Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Colombia From the Hip + December 10 - 15 Book Recommendations
Well, I was caught up in the mad Colombian party vortex last week and was conspicuously absent from my keyboard.
But for good reason. Really. It was worth every sleepless minute. :-)
On December 7th and 8th, Colombia celebrates the "Alumbrado" -- the Day of the Virgin. And we have a huge party at Cesar's farm the 8th with a group that sings Colombian Christmas carols, the weirdest bunuelo contest (bunuelos are Colombian cheese donuts), and lots of lights!! All the kids light lanterns and stick candles in the grass to burn. (Note: We're NOT in Nevada here where the whole state would go up in a ball of flames.)
Friends came in from Spain and Argentina! (Yay!) And after the big Alumbrado, Cesar celebrated his 40th. (Yikes!) So we had to have another party to commemorate four decades and danced under the stars until our feet hurt.
Then we were invited to a Hanukkah celebration, which was a treat!! And then, of course, another party to celebrate Cesar's four decades just to make sure our bones ached. Nope. Not twenty anymore.
And I think Amelia has officially gone on strike. She's done with all this activity. (Though she's quite the good dancer now!! :-) )
So I'm back. Limping just a tad. (I think I pulled a hamstring or something.) And now we're getting geared up for a big wedding this week, Christmas next week, then New Years with twenty + family from all over the country. Then January. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
So here are my latest book recommendations. Yep. I've been slack. On the computer side of things. I think it's understandable, though. Really. Don't you??
I *heart* Skippyjon Jones. This Siamese cat, wannabe Mexican Chihuaha superhero is the best children's book series I've read in a long time. Skippyjon, much to his mother's chagrin, sleeps in bird nests, writes on walls, and gets into loads of trouble. And the best part? He's the leader of the Chimichangos, a group of vigilante Chihuahuas, that save the world from horrible things like bobbleheads, pinatas and more (most found in Skippyjon's closet). Holy Jalapeno Hilarious!!
Jeanette Winterson's novels blew me away when I was in college. And the other day when I was at the Dollar Store I found one I haven't read yet. That brought me back to my days of quoting Oranges Aren't the Only Fruit, The Passion, Written on the Body -- novels that deal with love, sexuality, past and present, magic and more. Oranges is a semi-autobiographical novel about Jess, a "typical" teen dealing with the things all teens deal with. Add to the pot an evangelical mother that spews bible quotes and expects Jess to do the same and the fact she's fallen in love with another woman. It's a GREAT great novel about identity and reconciling religion, faith, love, parenting, and who we really are.
The other day I was recommending this novel. Actually, I pretty much recommend this novel to every single person I meet. Feed, by MT Anderson changed the way I viewed YA novels before I began writing YA. After I read Feed, I thought, "This is serious. I had better give every word I write in every book 150% effort, or not write."
This. Is. Amazing. In the future world where people are given "feed" implants in their brains -- hard-wired to advertisement-information that constantly 'feeds' into their brains, Titus and his friends meet Violet -- a strange girl who does things nobody else does. Like talk. Everybody in FEED just chats. Brilliant. Thought-provoking. A novel in which even the Sky, Clouds, and Stars are "trademarked", this is a phenomenal criticism of our rampant consumerism, technology, and the inhumanness of it all. Read. This. Novel.
Okay. Hope to not be absent so so long next time. Because that means I've been sleeping and working -- both of which I am behind on!! Ugh.
Posted by Heidi Ayarbe at 12:47 PM