Saturday, April 08, 2017

April (first week) 2017 Reads

This week I read two superb novels, a mystery, a classic short story anthology, a couple of online things, and, of course, my weekly story for Deal Me In...

 “Deal Me In 2017!”
Story: Cosmo Girl by Nadia Villafuerte; Translated from the Spanish By Julie Ann Ward
"She picks up her suitcase. Gets in line. Shows her ticket without letting her fist tremble. Checks her luggage. They’re not going to stop me, she repeats silently until she finally settles into seat twenty-nine." Elena is on her way north to Juárez. She doesn't plan to cross the border--until the time is right. But even while still far south in Mexico the bus is stopped at internal checkpoints...

Card: Three of Spades from metrodeck a card deck "Printed on found and repurposed New York City subway fare cards, metrodeck attempts to visually capture the common thread between commuters, public transportation, and chance.
Every card has been gathered at random, after having been purchased, used, and discarded by either a visitor or resident of New York City. Some have been signed or otherwise marked, making each card unique with its own narrative potential."
OK so our story is set in Mexico, not New York City, and it's on a bus, not a train...but still the cautions on this card could apply to many forms of transportation. A bit of a stretch for a connection, but it's a cool concept deck. Follow the "process" link on the metrodeck site menu for some neat pictures of how the cards are made.

from my "owned-but-unread" shelf...

Eve out of Her Ruins by Ananda Devi, J.M.G. (Introduction), Translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman
An absolutely stunning, crushing story of four teenagers in an impoverished area of Port Louis, Mauritanius. Lyrical first person narrations alternate between two girls and two boys as they tell a tale of sex and violence that can only end in tragedy. 
My copy from Deep Vellum subscription.
Cover design by Anna Zylicz
On the Best Translated Book Award (BTBA) Longlist 2017

Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lúcio Cardoso,  (Translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson; Introduction by Benjamin Moser
A classic family tragedy played out in a crumbling villa. Beautifully told through multiple points of view in a series of documents (letters, diaries, statements, reports).
My copy from Open Letter Press subscription.

On the Best Translated Book Award (BTBA) Longlist 2017

A note about Best Translated Book Award (BTBA) Fiction Longlist 2017:
It's a terrific list. So far I have read five -- the above two and A Spare Life, Umami, and Oblivion
No way can I say one of these is better than the others.

After the Crash by

Gutenberg find... 

Brazilian Tales by Albuquerque, Coelho Netto, Dolores, and Machado de Assis Translation and Introduction by Isaac Goldberg (Published in 1921 by The Four Seas Company, Boston, Massachusetts)

Contents: Preliminary Remarks: An overview of the state of Brazilian literature (in 1921) as well as information on the writers in this collection.
  The Attendant's Confession By Joaquim Maria Machado De Assis: Murder of self-defense?
  The Fortune-Teller By Joaquim Maria Machado De Assis: a story of a love triangle.
    Life By Joaquim Maria Machado De Assis: a dialog between Ahasverus (The Wandering Jew) who is the last mortal on Earth and Prometheus.
    The Vengeance Of Felix By José Medeiros E Albuquerque: "Old Felix had followed his trade of digger in all the quarries that Rio de Janeiro possessed. He was a sort of Hercules with huge limbs, but otherwise stupid as a post." Or was he?
    The Pigeons By Coelho Netto: "When the pigeons leave, misfortune follows.—Indian superstition."
    Aunt Zeze's Tears By Carmen Dolores: An old-maid faces reality.


Build Your Own Pizza Oven: The Crust-Worthy Guide You Didn't Know You Kneaded an exercise for architecture students, complete with plans and instructions.
I'm not going to build one, but if I were ever build anything out of brick and mud this is a thing I would build...

But I wouldn't drink Bone Sake with my pizza...

Bone Sake Michael Pronko, a long time resident of Japan, meets his match in a drink that "...brought me closer to the essence of bone, a place I wasn’t sure I wanted to be."

Pronko is the author of three mystery/thrillers (set in Tokyo) and three collections of essays on Japan. In addition to his writer blog, he (along with Marco Mancini) runs the blog Jazz In Japan which features news, reviews, articles, club and venue information, and other related things.

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