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...a sweatshop of moxie

Thursday, January 13, 2005


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One day, I will have an internet site which allows people to view what others from different countries are reading.

I can't believe there isn't a site like that already, not even in the haut-monde of French intelligentsia -- or New York, a close second. I'll add other touches, like top plays of the year, film as well, obviously, and "urban conversation" -- what townies are obsessing over in their (our) self-important worlds.

Until then, here is a list of books I am reading, and a sample of the Top Books around the world, in an on-going series I will call "Bluestocking". Please note, I am mostly a non-fiction reader, because I have to do something with that History B.A.:

My List of Best Books of 2004

  • 1) At the tomb of the inflatable pig : travels through Paraguay, Gimlette, John
  • 2) Snow, Pamuk, Orhan
  • 3) Spice : the history of a temptation, Turner, Jack
  • 4) Washington's crossing, Fischer, David Hackett
  • 5) Rats : observations on the history and habitat of the city's mostunwanted inhabitants, Sullivan, Robert
  • 6) 1912 : Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft & Debs-- the election that changedthe country, Chace, James
  • 7) Brazil red, Rufin, Jean-Christophe
  • 8) HIP : THE HISTORY, Leland, John
  • 9) The Italian boy : a tale of murder and body snatching in 1830sLondon, Wise, Sarah
  • 10) Soul made flesh : the discovery of the brain-- and how it changedthe world, Zimmer, Carl

NYT Best Seller List Non-Fiction

  • 1. AMERICA (THE BOOK), by Jon Stewart, Ben Karlin and David Javerbaum ¤
  • 2. CHRONICLES: VOLUME ONE, by Bob Dylan ¤
  • 5. EATS, SHOOTS & LEAVES, by Lynne Truss ¤

NYT Best Seller List Fiction

  • 1. THE DA VINCI CODE, by Dan Brown ¤
  • 2. STATE OF FEAR, by Michael Crichton
  • 4. LIFE EXPECTANCY, by Dean Koontz
  • 5. NIGHT FALL, by Nelson DeMille

(Read ¤)

Amazon Germany Top Sellers Combined

Amazon France Meilleurs Ventes Combined

Amazon Japan Top Sellers Combined

And from a fellow blogger , this Top 10 of all Time from Brazil.

  • 1) Crime e Castigo, Dostoiévski - 163 - Russo [Crime And Punishment]
  • 2) Cem Anos de Solidão, Garcia Marquez -147 - Espanhol [100 Years of Solitude]
  • 3) Dom Quixote, Cervantes - 120 - Espanhol
  • 4) O Processo, Kafka - 113 - Alemão [The Trial]
  • 5) Dom Casmurro, Machado de Assis - 98 - Português
  • 6) Hamlet, Shakespeare - 96 - Inglês
  • 7) O Senhor dos Anéis, Tolkien - 91 - Inglês [Lord of the Rings Trilogy]
  • 8) Grande Sertão: Veredas, Guimarães Rosa - 83 - Português
  • 9) Metamorfose, Kafka - 64 - Alemão [Metamorphosis]
  • 10) O Nome da Rosa, Eco - 50 - Italiano [Name of the Rose]

Someone said there are few pleasures as good as reading a book in bed with an apple. I agree. Only I'd substitute a cup of tea and make it a dark and blustery night.


  • I don't know if I'll be able to comment regularly here AND at talkingfootie.

    By Blogger Jim, at Thu Jan 13, 10:35:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Ahh, it's the Voix de CONCACAF himself! An honour, my friend.

    If you'll permit, I'm dubbing you Thread Moderator. Use your power wisely. Or face the wrath of Ian Motter!


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Jan 14, 02:38:00 pm GMT-5  

  • hey victoria, thanks for the link.

    those books were chosen over a month long vote by my dear readers. just a small correction: #8 is "Grande Sertão: Veredas." "Veredas" is the last word of the title. don't know if you've seen it, but I published the 30 most voted books. the others are here:

    All the best, Alex

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jan 14, 04:42:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Oi, Alex, tudo bom. Eu estava prontinha p'ra te escrever un email dizendo que eu tinha 'linked' seu blog ao meu, mais não tive tempo ontem afinal das contas.

    Ja ja, eu vou correger o titulo do livro e muito obrigada por ter percebido (eu imagino que você tem um metodo de ficar sabendo quem a feito um link a seu blog, não é?).

    E claro, eu tinha visto a lista completa dos 30 Melhores Livros de Todos Os Tempos -- como votados pelos habitués do _LiberalLibertarioLibertino_. Infelizmente, achei que ditar todos os 30 era demais para os propositos do meu blog, mais valeu!

    (Eu tambem fui a seu blog uns momentos atras, e fiquei lendo da vida e filosofia do senhor -- muito interesante viu, embora eu seja demais conservadora em muitos ramos da vida para mais do que um pulinho ao blog em vez em quando).

    Obrigada de novo, e abraços, Alex!

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Jan 14, 05:20:00 pm GMT-5  

  • and where did you learn your portuguese? :) very nice...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jan 14, 07:11:00 pm GMT-5  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Jan 14, 07:38:00 pm GMT-5  

  • [I erased a longish and convoluted story about how I learnt Portuguese. It bored even me. This is the precis]

    My father taught as a visiting professor of medicine in UFRJ. Though I was attending school in my country, I often visited my parents there during their sojourn, and it was there I learnt the Portuguese you saw above.

    I speak other languages too, but none captivates me like Portuguese. Well French is a close second.


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Jan 14, 07:41:00 pm GMT-5  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Sid, at Wed Jan 19, 07:31:00 pm GMT-5  

  • That's funny. The French captivate no one.

    Sid, 'that was awful - even for me'

    By Blogger Sid, at Wed Jan 19, 07:31:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Well, they had a nice run captivating in Vichy, Sid. ;)

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Jan 19, 08:50:00 pm GMT-5  

  • well, you've certainly picked a good portuguese in those sojourns... :) i don't really like french... I can read english, spanish and italian... would love to know russian and greek... :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jan 20, 11:34:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Thank you, Alex. :)

    I know the Cyrillic alphabet, but I can't say I speak Russian. As for Greek, same thing, but at least that I was taught at school for a year.

    Are Latin and Greek subjects taught in Brazil, or just at schools like São Bento or Escola Dom Pedro II (in Rio)?


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Jan 21, 07:20:00 pm GMT-5  

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