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04:19, 31/7/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Add to my list This book is in your list Remove KIRKUS REVIEW Authoritative historical overview of the European Union by a policy adviser and speechwriter for the current president of the European Council. Originally published overseas in 2012, this volume won several awards, including the European Book Prize, for its unique approach and relevance for understanding current developments. Dutch political philosopher van Middelaar offers an erudite alternative to the persistent drumbeat about the coming, market-driven disintegration of the European Union. He provides a clear account of the origin of the EU, the political and philosophical issues and conflicts that shaped its evolution, and the turning points in its development. The author develops his views while assessing all three elements in the EU's political and institutional infrastructure: the inner core of the European Commission in Brussels; the intermediary circle of the European Council, comprised of the heads of state of EU member nations; and the outer circle made up of the nations themselves. The outer circle's geographic boundaries to the east and southeast remain undetermined; nations such as Ukraine and Turkey are still hoping to qualify. In discussing the birth of the EU, van Middelaar draws comparisons with the creation of the United States. He places its evolution and key turning points in the international context of relations with the U.S. and the impact of the Cold War. He provides an added dimension relevant to current events with his discussion of the effect on Europe's political institutions of President Richard Nixon's 1971 decision to take the dollar off the gold standard and the subsequent Middle East War, as well as the consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union after 1989. An intriguing presentation of views seldom reported so readably and in such depth, offering a fresh new perspective to American readers. Pub Date:July 30th, 2013
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10:04, 29/7/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Add to my list This book is in your list Remove KIRKUS REVIEW The writer-and-photographer team who introduced readers to flightless parrots, snow leopards, tree kangaroos and the Goliath bird-eating tarantula turn their attention to the elusive lowland tapir. Traveling in Brazil?s Pantanal wetlands with biologist Patricia ?Pati? Medici and her team, Montgomery and Bishop experience long, hot days, cramped conditions, nervous waiting and itchy tick bites while searching for this solitary, nocturnal animal. There is a satisfying natural structure to this tale of science research in the field, as initial difficulties give way to the team?s most productive expedition ever. In less than a week, they see tapirs in the wild, find their tracks, take photographs, locate them through radio telemetry, collect ?samples of tapir poop, skin, fur, and blood,? and capture and collar two new tapirs, with more to come. This research matters, and the author clearly explains why. Chapters about the team?s day-by-day experiences, written in a lively, first-person voice, include memorable detail; interspersed are sections introducing team members, the ranch where they (and a team investigating giant armadillos) are doing their research, a British teen who helped fund an expedition and record-keeping. Clearly labeled photographs of scientists at work, ranch life, tapirs and other animals of this unfamiliar part of the world add to the book?s appeal. A splendid addition to an exemplary series. (bibliography, websites, index) (Nonfiction. 10-15) Pub Date: July 23rd, 2013 ISBN: 978-0-547-81548-0
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Forever New Adult: Courtney Cole's If You Leave

15:13, 24/7/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Find it! By Author / By Title Search over 40,000 reviews Try our Advanced Book Search Help Advanced Book Search Search books by title, genre, publication month, publication year, and rating or search by any combination of these options (i.e. all Mysteries published in January 2001 with 4.5 rating). If you want to search for a name or phase, include quotation marks around your search term (example: "Deborah Smith") Visitor Login Visitor login is required to post a review and comment on the blog and other interactive features on the site. Use your same username and password to register for the RT Forums. / Community / RT Daily Blog / Forever New Adult: Courtney Cole's If You Leave Forever New Adult: Courtney Cole's If You Leave BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JULY 18, 2013 | PERMALINK New Adult is one of the fastest growing genres in fiction and for good reason. Filled with late teen/early 20s angst and all of the drama that goes into becoming an adult, these books give a gritty inside look at love, loss and moving on. This week we're bringing you five of the hottest New Adult books from Forever Romance. We asked the authors to tell us about their latest title and share which characters and specific scenes are most personal to them. Today we bring you Courtney Cole's If You Leave, the story of an ex-Army Ranger burdened by PTSD and a young woman with family troubles who find comfort in each other.  Tell us a little about If You Leave. If You Leave is the second book in the Beautifully Broken series. It will follow a bad-ass hero (former Army Ranger) Gabriel Vincent and Madison Hill, Mila Hill?s sister. She?s a hard-edged woman with some issues who doesn?t think she needs anyone and he?s a cocky guy with demons. They might seem really different, but they?re more alike than they even know. I loved writing their story. Which scene from the story is closest to your heart? I felt a close connection to Madison. I?m also an older sister, like her, and so I feel like she and I have a lot in common. I?m bull-headed, I think I?m right a lot, and I always feel a responsibility to offer advice to my sisters, whether they ask for it or not. Haha.  And like Madison, I?ve lost a parent. Knowing how it feels to lose one parent, I can?t imagine how it must feel to lose both of them in one fell swoop. So, then, in a scene in IF YOU LEAVE, when Maddy is faced with the terrifying situation where she might lose her sister, too? I couldn?t help but feel her pain, just like it was my own. In fact, I ended up changing the scene. I originally wrote it from Madison?s POV, but it was so highly emotional, that I changed it so that we saw it through Gabe?s eyes instead. He was able to see it frame by frame, as it happened, giving the reader an accurate portrayal of what was happening. Maddy was so blinded by emotion that it just wouldn?t have been helpful for the reader. Here?s a glimpse ? from Gabe?s POV .The scene opens as Gabe drives Pax, Mila and Madison to the hospital. Keep in mind, this is a never before seen excerpt.  ?She?s not breathing,? Pax suddenly blurts, dropping his ear down to listen at her mouth. ?She?s not breathing. Jesus Christ.? Maddy scrambles to try and help from behind us, to try and see, just as I pull into the parking lot. Before I?ve even come to a stop at the curb, Pax has the door open and is laying Mila out on the sidewalk. ?Breathe, baby,? he begs as he kneels and gives her a breath. ?Breathe.? He?s frantic and desperate and covered in Mila?s blood. ?Pax,? Maddy cries, pulling at his arm. ?We?ve got to get her inside. We don?t have time for this.? She pulls at him, but Pax isn?t thinking clearly and he shakes her off, turning back to Mila, trying to breathe into her mouth. He?s interrupted by a team of people bursting through the doors with a gurney. Pax lunges up with Mila in his arms and thrusts her at the medical team. ?She?s not breathing,? he tells them in desperation. ?Please?help her.? The doctors and nurses close in around Mila as they lay her out on the gurney and rush her inside. As they do, Maddy clings helplessly to the side of the stretcher . Looking down, I see that Mila?s eyes are still closed and she is as pale as I?ve ever seen anyone. More terrifying than that, though, are the words coming out of the nurses? mouths. She?s unresponsive.
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Biographic Account Shares Ron Player?s Life As a Wandering Geologist

17:51, 23/7/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Put PRWeb on your site Biographic Account Shares Ron Player?s Life As a Wandering Geologist New Book ?Under Different Skies? is an equally interesting and inspiring memoir that recounts the author?s journey through life. MELBOURNE, Australia (PRWEB) July 23, 2013 According to author Ron Player, one of the joys of getting older, and there are few enough of them, is to be able to look back down one?s life?s path and, at last, have the opportunity to identify the various moments when something just seemed to happen that has had a lasting impact on his or her life. At 81, he recollects his journey through life with hopes to inspire and encourage optimism in everyone as they travel in their own lives? highways and crossroads in Under Different Skies: The Life of a Wandering Geologist . This engaging biography walks the readers through Player?s life?from his early years up to now. He offers a glimpse of his childhood, his family, adventures, getting older , and how he became interested in stones and such ?natural? things. He was always fascinated by the twisted and convoluted layers of rocks until he became a University student studying geology?where he discovered the answers to his many questions about the Earth. Player attempts to share chronologically arranged anecdotes that highlight his life as a wandering geologist, his diverse experiences, numerous exploits, exciting travels, glimpses of war, and many events that offered life-changing realisations. Under Different Skies: The Life of a Wandering Geologist will nourish the readers with assorted memories packed with lessons, insight and knowledge. In Under Different Skies: The Life of a Wandering Geologist, Player has written a revealing, inspirational narrative that not only introduces the readers to the amazing, twisted world of geology, but also to the wonders of life. This book was also written as a legacy for his children to let them totally know of his life?s journey and provide help to parents in some way in their future dealings with their own children. For more information on this book, interested parties can log on to http://www.Xlibris.com.au . Under Different Skies * by Ron Player The Life of a Wandering Geologist Publication Date: July 10, 2013 Trade Paperback; AU$29.99; 328 pages; 978-1-4797-8718-0 Trade Hardback; AU$49.99; 328 pages; 978-1-4797-8719-7 Ebook; AU$3.99; 978-1-4797-8720-3 Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at 1-800-618-969. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (02) 8088 6078 or call 1-800-618-969. Xlibris books can be purchased at Xlibris bookstore. For more information, contact Xlibris at 1-800-618-969 or on the web at http://www.Xlibris.com.au .

A Memoir About Finding One's Place In The Natural World

07:48, 17/7/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Howard Norman is also the author of The Bird Artist and What Is Left The Daughter.Read an excerpt The latest addition to a body of work that includes six novels, a short story collection, and editorship of several folk tale anthologies, I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place is just the right sort of read for those who usually take in non-fiction with a grim reluctance, as if it were cod liver oil. I was drawn by its promise of a memoir structured around five "incidents of arresting strangeness" in the author's life. I was not disappointed. Norman is disarmingly contemplative. "Remember carbon paper?" he asks as a conversational aside to his description of his childhood: "If you handled a sheet carelessly, you would leave fingerprints on everything you touched, as if you'd broken into your own life." Howard Norman is also the author of The Bird Artist and What Is Left The Daughter. Emma Norman /Courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt The first of the book's five sections, entitled "Advice of the Fatherly Sort" is Norman's account of a Midwestern upbringing spent longing for a satisfactory father figure. You may realize you're fully engaged with the book once you've combined laughter and a deep sigh over one of hundreds of reproachful letters Norman's adolescent self wrote to his friends' fathers. We're offered the quiet joys of working in a bookmobile, the bittersweet awkwardness of having to give your absentee father a cash loan, and the beginnings of a fascination with birds that carries over into a number of Norman's novels. This fascination is born of the guilt of having set a trap that killed a swan on a moonlit night: "Nearly fifty years later, I can still hear its strange guttural exhalation; fifty years of hapless guilt and remorse. So often I close my eyes and picture the water closing over." Here, within the frame of autobiography, this close watching of birds reads almost as a desire to take flight from human experience itself and find a vantage point from which to better perceive its meaning. In the book's second section, "Grey Geese Descending," we encounter Norman as he was in his early 20s, in love with an artist named Mathilde; he remembers himself as a hesitant recipient of her affections, hesitant bordering on passive. And Mathilde is remembered as being wonderfully, frustratingly intense, unafraid to confront fallacy ? she refuses to allow him to over-identify with birds: "Geese may not get sad about the same things you get sad about," she tells him, during the course of a discussion about a painting that turns into a coded analysis of their relationship. Norman spent part of the rest of his 20s and 30s travelling between Inuit communities in Canada, translating and transcribing folktales until the tales began to pervade his sense of self in troubling ways. His summary of the situation is both wry and ever so slightly chilling: "It was not so much my drinking too much black coffee as it was that the characters in my dreams ? the characters in the Inuit folktales ? were constantly drinking black coffee." The highlight of this section, and perhaps of the entire book, are Norman's recollections of the electrifyingly surreal escalation of ill feeling between an Inuit shaman and himself, but no spoilers ? read it. This period is also the origin of the book's title. It refers to an Inuit folktale about a man who lives in the village of his birth, known and admired by his neighbors until he's transformed into a goose by the dark spell of a shaman. As the seasons change it comes time for the man turned goose to migrate south with the other geese. The memory of what he has been and what the village has been to him causes him suffering. What he now longs for was once his. He must migrate or die. It's a story that alludes to the peculiarities of our position in the natural world and the ways in which memory both helps and hinders our ability to catch glimpses of the order that's imposed on us. The final section of the memoir, "The Healing Powers of the Western Oyster-Catcher," addresses a murder-suicide committed by the poet Reetika Vazirani while she house-sat at Norman's family home in Washington, D.C. This section is difficult to read; Norman is faced with the difficulty of articulating a horror that unfolds at its own uncanny pace. Weeks after the tragedy, its violence confronts him as he stands in his kitchen at three in the morning: "I 'felt' something was terribly wrong in the house. Not that something terribly wrong had occurred; needless to say, I already understood that. No, the definite sensation, but with an indeterminate source, was of something occurring. In progress." Even so: "The best way out is always through," Norman writes, quoting Robert Frost. A reader may wonder how Norman and his family were able to continue living in their house; there can't be any one answer to that kind of question, but there's a vivid discovery (or rediscovery) made earlier in the book when, in the depths of his mourning for Mathilde after her death, Norman awakes in the middle of the night and hears her speaking to him. The sentence he catches is not urgent, and contains no otherworldly message, but the voice is definitely Mathilde's; a sign that even our darknesses hold indelible traces of what we loved when there was light to see by. Some books celebrate the human condition; others commiserate with us. This memoir does both, and offers fine, subtly fey companionship to boot. Helen Oyeyemi is the author of Mr. Fox.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.npr.org/2013/07/13/200340631/a-memoir-about-finding-ones-place-in-the-natural-world?ft=1&f=1034

Cookbook Showcases Gaza's Hidden Culinary Delights

22:25, 13/7/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Cookbook Showcases Gaza's Hidden Culinary Delights AP  |  By By DIAA HADID Posted: 03/27/2013 1:38 pm EDT  |  Updated: 03/28/2013 12:24 pm EDT Subscribe Follow: Maggie Schmitt , The Gaza Kitchen , AP , Cookbook Reviews , Cookbooks , Gaza Cookbook , Gaza Food , Gazan Food , Laila El-Haddad , Palestinian Cookbook , Palestinian Food , Taste News RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Spicy stuffed squid and roasted watermelon salad are among the unexpected culinary delights of the Gaza Strip, a densely populated seaside sliver of land that that has been choked by Israeli border blockades and battered by wars. The territory's hidden gourmet treasures have been detailed in "The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey," a new cookbook showcasing a unique, fiery variation of Mediterranean-style cuisine kept alive despite food shortages and poverty. Many of Gaza's 1.7 million people struggle just to get by. About 1 million get regular food rations of vegetable oil and white flour, key to survival but hardly ingredients of scrumptious dishes. Rolling power cuts lasting several hours a day frazzle the nerves of all those trying to prepare meals. The daily hardships are a result of border restrictions imposed by neighboring Israel and Egypt in 2007 when the Islamic militant group Hamas seized the territory. Gaza's people -- most descendants of refugees displaced by the war over Israel's 1948 creation -- often have to improvise to cling to their food traditions. "Our situation hasn't always let us cook everything, but we have adapted," said housewife Nabila Qishta, 52, in the southern town of Rafah, near the border with Egypt. Qishta once used an electric oven to bake bread and make her spicy stews. Tired of the power outages, she built a wood-fired kiln in her garden four years ago. Such resolve is helping keep Gaza's unique cuisine alive. Gaza cooks like to mix chili peppers and garlic to flavor food. It's a taste acquired at a young age, with children often showing up at school with chili spread on their lunch sandwich. Dishes are laced with piquant flavors like sour plums, limes and a sour pomegranate molasses, or sprinkled fresh dill, an herb not widely used elsewhere in the region. Gaza's cuisine gives traditional Palestinian food "a spicy, sour, bright twist," said Maggie Schmitt, co-author of the Gaza cookbook. The territory's penchant for strong flavors likely dates back to Gaza City's history as a port on the ancient spice route from Asia to Europe, Palestinian anthropologist Ali Qleibo said. Gaza's location, on the fault line between Asia and Africa, and the influx of refugees more than six decades ago also have contributed to culinary diversity. The refugees uprooted by Israel's creation included villagers, Bedouin shepherds and sophisticated city dwellers, all coming with their own food traditions. In Gaza, they cooked familiar foods, passing on recipes to children and grandchildren, keeping a link to lost communities. "For Palestinian people, their food connects them," said Laila El-Haddad, another co-author of the cookbook. "It locates them, when maps don't." For Bassam el-Shakaa, 33, whose Bedouin roots trace back to what is now the southern Israeli town of Beersheba, home cooking is "libbeh." On a recent day, he made the dish by roasting bread directly on hot coals, dusting it off, shredding and mixing it with roasted eggplant, diced chili, tomatoes and olive oil. The eggplant was a substitute for young green watermelon, meant to crown the dish, but out of season. Like his ancestors, el-Shakaa and other men sat in a circle and ate from the same bowl. They used their hands to scoop out fleshy bread, made smoky, spicy and dewy. "We inherited this from our fathers and grandfathers," he said. "This is the food we crave." Another Gaza specialty is cooking with clay pots, and the territory's signature dish is a fiery tomato shrimp stew with pine nuts. Spices are crushed in a mortar, using a lemon-wood pestle that releases their fragrance. The dish is assembled, baked and eaten in the clay pot. Gaza's rich clay deposits were the likely reason for the favored cooking method, said el-Haddad, 35, who is from Columbia, Maryland. Another local specialty is tiny stuffed squid with dill, spices, raisins and rice. Gaza's border blockade has restricted many imports, raising the price of fuel and basic ingredients, such as sesame paste tahini, olive oil, meat and spices. For years, smugglers defied the blockade by hauling in goods through tunnels linking Gaza to Egypt. Israel has progressively loosened the blockade; what remains are long power cuts and a ban on most exports, choking Gaza industry and keeping unemployment and poverty high. Urban sprawl has eradicated most of Gaza's farmlands. Israel limits access to farms near the border because militants have used the areas to fire rockets. Israel also restricts where fisherman can cast their nets, driving up the price of seafood. Gazans are experts at recycling. Qishta, the Rafah housewife, built her kiln from clay dumped by smugglers as they dug tunnels under the nearby border with Egypt. With her husband unemployed for years, she relies on U.N. food packages. Rawan Salmi, a busy 39-year-old school teacher and mother of two, can no longer cook ahead for an entire week and freeze portions since daily power cuts mean food will spoil quickly. Instead, she cooks a day at a time. El-Haddad and Schmitt, of Miami, visited Gaza in 2010 to research their book. They found Palestinians eager to show off their dishes and passionately arguing over the tastiest way to prepare meals like okra and lentil stew. Transforming meals into recipes was another challenge. Through re-testing and pleas to women to repeat instructions, the authors said they recorded generations of oral knowledge. Some dishes that proved nearly impossible to find, like the roasted watermelon salad, because the authors came in the wrong season. The 140-page cookbook has sold 4,000 copies since it was released in March, said Asa Winstanley of publisher Just World Books. It reflects growing interest in Palestinian cooking and culture, said Mahmoud Muna, of Jerusalem's "Educational Bookshop" which specializes in Palestinian books. Bestselling Jerusalem-born British chef Yotam Ottolenghi also recently wrote a book with Palestinian Sami Tamimi called "Jerusalem," covering Arab and Jewish cooking in the holy city. Qishta, the Rafah housewife, said Gaza residents deserve the praise. "Palestinian women are proud of their food," said Qishta, as she baked her bread. ___ Loading Slideshow "Jerusalem" By Yotam Ottolenghi And Sami Tamimi Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, $19.84 on Amazon "The Art Of Fermentation" By Sandor Ellix Katz The Art Of Fermentation, by Sandor Ellix Katz, $23.76 on Amazon "The Farm" By Ian Knauer The Farm, by Ian Knuaer, $19.41 on Amazon "Modernist Cuisine At Home" By Nathan Myhrvold And Maxime Bilet Modernist Cuisine At Home, by Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet, $140 on Amazon "My Pizza" By Jim Lahey And Rick Flaste My Pizza, by Jim Lahey and Rick Flaste, $15.98 on Amazon "Canal House Cooks Every Day" By Hamilton & Hirsheimer Canal House Cooks Every Day, by Hamilton & Hirsheimer, $45 on thecanalhouse.com "Bouchon Bakery" By Thomas Keller And Sebastien Rouxel Bouchon Bakery, by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel, $31.50 on Amazon "Lidia's Favorite Recipes" By Lidia Matticchio Bastianich And Tanya Bastianich Manuali Lidia's Favorite Recipes, by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali, $13.98 on Amazon "Pastries" By Pierre Hermé Pastries, by Pierre Hermé, $31.50 on Amazon "The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2" By Amanda Hesser And Merrill Stubbs The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2, by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, $16.66 on Amazon Contribute to this Story:
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Inspirational Book Recommendations: April 2013

08:10, 9/7/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Find it! By Author / By Title Search over 40,000 reviews Try our Advanced Book Search Help Advanced Book Search Search books by title, genre, publication month, publication year, and rating or search by any combination of these options (i.e. all Mysteries published in January 2001 with 4.5 rating). If you want to search for a name or phase, include quotation marks around your search term (example: "Deborah Smith") Visitor Login Visitor login is required to post a review and comment on the blog and other interactive features on the site. Use your same username and password to register for the RT Forums. / Community / RT Daily Blog / Inspirational Book Recommendations: April 2013 Inspirational Book Recommendations: April 2013 BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 16, 2013 | PERMALINK Everyone is searching for something. And if you are searching for that next great faith-based read, then you are in luck! Today we bring you recommendations on great inspirational books releasing this month.   Family is at the center of many inspirational novels, and for good reason. There is nothing better than a loving, supportive home life. However, several characters in April books don?t have the strong connections they deserve, so they go searching for something more. In Evangeline Kelley ?s Seaside Harmony three sisters attempt to reconnect while they start a business on Nantucket Island. In Beth Wiseman ?s The House That Love Built single mother Brooke Holloway recently lost her husband, however, she gets a second chance at happiness when she meets next door neighbor Owen Saunders. And Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah E. Ladd shows readers that family is not always about blood, but caring. In this story, Amelia Barrett made a promise to a dying friend to take care of her baby and Amelia will do anything and everything ? including entering a marriage-of-convenience ? in order to make sure infant Lucy stays safe. Finding or rediscovering faith can be one of the most life changing, and life affirming, moments a person can experience. The heroine in Maureen Lang ?s All in Good Time knows this and uses her resources to help women out of desperate situations by introducing them to God?s love. In this historical novel, Dessa Caldwell has been called to open Pierson House a place where ?women of the night? can regroup and leave behind their past in order to start a new future. Surrendered Love by Laura V. Hilton is not about discovering faith, but rather restoring it. Troy Troyer left the Amish community eight years ago to becoming a police officer, but he is now considering giving up his ?English? ways in order to reconnect with his beliefs and sweetheart Janna Kauffman. The hero in Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith ?s novel may be A Cowboy at Heart , but when he finds himself recuperating at a widowed Amish woman?s home, this ranchin? man just may how found the peace he didn?t know he needed under the healing care and spiritual guidance of Katie Miller.    Sometimes faith is all a person has to see them through hardships. And there is nothing more difficult to survive than war. Caught in a web of fighting and betrayals, this month readers can find several characters who need to escape the terror of war. In Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer , Dr. Micah Hatcher is not looking for a way out of war ravaged Europe after WWII, but instead he is working on helping the refugee children from Hitler?s death camps to find freedom and safety. Murray Pura ?s Whispers of a New Dawn also takes place in the 1940s and gives a ?snapshot in history? of the toll that the destruction at Pearl Harbor took on a generation of Americans, specifically the Whetstones, a missionary family. Intrigued by these books? You can read about them on our Everything Inspirational Page . Tags: Inspirational
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.rtbookreviews.com/rt-daily-blog/inspirational-book-recommendations-april-2013

'Loteria': A Fortune Told By Mexican Bingo

13:54, 7/7/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Download   Loteria is the story of 11-year-old Luz Castillo, in state custody after her father is arrested and her mother disappears. Luz tells her tale piece by piece, using cards from loteria, a Latin American game of chance. Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks with author Mario Alberto Zambrano about his first novel. Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required. LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Loteria is a kind of Mexican version of bingo. Instead of calling out numbers, the dealer turns over cards with pictures that match those on the board while calling out a riddle that corresponds with the picture - the spider, the rooster, the mermaid, the bottle. "Loteria" is also the name of the debut novel by Mario Alberto Zambrano. It too is a series of riddles, episodes in the life of an 11-year-old girl named Luz. She is a Mexican-American girl in the custody of the state. Each chapter corresponds with a colorful Loteria card which piqued the imagination of the author when he was little boy. MARIO ALBERTO ZAMBRANO: And I would ask my mother, I was like, you know, are these tarot cards? Can we, you know, tell someone's fortune if we deal them in a certain way. And she would laugh at me and sort of say, no, you know, they're just a game. But I think as a kid I'd always wanted them to mean something more. WERTHEIMER: Now, in your book we gradually learn the story of Luz. She seems to be in some kind of institution. She's been in this place for five days. She seems to have a notebook. She has a Loteria deck. So, the scene is set for what? ZAMBRANO: I remember writing that first card. And I tried to inhabit her mind and her voice and I knew that I wanted her to be sort of mute and unable to speak about what had happened to her. And I wanted her to have a dialogue with herself and sort of with a higher presence so that she could have the freedom to evaluate who she was as a person, who her family members were as people and what her past was and what it meant and how she had gotten here. And I thought the cards were a great way to sort of direct her. WERTHEIMER: Now, during the course of the early part of the book, Luz does tell us some facts. Her sister is in intensive care, her mother is missing, her father has been arrested. We don't get details at first but then she starts to turn over the cards and each card prompts a part of the story. Could you read from the chapter called "La Botella." It's a story that Luz writes about her father and the bottle, which is, obviously, a bottle of booze looking at the picture. ZAMBRANO: Sure. I'd love to. (Reading) When he wasn't looking, I used to look at the label and see if there was a face in it next to papi's. There were those nights when his eyes would get bloodshot and I'd want to drink with him - not a lot, just a sip, so I could see what it was like to become him, to be someone else and to knock things over without caring. I didn't want hit anyone or hurt anyone; I just wanted to know where it came from, to figure out why he did what he did because it wasn't coming from him. It was coming from that man in the bottle, Don Pedro. He'd get inside papi's head and in his blood and shake him until he turned into someone else. WERTHEIMER: Her father seems to be very important to her. She writes a lot about him. ZAMBRANO: She does. I think it's a complicated relationship that she has with her father because, of course, she's a witness and victim of his abuse, but at the same time, she sees his circumstances and she empathizes with how hard it's been for him to move to America and to try to make a better life, not only for himself but for his family. WERTHEIMER: Let me ask you about the voice of Luz. She pretty much accepts her life and her family, and no matter what happens she loves them, despite all of the disasters. She doesn't seem to be particularly tragic. She seems to be a kind of matter-of-fact little girl. I mean, where did you find the voice of Luz? ZAMBRANO: I mean, there's a lot of who I was as a young boy in Luz in terms of questioning God and also my questions on identity, whether I was American or whether I was Mexican. But then there was something in the terms of, like, I've never been in an abusive family and I can't really comprehend what it would really be like. But I tried to take on and empathize with her so much that I think when her voice arrived, from that moment onwards I was just sort of tuning into her voice. WERTHEIMER: The thing that, I mean, obviously, as you proceed through the deck and she proceeds through the stories, she eventually tells us just about everything. It is a dramatic and really kind of terrifying chronicle that Luz writes here. I don't think we want to tell the whole story but I'd like a little bit more of your story, which is one of the things I wondered about was this transition from ballet dancer to novelist. How did that happen? ZAMBRANO: I am still trying to answer that question. I started dancing when I was 11 years old and I was so passionate about it. And it went really well. But I think I went so fast through that career that I crashed, and so I quit. And I had no idea what in the world I was going to do. And I started taking classes of literature and I fell in love. 'Cause I'd always had a creative itch. You know, from the dancing, I wanted to be a choreographer, and I was a choreographer. But to be a choreographer, your instruments are people and you have to be very sensitive to them and it's a completely different dynamic. And so finally I had found something where I could, in a sense, choreograph a ballet but on the page and I could move them around. You know, the words and sentences are like phrases of dance movement. But I won't ever dance again, that's for sure. It would be way too painful and I'm happy with the idea that dancing was my youth but now I'm spending my time writing. WERTHEIMER: Mario Alberto Zambrano is the author of "Loteria." He joined us from the studios of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network in Bangor. Thank you very much. ZAMBRANO: Thank you for having me. Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information. NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.
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Anne Margaret Daniel: The Rhymers' Club, Part Two: Bob Dylan and Edgar Allan Poe

01:09, 5/7/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
[This is part two of a two-part essay. Read, part one, "The Rhymers' Club, Part One: Bob Dylan and Edgar Allan Poe" here . * * * * Doug Brinkley has called Dylan " our great American poet of drifting, inheriting a baton that was passed from Walt Whitman to Vachel Lindsay to Carl Sandburg to Allen Ginsberg ." Brinkley forgot Poe -- poor Poe, the real drifter among the crowd. Poe didn't have a comfortable home in Camden for a lionized old age as Whitman did, being visited by the likes of an eager young Oscar Wilde. He didn't have Connemara, Naropa, any place to hang his hat for more than a little while. That Poe was largely an urban drifter doesn't make him any less of a drifter; it makes him more of one, surely a drifter for modern times. Dylan inherits this from Poe, too. There's no question that in his early years in a big-city setting Dylan soaked up literature and history like a sponge, hearing Shakespeare declaimed by his friend Paul Clayton, reading Poe at the apartment where he was camped out in the living room, composing music to go along with "The Bells," visiting the places Poe had lived in New York. When asked by John Hammond as a young man for a definition of folk music, Dylan replied "I told him it was handed down songs." Dylan has never minded hand-me-downs; what's our American history, and literary and cultural history based on, anyway, but hand-me-downs from England and Ireland, Scotland and Spain, at first -- and then from other countries, other peoples, as we all became American? Dylan likes handed down stories, and lines, whether they come from folk songs or poems, ballads or biographies. Like T.S. Eliot's, his works are composed by a fierce individual talent working within a feast of literary traditions. As a beginning musician and songwriter captivated by, even obsessed with, American history and culture of the past century, Dylan sat in the New York Public Library devouring newspapers on microfilm, steeping himself in the antebellum south, the Civil War, 19th century biography and poetry. What poets did he read? No need to search; he's happy to tell you: "Byron and Shelley and Longfellow and Poe." Like Poe, and -- thanks to Poe -- Longfellow, like T.S. Eliot and other poets who are masters of imitation, Dylan's been accused of plagiarism. It clearly struck close to the bone for Poe, who wrote many imitations of his own -- and who wrote about imitation, borrowings and plagiarism in his criticism from the mid-1830s on. Poe would of course infamously accuse others, including the magisterial Longfellow, of same. Now, influence isn't copying. Imitation isn't plagiarism. Dylan uses Poe as he uses other writers -- as a grace note. A springboard. An echo. If he's Narcissus, Dylan's quite generous with his echoes. More important than these straight-on references, though, are the subtle sense, the overall feel, of an artistic inspiration or forebear. This is something Poe called "copyism" in 1836 -- "Without subjecting the [writer under review, Sir Francis Head] to the imputation of copyism, one may describe the manner as being an agreeable mixture of Charles Lamb's and Washington Irving's." It's a style matter, Poe says, in this case because of the authors' mutual use of "covert conceit," "hidden humor" and "piquant allusion." I wonder how many writers under the influence of someone, or many, could pass this test of Poe's. In any case, Poe finds the copying of other writers' styles not theft, but something worthwhile and new -- an agreeable mixture, a work filled with allusions. Dylan's an allusive, and a famously elusive, writer. In Chronicles, he claims one of his albums is based entirely on Chekhov's short stories. He doesn't say which one, but since he calls it autobiographical, critics pounced upon " Blood On The Tracks ." Maybe. Maybe he just wants us to all go and read Chekhov's short stories, an admirable desire. Are enough substantive echoes there, creatively and otherwise, to feel Chekhov in Dylan's songs? Go and look, and listen and decide for yourself. In light of Tempest, I'd say he'd like us all to go and read Poe. Apart from the specific mentions I've noted already, the whole album covers dark and bloody ground. As is the case in almost all of Poe's stories and poems -- " The Black Cat ," " Berenice ," " Ligeia ," " Annabel Lee " -- what begins as a tale of love and/or lightness becomes a tale of woe and worse. Every song on Tempest plays out the same way. There might be equal doses of " Sir Patrick Spens ," the Carter Family and Poe in the title track, but Poe's apocalyptic description, and the way in which that tragic city of the sea is still somehow living at the end, drowning forever in those reddening waves, is most powerful to me. The only thing more poetical on Tempest than the death of a beautiful woman, to use Poe's most celebrated statement on beauty, is the faithlessness and death of a beautiful woman. Again and again in Dylan's songs -- from the ballads, like " Mattie Groves " and " Barbara Allen " and " Gypsy Davy ," that he's performed from the start, to his own Lyrical Ballads like " Tin Angel " -- this woman just won't go away. The plot's as old as the ballad form itself: faithless wife runs away with another man; wealthy husband pursues, kills lover; wife kills husband and self. But when you have lots of wine-drinking and someone coming down a chimney into a fireplace, it's understandable if you think of " The Angel of the Odd ." Where there's lots of wine drinking, and someone lowering himself into the room on a golden chain to wreak havoc, calling another character a "gutless ape" and saying "you made a monkey of me," feel free to think of " Hop-Frog ," too. But Dylan has taken any original sources here, whether old ballads, Poe's stories or allusions still floating under the surface to be discovered, and made of then distinctive new songs. It's what he does. Finally, there's the matter of his pre-album summer tour of 2012. Dylan's official website, www.bobdylan.com , makes tickets available to fans who look there for pre sale passwords before the concert tickets go on sale to the general public. Here are the passwords selected by someone who'd thought about it for Dylan's tour coincident with the release of Tempest. Recognize the source? "morrow, radiant, Gilead quaint, lattice, dirges, methought, seraphim, obeisance (and now the dead giveaways), nepthene, pallas, leonore." All from " The Raven ," of course. But pardon me, I'm starting to make a classic Dylanologist's mistake -- and I prefer not to do, or be, that; I like Dylan's artistry too much. I'm focusing on the words, and leaving out the sound. A major difference between Dylan and Poe is that Dylan is writing songs, and Poe is writing poems. You can talk about influence, sure, but never forget that one man is writing with music in mind, music he already has in mind -- it seems to be Dylan's mode to have a tune, first and then fill it in with words, the few times we've seen him composing a song (as in D.A. Pennebaker's Dont Look Back , 1967). Yet there's a kinship here, for Poe is much better off the page and read aloud. This is not true at all of every poet -- try it with "The Waste Land," for instance. But those wonderful couplets, end rhymes and above all the internal rhymes as in "The Raven," let alone all Poe's spinning alliterations -- they quite simply sound fantastic when read aloud. Dylan's lyrics read the same way. It's not just the grotesque and arabesque that link Dylan and Poe. It's the rhyme. Maybe this goes back to convey to us again the too-forgotten sense of grotesque and arabesque as ornamental, trailing vines and decorative touches in cave-like hidden spaces. Dylan clearly loves Poe's flourish -- his panache, his perfection in positively nailing a couplet. Dylan loves Byron for the same reason -- as did Poe, as did W. H. Auden. All these men are members of the Rhymers Society of the ages. Poe rhymes contemn and diadem; that is and lattice, lent thee and sent thee and nepenthe, food, imbued, intrude, solitude; monotone, groan and stone. Dylan borrows that solitude and intrude, perhaps from Poe, but has a host of excellent ones all his own: Coca-Cola and gondola, frighten you and uptighten you, orphanages and sons of bitches, laws of God and firing squad. How can you say he will haunt you? / You can go back to him any time you want to. These rhymes ring, and roll, and make you reel. Want to get into a rhyme-off, a smack down, with Edgar Allan Poe? I wouldn't. You shouldn't, unless maybe you're Bob Dylan. Like Dylan says, he's a fender-bender poet. Play chicken with him on rhyming, and you're the one who'll end up with your fenders bent and your doors blown off. That Dylan clearly revels in this, rather than being troubled by the anxiety of such influence, is one of the things that makes him a grand American lyric, as well as Romantic, poet. I delivered a shorter version of this article as part of the " Positively Poe " conference in Charlottesville, Virginia on June 25, 2013. My thanks to the conference organizers and all who attended this literary festival for one of America's, and of course Virginia's, finest writers.   Follow Anne Margaret Daniel on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@venetianblonde FOLLOW BOOKS THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE by Neil Gaiman Published on June 18th, 2013 THE FARAWAY NEARBY Published on June 13th, 2013 YOU ARE ONE OF THEM by Elliott Holt Published on May 30th, 2013 AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED
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Paula Deen's Next Cookbook Is Canceled

11:51, 29/6/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Celebrity cook Paula Deen during an appearance last Wednesday on NBC-TVPaula Deen's Next Cookbook Is Canceled by Mark Memmott June 29, 201311:00 AM Pre-publication orders had made it No. 1 on Amazon , but now Paula Deen's publisher has said it won't be putting out her next cookbook this fall. As Publishers Weekly says : "The celebrity chef, who's been suffering from a raft of bad press, has had her first book with Random House, Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up, canceled. The title was to be released by Random's Ballantine Books imprint in October. "Random House, which released a brief statement on Friday, said the decision came 'after careful consideration.' " In case you haven't heard, Deen has been in the center of a storm over the news that she used racially offensive language in the past ? notably, the N-word . As NPR's Allison Aubrey reported for The Salt , Deen's sponsors started dropping her shortly after the story broke. Among the companies that are cutting ties with her, as The Associated Press reminds us, are: Sears, J.C. Penney, Walgreen, Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Novo Nordisk, Smithfield Foods, Caesars Entertainment and The Food Network. Deen also won't be appearing on QVC anymore, the home shopping network says, and it will be phasing out sales of her products. In a letter posted on the network's website , CEO Mike George says in part that: Celebrity cook Paula Deen during an appearance last Wednesday on NBC-TV's The Today Show. Peter Kramer/AP Celebrity cook Paula Deen during an appearance last Wednesday on NBC-TV's The Today Show. Peter Kramer/AP "We have talked with Paula and her team extensively over the last several days, and together we have considered what is best for our customers, for Paula, and for QVC. For now, we have decided to take a pause. Paula won't be appearing on any upcoming broadcasts and we will phase out her product assortment on our online sales channels over the next few months. We all think it's important, at this moment, for Paula to concentrate on responding to the allegations against her and on her path forward. "Some of you may wonder whether this is a 'forever' decision ? whether we are simply ending our association with Paula. We don't think that's how relationships work. People deserve second chances. And we always strive to do the right thing." Deen says in a statement attached to George's letter that: "As you know, I have some important things to work on right now, both personally and professionally. And so we've agreed that it's best for me to step back from QVC and focus on setting things right. "I am truly sorry and assure you I will work hard to earn your forgiveness."
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