Kindling my fire

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Yes, as I’m sure you can guess from the title, I have joined the league of e-reader owners. More specifically, I am now the proud owner of a Kindle Fire. And you know what? I love it.

For the longest time I couldn’t see the point of having an e-reader. I, too, belong to those who love the feel of a book in their hands, turning the pages, even the smell of them. I like underlining and making notes in the margin. And yes, I even fold down my corners to mark my place. I love books. And nothing will ever change that.

But I was never one to say “I’ll never get an e-reader.” And honestly, you can’t knock it until you’ve tried it. So when I was asked what I wanted for Christmas, it made sense that I – as an avid reader – would ask for one. My bookshelf is to the point where I’m double-stacking books and some even live on the top of it (Billy from Ikea can only hold so much). Continue reading “Kindling my fire”

Finding Mañana

Yet another review originally written for Being Latino that I am sharing with you. My favorite thing about memoirs is that they give you the chance to journey back in time and experience events through the eyes of people who were actually there.

Finding Mañana (Penguin Books, 2005)
by Mirta Ojito

In Finding Mañana, Mirta Ojito takes us on a journey in what it means to have to decide whether you would prefer to just survive in the country you’ve grown up in or to fight for what you really believe in.

A decision that is brought about by a government that came to power on the promises of revolution, but chose instead to create a dictatorship that commanded unwavering devotion from all citizens. To voice your own opinion or to even display reluctance to the way of life created, was a sure way of attracting unwanted attention from the neighborhood watch and government, which could result in your sudden disappearance. Anyone who didn’t participate in revolutionary activities or hide their desire to leave the country was referred to as a worm. Continue reading “Finding Mañana”

The nature of love and power of destiny

Before you read on, I must preface this piece with the fact that I originally wrote this for Being Latino and am sharing it with you here because 1) I really enjoyed this book and 2) I didn’t feel like rewriting it. I hope you enjoy and that you share your thoughts with me.

Book Review: The Zahir (Harper Collins 2005)
by Paulo Coelho

Loss. Fixation. Obsession. Discovery. Revelation. These are some of the topics that you will encounter as you embark on the pilgrimage that Paulo Coelho’s The Zahir takes you on.

It is the story of a world-renowned author (I detected what could be potential auto-biographical elements), who has a wonderful wife and “everything” you could wish for and it is only her disappearance that makes him realize that he lost not only her but also who he was as a person.

Continue reading “The nature of love and power of destiny”

Back to books: Solstice

Yes, that’s right. Back to books. Amidst all this cooking, eating and baking and alcohol tasting, it’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to write a book review. But I have been reading since the last one. A recent trip to Barnes & Noble restocked my shelves with fresh words and I also got my hands on a copy of a book written by my friend, Ulises Silva.

This is the first time I’ve read a book written by an author I actually know personally and worked with. Until I opened the first pages of this book, I was only familiar with his work as a writer for Being Latino and personal blog.

Overall, Solstice is a great first novel by a writer led by his imagination and the desire to bring to life a world ruled by writers and controlled by editors. It could be said that writers sort of already do, but this book takes it to another level. Continue reading “Back to books: Solstice”

101 books to read

Isn’t that a wonderful thought? 101 books to read. I was going to add “in a lifetime” to the title, but I’m quite certain that – if you’re anything like me – you will not need a lifetime to read 101 books. My quest for new books to devour is never ending and I could spend hours in a bookstore or library.

But I have to admit, I find it hard sometimes to just go out and pick up any book I come across. There’s always that slight apprehension that I’ll choose the wrong one (a feeling easily applicable to anything in life really), but it’s more as if I get overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of choice that lays at my fingertips.This is when I get sucked in the book vortex, where time seems to stop. Continue reading “101 books to read”

What happened to freadom?

From the American Library Association

Yesterday marked the beginning of Banned Books Week (Sept. 24 – Oct. 1). What is that, you may be asking and I have to admit until I saw a post by Insatiable Booksluts on freshly pressed, I didn’t know it was celebrated either.

In this land of the free and home of the brave, we love that we have a constitutional right to the freedom of speech and you would think that we could freely write and read any materials that we desire to. For the most part this is true, but censorship is undeniably alive and well in this country and around the world. Continue reading “What happened to freadom?”

Undress me in the temple of heaven

One of the things I love the most about reading new books is not just discovering a new world, but discovering an author whose words take you on a journey that you never want to end. They words they choose and the way they lay them into a sentence that flows into a paragraph, into a whole chapter and more come together in perfect harmony enabling you to put yourself in the shoes of the main character.

This is what I found as I devoured the book I’ve been reading over this past week: Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman. Upon completing this wonderful piece of art in the form of a memoir, I want to read her other books.

Continue reading “Undress me in the temple of heaven”

The five people you meet in heaven for one more day

This past Sunday we commemorated the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. I will always remember that day; everyone will always remember that day. I was 16 and still living in Germany. After just coming home from school, I turned on the TV and saw the live coverage of the two planes crashing into the twin towers against the backdrop of a perfectly blue sky. I remember feeling paralyzed as it was hard to fathom what was happening. My thoughts immediately went to my uncle, who takes the train every day into the WTC station. Later we found out that he had thankfully missed his train that day. Continue reading “The five people you meet in heaven for one more day”