Sunday, August 20, 2006


Book Meme - tagged by Suzanne and Lee (thanks for bringing me back to the blog after an absence... I'm currently rethinking the blog, maybe will start a new one).

One book that changed your life: Dictee, by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. It certainly changed the way I think about books, what a book can be. Beautiful, beautiful work. Even the movie camera written into the book is like a character, a lover's eye and heart. I read this book about two years ago and thought Where have you been all of my life? I think I will write a poem with this epigraph from p. 57: "They say you look other than you say. As if you didn't know who you were. You say who you are but you begin to doubt."

One book that you've read more than once: Asylum, by Quan Barry. I feel very close to many of the concerns raised in this book.

One book you'd want on a desert island: Swimming to Antartica: Tales of a Long Distance Swimmer by Lynne Cox. Haven’t read it, but it sounds like something that might come in handy.

One book that made you laugh: La Maravilla by Alfredo Vea Jr. (because so many little details remind me of family stories, from outhouse humor to relationship banter b/t the grandparents...though I want to say that the book as a whole is far from humorous).

One book that made you cry: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (when I was a child, of course, although I’d likely cry again. Haven't read it in a few decades).

One book that you wish had been written: Theresa Cha’s next book before she was murdered in her early 30’s.

One book that you wish had never been written: Generic U.S. history textbook by No People of Color. Well, it had to be written and served its purposes (both positive and negative), just wishing I had learned more about my peeps growing up in school. Or as I'm just learning (in Ernesto Chávez's book ¡Mi Raza Primero!) that the Brown Beret's included this concern in their Ten Point Program before I was born: "We demand that the true history of the Mexican American be taught in all schools in the five Southwestern States." This is still a concern in our communities today... that any significant amount of Chicana/o history is taught at all. They also requested an end to Urban "Renewal" Programs that destroy neighborhoods... another concern that remains and remains. I'm surprised that I write this as if surprised that these are still concerns.

One book you're currently reading: How Long She’ll Last in This World by María Meléndez. Some gorgeous word combinations, like "ageless azimuth." Didn't know 'azimuth' till I looked it up just now, but love it just as a word. I want to eat it. And these lines from "Why Can't We All Just Get Along?" especially the last two of this excerpt here, resonate.

"I'm not an angry person, really.
I've never yelled at the snow for
Or cursed a grasshopper
For disappearing into the weeds
When I wanted to catch it.

A river killed a man I loved,
And I love that river still."

One book you've been meaning to read: Hearts and Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times, by Luis J. Rodríguez. It should be coming in the mail soon. Looking forward to it.


Suzanne said...

Good stuff! Thanks for playing, Em.

Emmy said...

Thank you, Suzanne, for thinking of me. It's a good exercise and I enjoy reading others' lists very much.

Lee Herrick said...

yes...i love your list, emmy!

Eduardo C. Corral said...

Maria's book kicks ass. I've been re-reading it lately.

I hope you keep blogging.

robotmadder said...

Yes, the María Meléndez lines are wonderful.

Emmy said...

Thanks to all of you for reading the list. Yes, I'm finally getting a chance to read Maria's book and I love it so far. Gorgeous writing.

And thanks E. I hope to keep blogging as I enjoy it very much, just want to redo the concept now that I'm not in EPT for the academic year. I might take your example and just start anew like you did before.

Thanks again.