The Last Dragonslayer

Favorite Books of November

November 2013 could also be known as the month of Jasper Fforde, well at least on my reading list. While I only managed to read four books altogether during this wonderful month of food celebration, they were all written by Jasper Fforde. When I read a book by a new (to me) author and I love it, I have a tendency of wanting to read everything they’ve ever written. With Jasper Fforde, this task will keep me busy for awhile because he has a lot of books to choose from.  I have SJ of Snobbery to thank for this.

I think I first came across her blog through the Insatiable Booksluts site, but I can’t really remember. Anyway, she’s a friend on Goodreads as well, and if she gives a book a 4-to-5 star, then I am very likely to pick it up myself. That’s how I got started with the Thursday Next series. (Tip: She also writes great series called Trashy Tuesday, the best place to learn which books never, ever to read. That’s how I was saved from reading more than book 2 of the Clan of the Cave Bear series).

Shades of Grey
Published December 29, 2009 by Viking Adult

Shades of Grey

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Going Postal

Favorite Books of October

I’ve been a member of Goodreads for the past two and a half years. Last year, I set the goal of reading 50 books, but missed that mark by nine books. For this year, I set the same goal and right on track with only seven more books.

During October, I managed to read seven books. Out of those, I gave three of them a five-star rating. For me, the five-star rating means I couldn’t put the book down and probably stayed up very late to read as much as possible, I felt as if I was in the world of the book, I felt like I learned some new things, and that I would definitely read them (over and over) again. Those are the ones I feel are worthy of an actual review, and not just a star rating.

The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
Published September 1, 2004 by Mariner Books

The Namesake
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my life in france

Back to Books: My Life in France

My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme.
Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2006
5/5 spoonfuls of butter

my life in france

At five-forty-five in the morning, Paul and I rousted ourselves from our warm bunk and peered out of the small porthole in our cabin aboard the SS America… It was Wednesday, November 3, 1948, and we had finally arrived in Le Havre, France.

The first time I heard of Julia Child was when I watched the movie Julie & Julia (one of the late Nora Ephron’s many pieces of art). I immediately fell in love with the idea of cooking you’re way through an entire cookbook, no matter how overwhelming the recipes seem.

Yesterday, I finished reading Julia Child’s My Life in France. It’s so interesting to follow her on her journey of moving to France, learning the language, and discovering her love and passion for cooking, especially French cooking. I really loved this book and highly recommend it for anyone who loves cooking or likes to read a good (auto)biography. Mostly because it is a perfect example of discovering your true passion in life no matter what stage of life you find yourself in, and because it echos my belief that all great dishes take time, effort, and love to make (seriously, time seems to cease to exist while I’m in the kitchen). Continue reading “Back to Books: My Life in France”

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.

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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”

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.

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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”