I’d forgotten all about this wonderful gem of a short story by Sandra Cisneros. I loved it the first time I read it and even more now.
The timid yet insightful narrator, eleven year old Rachel, has wisdom beyond her years, but also realizes that experience comes with age. Her understanding of the difficulty of growing up is fascinating as well as enlightening. Enjoy!
Please click HERE for the full text!
Books I’ve read… a work in progress:
- This is Not a Game – Jon Williams
- The Disappearing Spoon – Sam Kean
- Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1-5) – Hugh Howey
- Pure – Julianna Baggot
- 2312 – Kim Stanley Robinson
- When She Woke – Hillary Jordon
- For the Win – Cory Doctorow
- WIRED – Douglas E. Richards
- The Dig – Michael Siemsen
- Freedom Incorporated – Peter Tylee
- Deep State – Walter Jon Williams
- Currently Dead – Bob Good
- All These Things I’ve Done – Gabrielle Zevin
- Reflections of Grey (Book 3) – J. C. Phelps
- Shades of Grey (Book 2) – J. C. Phelps
- Color Me Grey (Book 1) – J. C. Phelps
- Hal Spacejock – Simon Haynes
- Peace Warrior – Steven L. Hawk
- Stealing Faces – Michael Prescott
- Wetweb – Robert Haney
- Turing Evolved – David Kitson
- 1Q84 – Haruki Murakami
- Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments – Randolph Lalonde
- Spinward Fringe Broadcast 5: Fracture – Randolph Lalonde
- Spinward Fringe Broadcast 4: Frontline – Randolph Lalonde
- Spinward Fringe Broadcast 3: Triton – Randolph Lalonde
- Spinward Fringe Broadcast 1 and 2: Resurrection and Awakening – Randolph Lalonde
- Spinward Fringe Broadcast 0: Origins – Randolph Lalonde
- Reamde – Neal Stephenson
- 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America – Albert Brooks
- The Windup Girl – Paolo Bacigalupi
- Uglies (Uglies Series #1) – Rodrigo Corral and Scott Westerfeld
- Pretties (Uglies Series #2) – Scott Westerfeld
- Specials (Uglies Series #3) – Rodrigo Corral and Scott Westerfeld
- Extras (Uglies Series #4) – Rodrigo Corral and Scott Westerfeld
- Bogus to Bubbly: Insider’s Guide to the World of Uglies – Rodrigo Corral and Scott Westerfeld
- Enclave – Ann Aguirre
- Eroma – Piers Anthony
- So Yesterday – Scott Westerfeld
- Little Brother – Cory Doctorow
- Hotel on The Corner of Bitter and Sweet – Jamie Ford
- The Chaos Chronicles (Books 1-3) – Jeffrey Carver
- Sunborn (Chaos Chronicles Book 4) – Jeffrey Carver
- The Green Monster – Andrew Kent
- Spam & Eggs – Andrew Kent
- Out of the Black – Lee Doty
- The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Series #1) Suzanne Collins
- Catching Fire (Hunger Games Series #2) Suzanne Collins
- Mockingjay (Hunger Games Series #3) Suzanne Collins
- Mirrored Heavens- David J. Williams
- Freedom – Daniel Suarez
- Daemon – Daniel Suarez
- The Synthesis (Powerless #1) – Jason Letts
- The Shadowing (Powerless #2) – Jason Letts
- The Stasis (Powerless #3) – Jason Letts
- The Electric Church (Avery Cates Series #1) Jeff Somers
- Hostage Zero – John Gilstrap
- Lethal Warriors – David Philipps
- Ship Breaker – Paolo Bacigalupi
- Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen
Just finished reading this book, a dystopian near-future story depicting an America where a third party, the Trinity Party, has come into power. The main theme of the story centers on Hannah, who, pregnant with a prominent pastor’s child, opts for an illegal abortion to protect him.
She was caught and subjected to “melachroming”, a process that colors the skin to blue, yellow, green, or red, depending on the crime. Chroming is the Trinity Party’s solution to overcrowded jails and prisons. Overcrowded due to the party’s strict fundamental laws and policies.
A fascinating read, it may be uncomfortable for fundamental Christians. Throughout the book, my thoughts drifted to the prospect of the Tea Party in power. This book explores what could happen when the line between church and state dissolves.
I give this book a hearty thumbs-up.
Guess what? There are some amazing non-English-speaking authors out there that are well worth reading! Thanks to excellent translators, I’m reading them.
I’ve read several translated books and have been impressed with the fact that they didn’t seem like translations. In fact, once into the book, my hesitancy to read a non-English-speaking author vanished. The translations are that good.
I’m not sure where the hesitancy comes from; is it an innate feeling of superiority over foreigners or because of the awkwardness of different grammatical rules between different languages.
I’ve even steered clear of British authors because of that bias. But I have a feeling that I’m not alone in my hesitancy.
Today’s modern translators are unsung heroes of the literary world. Think about it. They must not only translate the actual words. They must also accurately convey the authors intentions for every passage. And, perhaps most importantly, the reader must not be aware that it is a translation.
Most of the translated books I’ve read have been wonderful.
- The whole of Swedish author Stieg Larssen‘s “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” series held me like few books can.
- “The Unit”, a haunting book by another Swedish author, Ninni Holmqvist, left me wanting more.
- I’m about to read Haruki Murakami’s just-published “1Q84”.
By Mark Nichol
The plays of William Shakespeare provide a wealth of pithy sayings — many of which he likely popularized rather than produced himself, though we may still be grateful to him for sharing them. Unfortunately, sometimes the original sense is adulterated by careless usage, so that the eloquent force of the expression is weakened. Here are a dozen of Shakespeare’s phrases with comments about their original wording and meaning:
“At one fell swoop”
This phrase from Macduff’s grief-stricken lamentation about the murder of his family in Macbeth uses the archaic word fell, meaning “fierce,” to extend the metaphor of the perpetrator (who he calls a “hell-kite”) as a bird of prey. Modern usage is generally more casual and even comical.
“Brave new world”
This phrase from a speech by Miranda, daughter of the wizard Prospero in The Tempest, naively uses brave in the sense of “handsome” when she first lays eyes on other men. The subtext in Shakespeare is that those she refers to are superficially attractive but substantially deficient in character. The sense is the same in the phrase as it appears in the title of Aldous Huxley’s dystopian classic. Unfortunately, the dark sarcasm is being dulled by use of the phrase to blithely herald a bright future.
I first read Neal Stephenson at least ten years ago. Published in 1991, Snow Crash was set in the early 21st century. Jacking into a computer virtual reality was a common way of escaping the realities of the massive corporate owned enclaves that used to be the United States. It was Stephenson’s vision of how a virtual reality-based Internet might evolve in the near future.
Snow Crash’s virtual reality is said to be a strong influence in the development of Second Life, a wildly popular online virtual world launched in 2003.
Stephenson was amazingly close with his Snow Crash predictions, and he takes us beyond current massive on-line gaming state-of-the-art with his latest techno-thriller REAMDE.
REAMDE is an epic novel that is built around a massive online multi-player virtual reality game called T’Rain. Richard Forthrast, who founded the profitable game, is very wealthy, but uncomfortable with the lifestyle that comes with corporate success. He justifies his success by quietly financially helping out his family. His favored niece, adopted into the conservative mid-western family, is now utilizing her geoscience degree to work as a technician in the T’Rain world, designing the geosystems that deposit precious metals where gold-farmers (an integral part of the T’Rain economy) can dig it up.
Book Review by James Milstid
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
It was so real that I kept finding myself thinking, “This is happening right now!”.
Albert Brooks has crafted an excellent thought-provoking scenario that is very believable. It’s one of those books that is difficult to put down and at the end you want more.
Well written, humorous, and poignant, Mr. Brooks pleasantly surprised me with his knowledge, insight and wordsmithing mastery.
Very highly recommended! Just read it!
Warning: This story will haunt you; it stays with you long after you’ve finished reading it.
From the Barnes and Noble website:
Is this what’s in store?
June 12, 2030 started out like any other day in memory—and by then, memories were long. Since cancer had been cured fifteen years before, America’s population was aging rapidly. That sounds like good news, but consider this: millions of baby boomers, with a big natural predator picked off, were sucking dry benefits and resources that were never meant to hold them into their eighties and beyond. Young people around the country simmered with resentment toward “the olds” and anger at the treadmill they could never get off of just to maintain their parents’ entitlement programs.
But on that June 12th, everything changed: a massive earthquake devastated Los Angeles, and the government, always teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, was unable to respond.
The fallout from the earthquake sets in motion a sweeping novel of ideas that pits national hope for the future against assurances from the past and is peopled by a memorable cast of refugees and billionaires, presidents and revolutionaries, all struggling to find their way. In 2030, the author’s all-too-believable imagining of where today’s challenges could lead us tomorrow makes gripping and thought-provoking reading.