Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday Salon - April 13

The Sunday

So, it has been a while since I was able to do a Sunday Salon post, or visit other Sunday Saloners. Today I am making a concerted effort to take a little road trip around the blogisphere to see what everyone else is up to!

Since most of my life is currently occupied by caring for Maya and planning for our move to New Jersey in June, my reading time is sadly fallen by the wayside. Occasionally, I have these wonderful ideas of what I would like to blog about for the Sunday Salon...20 minutes later that idea seems to have disappeared without a trace, never to return.

So, what have I been reading lately? Well, every day currently consists of Fuzzy Bee and Friends, Baby Love, and a going to bed book, such as Goodnight Moon, The Going to Bed Book, or Sweet Dreams (all of which I will be reviewing with others in an upcoming cloth/board book post). I also just got through the No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley but I am waiting to see if it helps Maya nap better before I review it. So far, the verdict is still out.

On Friday, I started reading The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara. Prior to travelling to Cuba back in 2000, I knew next to nothing about Che, only that he was linked to Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution. Here in the US, the only image painted of him was one of a brutal militant guerilla and a cold-blooded killer who deserved his execution-style murder after he was captured in the jungles of Bolivia. After coming across a quote by Nelson Mandela that described Che's life as "an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom. We will always honor his memory.", I set out to learn more.

Che is undoubtedly one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century, whose image has been mass marketed and exploited for decades. He is the enduring symbol of rebellion and revolution; the man who left the medical profession and a bourgeois life to join the revolution aimed at overthrowing the Cuban dictator, Batista. His legacy is both romanticized and condemned, and he has been made into an almost mythical character. The Motorcycle Diaries provides a glimpse, in his own words, of Che' s life-changing journey across South America in his early twenties and how this trip came to influence him for years to come. Despite his questionable techniques, Che Guevara was always propelled by his desire to fight injustice and inequality. Did he trample over various human rights in his rebellions? Most likely. He was certainly no pacifist. Should he be emulated? I'm not sure that's such a wise idea, either.

Saturday brought another visit to The Book Thing. Since we are leaving Baltimore, I've noticed my acquisitions from The Book Thing have become more numerous. Here is what I came away with:

  • Halloween Party and By The Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie
  • Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner
  • White Jazz by James Ellroy
  • Waiting by Ha Jin
  • Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
  • Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Book coveting around the blogisphere:
  • The Age of Shiva by Manil Suri, and Unaccustomed Earthy by Jhumpa Lahiri, reviewed at Lotus Reads
  • A Grave in Gaza by Matt Beynon Rees, reviewed at Musings of a Bookish Kitty
  • Healthy Child, Healthy World by Christopher Gavigan, part of the Blog Tour at MotherTalk


Literary Feline said...

A friend of mine suggested I read The Motorcycle Diaries not too long ago, but I didn't put much thought into it at the time. Your thoughts on the book so far have me curious though.

I hope you have a good week!

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for the new Lahiri to come into our library system. If it doesn't make it soon I'm going to have to blow good money on it which is a real sign of how highly I think of her as a writer.

Eva said...

I loved By the Pricking of My Thumbs-it was much creepier than the Christies I usually read. :) Re: Che, I have a great biography of him by Jon Lee Anderson (that I fully intend to finish reading this year...I was half-way through it my freshman year of college, and it disappeared in one of the packing trips between school and home and only resurfaced last year), in case you want to read more about him. I can't wait to hear what you think of The Motercycle Diaries!

Madeleine said...

Last week I received from amazon COUSINS by Patricia Grace my first read in May for The Neustadt Challenge.

Have a nice week

tanabata said...

Have you seen the movie of 'The Motorcycle Diaries'? I haven't read the book but the movie was good. Like you I hadn't known much about Guevara so it was interesting to see his side of things, as it were.
'Kafka on the Shore' is making it's way to the top of my pile. I think I may pick it up very soon. Enjoy all your new books.

Lotus Reads said...

I saw the screen version of "The Motorcycle Diaries" and simply fell in love with Che Guevara because they portray him as this idealist who lived to fight for people he felt had been dealt a bad blow by society, but he is a controversial figure who isn't all good or all bad.