And read aloud, I did…

Mar 07

And read aloud, I did…

Today was National Read Aloud Day. It was also, as I mentioned, my dearest friend’s birthday. So, I read aloud to her–her favorite childhood book, Happy Birthday, Moon. An adorable, sweet story about a bear who wants to talk to the moon, to ask when its birthday is and thinks when his voice echoes back to him that it is the moon talking to him. It is super cute and worth a read or re-read. I also read aloud to her the first chapter of Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. This is one we read together years ago but we wanted to revisit it. It is a story of a boy and his paternal grandma, Ultima — La Grande – a curandera who comes to live with him and his family and teaches him so much about his culture, his family, himself and the world. It is an absolutely enchanting story. I’ll write another review, a proper one, when I finish re-reading it. =) Good food, good friends, good books, good fun. =) It was a lovely...

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Hurry! Read me!

Jul 08

This book is a book that cannot wait, it will not sit on the shelf haunting you with guilt for not being read. It demands your attention RIGHT NOW!   This is a book written with special ink that disappears two months after you open it. So, you literally must sit down and read it. It is an anthology of fiction. The publisher, which also runs a bookshop in Buenos Aires, Eterna Cadenci, came up with the idea to encourage people to pick up the books sooner rather than later. Now, preferably. The sense of urgency is exciting! How fun! If you do not read it NOW, you may never get to read that story. And reading it means, you could be one of only a small amount of people who have read these stories! How thrilling is that? The book is sealed air-tight and once open, the ink disappears after two months. This is like something straight out of Harry Potter! Read it now or NEVER! This brings a little magic back into the world of printed books when all of us bibliophiles are clicking our heels together and chanting, “There is no place like libraries, there is no place like book stores, there is no place like either!” Hoping, wanting, needing to keep our books in our hands and out of the electronic world, disappearing byte by byte. Like their little video advertisement says, “New authors…if people don’t read them, the authors never make it to a new book…” so… let’s support new authors, urgent reading! I want one! AND in the famous words of Veruca Salt (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), “I WANT IT AND I WANT IT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW”! =) For more information: http://blog.eternacadencia.com.ar/archives/2012/21047...

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The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

Mar 03

I have been a long time fan of Alice Hoffman’s work. She has a delightful way of making life just a little bit more magical than others. She dips her pen in magical realism and writes very real, imperfectly perfect characters who you grow to really care about in her stories. She is really a talented author. Her latest book, The Red Garden, did not disappoint. The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman is a series of short stories chronicling over 300 years of the small town of Blackwell, Massachusetts. The stories weave throughout the various families that founded Blackwell with such ease I felt as if I was a time traveler who had the great fortune to see the lives of generation after generation develop, wither, flourish. Each character has their own quirks, their deep passions, their flaws. And you learn how these can affect future generations. Enamored by bears, gardens, people, themselves, these characters tell the story of the fictional Blackwell in a way history never could, though the small museum within Blackwell certainly tries by giving clues to all those who have lived, loved and left Blackwell from the beginning till current times. The Red Garden is easy to read because it is broken up into sections of different time periods. It makes a good book for when you can only steal a few minutes away at a time. I definitely recommend this book, as well as most of Alice Hoffman’s writing. Purchase – The Red...

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Magical Realism

Oct 05

[El descanso del Guerrero], originally uploaded by Cirileta. One of my very favorite genres is “Magical Realism”. I find it fascinating and fun. You can address the most difficult, messy topics through the fantastical without overwhelming the reader.  So, what exactly is magical realism? It is a bit more complex than other genres to define, it definitely cannot be encompassed with a simple definitive description. Here are some good explanations I’ve found for the literary genre Magical Realism: “…it’s appeal is rooted in reality and dares to explore magical elements present in that very reality, very elements that are often taken for granted and ignored…”1  “Magic realism, or magical realism, is an artistic genre in which magical elements or illogical scenarios appear in an otherwise realistic or even “normal” setting. It has been widely used in relation to literature, art, and film.” — Wikipedia  “A literary mode rather than a distinguishable genre, magical realism aims to seize the paradox of the union of opposites.  For instance, it challenges polar opposites like life and death and the pre-colonial past versus the post-industrial present.  Magical realism is characterized by two conflicting perspectives, one based on a rational view of reality and the other on the acceptance of the supernatural as prosaic reality.  Magical realism differs from pure fantasy primarily because it is set in a normal, modern world with authentic descriptions of humans and society.”2  “Literature of this type is usually characterized by elements of the fantastic woven into the story with a deadpan sense of presentation.”3 Some of my favorite magical realism authors are Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende, Laura Esquivel, Paulo Coelho, Yann Martel, Jorge Luis Borges, Alice Hoffman and Neil Gaiman. Here are 10 of my favorite magical realism books: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel American Gods by Neil Gaiman The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman The Book of Sand and Shakespeare’s Memoryby Jorge Luis Borges Life of Pi by Yann Martel The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón Love in The Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez I highly recommend these 10 magical...

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