Jul 31, 2012

Why I have selected Brazil Rouge? By Jorge

Well, here you are some of the reasons:

 - First of all, this book won the Goncourt Prize in 2001. The prize is supposed to be awarded to promising beginning authors, age being unimportant, (therefore we can still win the prize, if you manage to write an interesting book in French :). To know more about this prize: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prix_Goncourt

- But more importantly, because I have read another JC Rufin´s book (le parfum d´adam) and I got immediately hooked, it was the kind of novel that is very entertaining with a nice blend of adventures, traveling in different places and an interesting end (and I don´t say the end of the story, but rather the epilogue). Therefore I want to read again a book that is supposed to be even better, and also entertaining and instructive...

- I also find the life of the author quite interesting (copied from wikipedia from now on): Jean-Christophe Rufin (born 28 June 1952) is a French doctor and novelist. He is the president of Action Against Hunger and one of the founders of Médecins Sans Frontières. He was Ambassador of France in Senegal from 2007 to June 2010. In 1977, after medical school, Rufin went to Tunisia as a volunteer doctor. He led his first humanitarian mission in Eritrea, where he met Azeb, who became his second wife. As a doctor, he is one of the pioneers of humanitarian movement "without borders," for which he has led numerous missions in eastern Africa and Latin America. In 2003, Rufin was commissioned by French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin to write an in-depth report on the upsurge of anti-Semitism in France.
That are several reasons why, my dear cookies, I propose to read now this book: it will probably be good literature, probably entertaining and indeed coming from an interesting author with a deep and wide knowledge of the world... What else do you need to go now and buy the book? :)

Jul 26, 2012

Direct to Mark Stevenson, An Optimist's tour of the Future

Do you have any questions about the book you would like to ask the author? Any comments you would like to share with him? 

Let us know and we will ask Mark Stevenson to stop by the blog in the next few days!

Jul 23, 2012

Book suggestions, vote, vote!!!

Just in case you didn't get the mail with the information, or just because you want to re-read the options, there they go, our candidates for the summer reading:

From Arantxa:
Here you can find the newThings The Grandchildren Should Know, Mark Oliver Everett

How does one young man survive the deaths of his entire family and manage to make something worthwhile of his life? InThings The Grandchildren Should Know Mark Oliver Everett ,also known as E, front man for the alt-rock EELS, tells the story of what it's like to grow up the insecure son of a genius in a wacky Virginia Ice Storm-like family. Left to run wild with his sister, his father off in some parallel universe of his own invention, Everett's upbringing was 'ridiculous, sometimes tragic and always unsteady.' But somehow he manages to not only survive his crazy upbringing and ensuing tragedies -- he makes something of his life -- striking out on a journey to find himself by channeling his experiences into his, eventually, critically acclaimed music with the Eels. But it's not an easy path. Told with surprising candor, Things The Grandchildren Should Know is an inspiring and remarkable story, full of hope, humor and wry wisdom.

From Jorge:
Brazil Red by Jean-Christophe Rufin

A dazzling combination of daring adventure, bravery and treachery, greed and intrigue, of old loyalties put to the test and new loves discovered Just and Colombe are brother and sister, heirs to the Clamorgan estate. A scheming aunt and shortage of suitable interpreters, however, means the children soon find themselves aboard a ship bound for the Bay of Rio. As they embark on the journey of their lives, they encounter a world they could never have imagined, a world marked by uneasy alliances and illness, by double-dealings, lies and spies. Amidst fanatics, zealots, cannibals and villains, Just and Colombe can no longer be sure who is friend and who is foe, and soon learn they can take no-one for granted - not even each other. As the story builds to its dramatic climax, conquerors and conquered are - like Just and Colombe - forced to reconsider the nature and future of their relationship.

From Macarena:
Don’t Cry, Tai Lake: An Inspector Chen novel. By Qiu Xiaolong

Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Department is offered a bit of luxury by friends and supporters within the Party – a week’s vacation at a luxurious resort near Lake Tai, a week where he can relax, and recover, undisturbed by outside demands or disruptions. Unfortunately, the once beautiful Lake Tai, renowned for its clear waters, is now covered by fetid algae, its waters polluted by toxic runoff from local manufacturing plants. Then the director of one of the manufacturing plants responsible for the pollution is murdered and the leader of the local ecological group is the primary suspect of the local police. Now Inspector Chen must tread carefully if he is to uncover the truth behind the brutal murder and find a measure of justice for both the victim and the accused.

From Rocio:
Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown, by Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux is a great travel writer, I have already read his interesting journey on the trains around China and I really enjoyed his entertaining way of telling what he saw, who he met, what he felt, and pass on a lot of information. I lived in China after, and I recognized many things that I had read. Theroux really allows you to travel with him from your own couch, so that's my ambition for the next reading, to go from Cairo to Capetown on a road trip!!!

So which one do you prefer???

Jul 15, 2012

An Optimist's Tour of the Future: Part 4 Reboot

So we have followed Mark in his world tour looking for the future, optimistically, and have had the chance to meet though him very interesting, intelligent, controversial, geek, fantastic people... And we have got to the end, what do you think now? Do you see the future as a better place? Or a more scary one? Do you picture yourself living 1000 years and talking to your robot friends? Will the Amazon survive? What are you doing to make it better? Glad to hear your views! We hope you are enjoying the summer so far!

Jul 3, 2012

An Optimist's Tour of the Future, part 3

It seems the summer and the increasing heat are slowing down our reading pace… Still, here we are! 
We hope you keep enjoying learning about what is going on in different places of the planet that could make our lives in the future better.
Though, like almost with everything, there are different ways to understand challenges, innovation, changes and experiments. For instance, when it comes to global warming, what is your approach? Sceptic, pessimistic, optimistic, hesitant…
Let us know how you see it!