Monday, September 24, 2012

Book reviews



 I finished the book News of a Kidnapping by Nobel Prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez this last week. I read it to get a perspective on the kidnapping in Colombia that was, and still is, a problem in that country. It is a non-fiction book detailing the experience of several kidnapped people and their families' efforts to free them in the days of Pablo Escobar. It was very informative but sometimes hard to follow if you have no prior knowledge of the political system in Colombia. The author is Colombian, by the way.

There were a few interesting points made, I'll quote the first directly. . . . ."a human tragedy for which the consuming nations bore primary responsibility." It seems that the slant here in the States is to blame the southern countries for the drug problem when demand for drugs begins here. A point contradicted, understandably, by the author. For there to be a product, there has to be a demand for it, although I would have to weigh in that the blame should be shared.

The next mind-boggling fact was the amount of violence in Colombia. In contrast to Chicago, which has been making headlines for the murder count, the city of Medellin in the first two months of 1991 had 1200 murders! These were the days of Pablo Escobar, who paid adolescents from the slums to kill police.

One thing that I found interesting was that although the conditions were difficult, the women held hostage were not harmed physically. Here in the States I can't think of one kidnapping case that was not sexually motivated, while in South America these kidnappings are used as political leverage or for money.

I'm currently reading a book that I got as a free download titled All Roads Lead to Austen and I can't put it down! It has so many elements that I can relate to. The author, Amy Smith, is an expert on Jane Austen, with a PhD and a professor position in a university. She travels to Central and South America discussing Austen's books with groups of people in six countries for their take on the novels. I love Jane Austen, and I've been enjoying how she integrates the cultures of the local people into her experience.

Any books you'd like to share? I'd recommend both of these.


26 comments:

  1. These both sound so interesting--and so right on for research with your own MS.

    Your point about shared blame is point on also.

    My own reading (what time I have for it) always falls to MG books with a few YA stuck between.

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    1. It is about research, you know the part :) Hopefully it'll help me expand that section. Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. It's hard to comprehend, but life was cheap. The book brought up the fatalistic outlook on life many youths have.

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  3. I'm going to go check out All Roads lead to Austen. It sounds fascinating.

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    1. I'm thoroughly enjoying it! She made it very fun to travel to these places with her.

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  4. Thanks for the reviews, Rose. News of a Kidnapping sounds quite interesting. I reviewed Beth Kephart's Small Damages on my blog today. The book might be of interest to you since the setting is Seville, Spain. :)

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    1. I'll check it out. Thanks for mentioning it :)

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  5. These both sound wonderful. I'll look into getting my copies. Right now I'm reading a lot of sci fi and middle grade fiction. I think this choice has to do with the fact that I'm writing in these areas at the moment and that it's summer. I do believe my book choices are reflections of the season: Poe has always been my winter favorite!

    Thanks for the reviews.

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    1. Poe in winter! I'd fall into a depression for sure :) They're both really good books for completely different reasons. One is heavy and serious and the other light and entertaining.

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    2. So it seems I have a spring and fall selection! Thanks again.

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  6. These books sound really great. I'm really intrigued by these reviews. Thanks for sharing!

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. No problem! Always glad to pass on good reading.

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  7. That kidnapping books sounds fascinating, but I'm sure it's hard to read as well. Thanks for the recommendations!

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    1. It was interesting and educational. Some of the politics were confusing but it wasn't too bad.

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  8. Fascinating! Truly. And scary...

    Thanks for this, Rose. (I still want to call you Honey! LOL)

    I need to start reading again. I've been out of it for a while! :/

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    1. I kinda liked Honey better, but it didn't sound professional :( I've been reading instead of writing lately- I think it's a little bit of avoidance going on here!

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  9. It's interesting that the women weren't harmed, and yet so many murders. Seems kind of schizophrenic, in a bizarre way. Currently I'm reading The Fairy Tales of Herman Hesse, written mostly when he was still young. They are not fairy tales as we know them, though they have magical and mysterious elements. And tragedy.

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    1. It is weird they weren't harmed, but the point was the taking of hostages, not rape and torture. I guess even drug dealers have standards. Not many though.
      Sounds like an interesting book!

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  10. Hi,
    New follower here :D All roads leads to Austin looks great. I just finished a MG The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielson and loved it!

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    1. Thanks for joining my blog:) I highly recommend that book- it was a pleasure to read. Your recommendation sounds great too! I'll have to check it out.

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  11. Interesting reading, Rose. That's one of the things I enjoy about books, the ability they give to see inside another society and how things work differently.

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    1. I like that also. I like being entertained by books, but it's so much better when I can take something away from it too.

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  12. Interesting post about the News of a Kidnapping and Columbia.

    New follower,

    Nas :)

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