no, not having any doesn't make me gay).

I don't appreciate the bastardized language used to implicate any association with being Hispanic: "She spics well for a Latina." "Ay, What a mes."

My culture is not something I am looking to lose.

I am not your Hottentot Venus.

You cannot send me back to my country.

I am simultaneously and collectively black, white, and Taino.

I am all three and I am neither.

I am American.

I am Latina.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sag Harbor & The Post-Black Rhetoric

I've been hearing a lot about Sag Harbor: A Novel by Colson Whitehead and the Post-black movement. I bought the book and have all these thoughts churning in my head.

In the NY Times review of the book, TOURÉ, refers to both Obama and the "Colsonesque 15-year-old Benji," who is the protaganist of the book, as post-Black.

The ideology of post-black refers to being black and yet dispelling the notions of race, labels and stereotypes or negative associations.

The idea is intriguing. I mean how many of us have heard "you don't seem [insert race, ethnicity here]" or "I would've never guessed you were [x,y,z]?"

It's rather hard for society, it seems to embrace the dichotomy of those who exist in both realms; like Obama, Tiger Woods, Oprah, or Sonia Sotomayor.

Yet at BEA, Cornel West spoke against embracing the idea of living in a post-Black era. Racism continues to exist he argues while others note that post-black within itself is a parodox, both a "hollow social construction and a reality with an indispensable history."

* Image: from Freedom: A fable - A Curious Interpretation of the Wit of a Negress in Troubled Times by Kara Elizabeth Walker

Sunday, June 21, 2009

BANANAS! The Film Dole Corp. Doesn't Want You to See

Bananas, the perfect food. This trailer will make you think ext time you eat one or see one about where they come from and the people who work on those plantations.

It's the story of twelve Nicaraguan banana workers and their lawyer, Juan “Accidentes” Dominguez, who tackled Dole Food in a ground-breaking legal battle for their use of a banned pesticide that was known by the company to cause sterility.

Two years ago, the twelve Nicaraguan banana plantation workers traveled to Los Angeles and sued Dole Food Co. Inc. They won $1.58 million.

Now the film about the case is set to debut at the Los Angeles Film Festival next week. Dole’s lawyers are trying to stop all screenings.


In the 1960s, Standard Fruit (now Dole), Del Monte and United Fruit (now Chiquita) began to use the pesticide massively on Central American, Caribbean and Philippine banana plantations, as well as on sugar, pineapple and cotton plantations.

BANANAS!* trailer from WG Film on Vimeo.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

BookTV Tonight: Eduardo Galeano

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Tonight at 10 p.m. After Words.
John Dinges interviews Uruguayan poet and political thinker, Eduardo Galeano, author of Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone in which Galeano tells a history of the world through 600 brief stories. (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m., and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

About the Program
Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano talks about his latest book, "Mirrors," a history of the world told through 600 brief stories. Mr. Galeano is interviewed by Columbia University journalism professor John Dinges, author of "The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents." The two men also discussed Mr. Galeano's 1971 book, "The Open Veins of Latin America," which Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez gave to President Obama during the Fifth Summit of the Americas.

Peep This

Have you ever wondered what's the reason that blogging, facebook, reality TV, gossip mags (insert guilty voyeuristic pleasure/addiction here) are so prevalent? Especially amongst Generation Zrs?

I was actually thinking about this the other night. We have become so obsessed with what others are doing, saying, and thinking and we want that information now, in real time. We constantly view status changes, twitter streams, gossip shows and blogs, reality television programs, texts, email. It must be our thirst for human interaction but yet most of these activities are done alone, behind a screen. How ironic!

Further reading on the topic:

by Hal Niedzviecki

"You need to know. You need to be known." That is the compulsion fueling what cultural critic Hal Niedzviecki calls "peep culture, the bastard love child of gossip"—our mass addiction to twittering, tweeting, snooping, spying, blogging, gawking at reality TV and YouTube, spilling our secrets on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Ping…the list goes on.

"Call it surveillance with benefits," he writes of our consuming need for human connection in The Peep Diaries (City Lights), a virtual descent into the loneliest of worlds.

Als coming in the Fall:

by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler

"Margaret Thatcher said there is no such thing as society. Hillary Clinton wrote that it takes a village.

In their new book, Christakis and Fowler write, "We don't live in groups, we live in networks," and they back this up with dozens of interconnected stories of research findings by themselves and others, ranging from bank runs to suicide prevention, from nut allergies among schoolchildren to epidemics in virtual worlds, from the spread of happiness to the spread of voting.

The combination of speculation and science is fascinating and leaves me eager to learn about the next wave of research in this area."-Andrew Gelman, author of Red State, Blue State

Friday, June 19, 2009

The O List

There is a nice, diverse 2009 Summer Reading List in July issue of O, the Oprah Magazine; she's also offering a Summer Reading Calendar , in printable book mark form, with an assignment per week as well as a list of “20 Tantalizing Beach Reads.”

Speaking of bookclubs, for those of you who don't know Target.com's Bookmarked offers online tools for book club members to share reviews, schedule events, and discuss books online. They also offer their own Target Bookmarked picks.

Hispanic: It's Complicated

I never realized that the term "Hispanic" was so confusing for some people. For me, it's always been someone who can trace their roots back to a Spanish speaking country (regardless of skin color, place of birth or your ability to speak Spanish).

Here are some interesting facts:

In the eyes of the Census Bureau, Hispanics can be of any race, any ancestry, any country of origin. The result is that there are varying patterns relating to where people come from and how they choose to identify themselves on the Census. For example, some 99% of all immigrants from Mexico call themselves Hispanic.

But just 87% of immigrants from Venezuela adopt this label, as do 86% of immigrants from Argentina, 70% of immigrants from Spain, and only 67% from Panama. As for race, 54% of all Hispanics in the U.S. self-identify as white, 1.5% self-identify as black, 40% do not identify with any race and 3.8% identify as being two or more races.

Read the rest of the article Who’s Hispanic? at the Pewhispanic.org

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rooftop Films at El Museo Del Barrio 6/20/09

Time: June 20, 2009 from 8pm to 11pm

Location: El Museo Del Barrio

Street: 1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street

City/Town: New York, NY

Website or Map: www.elmuseo.org

New Muslim Cool

Synopsis: A Puerto Rican Muslim rapper fights oppression and finds peace in Pittsburgh.Filmmaker and subjects will be in attendance. Pre-show music by the film's star, Hamza Perez. Open bar after-party following the screening.

8:00 p.m. - Doors open, 8:30 p.m. - Live music, 9:00 p.m. - Film screening

Admission: $9For more info, click here.

2009 Latina Trailblazer Event: Tonight NYC

Date: Thursday, June 18, 2009
Reception from 6:00 to 7:00 PM
Panel / Q & A from 7:00 to 9:30 PM

Location: Hunter College
SW Corner of 68th Street & Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10065

This event will commence with a networking reception followed by a moderated panel discussion.

The purpose of this event is to create a platform, to hear and experience current challenges and accomplishments that are and will affect Latin culture and the mainstream. The 2009 Latina Trailblazer Panelists will discuss trends in: Leadership, career, green Initiatives, business, politics, music, entertainment, the arts, health, entrepreneurship and workforce diversity.


-- How to reinvent yourself during these tough economic times

-- Insights into the influence of mainstream on Latin culture and Latin culture's influence on the mainstream

-- Green initiatives at work and home

-- Networking tips

-- Stress management

Panel members:

Councilwoman Julissa Ferrera - District 21

Judy Torres, On-Air Personality & Freestyle Artist - WKTU

Ada Rodriguez, Chief Marketing Officer - Health Plus

Shirley Rodriguez-Remenisky, President - 100 Hispanic Women

Jackie Bird, CEO - Redbean Society

Keynote Speaker:

April Hernandez, Actress and Inspirational Speaker

Event Sponsors: State Farm, CUNY, DTM Media Group (www.dtmmag.com), Cibao Meat, Health Plus, Dominican Tourism Board

Move Over Google: Amazon Rules?

Back when I worked for AOL, I wrote weekly reports, most of which were overwrought with news about Google. Every week, Google acquired something and launched another thing.

Everywhere in the industry, it was often noted that although Google's motto is "Do no evil," it was attempting to take over the world and do everything.

Now that I work in publishing, a new player claims that territory:

Time magazine, this week asks “Is Amazon Taking Over the Book Business?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Críticas Comeback

Críticas is Back: Library Journal and School Library Journal Resume Reviews of the Latest Spanish-Language Books

You can see the adult book reviews here www.libraryjournal.com

A few picks for you:

El viaje del elefante
(The Elephant’s Journey)
Saramago, Jose.
tr. by Pilar del Rio

Nobel laureate Saramago was inspired to write this novel while dining at a Salzburg restaurant called The Elephant and learning that in the mid-16th century, John III, king of Portugal, made a present to the Archduke Maximilian of Austria, who was visiting in neighboring Spain. The choice of his gift, an elephant, was novel as well as risky, but the memory of this tale lives on.

Saramago takes poetic license to describe the journey made by the elephant, Salomon, from Lisbon to Vienna with his Bengali keeper, Subhro. When the Archduke Maximilian rechristens them as Soliman and Fritz, the elephant keeper shows himself to be more sagacious than the capricious archduke. The elephant is ultimately the major character of this tale and has a personality and style totally his own, gaining the admiration, love, and awe of those who come into contact with him.

The elephant’s great dignity and perspicacity are totally credible, making him a far wiser judge of character than the archduke himself. Light, fanciful, and wise, this is one of the most delightful of Saramago’s books. Highly recommended for all libraries. —Catherine Rendón, Savannah, GA


Vive tu vida al rojo vivo.
(Make Your Life Prime Time)
Arrarás, María Celeste.

One of Spanish-language television’s most popular news personalities, Arrarás built a solid reputation as an award-winning journalist before signing on to host Univsion’s Primer Impacto. In 2002, she made headlines when she jumped ship to sign with the competing Telemundo/NBC partnership. She is now host and managing editor of the popular news show Al rojo vivo and in 2008 became the first Telemundo star to cohost the NBC Today show.

Her first book, Selena’s Secret, on the life and death of Tejano music singer Selena, generated some controversy when Selena’s father disputed her conclusions. Here, in a warm and engaging work that offers insight into her upbeat approach to life, Arrarás offers brief chapters each relating a personal experience that illustrates a value or principle she hopes will guide her children.

Along the way, she shares the intimate details and challenges of her personal and professional lives—her reaction to her husband’s infidelity, her shock at discovering the abuse of her son by a trusted nanny, her disappointment at being defrauded by her personal assistant. This quick read will delight and inspire many fans. Highly recommended for all public libraries and general bookstores.

—Yolanda J. Cuesta, Cuesta MultiCultural Consulting, Sacramento, CA

Sony Ereader on Sale

Those of you who have been thinking about getting an ereader may want to check your local Borders or WaldenBooks store. They are having a sale while supplies last for the Sony 505 Ereader priced at $199 with a $10 off coupon for an ebook. In stores only, they ran out of stock online. That's the cheapest I've ever seen it.

For those of you who are still looking for cheaper means, did you know you can download an app on your iPod Touch or iPhone? Check out the assorted apps here: ipod.about.com

I've heard very good things about the Stanza app.

If you have another smartphone, you can also (usually) download ebook software.

Wordless Wednesday

Literanista's Gifts for Papi

Father's Day is right around the corner and I say the perfect gift is to spend time together.

If you live in the city, what about taking Papi and your siblings on a chartered fishing excursion? http://www.nycfishing.com/

You have some fun in the sun and get to take your catch home.

Or for a bit more take him on a Guided Private Fishing Trip.

If you want to gift Daddy with a new night table delight, how about:

The Gift of Time: Letters from a Father by Jorge Ramos

Gabriel García Márquez: A Life by Gerald Martin

Hard Corps: From Gangster to Marine Hero by Marco Martinez

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rainy Day Agenda: The World from Your Coach

There are many documentaries available online for free viewing. What's more perfect for a rainy day or two?

A Working Mom - 2008
A divorced mother of two returns to her home and children in Bolivia after 15 years of struggling for a better life in Israel, only to find her family members have become strangers. A WORKING MOM is a story that demonstrates the extremes that individuals will go to in order to save their families--sometimes saving and losing them in the same act.

ABC Colombia - 2008
ABC COLOMBIA is an intimate portrait of a rural community in a part of Colombia entirely controlled by paramilitary forces, rendered through the eyes of the children who grow up there, and who are often forced into very difficult choices. Along the mountainous terrain of the Don Diego River, there is a small building of white cement on whose walls children have drawn the plants and wildlife of the region.

This is the school of the children of the campesinos, a single elementary class of 25 students between 5 and 15 years old, the age at which school ends for them. But not all children finish, as many must leave to work as coca-leaf pickers or to patrol the mountains as part of the paramilitary, defending the area’s enormous stretches of coca fields from infiltration by guerrillas or the army. The documentary follows these young protagonists in this problematic setting through an entire school year, exploring some of the realities that nurture and perpetuate the violence in Colombia.

Valley of Tears - 2003
Hart Perry (Director of Photography - HARLAN COUNTY USA), has documented the lives of Mexican-American migrant farm workers in Raymondville, TX since 1979 when the onion workers’ strike broke out. What followed was a fight not only for higher pay but also for equal rights and representation. For 24 years, the county’s Mexican-American residents were determined to fight for what is right. VALLEY OF TEARS is a complex story of the long journey of individuals who endure hardship in order to make a better future for their families.

Three Cubans - 2005
In 1963 & 1964 Robert Carl Cohen became the first US filmmaker authorized by both the US State Dept. & Cuban Foreign Ministry to film the daily lives of upper, middle and lower economic-class Cubans. Returning to the US, Cohen interviewed an upper class exile who, his aged parents remaining in Cuba, requested anonymity. The film’s production had to overcome obstacles such as Kodak’s selling the Producer defective raw stock & the loss of the work print from an insured Railway Express shipment. Its 1965 screening as “Three Faces of Cuba” on over 100 National Educational TV (NET) affiliated stations led to violent protests by anti-Castro exiles, hearings before federal agencies, & non-inclusion by the NET in the usual distribution of its programs to the schools.

Despite having permits from both the State & Treasury Depts., Cohen’s 1963 through 1971 tax returns were audited by the Internal Revenue Service; which revealed no liability. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) files released in 1975 reveal possible CIA influence in NET’s refusal to distribute the film. THREE CUBANS provides one of the best documentations of the early effects of Castro’s revolution on the people of Cuba.

Don't Let the Sweetness of Life Pass You By

The other day I realized that the tree on the corner (of the place where I have now lived for over eight years) is a cherry tree. How did I realize that? It certainly wasn't because I looked up. It was because a bird had bitten a piece off of an unripened cherry and when it dropped it landed right next to me. So I looked up and discovered a whole tree of cherries.

Sometime we are oblivious to the grand picture and the beauty that lies right beneath our noses (and sometimes right above our heads) and we miss living life to the fullest.

From Louise Erdrich's The Painted Drum:

"Life will break you.

Nobody can protect you from that,

and living alone won't either,

for solitude will also break you with its yearning.

You have to love.

You have to feel.

It is the reason you are here on earth.

You are here to risk your heart.

You are here to be swallowed up.

And when it happens that you
are broken,

or betrayed,

or left,

or hurt,

or death brushes near,

let yourself sit by an apple tree

and listen to the apples falling

all around you in heaps,
wasting their sweetness.

Tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could."

Latinos in Tech?

The Tech Industry’s Diversity Problem via Hispanic Digital

The high-tech industry has a diversity problem, according to a new study.

Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans only make up 6.8% of engineering and other technical staffers in the tech industry, the Anita Borg Institute, a group that promotes the hiring of women in high-tech, said on Monday. These groups make up an even smaller percentage of workers at higher levels within tech companies.

So-called under-represented minorities make up 27% of the population as a whole and receive 18% of undergraduate computer-science degrees. They earn 8% of masters and doctoral degrees in computer science. But they were barely present at the seven large Silicon Valley companies the Anita Borg Institute studied. (The companies weren’t identified.)

“You need diversity to have innovation,” says Caroline Simard, the study’s author.

On the Homeless Front

I don't usually write about such politically charged topics but there were two items recently that came to my attention that I felt I needed to discuss. Both are related to homelessness. I've know many people who have been homeless or have been unfortunate enough to have to stay at homeless shelters. None of them were mentally ill, or drug addicts. Most of them were simply ordinary people who lost their apartments because of domestic isssues, were unable to pay their rent, ran out of relatives to stay with or had some sort of natural disaster.

When I read that people were up in uproar over a an upscale building in Brooklyn that the city turned into a temp. shelter, I was rather disgusted by humanity's selfishness and greediness. The place has granite countertops, terraces, marble bathrooms and walk-in closets. It was meant to be a luxury condo building however because of the economy the developer had to turn to other means to not lose all profits.

Now, it seems some people were rather upset by the idea of homeless people "living large."

"I'm a hardworking taxpayer, and I don't think homeless people should be living better than me," fumed Desmond John, 35, a window salesman who wanted to rent one of the fancy apartments. "They said it's not for rent. It's a shelter. I was shocked."
I'm also a hardworking taxpayer but somehow I think it's rather unfair to decide how someone 'should live' based on their place/status in society. To say people, don't deserve to be there is just wrong and very sour grapes. That's another human being, just like you. First of all, it's a temporary situation and perhaps it's a rather nice reprieve for someone who has suffered to get to stay in such a place for a little while. Uplifting and renewing.

In that same vein, NPR introduced us to "Homeless advocate Eric Sheptock [who] uses technology to get his message out. Though he's homeless himself, he keeps a blog, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. He spends a lot of time in the city's public libraries, where he gets free access to a computer. There he can check his e-mail account and write his blog — called On the Clock with Eric Sheptock — which has so far attracted hundreds of readers. He recently wrote about his concern that the homeless shelter he now lives in is in danger of closing. "

How amazing is that!

Learn more about Eric at www.npr.org

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nuyorican Pride (in full effect)

by Reverendo Pedro Pietri, 1993

En my Viejo San Juan
They raise the price of pan
So I fly to Manhattan.
It was there that I swear
Everyone took welfare
Especially the Latins!

To El Barrio I went
In pursuit of low rent
In a five room apartment
Where by neighbors will be
Puerto Ricans like me
Dressed in tropical garments.

I know
I know, I know
I'll miss Puerto Rico
(Land of de Palm trees)
And so,
And so and so
I'll live in El Barrio's
(Latin Community)

And whennnnn
I hit the numbers
I'll return to San Juan
Afford the price of pan
Until my life is done
(Island blessed by the sun
Here I come Here I come
Donde my roots are from)

Many years came and went
Fell behind on my rent
Cursed Christopher Columbus.
Worked as hard as I could
But my luck was no good
Never once hit the numbers

Now everyday I pray
Before passing away
And going six foot under
That again I will see
People who look like me
In my island of wonders.

I know
I know I know
I'll reach Puerto Rico
(Y live to be ninety three)
And so And so
Once in Puerto Rico
(Won't be a minority)

Y Paaaaa'
El carajo with the numbers
If I can't fly I'll swim
Straight from El Barrio
Back to Puerto Rico
(Island by the sun blessed
Island I never left
I will settle there next)

Asi es how it must be
For the whole family
Dice our destineeeee!
De weather wasn't nice
Comfort cost a high price
Unlike in Puerto Rico
We kept cooking the rice
And re-heating the beans
And making cuchifrito.

De hard times were plenty
De pockets stayed empty
But the soul nunca dyyyyyed
And junto we survived
And danced after we cried
Defending nuestro pride.

I know
I know I know
Next stop's Puerto Rico
(So help me OTB
And so
And so And so
I won't be called Chico
By the Statue of Liberty)

Y thennnnn
Con familia and friends
Good times will never end
Learn how to laugh again
And stop sheeteen on ten
(Once in my country
I will be I will be
Who has always been me)

In Spanish there were bills
In English there were bills
That just kept getting bigger.
Categorized as hicks
We were called dirty spicks
Blanco trash and black niggers

Las botanicas saved
Us from an early grave
All aspirin did wass kill joo!
Muchas gracias Chango
La Plena y el Mambo
For coming to the rescue!

I know
I know I know
We have been in limbo
(We're in New York City)
And so
And so And so
Almost misplaced my soul
(Somewhere in New Jersey)

Porqueeeee blood is
Thicker than Coca-Cola
I have very high hopes
Of rejoining my folks
With them I'm never broke
Y at last I will find
That there is peace of mind
Everything will be fine.

In Borinquen we'll be
Enjoying our history
For mucho centuries
We registered to vote
Thinking that there was hope
In elected officials.
Pero as soon as they win
For a moment they grin
Then they drop all the issues.

Many dropped out of school
Others went to college
Trying hard to get somewhere.
In the land of da free
Where without a degree
You cannot collect welfare.

I know
I know I know
I'll always play dominoes
(Wherever I may be)
And go
And go And go
To local bodegas
(For Bustelo coffee)

I'm still in Puerto Rico
Only my body came
My strong spirit remains
Everything's still de same
(I truly do believe
You can leave and still be
Where Mami met Papi)

Some did assimilate
In de United States
They got rid of de accent
Tho whenever they spoke
That will always unmask them!

But de majority
Kept their identity
Never did lose their accent!
They were proud not ashamed
Of their Boricua names
If you don't believe ask them.

I know
I know I know
I am being followed
(By my destiny)B
And so
And so And so
I will never be swallowed
(By inferiority)
And whennnnn
De plane takes off again
I know that there will be
No return trips for me
Back to New York City
(Island blessed by the sun
Here I come Here I come
Donde my roots are from)

And with my family
We'll struggle and believe
That one day we'll be free.

Rage Against The Machine In Harlem

Burn U Movement Unity In The Community Tour with Rage Against the Machine

at Marcus Garvey Park Ampitheatre,
122nd St. betwn 5tn and Madison Avenues,
New York 10030
Cost: FREE

More shows in the Bronx too:


THE B.U.R.N. U (The Best Under Rated Now Unified) and the misson is to bring unity through Hip Hop. We are not just a group of artists, we are The Movement that the underground has been waiting for. THE B.U.R.N. U is a Congress, a cohort and a strong vision of what’s next.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sonia's Favorite Puerto Rican Dish

I was delighted and touched when I read over at La Vida de Daisy Martinez that one of Sonia Sotomayor's favorite Boricua dishes is Patitas (Trotters) with Garbanzos. It's funny because in my home, pork and red meat are both barred forever but I dally into my roots once in a while. Very often, it's for this dish, which I have been begging Mami to make for me for quite a while now. Some of you may find the idea of eating Pig's feet a bit gross but 'gross' things have rarely had any effect on me (or my stomach).

Interestingly enough, I often get random cravings for weird things - out of nowhere, like a pregnant woman, except not pregnant. Today, it was the saltiness of a piece of fried salchichon and crackers, which of course, I just ignored because I don't know where I would be able to find that in downtown Manhattan. Very often it's seafood, like Blue Crabs or Mussels, sometimes it's just a piece of bacon or fresh baked bread other times it's pasteles or vianda.

Anyhow, my mom hasn't made Trotters and Garbanzos recently because she likes to buy the pig's feet straight from the butcher shop and those along with the bakeries have sadly diminished in El Barrio.

If you want to learn how to make this dish and see what Daisy has to say about Sonia, check out Daisy's blog.

Viva Daisy! Viva Sonia! Y Que Viva Puerto Rico!

*** (My apologies in advance to my Vegan readers - I love animals too! I just can't help being a carnivore sometimes)

Free Breakfast & Lunch Progam for Students

As some of you may know, I grew up extremely poor and there were many days when the free lunch I had at school (which was offered year-round in my area) was the only 'real' meal I had.

I just read that today "Nearly 20 million children receive free or reduced-price lunches in the nation's schools, an all-time high, federal data show, based on data from the U.S. Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which subsidizes the programs."

I am sad to see so many in need of the free meal but I am glad that we, as a nation, are able to provide it for our nation's neediest and youngest, our future scientists, artists, civil servants and community leaders.

Ironically, even though I grew up in El Barrio, it wasn't until I was in college and taking an African American History course at Marymount College that I learned about the The Young Lords (and more about The Black Panthers), a Puerto Rican civil rights group equivalent to The Black Panthers party based primarily in Chicago and New York's Spanish Harlem in the early 1970s.

For those of you who are unaware, it was these two alliances who created and set up community projects like the free breakfast and lunch programs.

Many Young Lords are still active today in media and community issues; for example: Juan Gonzalez of the New York Daily News and Democracy Now!, Pablo "Yoruba" Guzman at WCBS-TV New York, Felipe Luciano, Miguel "Mickey" Melendez of WBAI-FM New York, and Geraldo Rivera

For those of you interested in learning more about The Young Lords, please visit: younglords.info

Friday, June 12, 2009

Twitter Is Useless, They Claim

While many are claiming that Twitter is completely useless, based on findings from Harvard Research that only 10% of users create 90% of the content and everyone else is silent - my attitude to this is so what?

How does that make Twitter useless? Silence doesn't mean users aren't listening or that it isn't useful. Twitter is a place for conversation and if one loudmouth (or key influencer/thought leader/great conversationalist) is doing all of the talking and most are listening - does that devalue the conversation?

Apparently, Twitter is working for some - those who get it and use it well.

Proof for my point: Twitter Sells $3 Million Of Computers For Dell

A $3 Million dollar profit doesn't sound too useless to me...

Tonight: El Rev. Pedro Pietri Hand Awards Ceremonies

"El Rev. Pedro Pietri Hand Awards presentation will take place on Friday, June 12, 2009 at Hunter College, Faculty Dining Room, West Building – 8th Floor, 68th Street at Lexington Avenue starting at 7 P.M. (My mom asked me to take her).

El Puerto Rican Embassy and La Pietri Family in collaboration with El Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños announce the second presentation of El Rev. Pedro Pietri Hand Awards.

El Rev. Pedro Pietri Hand Awards honors the memory of Rev. Pedro Pietri, one of the most gifted poet/playwrights of the Twentieth Century and co-founder of the Nuyorican Poetry Movement, and was created to recognize significant artistic and cultural contributions by Puerto Rican/Nuyorican poets, artists, musicians and political activists working in their respective fields today.

This year El Rev. Pedro Pietri Hand Awards are being presented to Miriam Colón – actor and founder of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, José “Chegui” Torres – first Puerto Rican Light Heavyweight Champion of the World, journalist and best selling author of Sting like a bee, the biography of Muhammad Ali, Ntozake Shange – poet/playwright and author of For Colored Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow’s Enuff, Carlos Ortíz – photographer and filmmaker and producer/director of Machito: A Latin Jazz Legacy, Dylcia Pagán – activist, filmmaker, writer, and artist, and Tato Laviera – poet/playwright and winner of the American Book Award for En Clave.

The evening will be hosted by Mariposa and Adál Maldonado with surprise guests and will feature performances by spoken word artists and poets, among them: Miguel Algarín, Ntozake Shange, Jesús Papoleto Meléndez, Tato Laviera, Mariposa, Speedo, Sheila Candelario, and Ricardo León Peña Villa. Musical performances will include Pepo Saavedra, Raquel Z. Rivera, Papote y el Concepto Cultural, and an award winning short film West Side Story Upside Down, Sideways, Backwards and Out of Focus by Adál Maldonado.

El Rev. Pedro Pietri Hand Award is an Object d' Art designed by Adál Maldonado with a custom made ring designed in collaboration with Olga Ayala. The ring has the logo of the Church of Our Mother of Tomatoes, which was founded by Rev. Pedro who was officially ordained as a minister with the Ministries of Salvation in California. Rev. Pedro ministered to his flock by visiting prisons and insane asylums and bringing them salvation through his poetry and dark humor."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Between the Pages

This book bed by www.writtenafterwards.com doesn't look very comfortable (I don't like low, platform beds) but it would be very cute for a child's room. Sometime about is quite ethereal and fantastical. Perfect to drift off to the land of Nod.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Celebrate Brooklyn: Free 16-song BK music sampler

You love it. We love it. So why not celebrate it? Nowhere on the planet has been such a hotbed for creativity and sonic exploration over the past several years ...as Brooklyn, NY.

This summer, LimeWire Store is partnering with BRIC to sponsor one of their now-legendary free shows at the Prospect Park bandshell, part of this year's Celebrate Brooklyn! concert series.

To commemorate the occasion, we put together this free compilation album, showcasing many of the artists playing Celebrate Brooklyn! this summer.

Click here for the free download

eLuxury Dips into the Deadpool

Shocking but I guess it's a sign of the times when a site renowned for selling $500 pairs of jeans shuts its doors. I've always been more of a Bluefly girl myself and that's splurging for me but it was nice to see how the really prosperous roll.

Did someone scream "sale" though?

9 Produced by Tim Burton

Last Saturday, I caught the trailer for a new film from producer Tim Burton (who is genius!) 9 and it looks quite interesting to me. It looks spendidly apocalyptic and sci fi, mixed with a bit of steampunk with the rag doll/robot beings who innherit the Earth.
Coming 09-09-09!

Interesting facts about the number 9:

- In Chemistry, 9 means pure.

- The number 9 is revered in Hinduism and considered a complete, perfected and divine number because it represents the end of a cycle in the decimal system.

- Important Buddhist rituals usually involve nine monks.

- In the Christian angelic hierarchy there are 9 choirs of angels.

- Nine is strongly associated with the Chinese dragon, a symbol of magic and power. There are nine forms of the dragon, it is described in terms of nine attributes, and it has nine children.

- Nine justices sit on the United States Supreme Court.

- There are nine circles of Hell in Dante's Divine Comedy.

- Nine Unknown Men are, in occult legend, the custodians of the sciences of the world since ancient times.

- In Middle Earth, there are nine rings of power given to men, and consequently, nine ringwraiths.

- The nine muses in Greek mythology are Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (erotic poetry), Euterpe (lyric poetry), Melpomene (tragedy), Polyhymnia (song), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy), and Urania (astronomy).

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Book Trailers Coming to a Bus and Mall Near You

I am one of those people who actually likes watching the previews before the movie starts. I tend to get a little riled up if we run late and miss some of the trailers. When I discovered book trailers, I was fascinated.

Now, I've learned that book trailers have been running on digital billboards operated by Adspace Networks in 105 malls in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston and 35 other cities.

In addition, Transit Television Network, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, the largest out-of-home digital network that provides information, entertainment and advertising to transit riders across North America, offers book trailers on buses. Transit TV has flat screen televisions on its buses in five major cities; Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando and Milwaukee. Very cool, no?

[UPDATE: Well, actually, no - it seems Transit Television shuttered it doors in February via www.sixteen-nine.net and the article I based this news on was from january '09. Too bad, it seemed like an obviously good idea. Perhaps someone will bring these back...]

Imagine a world where after viewing a book trailer at a kiosk in the airport or mall you could walk into bookstore and order it or print it from an Espresso Book Machine or after watching a book trailer on your commute home whether on the train, bus, a cab, or an airplane you just turn on your ereader, go online, purchase it, download it and begin reading right away. How does that sound?

Further reading:
Book Trailers for Mall Rats
In-Transit Viewing of Book Trailers – A Potent New Book Marketing Venue [see update above]


"Wordnik wants to be a place for all the words, and everything known about them."

I just discovered www.wordnik.com and I have to say it's one of the most creative and coolest mash-ups I have seen in a long time. Wordnik acts like a dictionary/thesaurus but then adds in things like instances of the word on Twitter and Flickr images tagged with the word. For those hard to comprehend definitions all the words also have in situ examples of use as well as audio pronunciation.

You can also see how many times the word has been looked up. They also offer a timeline of how usage over time. It will also offer you various definitions from different dictionaries, like Websters or American Heritage. Also offered are full etymologies qnd if you log in you can keep notes on different words.

I think it's pretty neat.

Speaking of cool dictionaries: Another cool one comes to us from
www.onelook.com, who offer a reverse dictionary. You type in a couple of words or concept and the dictionary offers up the word you are thinking of or the one you mean.

Three Year Anniversary

I received a nice note from one of my most loyal and longtime readers reminding me that this blog is officially turning three today.

I love getting notes from my readers and I just want to say thank you for your continued support and visiting my little blog. It's great being able to share with all you!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

June Book: The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos

If you want to read a lush tale full of beautifully lyrical prose, you should definitely check out The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos By Margaret Mascarenhas out in stores this month. The backdrop for this tale of best friends torn apart, revolution and family is Venezuela.

You would never guess that the author, Margaret Mascarenhas, is Indian. A Latina at heart? After all, she did grow up in Venezuela.

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