Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Feast of the Goat


The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa | LibraryThing

* A 1001 Books Book

Vargas, L. M., & Grossman, E. (2001). The Feast of the Goat. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. 9780374154769

I eventually picked up The Feast of the Goat for a few reasons – my latent interest in turbulent Dominican history, the book’s listing as a “Core” 1001 Books Book, and writer Vargas Llosa’s recent status as a Nobel Prize Laureate. Ironically, I finished the book around the fiftieth anniversary of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina’s assassination. So, I pulled this book off one of HCPL’s shelves.

Vargas Llosa offers three distinctly different storylines throughout the book –  the fictitious Urania Cabral in the 1990s, Trujillo’s assassins, and then Trujillo/El Jefe/The Goat. on his last day – 30 May 1961. The author alternates between these three points of view.

Storyline 1 – In the 1990s, successful attorney Urania returns to her native Dominican Republic for the first time in years. She visits her invalid father, the once powerful Secretary of State Agustin Cabral. Agustin fell out of favor El Jefe. Urania angrily recalls her last days in the DR with Agustin. Later, Urania relates her nightmarish coming of age to her aunt and cousins. The Cabral family was created by Vargas Llosa.

Storyline 2 – the assassins lie in wait on 30 May 1961 for Trujillo. These real-life killers are Antonio Imbert Barrera, Antonio de la Maza, Salvador Estrella Sadhalá – “Turk,” and Amado García Guerrero – Amadito. Each one bears the scars for want The Goat dead. Vargas Llosa based his characters on actual people.

Storyline 3 – Trujillo lives out his last day. El Jefe reminisces about his despotic career, his family, tough relations on the world stage, and his regular deflowering of young girls. Vargas Llosa took an actual dictator and made him even more villainous.

Vargas Llosa recreates the last days of the Trujillo Regime quite vividly. The feelings of desperation, hopelessness, and machismo pervade. The truest rendering of characters were the ones the author made up – the Cabrals. I found the “real people” rather suspect.

I’m happy I read this book because I could see connections to the writings of both Junot Díaz and Julia Alvarez. I wonder if Díaz used the name Cabral as a tribute to The Feast of the Goat. However, I found some parts – especially those from The Goat’s point of view, tedious and disgusting. I felt a need to wash out my eyes or something. Also, I liked that Urania found some peace in sharing her experience with the women of her family.

Three and a Half Out of Five Pearls

Song: YouTube – Antonio Morel y Su Orquesta feat Macabi “El Chivo”

Places : The Dominican Republic, The United States

You might also like:

For more on Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Feast of the Goat, check out the following sites:

Top Ten Bookish Websites/Organizations/Apps, etc. | Top Ten Tuesday


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

 Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

TO SEE FUTURE TOP TEN TOPICS …click HERE!

 

June 28: Top Ten Bookish Websites/Organizations/Apps, etc. (aside from book blogs — things like Goodreads, Project Night Night, Paperbackswap, etc.)

  1. Amazon – Often, I refer to Amazon for publication, recommendations, and I even buy books there. The service is good and reliable and worthwhile, especially when I was a student.
  2. KDL What’s Next™ Database – I’ve noticed numerous sites mentioned today that offer a similar service. Kent District Library assists bibliovores in reading series in order. What a concept? On average, I consult this database at least once a day.
  3. GoodReads – This is another popular one today. I can post books I’m reading, reviews, generate memes, etc. Also, I can connect with bookish friends and see what they’re reading.
  4. GoodReads App – The app pretty much does the same thing as the site. One of the bells and whistles I particularly enjoy is the barcode scanner which pulls the ISBN directly from the book and into the app.
  5. LibraryThing – LT is much like GoodReads but a nuance I enjoy is the recommendation. This makes LT like Pandora for books and I appreciate it.
  6. Arukiyomi – This is a must view site for those of us who are attempting to read the 1001 Books. Arukiyomi has created spreadsheets with all versions of the list (2006, 2008, 2010, the core, etc) which are free. Also, he provides great reviews of all sorts of books and I love the tag cloud.
  7. WorldCat – How cool is that I can log into one site and see what libraries own To Kill a Mockingbird? Another fave feature here is the “Cite This Item” link – in APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA, and Turabian).
  8. iBooks – I was reluctant to use this App until I found there are free classics – The Bible, Mansfield Park, – you know.
  9. OverDrive – This app works great on iPhone and I’m a “Recorded Books Reader” so to speak (forgive the pun). When I listened to Dracula last fall, I felt I was in the forest with Jonathan Harker.
  10. WordPress – Here, I can express all sorts of things about books I read. Also, I noticed Top Ten Tuesday by The Broke and the Bookish for the first time on the WP homepage!

The Book of Job


Job restored to prosperity by Laurent de la Hyre | Wikipedia

Job – NIV archaeological study Bible: An Illustrated walk through Biblical history and culture. (2005). Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan. 9780310938521.

Job is the first book I read under the heading of “Poetry” in the Read through the Bible Challenge. Many say that this is the oldest book in The Bible.

Job was the son of Uz, who was the son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham. The book relates Job’s trials at the hands of God. He lost everything and his friends come to pull him out of his party party. However, they don’t offer much in the way of Godly direction. Job, while downcast, doesn’t doubt God much. The main theme asks “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 1:8)

For more on Job and Bible-Reading Challenge, check out the following links:

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Reasons Why We Love Book Blogging!


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists.

Click here to see the upcoming topics!

As part of our 1 Year Blogoversary celebration we decided that this Top Ten Tuesday should be about the blogosphere and why we love doing what we do! Be sure to check out our other blogoversary posts and giveaways.

Top Ten Reasons I (Jorie) Love Being a Book Blogger/A Bookish Person

1.  Sharing what I think of books

2. Linking people to books they’ll enjoy

3. Discovering other bookish bloggers

4. Connecting with other bookish bloggers

5. Keeping a book log

6. Broadening my reading horizons/ stepping out of my genre comfort zone

7. Promoting good books and/or writers

8. Reading books

9. Knowing the latest book trends

10. For the fun of it!  

Sarah Dessen’s What Happened to Goodbye


What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen | LibraryThing

Dessen, S. (2011). What happened to goodbye. New York: Viking. 9780670012947

I began reading Sarah Dessen books after seeing How to Deal. I like Dessen’s community of Lakeview and enjoy discovering the Easter eggs throughout her novels. What Happened to Goodbye is Dessen’s latest novel, the previous one having come out in 2009. I requested the book from Houston Public Library.

For the last couple of years, Mclean Sweet and her restaurant manager dad have moved four times. In each place, Mclean acts differently – a bubbly cheerleader in one place, a drama queen in the next town, and student council rep in the last. Mostly, she doesn’t want to make a new connection after her parents’ nasty divorce. However, in Lakeview, Mclean can’t seem to escape herself. She might actually have to face the music this time.

This book wasn’t my favorite Dessen work. It even had that Jason Talbot in it! However, I appreciated that Mclean seemed to bring together people. I wasn’t crazy about Dave, the main guy in this book, but I thought Opal and even Jason were cool. I couldn’t stand Mclean’s mom, Katie/Katherine, but sort of came around to her.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: YouTube – Coldplay – In My Place

Places : North Carolina, Florida, Hawaii

You might also like:

For more on Sarah Dessen’s What Happened to Goodbye, check out the following sites:

Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells


Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen | LibraryThing

Allen, S. A. (2007). Garden spells. New York: Random House Large Print. 9780739327432

Back in February, I attended a Reader’s Advisory workshop. The speaker, Neal Wyatt, sang the praises of Garden Spells. Then, I heard this book was the alchemy of Practical Magic and Like Water for Chocolate. After hearing the rave reviews of my coworkers, I checked out Garden Spells from HCPL.

The Waverley women possess special abilities. In their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina, the Waverlys’ apple tree bears magical fruit of magical properties. Their garden yields unique, edible flowers. At this time, 34-year-old Claire Waverly embraces the family traits and runs a lucrative catering business. On the other hand, her younger sister, Sydney wants little to do with family inheritance. Sydney left behind her hometown.

However, Sydney returns to Bascom, bringing her daughter, Bay with her. In Bascom, Sydney faces the ghosts of the past, determined to make a better future for Bay.  

Reading Garden Spells was a true joy for me. Sarah Addison Allen rendered a beautiful picture of the Waverlys and the Bascom community. Even villainess Emma is relateable and Allen deals with her kindly. I enjoyed the Waverlys more than the Owens sisters in Practical Magic but strong similarities can’t be denied.  

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: YouTube – Strange Magic by ELO (Electric Light Orchestra)

Places : North Carolina, Seattle

You might also like:

For more on Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells, check out the following sites:
 

June 14: Top Ten “Awww” Moments In Books (those cute lines, charming actions, kisses, or any other sentimental moment that made you say “AWWW!”


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists.

Click here to see the upcoming topics!

June 14: Top Ten “Awww” Moments In Books (those cute lines, charming actions, kisses, or any other sentimental moment that made you say “AWWW!”

I’ve listed titles only since I don’t want to reveal endings of books – the “Awww!” moments in these books. I welcome comments. 🙂

1. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

2. Eat, pray, love: [one woman’s search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia] by Elizabeth Gilbert

3. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

4. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

5. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding

6. The Graduate by Charles Webb

7. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

8. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

9. Miss Pettigrew Lives for the Day by Winifred Watson

10. No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith