Showing posts with label Fidel Castro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fidel Castro. Show all posts

Friday, May 29, 2015

#FridayReads: The Domino Diaries: My Decade Boxing with Olympic Champions and Chasing Hemingway's Ghost in the Last Days of Castro's Cuba by Brin-Jonathan Butler

The Domino Diaries: My Decade Boxing with Olympic Champions and Chasing Hemingway's Ghost in the Last Days of Castro's Cuba by Brin-Jonathan Butler:

A powerful and lively work of immersive journalism, Brin-Jonathan Butler's story of his time chasing the American dream through Cuba

Whether he’s hustling his way into Mike Tyson’s mansion for an interview, betting his life savings on a boxing match (against the favorite), becoming romantically entangled with one of Fidel Castro’s granddaughters, or simply manufacturing press credentials to go where he wants—Brin-Jonathan Butler has always been the "act first, ask permission later" kind of journalist.

This book is the culmination of Butler’s decade spent in the trenches of Havana, trying to understand a culture perplexing to westerners: one whose elite athletes regularly forgo multimillion-dollar opportunities to stay in Cuba and box for their country, while living in penury. Butler’s fascination with this distinctly Cuban idealism sets him off on a remarkable journey, training with, befriending, and the champion boxers that Cuba seems to produce more than any other country.

In the process, though, Butler gets to know the landscape of the exhilaratingly warm Cuban culture—and starts to question where he feels most at home. In the tradition of Michael Lewis and John Jeremiah Sullivan, Butler is a keen and humane storyteller, and the perfect guide for this riotous tour through the streets of Havana.

BRIN-JONATHAN BUTLER is a writer and filmmaker. His work has appeared in ESPN Magazine, Vice, Deadspin, The Wall Street Journal, Salon, and The New York Times. Butler’s documentary, Split Decision, is Butler’s examination of Cuban American relations and the economic and cultural paradoxes that have shaped them since Castro’s revolution, through the lens of elite Cuban boxers forced to choose between remaining in Cuba or defecting to America.

Monday, May 27, 2013

2013 Book List: What you should read this summer

No matter your preference, here is a summer reading list to whet every bookish apetite:

The House of Impossible Loves By Cristina Lopez Barrio
An “exuberant” debut novel of a family bound by searing passions, an earthy magic, and a very unusual curse

Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail by Rubén Martínez 
Hailed as "valuable," "passionate," and "terrific," Crossing Over puts a human face on the phenomenon of Mexican immigration and the vibrant Latino culture it introduces to the U.S., and remains a beautifully written classic of our time.

The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You by Jessica Alba 
The Honest Life recounts Alba’s personal journey of discovery and reveals her tips for making healthy living fun, real, and stylish, while offering a candid look inside her home and daily life.

King of Cuba: A Novel by Cristina Garcia
Vivid and alive, Cristina García’s new novel transports readers to Cuba, to Miami, and into the heads of two larger-than-life men—a fictionalized Fidel Castro and an octogenarian Cuban exile obsessed with seeking revenge against the dictator.

A Crack in the Wall By Claudia Pineiro
Claudia Piñeiro once again demonstrates her capacity to reveal the things hidden behind the facades of our existence; human relationships based on habit and cowardice, rather than love; on excessive ambition and personal gain, rather than morality.

Soccer in Sun and Shadow By Eduardo Galeano 
Soccer is a game that bureaucrats try to dull and the powerful try to manipulate, but it retains its magic because it remains a bewitching game—“a feast for the eyes ... and a joy for the body that plays it”—exquisitely rendered in the magical stories of Soccer in Sun and Shadow.

Barbecued Husbands: And Other Stories From The Amazon By Betty Mindlin 
Reading like a novel, this is an oral history suffused with magic realism.The stories recounted in Barbecued Husbands are as old as humanity: love and hate, jealousy and revenge, life after death, totems and taboos, erotic solitude, romantic love, mothers and daughters, masculinity.

Tattoo By Manuel Vazquez Montalban 
In a Spain still stifled under the rule of Franco, former CIA operative--and former Commnist--Pepe Carvalho has become so cynical he seems to care about nothing except food and sex. He's even taken to burning the occasional book in his Barcelona apartment, just so he can have a fire going in the fireplace when he eats some bacalhao. But when he sees the cops bungling a case he's hired to investigate--that of a body pulled out of the sea--he's roused by a sense of injustice.

The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese By Michael Paterniti
A moving exploration of happiness, friendship, and betrayal, The Telling Room introduces us to Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras, an unforgettable real-life literary hero, while also holding a mirror up to the world, fully alive to the power of stories that define and sustain us.

Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You: Busting Myths about Human Nature By Agustín Fuentes
Presenting scientific evidence from diverse fields, including anthropology, biology, and psychology, Fuentes devises a myth-busting toolkit to dismantle persistent fallacies about the validity of biological races, the innateness of aggression and violence, and the nature of monogamy and differences between the sexes.

Shut Up, You're Welcome: Thoughts on Life, Death, and Other Inconveniences By Annie Choi 
Each of Choi’s personal essays begins with an open letter to someone (babies) or something (the San Fernando Valley) she has a beef with.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Book Giveaway: The Death of Fidel Perez

Here's your exclusive chance to win a copy of The Death of Fidel Perez by Elizabeth Huergo, courtesy of Unbridled Books. Enter below! May the odds be ever in your favor.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Publication Date: April 2, 2013

On July 26, 2003, the 50th anniversary of the Moncada Army Barracks raid that sparked the Cuban revolution, something unexpected happens. When Fidel Pérez and his brother accidentally tumble to their deaths from their Havana balcony, the neighbors' outcry, "Fidel has fallen!" is misinterpreted by those who hear it. That wishful mistake quickly ripples outward on the running cries of the people, and it gloriously reawakens a suppressed city.

Three Habaneros in particular are affected by the news: an elderly street visionary named Saturnina, the remorseful Professor Pedro Valle, and his impressionable firebrand of a student, Camilo. All three are haunted by the past and now, once again, are made to confront a new future, perhaps another revolution.

Their stories--so real, distressing and insuppressible--are beautifully braided into new hope as they converge in the frantic crowd that gathers in La Plaza de la Revolución.

Elizabeth Huergo was born in Havana and immigrated to the United States at an early age as a political refugee. A published poet and story writer, she lives in Virginia. The Death of Fidel Perez is her first novel.
 
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