Archive for the ‘Books’ Category
In 2013 I took part in Sam Quinones‘ Tell Your True Tale workshop at the East Los Angeles Library. Our stories were published and are available for purchase here. Volumes 2 (click here) and 3 (click here) are also available for purchase.These workshops are open to the public, free of charge.
With my return from Harvard, I decided that it was a good time for me to sell many of my books online. At the same time, my older brother came to the same conclusion, but found himself without the time to sell and ship books himself. I am our bookseller. Right now, we’re selling around sixty books and might put more on sale later, once I’ve read some of them or he decides to part ways with more books. Before returning, I sold some books to used bookstores in Cambridge and I was able to sell only three books for very measly prices. I checked the prices of those books on Amazon a few weeks back. I lost out on over forty dollars profit because I was shortsighted.
Selling books online has become my source of income in the past month. They’ve been on Amazon for two weeks and three books have already sold. I’ve had good luck with my deliveries. So far, no packages of mine have been lost or delayed by the USPS. I did some research and found that all my packages leave Los Angeles through the Los Angeles Bulk Mail Center (BMC) in Bell. Further research led to discovering the L.A. BMC’s bad reputation for delaying packages, sending packages the wrong direction, and losing them completely. I worry about lost packages because I don’t want to lose any single cent of the profit. Book selling is a minimal source of income right now and pretty fun. I enjoy the walks to and from the post office. It’s a very good and relaxing exercise.
With each order placed, I’ve checked out where the book is headed (It’s my own way to see if it’s going to be in good hands). The books have gone far in the U.S.: lower Louisiana, North Carolina, and my latest shipment is headed towards some office park in rural southern Ohio. The most recent book is Chicana Falsa. I was apprehensive about selling the books online because of the security risks involved with my accounts, but it was a risk I willingly took.
NOTE: As expected, my stats have increased since Monday. This is sweet. I’m now averaging fifty visits each day.
I just finished reading Gustavo Arellano’s ¡Ask a Mexican! and now I am lost as to what I should read next. This summer, I have read Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Páramo & El Llano en llamas, numerous essays on Mexican music, and, as a short break from Spanish, V for Vendetta. I want to continue the trend I started earlier this summer of reading books and essays about México by reading all the essays I’ve yet to read, including one on the speech patterns of Los Altos de Jalisco (i.e. my family!).
I get tired of essays quickly and they’re often finished in a few minutes. I’m itching to read books, important ones. To keep with the look at México, I ordered Vasconcelos’ La raza cósmica and Mariano Azuela’s Los de abajo and should receive them this coming week. I own Octavio Paz’s El laberinto de la soledad, but I want to read these three in chronological order to see how the arguments progress as the works use previous arguments. After reading these, I want to read another classic of México, Carlos Fuentes’ La muerte de Artemio Cruz (last time I attempted to read it, I left it after one chapter because the narration was too confusing). The more and more I read, the closer I feel to reaching an area of study for college and a way to bring order to my academic life.
On the other hand, I have City of Quartz and My Blue Heaven in front of me, waiting to be read and enjoyed. I’m hesitant to read them because I’ll most likely find courses at Harvard that require me to read them, but then again, I just want to read and write about Los Angeles and its “suburbs” (or as I call South Gate, urban suburb, since South Gate is no longer an industrial suburb). Seriously, that’s the only reason I entertain the idea to transfer to UCLA, just so I can take many courses focused on L.A. while living in it.
When my mariachi started performing mariachi masses in 2005, we didn’t have much experience, to say the least. We learned all the mariachi mass songs from Jose, our guitarron player’s father. He studied music at a conservatory in Sinaloa and plays the mass music at Huntington Park’s Saint Matthias Church; sometimes, his son goes in and plays for him.
As he was teaching us the songs, he mentioned Flor y canto, which is a popular book of Spanish hymnals used in most churches in the United States and Latin America. It’s regarded as one of the definitive collections of songs to be played in mass; it’s an invaluable resource at any Spanish-language Catholic mass. It has the songs in order of how they should be played at mass and even has specific masses ordered with songs (such as quinceañeras, weddings, etc.).
At one of our recent performances, I saw a stack of Flor y canto books with no one even pretending to hide them. I considered taking one home, but rather than take such a large book home under my mariachi jacket, I decided to look inside it for a website. Lo and behold, it did have a website, and when I checked it today, I found that Flor y canto is available for only five bucks. I think I’m going to order it for my own use. I really hope to learn the songs in the book.
Here’s a video of one of the songs in the book. It’s called “Pescador de hombres” and it is played as church goers line up to receive the host. It’s a very catchy tune and can get stuck in my head for days on end:
The book cover for the Second Edition of Flor y canto is taken from the OCP website.
After finishing Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World on Tuesday, I haven’t read much since and have been looking for something to read. I have a lot of books that I have not read, but I just can’t make up my mind. Should I read Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Nella Larsen’s Passing, or Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye? Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men?
Occupied America or The Plum Plum Pickers? Things Fall Apart or 1984? Rules for Radicals or Pedagogy of the Oppressed? Can’t Stop Won’t Stop or City of Quartz? The Jungle or On the Road? For Whom the Bell Tolls or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? El laberinto de la soledad or La muerte de Artemio Cruz?
I think I might end up reading those two handbooks Harvard mailed me and explain how I choose courses.