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Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Writer's Life 9/29 - Roller Coaster

Born in 1954, Sandra Cisneros has had a fine literary career, publishing at least 11 books in the novel, short story and poetry categories. I just finished The House on Mango Street, a series of vignettes about growing up poor in Chicago as told by girl of undefined age and of Mexican heritage. Since none of the characters carry the family name, I'll assume the work falls into the genre of creative non-fiction, a term I hate. Although some of the parts are interesting, I was disappointed with the whole. It seems more like an outline than a book. Its 110 pages read like half that. It's told in unpretentious prose, although there were a few instances where I did not understand what she was saying. Published in 1984, The House on Mango Street received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. A recent edition is doing very well, ranked 280th at Amazon overall at last check, number one among books by Hispanics. I'd guess it is widely used in public schools. 1173 users at Amazon have rated it, forging to a consensus of 3.6 of ten. I rate it 2.5.

There were three particularly interesting items in today's NY Post: Anyone suffering the pain of a kidney stone has new hope, a simple treatment. In a pilot study conducted by Michigan St. University, it was found that riding in the rear car of a roller coaster prompts passage. 64% of those tested were successful. Only 16% of those riding in the first car were... 600 more G.I.'s have been sent to Iraq, as an assault on Mosul, currently held by ISIS, is soon to begin... A researcher at Spain's University of Granada has found that humans, while still too often prone to violence, are less so than in the past. The kill rate is "only" 13 in 1000 deaths these days.

TV shows are strapped in terms of defining the nationality of terrorists these days. Maybe a ban on Muslims has quietly been imposed by creators. Last night's episode of Blindspot cited two men from Vieques, who were angry about the cancer their relatives developed as a result of the pollutants that came from the test bombings U.S. pilots used to do near that island off the coast of Puerto Rico. This once promising series has descended into the absurd... So far, Bull has been the only new entry I've watched - or tried to. It's appropriately named, more interested in political correctness than in good story-telling... There is great news for fans of The X-Files in the NYC area. Tonight My9 will begin broadcasting back to back episodes every Thursday in prime time. I especially look forward to the ones that deviated from the main arc, which I haven't seen since the show aired on Fox all those years ago.

My thanks to the kind folks who made this gloomy, blustery day bright by buying books. Mother Nature was kind, holding the rain in check.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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