Many years later, as I faced the final pages of this book, I was to remember that distant afternoon, more than thirty years before, when Francoise stoMany years later, as I faced the final pages of this book, I was to remember that distant afternoon, more than thirty years before, when Francoise stopped her motorcycle and told me about One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Now I can appreciate her enthusiasm.
Thanks to Paul’s review, I was forewarned about the 23 people called Aureliano, and other nonsense. Still, the beginning was not as smooth as I expected. Having finished Love in the Time of Cholera just two months before starting One Hundred years of Solitude, I expected it to flow in the same way. It didn’t. Time was all scrambled up. Things didn’t make sense.
Then I stopped trying to figure it out, and let myself be drawn into a whirlwind of enchantment. There are hundreds of little episodes in no particular order.
"Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth."
Margaret Bourke-White is one of my favorite photographers. The Goodreads blurb gives an overview of her extensive career. Life Magazine sent her all oMargaret Bourke-White is one of my favorite photographers. The Goodreads blurb gives an overview of her extensive career. Life Magazine sent her all over the world. Goodreads lists 3 pages of books by or about MBW.
This book, coming well after her death, provides a broad sample of her work. I recommend reading it before her autobiography, Portrait of Myself, published in 1963.
As you would expect, this book is almost entirely her photos. The only photo not by Margaret Bourke-White is by Oscar Graubner, showing MBW working atop the Chrysler Building, NYC, 1934.
Rachel Kramer-Bussel is a busy writer. She has edited many anthologies of erotica, led workshops on writing erotica, and much more. However, Sex and CRachel Kramer-Bussel is a busy writer. She has edited many anthologies of erotica, led workshops on writing erotica, and much more. However, Sex and Cupcakes is not erotica. The subtitle says it best: A Juicy Collection of Essays. These are personal essays, very personal. Like any assortment of cupcakes, you will enjoy some more than others.
For Rachel KB, who rarely drinks, “champagne sex” is a fantasy.
“But the champagne sex I’m thinking of is a utopian kind of sex, the kind where anything goes, where I’m the most beautiful, liberated, uninhibited, kinky version of myself I can imagine.
My favorite kind of lube for sex isn’t the kind you imbibe, but the kind that’s sleek and slippery and warm and feels wonderful touching my skin."
Her message could come from a Cole Porter song, "I get no kick from champagne … Yet, I get a kick out of you.”
“Champagne Sex” is the shortest essay. The title reminded me of the cautionary tale of Natalie Wood, who insisted on a champagne bath. Soon after she sat in the tub, she started screaming. Dennis Hopper rushed her to the hospital emergency room. Alcohol is not good for sensitive tissues.
“Sex and Cupcakes” is the longest essay (and title of the collection). Here she writes about Cupcakes Take the Cake, one of her blogs. The rest of the essay chronicles her evolution from “an anti-porn feminist” to a prolific sex writer.
All of the essays are well written and thought provoking. Solid four star writing. ...more
The Nasdaq Handbook: The Stock Market for the Next 100 Years, 1992, should not be confused with The Nasdaq Handbook: The Stock Market of Tomorrow - ToThe Nasdaq Handbook: The Stock Market for the Next 100 Years, 1992, should not be confused with The Nasdaq Handbook: The Stock Market of Tomorrow - Today, 1987. Neither has much practical use today, but may be of some historical interest. Both were marketing tools, designed to sell Nasdaq to the investing public, brokers, etc. Nasdaq is now a big player, and doesn't need this sort of help.
I did find Chapter 15 interesting: Screen-Based Trading and the Globalization of Markets. This was leading edge technology before the internet. Today, anyone can do it. That chapter was written by Bernard L. Madoff. At the time, Madoff was chairman of the board of directors of Nasdaq, Inc. ...more
There is more to the title than first meets the eye. Is it family MATTERS? Or is it FAMILY matters? The meaning of “matters” evolves as the story progThere is more to the title than first meets the eye. Is it family MATTERS? Or is it FAMILY matters? The meaning of “matters” evolves as the story progresses. Mistry discusses this, and much more, in a 51 minute interview for WAMU, on Sept. 30, 2002. http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/200...
That interview was part of the book tour that, unfortunately, occurred too soon after 9-11. According to a November 3, 2002 BBC report: “Canadian author, Rohinton Mistry, has cancelled the second half of his US book tour because of racial profiling at US airports. … As a person of colour he was stopped repeatedly and rudely at each airport along the way - to the point where the humiliation of both he and his wife has become unbearable," a memo from the writer's US publisher Aflred A Knopf said.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainm...
Enough about the title, how was the book? I loved it. The characters, dialog, and plot structure are worthy of Tennessee Williams. I totally forget some books as soon as they are finished. I’ll remember Family Matters for a long time. Parts of this book were experienced while traveling through Rajasthan, India. ...more
‘The proofreader nodded … “You have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair.” ‘
That sentence rang out near the third point of the book, an‘The proofreader nodded … “You have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair.” ‘
That sentence rang out near the third point of the book, and echoed for the remainder. And yet, for most of the characters there was no balance. For them, life was a cement mixer of bad luck and trouble.
Some will be put off by the descriptions of harsh life and brutality. I say, read it anyway. But first see these excellent reviews by Goodreaders:
This book was experienced while traveling through Jaipur, Agra, Khajuraho, Varanasi, Mumbai, Aurangabad, Chennai, and Tanjore. My view of beggars has changed. I revisited the epilog while in a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala.
[Edit 11-21-2014] I thought the most horrific part occurred during the state of Emergency, 1975 – 1977, ordered by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. This included the episode of mass sterilizations ordered by the government. The two male tailors, Om and Ishvar, were tricked into having vasectomies for a modest payment (which they never received). Immediately afterward, a corrupt and vindictive official in charge of family planning, ordered the doctor to castrate Om. Complications and infection ultimately led to the amputation of both legs.
In July of this year, while visiting India, I was optimistic that those days were long gone. I was wrong. The following editorial in the NY Times comments on India’s recent problems with sterilizations. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Goodread’s management.
India’s Lethal Birth Control
There’s no secret to reducing population growth: Women who are informed about and given access to contraception choices have fewer children. Yet India persists in a cruel strategy of bringing down birthrates through mass female sterilization. In poorer states with high birthrates, health workers are driven by threats and induced by incentives to cut any corners necessary to meet government targets.
In the 12 months ended in March 2013, 4.6 million Indians were sterilized. Between 2009 and 2012, India’s government paid compensation for 568 women who died as a result of the procedure. All told, 37 percent of all the female sterilizations performed in the world are done in India, many in unsanitary, assembly-line conditions.
Thirteen women died shortly after undergoing tubal ligations on Nov. 8, in what in India is called a “sterilization camp.” They were part of a group of 83 women who, enticed by a payment of about $22 and the promise of contraception, had assembled in a filthy public clinic where a doctor and two assistants performed tubal ligations on them that day.
The women were not medically examined before the operations, nor kept for medical observation afterward. They were simply sent home with some painkillers and antibiotics. The antibiotics appear to have been tainted, quite possibly by rat poison. About 60 of the women soon began writhing in pain and were taken to local hospitals.
Faced with public outrage, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered an investigation into what caused the sickening and deaths of so many women this time. The victims’ families were immediately paid compensation.
But last month, India’s Health Ministry directed 11 state governments to double the payments for sterilizations as a means of hitting even higher targets. This is the wrong approach. India’s poor women have a right to informed reproductive choices, and to medical care that meets minimum standards. Mr. Modi should call for an immediate end to mass sterilization of poor women, provide men and women with the means to make educated reproductive choices, and invest in fixing a dysfunctional health system.
Discover India by Lonely Planet is one of two guidebooks we used on a four week trip to India. The other is India – DK Eyewitness Travel. Both were usDiscover India by Lonely Planet is one of two guidebooks we used on a four week trip to India. The other is India – DK Eyewitness Travel. Both were useful. Lonely Planet doesn’t have the depth and detail of DK, but it is light enough to carry around while seeing the sights. The maps and photos are very good. This is probably the better book for the early planning....more
(edit 9-16-2014: Yikes! This review was accidentally posted to Lonely Planet Discover India, which was reviewed at the same time.)
Can one guidebook co(edit 9-16-2014: Yikes! This review was accidentally posted to Lonely Planet Discover India, which was reviewed at the same time.)
Can one guidebook cover all of India? It sounds unrealistic, but DK Eyewitness Travel does a good job. If you haven’t decided on what to visit, this will help. Or, it may overwhelm you with so many choices. The coverage is encyclopedic, and the photos and illustrations are beautiful. Once you narrow down your areas of interest, consider some of the regional or city guides.
I only had 2 complaints. First, at 2.3 pounds, it’s a bit heavy. Secondly, the type is small. Most of the text is 6 point type, which is readable in average light, but the index and glossary are 4 point, which I found hard to read.
After the trip, when I can’t remember the name of that temple I photographed, I just check DK eyewitness. When shopping for travel guides, I always look for DK first.
If you are going to India, what do you need in addition to this guide? Read A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. ...more
Five stars for honesty and intensity. (And a sixth star for damn good writing.) It’s like a brick upside the head for us ordinary folk sleepwalking thrFive stars for honesty and intensity. (And a sixth star for damn good writing.) It’s like a brick upside the head for us ordinary folk sleepwalking through life. Like much of Lisa Carver’s writings, these are personal and mostly autobiographical essays. Some have appeared in other publications.
There are 17 parts plus intro and outro. The theme of Money, and its evil twin, Power, run throughout. Part of the book is about dating some unorthodox businessmen. One of those stories is so gripping, it should be made into a movie. I think the greater story is about the struggles of a single mom, raising her daughter and special needs son.
A fun chapter is “Literary Death Match.” This happened on June 25, 2009 at the Bowery Poetry Club. ”This is the speech I made at the 2009 New York City Literary Death Match: This week, I got fired by a sex magazine for describing what pee tastes like.”
The speech isn’t really about pee. It’s a five page manifesto about the infernal triangle of advertiser, publisher, and writer. She concludes with “Live Free or Die!” "Live Free or Die" is the motto of the State of New Hampshire. It is tattooed on Lisa’s right arm.
On page 98 she wrote “He really did sell his soul. He did it because he believed in capitalism. (He had Trust But Verify tattooed on his arm!)”
Something else happened that day. After the Literary Death Match, Lisa blogged: “I loved NY ... ... I got out of my car and a foreigner with greasy corkscrews grabbed me by both shoulders and said, "Michael Jackson is dead! ... “
This is Lisa Carver’s eighth book, and it is self-published. For most of the 1990’s, Lisa published Rollerderby zine. In those days before Lulu (founded 2002), it was a more manual process, but not as bad as the early days of samizdat (Russian, implying self-published) where mere possession could get harsh punishment. Finding this book on Goodreads is tricky. It is mixed in with over 20 other books titled “Money for Nothing.” Today, you can find Money’s Nothing listed on Amazon, or buy it direct from the author. ...more
(Before the title page) “Years ago, someone who was twenty-three in 1900 gave me an inkling what Art Nouveau meant for his generation. I was speaking a(Before the title page) “Years ago, someone who was twenty-three in 1900 gave me an inkling what Art Nouveau meant for his generation. I was speaking against it to my uncle Jean Schlumberger when he retorted: ‘We were suddenly discovering nature. It was spring, plants were shooting everywhere … we felt a vitality, an enthusiasm. Ma petite, you cannot imagine what it was like!’ “ Dominique de Menil, Director Institute for the Arts, Rice University
This is the catalog of a remarkable exhibition held in 1976, first at the Institute for the Arts, Rice University, then at The Art Institute of Chicago. The title page says Yvonne Brunhammer et al. The exhibition and catalog are both major works. Although the credits take three pages, Dominique de Menil gives first credit to Yvonne Brunhammer, Conservateur, Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris. There are sections on painting and graphic arts, posters, sculpture and decorative arts, and architecture.
The exhibition mesmerized me. I bought the catalog on the spot. This fascinating reference book is still available in the used book market.
Dominique de Menil and her husband John, compiled an astonishing amount of Surrealist, Cubist, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art. This may be seen at the Menil Collection, a free museum in Houston. Have you ever seen that large bronze founders plaque at the Centre Pompidou? Her name is on that plaque. ...more
A few words about the title, “Eichmann in Jerusalem.” It is concise and accurate in identifying the trial of 1961, but it gives no clue about the insiA few words about the title, “Eichmann in Jerusalem.” It is concise and accurate in identifying the trial of 1961, but it gives no clue about the insights that lie within. I generally dislike subtitles, but this one, “A Report on the Banality of Evil,” is where the action is.
This phrase, which generated so much controversy, appears only on the title page, and once in the text, in the postscript. Later editions include an excellent introduction by Amos Elon, who used the phrase many times. I had seen the phrase before I knew of the book, and it had no special meaning to me.
That changed in October 2013. The British artist Banksy spent that month in New York City creating his signature street art. The Mayor called his work vandalism, not art. Possibly in response to that comment, Banksy purchased a banal oil painting in Housing Works, a thrift shop. The 36”x24” landscape was signed by K. Sager. I doubt that it cost more than $100. Banksy then oil painted in a Nazi on a bench enjoying the view, signed it, and titled it “The banality of the banality of evil.” He then donated it back to Housing Works, which put it on an auction site for charities. It sold for $615,000. Housing Works motto: “fighting to end AIDS and homelessness.”