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text 2019-08-27 22:58
Reading Update: One Hundred Years of Solitude
Cien años de soledad y un homenaje/ One Hundred Years of Solitude and a tribute: Discursos de Gabriel García Márquez y Carlos Fuentes - Carlos Fuentes,Gabriel García Márquez

I've wanted to read this book for the longest time now, and I'm finally doing it. I'm so glad – I must have been 9? 10? the first time my sister told me to read it. It was (and still is, to this day) her favorite book, and a universal classic. She loves Gabriel García Márquez, and I still remember vividly how sad she was the day he died. Staring at her books, knowing there wouldn't be others. 


Now I've finally begun this journey – and so far I'm loving it. The beautifully built magical realism and strange –but profound– characters have pulled me into the book in a way I didn't expect. I lived in Colombia for a while and I have Colombian family, so it's also a lot of fun reading about the jungle-town environment and the historical changes throughout the novel. I expected this book to be slow, since at least in my school, it's a mandatory read and some people complain about it, but I was positively surprised to find that I can read several dozens of pages and barely notice it. It's different to what I usually read, and I love it. 


Well, I still got a long way to go. So far, I'm happy with what I have found! 

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review 2019-01-27 20:02
[REVIEW] The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros

It’s hard to rate this book, the first book of the new year. I loved the intro because it spoke directly to my soul in such a way that it left me breathless. The little vignettes were a mixed bag: some good, some boring, some I wanted to skim through. However, when she spoke of the little girls, my heart broke for I saw how little being a woman has changed. Cisneros prose is a strange yet delightful mix: such beauty with bouts of grittiness.

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review 2018-03-07 23:43
[REVIEW] Veinte Poemas de Amor y Una Canción Desesperada by Pablo Neruda
Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada - á
Es tan corto el amor, y es tan largo el olvido.

Después de leer
No hay manera que Neruda y yo peguemos una pero por lo menos esta me gustó un poco más que la otra colección de poemas que leí. 

Antes de leer
Porque Francis dice que toda persona debe de leer por lo menos dos libros de Pablo Neruda en su vida.

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review 2018-02-15 01:41
My ninety-first podcast is up!
The Road to Armageddon: Paraguay Versus the Triple Alliance, 1866-70 - Thomas L. Whigham

My latest podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it, I interview Thomas Whigham about the second and concluding volume of his history of the Paraguayan War (which I reviewed here). Enjoy!

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review 2018-02-14 16:52
An excellent history of a monumental conflict
The Road to Armageddon: Paraguay Versus the Triple Alliance, 1866-70 - Thomas L. Whigham

The second volume of Thomas Whigham's history of the Paraguayan War picks up where his previous volume, Causes and Early Conduct, left off, with the forces of the Triple Alliance — Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay — preparing to invade Paraguay after having driven Paraguayan troops out of Argentina. Though the Paraguayans initially checked the Alliance's advance, their defeat at the battle of Tuyuti devastated their army. Yet while the leaders of the Alliance expected such a loss to result in Paraguay's surrender, the Paraguayan dictator Francisco Solano López refused to accept terms which required him to give up his position, thus dooming Paraguay to a drawn-out and destructive defeat.

As Whigham explains, a key factor behind Paraguay's ability to endure for so long was its cohesion as a population. With their nation under attack, López was able to mobilize his people to sustain a seemingly unimaginable war effort. With Paraguay's access to the outside world cut off by an Alliance blockade, the Paraguayans were forced to undertake extraordinary expedients in order to sustain their war effort. Yet not even the total mobilization of the country could prevent the increasingly capable Alliance forces from taking the fortress of Humaitá in 1868 and capturing the Paraguayan capital in the new year. Only with López's death in March 1870, though, did the war finally come to an end, with ramifications to be felt for decades to come.

The product of years of archival labors and writing, Whigham's book is a superb account of a war too often underappreciated in the north. With a narrative that reflects the tragedy (and even absurdity) of the conflict, he captures well its epic nature while analyzing the various factors at work in the conflict, from the command structures to logistics and medical care. Together the two volumes combine to provide readers with the definitive study of the Paraguayan War we have long needed, one that nobody interested in the subject can afford to neglect.

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