Dec 24, 2011
Dec 3, 2011
Nov 14, 2011
Nov 11, 2011
One of my best friends works in this charity. They work with kids with intellectual disability and they are carrying out this wonderful campaign (unfortunately, it is only in Spanish).
Tag yourselves in their web and they will receive 5 cents for every person tagged. If you have a few minutes, have a look at the video. It´s really cute and it is worth finding out about these kids everyday life and feelings.
Oct 23, 2011
Oct 14, 2011
What do you think is going on with the governess? Could she be overloaded with stress and responsibility for the children? Is there something really dark in this story that shocks you? Can you sleep well after reading it or do you see some ghosts as well?
Sep 28, 2011
Sep 19, 2011
Sep 12, 2011
Sep 8, 2011
Aug 26, 2011
Aug 24, 2011
Aug 6, 2011
Jul 17, 2011
Junot Díaz was born in 1968 in a neighborhood in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He was the third child in a family of five. Throughout most of his early childhood, he lived with his mother and grandparents while his father worked in the United States. In 1974, Díaz was re-united with his father in New Jersey. There he lived less than a mile from what he has described as "one of the largest landfills in New Jersey".
He was a voracious reader during his elementary years, often walking four miles in order to borrow books from his public library. At this time, Díaz became fascinated with apocalyptic films and books. He graduated in 1992, majoring in English. In college he was involved in Demarest Hall, a creative-writing, living-learning, residence hall, and in various student organizations. He was exposed to the authors who would motivate him to become a writer: Toni Morrison and Sandra Cisneros. He worked his way through college by delivering pool tables, washing dishes, pumping gas, and working at Raritan River Steel. Reflecting on his experience growing up in America and working his way through college in 2010, Diaz said: "I can safely say I've seen the US from the bottom up… I may be a success story as an individual. But if you adjust the knob and just take it back one setting to the family unit, I would say my family tells a much more complicated story. It tells the story of two kids in prison. It tells the story of enormous poverty, of tremendous difficulty."
On 2010, it was announced that Diaz had been selected to sit on the 20-member Pulitzer Prize board of jurors. Diaz described his appointment, and the fact that he is the first Latino to be appointed to the panel, as an "extraordinary honor".
Currently, Díaz teaches creative writing at MIT and is also the fiction editor for the Boston Review. He is active in the Dominican American community and is a founding member of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Writing Workshop, which focuses on writers of color.
In addition to the Pulitzer in 2008, The Brief Wondrous life of Oscar Wao has been awarded many prizes and distinctions. "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao... the saga of an immigrant family, but that wouldn't really be fair. It's an immigrant-family saga for people who don't read immigrant-family sagas." (Time)
Jul 9, 2011
Jul 6, 2011
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Macarena and Rocio for their great job keeping up this blog! It is my first experience both in a book club and in a ciber community and I am having a great time!
I have read a lot since I was young, but never really discussed books with other people, since most of my friends and colleagues read little or nothing. I think it is fantastic to share thoughts and impressions with others!
I have to say that before joining this club, for some reason, I was lazy or bored to read in English, not sure why. This has changed and I really enjoy reading in English now and realize this is a great habit.
Also, I love discovering books that otherwise I might have not picked. I am always looking forward to the next one.
What else can one ask for?
Thank you everybody!!
Jun 28, 2011
Jun 16, 2011
Thanks everybody for your participation in the poll.
Although this is a short book, we are going to take it easy this time - so members can recover for the previous long books! Find the suggested reading pace for sharing at the "Book Discussion Schedule" page.
Jun 14, 2011
Did you got annoyed by the book or did you enjoy it?
Did you feel the characters were not interesting, boring, not redeeming, or did you like them? Even if you did not like them, did any of them arose any feelings in you that make it attractive to keep reading?
What about the end? Do you think it is a happy end or a tragic end?
If Walter had written a memoir, what might he have said about his victories and his suffering?
What character do you think is the least free? And the most free?
How is Lalitha different from the other characters? How does her motivation for working with the Cerulean Mountain Trust compare to Walter's?
Too many questions! and still, there is much more we want to hear from you.
THE last one: As Rocio said, do you think you will read another Franzen?
May 25, 2011
Continuing with the masterpiece debate I like in every book, I think Freedom is not a masterpiece at all. The one who wrote “a masterpiece of American fiction… Like all great novels, FREEDOM does not just tell an engrossing story. It illuminates, through the steady radiance of its author’s profound moral intelligence, the world we thought we knew” was either drunk or was earning a lot of money just telling that (maybe both). I find this book a very good one for Oprah’s followers: middle class bored people with marital problems that only want to project their lives into others’ problems. I don’t see neither a deep description of today’s American society nor an intense, well written story. Some of the characters are really unnecessary and overall I find this book an accumulation of disgraces, without sense, only chronological in Patty’s life.
Patty is annoying, Walter boring, Katz funny but all are a stereotype. If I have to choose a character I’d rather choose the cerulean warbler: is the best character, is the only one that is really suffering on the main characters’ decisions and the only one that does not have the freedom to decide its own fate.
The book is increasingly tragic (sometimes too tragic, why has Lalitha died? Was it necessary?) but the end of it is really disappointing: it is a happy ending, in which the couple reconciles and everything is allright again (come on! What was the writer thinking about?? I think only commercial success). I think this is the kind of ending that mass, main street, readers want, but betrays the way the book is written, the dramatic evolution of facts that builds the story line of the book.
I have found this book long, boring, "too many pages" as some of you said for Vargas Llosa’s. It tries to be a complex description of a couple difficult life in current society, but in my opinion only gets that done in part, it ends being an addition of characters, clichés and stereotypes that could be summarized in half of the pages (and could be done with a more profound description of the couple and less waffle around it). I think that this book is good for soap opera (culebron) followers, not for anyone with a little bit of interest in literature.
That said I would like to ask for a shorter book next time; good or bad, shorter will be better for all!
Lo bueno, si breve, dos veces bueno. :)
May 22, 2011
May 1, 2011
Apr 4, 2011
Mar 13, 2011
I think that the complexity of the book and the big amount of different characters are a good 'picture' of Brazil's society in a moment of time, and many things/situations are descriptive of other societies (mainly from South America, but not only) as well. The author has been very brave and ambitious writing this novel and I think that he has succeeded with it (so far, I hope the end will not disappoint me :)
Some people have said that this book could be better with two hundred pages less; so far I don't agree, I am enjoying it as it is.
Looking forward for your comments!
From what we have commented on previous posts (and from some emails that have been exchanged), we can extract that there are a lot of mixed feelings about the story, the characters, and about the book itself.