Friday, June 27, 2008

On what to read

On my way into work this morning, I went over to my ever-growing stack of free magazines and picked two for the commute. I finally finished Blindness by Jose Saramago last night and I'm trying to not start a new book until I'm on the airplane to Mexico this weekend.

Blindness by the way, was very much my sort of book. It delves into what makes us human in the face of outrageous suffering and conditions imposed upon us by a terror-driven government who in the face of science choose to remain ignorant. It reminded me of
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, 1984 by George Orwell and more recently, The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

So while browsing the O, The Oprah Magazine, March 2008 Issue, I spotted these new (to me) interesting reads:

- Lush Life: A Novel by Richard Price: "From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Master of the Bronx and Jersey projects, Price (Clockers) turns his unrelenting eye on Manhattan's Lower East Side in this manic crescendo of a novel that explores the repercussions of a seemingly random shooting. When bartender Ike Marcus is shot to death after barhopping with friends, NYPD Det. Matty Clark and his team first focus on restaurant manager and struggling writer Eric Cash, who claims the group was accosted by would-be muggers, despite eyewitnesses saying otherwise.

As Matty grills Eric on the still-hazy details of the shooting, Price steps back and follows the lives of the alleged shooters—teenagers Tristan Acevedo and Little Dap Williams, who live in a nearby housing project—as well as Ike's grieving father, Billy, who hounds the police even as leads dwindle. As the intersecting narratives hurtle toward a climax that's both expected and shocking, Price peels back the layers of his characters and the neighborhood until all is laid bare. With its perfect dialogue and attention to the smallest detail, Price's latest reminds readers why he's one of the masters of American urban crime fiction."

Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander
"Product Description

From its unforgettable opening scene in the darkness of a forgotten cemetery in Buenos Aires, Nathan Englander's debut novel The Ministry of Special Cases casts a powerful spell. In the heart of Argentina's Dirty War, Kaddish Poznan struggles with a son who won't accept him; strives for a wife who forever saves him; and spends his nights protecting the good name of a community that denies his existence.

When the nightmare of the disappeared children brings the Poznan family to its knees, they are thrust into the unyielding corridors of the Ministry of Special Cases, a terrifying, byzantine refuge of last resort. Through the devastation of a single family, Englander brilliantly captures the grief of a nation."

I've grabbed a stack of books of my own to stuff my suitcase with and I'm letting you all know I won't be online until after the 4th of July.

Hasta luego, amigos! Tulum, here we come!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Paging Paulo Coelho Fans!

HarperCollins is offering a free full preview to Paulo Coelho's Brida!

"Brida is a tale of love, passion, mystery, and spirituality from a master storyteller. Coelho wrote Brida right after The Alchemist, and it launched his career as an international bestselling novelist. It has never been published in English—until now. Brida will be in stores June 24th, but you can read the the entire book online now."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Coldplay's Songs Always Make Sad

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Flex

I saw Pulitzer Prize-winning, Dominican author Junot Diaz on the Colbert Report on Wednesday night, and I just felt so thrilled for him and oddly proud. I remember when my friend James De La Vega told me about Drown several years ago and mentioned Junot was a good friend and paisano.

You can view it here:

I read some great news today about one of my favorite authors, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, and on googling him discovered an great article about bookish books. The article mentions a few other books, in addition to The Shadow of the Wind, which are now on my to-read list.

Speaking of lists, I saw a couple of top book lists this week that caught my eye. I love to go over these, see which ones I've read or haven't and ponder the different additions and why they've been added or left off. Like's The New Classics: Books, The 100 best reads from 1983 to 2008 and's 110 best books: The perfect library. Peruse and have fun.

I also came across this: It's a site geared toward New Zealanders that allows you to read books while at work and not look like you're doing any pleasure reading. Funny and perhaps useful to those barred from 'reading' while on duty. God forbid! I will never forget that one time one of my previous coworkers took her lunch time break and read at her desk, the COO happened to walk by and made a really snotty comment about her 'reading.' Those type of comments were par for the course at that place, which led me to leave a copy of The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton blatantly out on my desk. I'm not the type to indulge in petty, passive aggressive stuff like that but that place and those comments really dug into my soul like thorns. I've luckily moved on to better and brighter places.

On to other things, I've been hearing a lot about The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and I want to read it for myself.

Marcela Landres, editorial consultant, will be interviewed by They will be doing one interview per week, on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. PST, 8 p.m. EST. The interviews will be about an hour in length and will be FREE for the first 200 callers and those who join us via webcast. You can register for our next call by clicking here:

They also have a great blog!

I spotted this on Marcela's site: "INFIDELITY SURVEY
Dr. Ana Nogales, author of “Latina Power,” is conducting a study to evaluate the effects of parental infidelity on adult children. If either (or both) of your parents was ever unfaithful, you are invited you to participate in this study by clicking on this

The results of this survey will be published in a book about parental infidelity. For more information about Dr. Nogales, please visit"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kindles in the Night

I just came across this post at Silicon Alley Insider about spotting an actual Kindle user and found it amusing. Last week, it was a hot, sticky evening and I decided to go to this Sushi, Live Jazz spot that I frequent in midtown.

Usually, I get stuck at the bar but I deal by reading whatever Galley I have on hand. So anyway, last week toward the end of my meal this older man sits next me. He must have been in his sixties at least and he whips out his kindle, which I found interesting.

One, I hadn't seen one before although I'm very familiar with the Reader Digital Book from Sony since they were given out to my entire company, and two, he was up there in age and did not fit into what we stereotypically define as the techie generation and he also seemed like a businessman of some sort.

I struck up a conversation with him about the Kindle and he raved about all its features. It turned out he was reading a business book and I, a Twelve book. He thought it was odd that I paid in cash and perhaps, that I was there alone. While I thought it was odd he owned a kindle.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Reading - 20 years ago

An interesting article on how Reading habits have changed over 20 years.
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