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Havana Real: 02/04/12
Havana Real by Yoani Sanchez is a collection of her posts from Generation Y, a blog she maintains through the help of friends in Spain. Cuba is none to keen on allowing internet access, especially blog access, so maintaining a blog under these conditions takes a certain amount of creativity and a hell of a lot of gumption.
The Melville House book presents Sanchez's blog posts in chronological order and they are left to stand for themselves. Sanchez outlines how things work, or more often than not, don't work in her neighborhood, and in Cuba as a whole. There are a number of entries devoted to keeping the apartment building working, including the cranky elevator which hasn't seen proper maintenance in years. There are some universal posts about being a parent.
What's missing, though, is editorial comment. The blog is well written but it is still a blog. Printing a blog in book format doesn't automatically make it a book. Some extra commentary to bring in the big picture, either as side bars or footnotes, would have make this an extraordinary book. As it stands, it's a collection of blog posts made under usual circumstances, that taken out of that context, read not all that different from any other blog.
Read via NetGalley