"Imagination, like memory, can transform lies to truths," Felicia whispers in her son's ear. Nobody else teaches him that.

Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia


Luz says that families are essentially political and that he'll have to choose sides.

Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia


May 11, 1945


The familiar is insistent and deadly. I study the waves and keep time on my wicker swing. If I was born to live on an island, then I'm grateful for one thing that the tides rearrange the borders. At least I have the illusion of change, of possibility. To be locked within boundaries plotted by priests and politicians would be the only thing more intolerable.

Don't you see how they're carving up the world, Gustavo? How they're stealing our geography? Our fates? The arbitrary is no longer in our hands. To survive is an act of hope.


Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia

Dreaming in Cuban Review

I finished reading Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia yesterday. The first thing I thought of when I read it was that it was exactly the same as Monkey Hunting for my college class. It was the same story format with the intergenerational narratives. It saddens me to know this is a "form" for her writing. I did enjoy reading the book and hearing the characters' distinct voices. It was a nice short story and I am glad that I can say I read it, since it is Christina Garcia's more famous books. I think she painted a beautiful portrait of a family but I wish she would have gone into more details like if Celia's husband felt guilty about being cruel to her during their early days of marriage and how their relationship developed after that. I also want to know more about Felicia's husbands and her children, especially her twins. I wonder if this writing format was novel when she first used it in Dreaming in Cuban.

Running with Scissors Interpretations

The reviews of Burrough's Running with Scissors are very interesting for two reasons. First, many of them make comments about points in the book but are completely inaccurate. They refer to one man having an incestual relationship, but he was just having sex with a girl for whom he was her guardian, he was not her blood relative (not that this is an ethical thing to do). Second, like me, most reviewers did not know really what to say about the book. Some wrote it got slow at points, but most just said the book is really funny and sad all at the same time. A few wrote that this book gets at the heart of the 1970s for the middle class but I feel a lot of what happens could happen today still. I think I left the book the same way the reviewers left it: shocked and sad but laughing the whole way.

Cursing with Freud

In addition to calling each other standard names like bitch and whore, the Finches incorporated Freud's stages of psychosexual development into their arsenal of invectives.

"You are so oral. You'll never make it to genital! The most you can ever hope for is to reach anal, you immature, frigid old maid," Natalie yelled.

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs


My mother only wears fancy shoes when she's going out, so I've come to associate them with a feeling of abandonment and dread.

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

Running with Scissors Review

I just finished Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. The book was fabulous in a rubber neck sort of way. Everything was so crazy, so I can completely believe it was true. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to have my mom sign over legal guardianship to her shrink. I wonder if Augusten is going to therapy or something now. I guess Levitt was right in Freakonomics as long as who the parents are is good, the kid will end up okay. I believe that both of his parents were college-educated and his dad was a college professor. It did not matter that they (and the Finches) stunk at parenting, Augusten had "good genes" so to speak. Wow, it was really interesting in a way to read these books back to back. I would also like to note that I really liked the writing style. I could see all of his adventures taking place. There was just enough description to get a full picture of the Finch house and its colorful cast of characters.

Barrel Fever Interpretations

All the critics loved Barrel Fever except for one. I guess she didn't like his humor. Since this was one of his first pieces of published work, everyone said they have high hopes for him. They were right to think so. Many remarked that his later full length novels had problems and after reading this group of short stories, I agree. Sedaris is a short story writer.


I was on Oprah a while ago, talking about how I used to love too much. Did you see it? The other guests were men who continue to love too much. Those men were in a place I used to be, and I felt sorry for them. I was the guest who went from loving too much to being loved too much. Everybody loves me. I'm the most important person in the lives of almost everyone I know and a good number of people I've never even met. I don't say this casually; I'm just pointing out my qualification.

"Parade" in Barrel Fever by David Sedaris

Barrel Fever Review

I enjoyed Barrel Fever by David Sedaris. I love his humor and wit, but I must say that Me Talk Pretty One Day is my favorite. It is much lighter than these short stories and essays. I have heard some of the stories on NPR, and I think I prefer them spoken out loud, especially Season's Greetings to our Friends and Family!!! Overall, it was a good and enjoyable 200 pages of Sedaris and I am glad I had the chance to read it.

Lost List

Sorry for the slightly late post. I am having technical difficulties with my image hosting site. You will have to google "Sawyer reading" for your self!

Fan of Lost the television show? Well, I have a list for you! Here is a list of books seen or mentioned on the show! Enjoy!

1.1 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
1.2 After All These Years
1.3 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
1.4 Animal Farm
1.5 Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret
1.6 Bad Twin
1.7 Bluebeard
1.8 Book of Laws
1.9 Holy Bible, The
1.10 A Brief History of Time
1.11 The Brothers Karamazov
1.12 Caravan of Dreams
1.13 Carrie
1.14 Catch-22
1.15 A Christmas Carol
1.16 The Chosen
1.17 The Chronicles of Narnia
1.18 The Coalwood Way
1.19 Dark Horse
1.20 The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger
1.21 The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three
1.22 The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands
1.23 The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah
1.24 Dirty Work
1.25 The Epic of Gilgamesh
1.26 Everything That Rises Must Converge
1.27 Evil Under the Sun
1.28 Fahrenheit 451
1.29 Fear and Trembling
1.30 Flowers For Algernon
1.31 The Fountainhead
1.32 Grimm's Fairy Tales
1.33 Harry Potter
1.34 Haroun and the Sea of Stories
1.35 Heart of Darkness
1.36 High Hand
1.37 Holy Qur'an, The
1.38 Hotel
1.39 I Ching
1.40 The Invention of Morel
1.41 Ishmael
1.42 Island
1.43 Julius Caesar
1.44 Jurassic Park
1.45 Kings of Love
1.46 Lancelot
1.47 Langoliers
1.48 Laughter in the Dark
1.49 Left Behind
1.50 The Little Prince
1.51 Lord of the Flies
1.52 Memoirs of a Geisha
1.53 Moby Dick
1.54 The Moon Pool
1.55 Mysteries of the Ancient Americas: The New World before Columbus
1.56 The Mysterious Island
1.57 Notes from Underground
1.58 Oath, The
1.59 Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
1.60 The Odyssey
1.61 Of Mice and Men
1.62 On the Road
1.63 On Writing
1.64 Our Mutual Friend
1.65 O Pioneers!
1.66 The Outsiders
1.67 Pearl, The
1.68 Rainbow Six
1.69 Rick Romer's Vision Of Astrology
1.70 Roots
1.71 A Separate Reality
1.72 The Shape of Things to Come
1.73 The Sheltering Sky
1.74 The Shining
1.75 Slaughterhouse-Five
1.76 Stand, The
1.77 Stone Leopard, The
1.78 Stranger in a Strange Land
1.79 The Survivors of the Chancellor
1.80 A Tale of Two Cities
1.81 The Third Policeman
1.82 Through the Looking-Glass
1.83 To Kill a Mockingbird
1.84 The Turn of the Screw
1.85 Ulysses
1.86 Uncle Tom's Cabin
1.87 Valhalla Rising
1.88 VALIS
1.89 Watership Down
1.90 What Katy Did
1.91 The Wizard of Oz
1.92 A Wrinkle in Time

Freakonomics Interpretations

It appears that reviewers feel the same way I do about Levitt and Dubner's Freakonomics. There is a lot of interesting information but no real substance. It is fun but gives no suggestion to the audience about what should be done with the information.


Today is not the longest day of the year, but it may feel that way, due to very boring or otherwise painful circumstances.

Lemony Snicket 2005 Wall Calendar

I didn't write down any quotations from the book of the week, so I am posting this one to tide you over. :)

Freakonomics Review

I just finished reading Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, and I really enjoyed it. I liked the way the book played with stats to show all these interesting points like abortion can explain a drop in crime overall. It was very clever, but I do not know what to do with all of this information now. I feel like I left a very amusing lecture but now I have nothing to do with the information I found amusing. On a random note, I found it very pompous that he opened up each chapter with a congratulatory remark from the New York Times Magazine.

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

In honor of Banned Book Week, here are the top banned/challenged books from 2000 to 2009.

Italicized have been read by me.

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

On the Road Interpretations

After reading reviews of Jack Kerouac's On the Road, I have come to a better appreciation of the book. Everyone praises his new way of writing. The book was filled with these long, rambling sentences that created these beautiful scenes in my head. Apparently, he wrote the book in three weeks. This book is Kerouac's most famous and the pillar of the Beat Generation. The positive reviews add in all of this spiritual meaning and discovery in the book, because Kerouac kept going back and forth between physical adventure and spiritual discovery. I do appreciate the book a bit more since reading the reviews but I can't say it was my favorite book ever.


It was always mañana. For the next week that was all I heard -- mañana, a lovely word and one that probably means heaven.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac


I suddenly realized that Dean, by virtue of his enormous series of sins, was becoming the Idiot, the Imbecile, the Saint of the Lot.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac


A western kinsman of the sun, Dean. Although my aunt warned me that he would get me in trouble, I could hear a new call and see a new horizon, and believe it at my young age; and a little bit of trouble or even Dean's eventual rejection of me as a buddy, putting me down, as he would later, on starving sidewalks and sick beds -- what did it matter? I was a young writer and I wanted to take off.

Somewhere along the line I knew there'd be girls, liasons, everything; somewhere along the line the pearl would be handed to me.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Digging Life

"What are you going to do with yourself, Ed?" I asked.

"I don't know," he said. "I just go along. I dig life."

On the Road by Jack Kerouac


It was embarrassing. Every single one of us was blushing. This is the story of America. Everybody's doing what they think they're supposed to do.

One the Road by Jack Kerouac


And then we'll go off to sweet life, 'cause now is the time and we all know time!

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

On the Road Review

I am so glad I finished this book! I have always wanted to know what all the fuss was about, but it was really boring. Sal went from NY to LA then back to NY and then back to LA and then back to NY and then to Mexico and then back to NY. It was a nice drifter type story, but it wasn't as shocking or thought-provoking as I hoped. Maybe it takes more to shock people nowadays. It would be cool to travel across the US, but I would like health insurance and a little money in my pocket. I do envy the characters' ability to simply go with the flow all the time. It was nice to read about people so free. I guess I am a person who desires something to climax in a book whether it is plot or character driven and nothing of the sort really happens here. I guess that is the point but I would like more. I am glad I read it though because it is one of those defining books. It is the book to read of the Beat Generation. Now I know not to read any other Beat works. I felt the book was a diary and I could not emotionally connect with the characters. I was just reading a list of events in theirs lives and nothing more.

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