National Hispanic Heritage Month – Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz | Goodreads

This post is part of a feature at Jorie’s Reads by Starry Night Elf called “Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.”

Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao changed my perception of something which seemed so scholarly – footnotes. My goodness, I’d never seen anything like it – little contradictions and factoids to add to the story of the woeful ghetto nerd Oscar. Within a page, I got narrative and the Dominican Republic’s volatile history. His work pointed me towards other books about the DR. I felt I had an idea and that’s mostly due to Díaz.

Goodreads states:

Junot Díaz is a contemporary Dominican-American writer. He moved to the USA with his parents at age six, settling in New Jersey. Central to Díaz’s work is the duality of the immigrant experience. He is the first Dominican-born man to become a major author in the United States.

Díaz is creative writing professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in 2008.

In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Díaz has received a Eugene McDermott Award, a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Lila Acheson Wallace Reader’s Digest Award, the 2002 Pen/Malamud Award, the 2003 US-Japan Creative Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was also awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2012. He was selected as one of the 39 most important Latin American writers under the age of 39 by the Bogotá Book Capital of World and the Hay Festival. In September 2007, Miramax acquired the rights for a film adaptation of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

After reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, this book became a staple on my Top Ten Tuesday posts 🙂 … I also pushed through his previous work Drown, a collection of short stories (not my favorite prose) simply because they were written by Díaz. Lucky for me, Yunior, Díaz’s narrator, was there, too.

His latest – This is How You Lose Her – is on my TBR pile. Why? Well, his blend of facts and narrative bring forth a gloriously clear picture of what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. Thus, I couldn’t celebrate without mentioning Díaz.

TBRs – Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo | LibraryThing

Hugo, V., Wilbour, C. E., Fahnestock, L., & MacAfee, N. (1987). Les misérables. New York, N.Y., U.S.A: Penguin. 9780451525260

I will probably see the movie first but I still want to read this classic novel which inspired a musical and this movie!




TBRs – William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer’s The boy who harnessed the wind…

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba | LibraryThing

Kamkwamba, W., & Mealer, B. (2009). The boy who harnessed the wind: Creating currents of electricity and hope. New York, NY: William Morrow. 9780061730320

The other day, I attended a training for work. One of the books mentioned was William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer’s The boy who harnessed the wind… As my book haul is pretty large, I’m TBR’ing this one. I look forward to reading it, though.

Christopher Moore’s Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art

Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art by Christopher Moore | LibraryThing

Moore, C. (2012). Sacre bleu: A comedy d’art. New York: William Morrow. 9780061779749

Reasons for Reading : I posted Christopher Moore’s Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art on my TBR list. Check out my reasons for reading there.

Summary: News of the suicide of volatile artist Vincent van Gogh rocks Parisian baker and artist Lucien Lessard and his good friend  Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. Compounding issues is the sudden reappearance of Lucien’s MIA girlfriend, Juliette and the nasty little guy who’s known as The Colorman. Lucien and Henri take the reader for a ride on the crazy train, encountering figures in the French art scene along the way.

What I Liked : Author Christopher Moore is uproariously humorous. There were numerous “ROL” (read out loud) moments throughout this novel. Characters such as fictitious Lucien and Juliette appealed greatly. The physical book is gorgeous with images discussed in the narrative and has blue typing.

What I Disliked : Some curse words here and there don’t bother me but the language used by various characters was beyond nasty. Also, I thought sometimes Moore crossed the line between amusingly irreverent and crazy wicked. One point late in the novel made a reference to bestiality that had major cringe factor.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Bobby Vinton Blue Velvet – YouTube

Setting : Paris, France with stops in the French countryside, Italy, England, and the US

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For more on Christopher Moore’s Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art, check out the following sites:

TBRs – Katherine Howe’s The House of Velvet and Glass

The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe | LibraryThing

Howe, K. (2012). The house of velvet and glass. New York: Voice/Hyperion. 9781401340919

When I saw that the writer of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane had written another book, I requested The House of Velvet and Glass via HCPL Digital Media Catalog.

Top Ten Books on Jorie’s Fall TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish
  1. Joyce Meyer’s Do Yourself a Favor… Forgive
  2. Marilu Henner’s Total Memory Makeover
  3. Miguel Nicolelis’ Beyond Boundaries…
  4. Beth Revis’ A Million Suns
  5. Anna Godbersen’s The Lucky Ones
  6. John Green’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson
  7. Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer’s Between the Lines
  8. Katherine Howe’s House of Velvet and Glass
  9. Kay Hooper’s Haven
  10. Siobhan Vivian’s The List

TBRs – Miguel Nicolelis’s Beyond Boundaries…

Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines—and How It Will Change Our Lives by Migue Nicolelis | LibraryThing

Nicolelis, M. (2011). Beyond boundaries: The new neuroscience of connecting brains with machines–and how it will change our lives. New York: Times Books/Henry Holt and Co. 9780805090529

I requested this book last year and it arrived along with several others. Then, I went on a mission trip and a couple of vacations. Thus, I’m requesting Beyond Boundaries… again via HCPL.

TBRs – Kim Edwards’ The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards | LibraryThing

Edwards, K. (2005). The memory keeper’s daughter. New York: Viking. 9780670034161

One of my friends on Goodreads asked me to read this book. So, I’m requesting The Memory Keeper’s Daughter via HCPL.

TBRs – Christopher Moore’s Sacre bleu: A comedy d’art

Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art by Christopher Moore | LibraryThing

Moore, C. (2012). Sacre bleu: A comedy d’art. New York: William Morrow. 9780061779749

My mom saw a book review in the Houston Chronicle. Then, she requested the book via HCPL. After its arrival, I’m inclined to follow suit.

TBRs – Marilu Henner’s Total Memory Makeover

Total memory makeover by Marilu Henner | WorldCat Detailed Record

Henner, M., & Henner, L. (2012). Total memory makeover: Uncover your past, take charge of your future. New York: Gallery Books. 9781451651218

This book was among the new stuff I’ve checked into the system. I’ll request it soon. Let’s hope I’ll remember!