Friday, October 8, 2010

When You Forget What You Read

By Steven J. Dubner, co-author of "Freakonomics"

Very interesting essay by James Collins (this one, not that one) in the New York Times Book Review about forgetting what you read.

I have just realized something terrible about myself: I don’t remember the books I read. I chose Perjury as an example at random, and its neighbors on my bookshelf, Michael Chabon’s Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (on the right) and Anka Muhlstein’s Taste for Freedom: The Life of Astolphe de Custine (on the left), could have served just as well. These are books I loved, but as with Perjury, all I associate with them is an atmosphere and a stray image or two, like memories of trips I took as a child.

This is of interest to me because I read a lot and seem to forget nearly as much. From what I can tell, I tend to remember non-fiction better than fiction; for non-fiction, I tend to remember journalism better than books (at least when it comes to factual details).

Read more at the New York Times.

This article refers to a previous article, "The Plot Escapes Me," by James Collins and also at the New York Times.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lawsuits That Kill Books

Litigious billionaires and foreign courts are as much a threat as book-banning fundamentalists
By Laura Miller

Last week was Banned Books Week, a worthy institution calling attention to efforts to remove books from public libraries and school curricula. This annual event has become so successful that, although the American Library Association reported "460 recorded attempts to remove materials from libraries in 2009," a close examination suggests that many of these amounted to mere "challenges" -- written objections submitted to librarians or teachers by isolated crackpots or control freak parents with minimal chances of seeing their censorious desires fulfilled.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chicano poet alurista at UT Pan American Monday, Oct. 11

alurista will be at UTPA on October 11 as the 2010 speaker in UTPA Library’s Innovative Voices Series. He will also be part of the “alurista Tunaluna Texas Book Tour” organized by his book publisher.

He will be guest of honor at a Merienda/Plática at the Library Faculty Lounge from 4:00-5:30 p.m. Then he will give a formal address that evening at 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the Student Union Theater. Students, faculty, staff as well as the general public will have a chance to meet alurista and purchase his latest book, Tunaluna. The UTPA Bookstore will be selling the books as soon as they arrive and at these events.

alurista (real name Alberto Urista) is one of the seminal and most influential voices in the history of Chicano Literature. A pioneering poet of the Chicano Movement in the late 60s and 70s, he broke down barriers in the publishing world with his use of bilingual and multilingual writings in Spanish, English, Nahuatl and Maya. A scholar, activist, editor, organizer and philosopher, he holds a Ph.D in Spanish and Latin American Literature from the University of California in San Diego and is the author of ten books including Floricanto en Aztlán (1971), Timespace Huracán (1976), Spik in Glyph? (1981) and Z Eros (1995). His book, Et Tú Raza?, won the Before Columbus Foundation National Book Award in Poetry in 1996. Author of “El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán,” he is a key figure in the reclaiming of the MeXicano cultural identity, history and heritage through his integration of American Indian language, symbols and spirituality in his writings. (Source: Juan Tejeda, publisher/editor of Aztlan Libre Press, publisher of Tunaluna, alurista’s tenth book of poetry and first publication in ten years).

In the introduction to the book Tunaluna Tejeda writes: “alurista is a Xicano poet for the ages and a chronicler of la Nueva Raza Cózmica. With Tunalunahe trumpets the return of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered-serpent of Aztec and Mayan prophecy, and helps to lead us out of war and into the dawn of a new consciousness and sun, el Sexto Sol, nahuicoatl, cuatro serpiente, sun of justice.”

For more information on the “alurista Tunaluna Texas Book Tour,” go or call 210-531-9505.
For more information about alurista’s visit to UTPA, contact Virginia Haynie Gause, Media and Marketing Librarian at or call 956-665-2303.

Ven a oir alurista!