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Month in review

Academic Discourse at Havana by Wallace Stevens
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
Arabella by Georgette Heyer
The Big Pony Race by Erica David
Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold
Bye-Bye, Big Bad Bullybug by Ed Emberley
Camp Buccaneer by Pam Smallcomb
Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks
Child of the Owl by Lawrence Yep
Creole Ladies, Marti the Smuggler, Bullfighting by Maturin M. Ballou
Cuban Sketches (excerpt) by James Steele
Dancing Above the Waves by Susan Walerstein
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
Evergreen by Belva Plain
Enfant Terrible by Scott Dalrymple
Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor
Flight of the Goose by Lesley Thomas
The Frog Prints by B. L. Harwick
Fullbrim's Finding by Matthew Hughes
A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis
Havana Letter by William Cullen Bryant
If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff
King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard
LoveHampton by Sherri Rifkin
Marlin off the Morro by Ernest Hemingway
The Minister's Wooing by Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
My Pet Virus by Shawn Decker
Nana Volume 1 by Ai Yazawa
Native Tongue by Carl Hiaasen
The Penthouse Mystery by Ellery Queen
Reader's Guide by Lisa Goldstein
Red as Blood by Tanith Lee
The Roberts by Michael Blumlein
The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
Sea Gift by John Ashby
Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott
Singing to Cuba (excerpt) by Margarita Engle
Spiders and Scorpions: A Look Inside Series by P. D. Hillyard
Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself by Alan Alda
Unholy Domain by Dan Ronco
Virus Games by G. L. Sheerin
Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson

Miscellaneous:
Good Thing We Didn't Have Any Plans

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Singing to Cuba (excerpt)

HavanaSinging to Cuba (excerpt): 07/09/08

The next piece in Havana is an excerpt from the 1993 novel Singing to Cuba by Margarita Engle. The story is based on the author's own trip back to Cuba after years of trying to get permission to visit.

This excerpt follows the dark tone of "Cuban Sketches." Clearly this book seems aimed at ending on a critical note. The unnamed protagonist who is a stand-in for the author, is dismayed at how much things have decayed since the revolution. There is also discussion on the lack of choice: cheap state-run beer and plenty of ice cream but no regular sources of food. There are no supplies for repairing homes so the paint and plaster is peeling.

For many characters in the story the only way out is suicide and it is the talk of death that ends the excerpt. What this sudden change in the book's tone shows is just how volatile a subject Cuba still in here in the States. I wish though that the book had some discussion about the reasons behind the pieces chosen.

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