Monday, January 24, 2011

What We're Reading.

One of the wonderful things about a winter without too much work stress is that I have more time for reading (both professionally and personally).  I am currently reading:

1.      Just finished The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.  Pretty good, for what it is.  Another page turner (a V.I. Warshawski novel) is taking its place.  However, I maintain that page turners are NOT "great books."  Turning pages quickly also means that there is nothing to stop and savor
2.      Am re-reading Ruth M. Arthur books that I loved in my childhood.  They aren’t as good now, but it’s still fun wandering back to that time. 
3.      John Kabat-Zinn’s Coming to Our Senses.  This is my favorite of his books so far.  Short chapters on different aspects of mindfulness and meditation.  I am taking my time with this one, resisting the temptation to “move through it quickly.”  This one I am savoring. 
4.      Professionally, I am reading things like: A Venezuelan manual for housewives and servants, identifying both the matron’s and domestic servant’s duties.  A similar and fascinating title from the US that I’ve got (but don’t know what to do with yet) is Gladys Hawkins, Your Maid from Mexico.  That one included cartoons of an overly-sexualized maid (hourglass shaped, flirting with men in sombreros, etc).  It's a pity that I can't include one of the images here.  (I am experiencing technical difficulties with downloading images--the one at the top is an old photo). 

As always, there’s also reading with the kids:
1.      With Samuel: Pseudonymous Bosch, If You’re Reading This, it’s too Late.
2.      With Anya: Beverly Cleary, Ramona Forever.
3.      With the two of them together: Michael Buckley, The Sisters Grimm, book 1: The Fairytale Detectives. 

Among the books I would recommend to anyone looking for a good read are:
1.      Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (my vote for best novel of the 20th century)
2.      A.S. Byatt, Possession  (hated all the others by this author; loved this one)
3.      Judith Ortiz Cofer, The Latin Deli
4.      Michael Pollen, The Omnivore’s Dilemma
5.      Catalina de Erauso, Lieutenant Nun
What are you reading these days?
I’m always looking for good reads: what do you recommend?

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