Stitches, a memoir in graphic novel


David Small presents Stitches, a memoir at Librería Moebius Bookstore on Wednesday the 15th of February 2017, at 6pm. Free entrance.


stitches-portadaOpen Stitches and meet David, a 6-years-old kid from Detroit, born in a rather non loquacious family. Mother is a cold and distant house wife and Father spends his time hitting a punching ball in the house basement when back from work. At home the atmosphere is unwieldly, described in this black and white graphic novel’s first chapter thanks to silent sequences only punctuated by sounds: Mother coughs and slams doors, Father hits the punching ball, Brother plays the drum…

This general lack of communication brings little David to communicate his own way: “wordlessly… getting sick, that was [his] language”. His sinuses and digestive system problems are taken care of by his father, who is a radiologist, and prescribes many X-Rays sessions. A cure which will only makes things worse…  At age 14, after a surgery to extract a cancer out of his throat, David loses his voice.

stitchesmumStitches is a memoir. His author is David Small, a successful illustrator for children literature who has been traveling to San Miguel for the last 20 years. Stitches is his first graphic novel. Published in 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company, the book is Winner of the American Library Association’s Alex Award, a National Book Award Finalist and NYTimes Bestseller.

miradasThe praise for Stitches is tremendous: Roz Chast has put Stitches into her favorite books list and Stan Lee’s opinion on David Small’s book is that “it has elevated the art of the graphic novel and brought it to new creative heights”.

Robert Crumb resumes it: “David Small evokes the mad scientific world of the 1950s beautifully, a time when everyone believed that science could fix everything. Small is an innocent lamb, a sensitive boy, caught in a nightmare situation.” Indeed Stitches is the portrait of a time and place: USA in the 50’s is described as an unsensitive, cruel, crushing society. David’s adolescence is a painful discovery of his own position as a victim; his intents of rebellion, shut down by his inability to talk loud, lay frustrated into fantastic dreams: page 196 of the soft cover edition a miserable bat under the rain mistakes a raggedy umbrella for his mother: poignant!

David Small’s mastering of sequences is outstanding! Follow the glances of young David on his environment and feel, from case to case, the stifle fury of this young man who will hopefully find refuge in the office of a psychoanalyst pictured as a rabbit! Yes, Stitches is the story of a healing scar and the reader can’t stop thinking of the act of surrender engaged by the author. But this graphic novel is also a masterpiece in story-telling: open Stitches and hold you breath, feel the gloom; turn the pages: get angry, consider the human misery; turn more pages: hope and cry with young David; finish this book and trust mankind again because of its hability to share, like David Small does with such a great talent, even the deepest pain.

rabbit


More about David Small: http://www.davidsmallbooks.com/


 

 

El Asesino Obediente, Ramón Mercader y la muerte de Trotsky

 


John P. Davidson presenta su libro “El Asesino Obediente” en la Sala Literaria de Bellas Artes San Miguel de Allende, en colaboración con Librería Moebius Books, el miércoles 24 de agosto a las 7pm. Presentación biligüe, entrada libre.

"El Asesino Obediente", John P. Davidson.

“El Asesino Obediente”, John P. Davidson. Plaza Janés, 2016.

La historia de un hombre con una sola misión: asesinar a León Trotsky.

A punto de cumplirse 76 años del asesinato de León Trotsky llega El asesino obediente, un oscuro y cautivante thriller político construido sobre una base de hechos históricos.

Una historia que retrata el momento de la caída de un hombre torturado por su educación y la muerte de otro que cambió el rumbo de la historia.

John P. Davidson hace una revisión de la vida de Ramón Mercader, el nacionalista español educado para asesinar a León Trotsky. El gran conflicto interior de Mercader despierta a raíz de una pasión que no tenía que haberse cruzado en su camino: una mujer judía llamada Sylvia, a la que él está obligado a seducir para poder acercarse a Trotsky. Pero la vida le juega mal y él termina seducido por los encantos de ella. Es en ese momento cuando todo el entrenamiento recibido por su madre se va desintegrando. Seguimos entonces a Ramón por España, Francia, Bélgica, para llegar finalmente a México, una de las ciudades más vibrantes y hermosas del mundo, un poderoso imán para artistas, aunque también para espías y refugiados. Así es como se hace amigo de Frida Kahlo y Diego Rivera, mismos que habían dado refugio a Trotsky.

A través de la educación política de Ramón Mercader, la novela transmite el drama y el significado de los eventos en el mundo y el peligro de creer en la propaganda. Hoy, cuando el mundo se desgarra por los extremismos políticos, el fascismo está en aumento, e incontables desplazados deambulan por la Tierra, la historia de Ramón Mercader y León Trotsky es más relevante que nunca.

 

Mexico City Streets, a guide to the Mexico City neighborhood La Roma


Author Lydia Carey will present her book Mexico City Streets La Roma at Librería Moebius Books on Saturday the 20th of August at 6pm. Free entrance.

Mexico City Street La Roma, by Lydia Carey, 260 pages, 2016. Bilingual Edition/Edición Bilingue

Mexico City Street La Roma, by Lydia Carey, 260 pages, 2016. Bilingual Edition/Edición Bilingue

Do you know La Roma, this elegant and full-of-life central neighborhood of Mexico City or CDMX (the new denomination to Mexico DF)? You might have walked on the beautiful planted with trees Street of Orizaba or sat down on a bench on majestic Parque México. Maybe you have already visited one of the cutting-edge art galleries of the area (OMR, Arroniz, Toca…) and had lunch at fancy restaurant Delirio owned by chef Monica Patiño at the corner of Monterrey and Alvaro Obregon. But do you really know La Roma? Do you know La Roma had been developed by an English circus owner who built the colonias Roma and Condesa at the beginning of the 20th century? Do you know La Roma had been strongly hit by the earthquake of 1985? Have you ever wanted to know how to use the Ecobici (the city’s bike-sharing program), or where to find the best 80’s-like nightclub in town? All of that and much more is to be found in “Mexico City Streets La Roma” guide, written by Lydia Carey.

Carey is a former San Miguel resident. But the appeal of the great city made her move to barrio La Roma 4 years ago. “I have fallen dangerously in love with the motion, radiance and utter chaos that is this place where I live. The city is a bubbling stew of stories and I am determined to taste them all”, she says. Since Lydia is a writer (her work has been published in The Latin Kitchen, LuxuryLatinAmerica, The Expeditioner and The News among others) she soon began to write about her new home town in a blog: www.MexicoCityStreets.com. Her guidebook to La Roma has been released a few months ago. It is a comprehensive, nicely illustrated bilingual publication where she gives the curious reader all the clues to understand the neighborhood. With its useful maps and tips, Mexico City Streets La Roma allows you to know the best and the hidden of this part of the city.

Mala of Love, 108 Luminous Poems


Ravi Nathwani will present his book Mala of Love, 108 Luminous Poems at Libros Moebius Books on Friday the 26th of August 2016, at 6.30pm. Free entrance.

Portada_MalaOfLove

Mala of Love, 108 Luminous Poems, edited by Ravi Nathwani & Kate Vogt, New World Library, 156 pages, 2016 (1st edition).

Is there a love beyond sentiment and the trappings of romance? A feeling that doesn’t get its power from the back and forth of longing and denial, oneness and otherness, bliss and the blues? If so, can words capture it? The search for such words led editors Nathwani and Vogt through hundreds of diverse voices. They sought original writings or first translations and ultimately assembled a tribute to the love that is spiritual and corporeal, beyond words and begging to be described, and simultaneously directed at a beloved and at the very idea of love. Superbly researched, collected, and arranged, this is a gift to anyone loved, anyone who loves to read, and to the lover within us all.

Gaias’ Garden, a guide to home-scale permaculture

Gaia’s Garden, A guide to Home-scale Permacuture, by Toby Hemenway, Chelsea Green Publishing.

Gaia


Working with Nature, not against her, results in more beautiful, abundant, and forgiving gardens. This extensively revised and expanded second edition broadens the reach and depth of the permaculture approach for urban and suburban growers.
Many people mistakenly think that ecological gardening—which involves growing a wide range of edible and other useful plants—can take place only on a large, multiacre scale. As Hemenway demonstrates, it’s fun and easy to create a “backyard ecosystem” by assembling communities of plants that can work cooperatively and perform a variety of functions, including:
  • Building and maintaining soil fertility and structure
  • Catching and conserving water in the landscape
  • Providing habitat for beneficial insects, birds, and animals
  • Growing an edible “forest” that yields seasonal fruits, nuts, and other foods
This revised and updated edition also features a new chapter on urban permaculture, designed especially for people in cities and suburbs who have very limited growing space. Whatever size yard or garden you have to work with, you can apply basic permaculture principles to make it more diverse, more natural, more productive, and more beautiful. Best of all, once it’s established, an ecological garden will reduce or eliminate most of the backbreaking work that’s needed to maintain the typical lawn and garden.
> About the author:
Toby Hemenway is the author of the first major North American book on permaculture, Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture. After obtaining a degree in biology from Tufts University, Toby worked for many years as a researcher in genetics and immunology, first in academic laboratories at Harvard and the University of Washington in Seattle, and then at Immunex, a major medical biotech company. At about the time he was growing dissatisfied with the direction biotechnology was taking, he discovered permaculture, a design approach based on ecological principles that creates sustainable landscapes, homes, and workplaces. A career change followed, and Toby and his wife spent ten years creating a rural permaculture site in southern Oregon. He was associate editor of Permaculture Activist, a journal of ecological design and sustainable culture, from 1999 to 2004. He teaches permaculture and consults and lectures on ecological design throughout the country. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Whole Earth Review, Natural Home, and Kitchen Gardener. He is available for workshops, lectures, and consulting in ecological design.

Rainwater harvesting for Drylands and Beyond: turn water scarcity into water abundance!

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and beyond

Volume 1, Guiding principles to welcome rain in you life and lanscape.

Volume 2, Water-Harvesting Eathworks.

by Brad Lancaster, Rainsource Press

Volume 1 Cover 1-13-13.indd Rainwater Vol 2 Cover revised 1-26-13.indd


Turn water scarcity into water abundance! These books show you how to conceptualize, design, and implement sustainable water-, sun-, wind-, and shade-harvesting systems for your home, landscape, and community. They enable you to access your on-site resources (rainwater, greywater, topsoil, sun, plants, and more), give you a diverse array of strategies to maximize their potential, and empower you with guiding principles to create an integrated, multi-functional resource-harvesting and -enhancing landscape plan specific to your site and needs. These books will help bring your site to life, reduce your cost of living, endow yourself and your community with skills of self-reliance and cooperation, generate renewable on-site power, and create living air conditioners of vegetation that grow beauty, food, flood-control, and wildlife habitat. Stories of people who are successfully welcoming rain into their life and landscape will invite you to do the same!

El Manual del Arquitecto Descalzo, una referencia en bio construcción


Peter van Lengen presenta el libro El Manual del arquitecto descalzo en la Librería Moebius Books, el 8 de abril 2016, a las 6pm. Entrada gratuita.

Manual del arquitecto descalzo, Johan van Lengen, Editorial Pax México, Edición 2011, 710 páginas.

Arqui

Desde su primera publicación el Manual del arquitecto descalzo ha sido una referencia para quien se dedica a la bio construcción. Con todo, este libro no se dirige exclusivamente a los profesionales: el Manual es una herramienta para la autoconstrucción.  El autor comenta: “Escribí el Manual, porque trabajaba con gente que vivía en chabolas, a las que les explicaba formas de reconstruir sus casas, purificar y reconducir el agua… Muchas veces les dejaba unos simples dibujos, así que, estando en México, pensé que sería mejor hacer un libro”. Johan Van Lengen, originario de Holanda, dejó en los años setenta una carrera exitosa como arquitecto en California, para dedicarse a la búsqueda de mejoras en casas populares. Bajo esta condición, trabajó para varias agencias gubernamentales, entra ellas las Naciones Unidas, especialmente en América Latina.
Johan van Lengen, autor del Manual del arquitecto Descalzo

Johan van Lengen, autor del Manual del arquitecto Descalzo

Este manual fue hecho para desarrollar la confianza de aquellos que tienen el sueño de construir y desean comprender la relación entre la vivienda y su entorno, sus límites y sus posibilidades. Es por ello que el autor distingue 3 entornos diferentes: zona templada, trópico húmedo, y trópico seco (como el de  San Miguel de Allende). A cada entorno corresponde técnicas apropiadas en diseño y materiales. El manual permite también entender en detalle las problemáticas de energía, gestión de agua y de desechos en la vivienda. A partir de dibujos claros y textos prácticos, el lector del manual podrá por ejemplo aprender a construir una bóveda, diseñar el mejor sistema de aeración en una casa, fabricar una estufa de barro o un molino.
En 1987, Rose y Johan van Lengen fundaron en Brasil el centro de práctica e investigación en tecnología intuitiva y bio arquitectura Tiba. El centro recibe aprendices del mundo entero, deseosos de aplicar los preceptos del arquitecto descalzo. El equipo de especialistas de Tiba ofrece talleres en temas relacionados a la vivienda y la ecología: curso de techo verde, permacultura, construcción en bambú o saneamiento ecológico… la oferta es amplia y se puede consultar en el sitio internet de Tiba (http://www.tibarose.com/).
Reunir arquitectura, ecología y compromiso social es la meta de la práctica de Johan Van Lengen. Hoy en día su hijo Peter van Lengen está a cargo de los grandes proyectos arquitectónicos de Tiba. En México, Tiba lleva a cabo la construcción del magno centro cultural Imagina, enteramente elaborado a partir de las técnicas del arquitecto descalzo, en una zona marginada de León, Gto.
Tabiques de adobe en Tiba, Brasil.

Tabiques de adobe en Tiba, Brasil.

 

A selection of comic books to better understand the Arab World

Since the 1990’s, many comic books have been published and are likely to be displayed in the non fiction section of bookstores and libraries.  There are biographies, travel logs, chronicles and documentaries, told in this very specific language of comic books.

arabe
Drawing in sequence with the alternation of texts in balloons (giving direct voice to many different characters) and in captions (offering space to the narrator), provide the story-telling with a greater impact. Many authors have now chosen this genre to vividly tell their own experiences or observations. During the past decade, titles dealing with the Arab World have been released: through them we can understand more of these countries, their culture and their geopolitical issues. In these very interesting works, generally told by a first-person narrator, the point of view is not objective or impartial. There are stories told from the inside by artists who have experienced those times and places.

Iran

Persepolis01
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, might be the best-known title on this list, since it has been adapted to movie-screen. Satrapi draws and recounts her childhood in Teheran in the 70’s, when the Islamic Revolution overthrown the Shah. The author’s family, opposed to the Revolution, had to suffer the repression of the regime. Told from the experiences of a child and drawn with a naïve black and white line,  this book is tender, humorous and very illuminating.
Persepolis-books1and2-covers
Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi, Pantheon, 2004

Afghanistan

photographer
In The Photographer, Lefèvre chronicles his travels through the mountains of Afghanistan during the war against communist Russia, when he was commissioned by NGO Doctors without Borders to follow a medical team in mission to settle a hospital in an isolated region. This book is a great homage to the outstanding commitment of Doctors without borders, and a sensible look at civilians in war.
Photographer_COVER_300rgb
The Photographer: Into War-torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders, Lefèvre, First Second, 2009

Palestine

joe-sacco-palestine
Joe Sacco spent 3 months in occupied Gaza and Ramallah in the 90’s. He gives voice to the Palestinians, trapped in the muddy streets of refugee camps, recounting torture, massacres and arbitrary imprisonments. The author of Palestine never forgets to put the testimonies he reports under the light of local and international geopolitics. A must-read to understand the Israel Palestine conflict!
palestine cover
Palestine, Joe Sacco, Fantagraphics, 2001

Syria

the-arab-of-the-future-12
The father of author Riad Sattouf (French mother and Syrian father) seems to incarnate the role of the Arab of the future: highly educated in French universities, he decides to take his wife and 5-years-old child to Kadhafi’s Libya in the 80’s to see the leader’s pan-Arabic project of the leader come true. The author’s sarcastic tone reveals the struggles of a country on its way to development, and their citizens’ dream to take over. With the recent events in Libya in mind and the fall of “the Guide” at the hands of the West, this memoir of an extraordinary childhood leaves the reader with a bitter taste: Occident and the Arab world are not likely to understand each other. Let’s hope Sattouf’s book can help build a bridge between differences.
Arabe01
The Arab of the Future, Riad Sattouf, Metropolitan Books, 2015

Mala of the Heart, 108 sacred poems

MalaOfThe HeartcHCOMala of the Heart is an inspirational convergence of great saints, prophets, and poets who have walked the earth before us. This beautifully edited book contains 108 poems, as the 108 prayer beads of the mala used by the Buddhists to connect the body with the sacred. Similarly to prayers, poetry written by saints and mystics consoles the heart. “When we read or listen poetry of the spirit, we come to see with a certain clarity the one thing that has always been facing us, yet seems invisible to us”, says the editor in his introduction to the book.

 

Look
what happens to the scale
when love
holds
it.
It
stops
working.
Kabir (India)
Who are the poets who have delivered those messages? A very interesting appendix at the end of the book gives the reader historical clues on them: the voices of St. Catherine of Siena (Italy), Rumi (Persia), Meister Eckhart (Germany), Mukta Bai (India) or Uvavnuk (Inuit Nation) are gathered here.
The editor of the book, Ravi Nathwani, will present the book at Moebius Books the 5th of January at 6pm. He will tell us more about the birth of this book, and share his knowledge of the selected poets. Ravi will also read some of the poems and give us clues about his spiritual practice based on those words of wisdom. Mr. Nathwani was born in East Africa and raised in the Vaishnav Hindu tradition. He has become a messenger of Vedic studies through his lectures and workshops. Since 1998, Ravi has been teaching at Tufts University. He also teaches Wisdom Yoga and Buddhist meditation at JFK University in California. Ravi leads satsangs and meditation groups and teaches the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Bhagavad Gita in Yoga teacher trainings.
This book presentation will be a great opportunity to discover the beautiful poems of wise men and women, as well as Ravi Nathwani’s philosophical message.
I am looking for a poem that says Everything
so I don’t have to write
anymore.
Tukaram (India)

 


Mala of the heart, 108 sacred poems: a book presentation by editor Ravi Nathwani

Tuesday 5 of January, 6pm

Moebius Books

Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 20, San Miguel de Allende, Centro.

Libros sin palabra: gran literatura!

 webBarbrawebbarbaro2
Bárbaro, Renato Moriconi

Dentro del género de los álbumes para niños (aquellos libros donde la imagen toma tanto o más espacio que el texto), existe un subgénero donde desaparece completamente la palabra. El hilo narrativo se teje con las solas ilustraciones.

Página tras página los acontecimientos ocurren, los protagonistas evolucionan y los nudos narrativos se hacen y deshacen gracias a la única secuencia lógica de imágenes. Las ilustraciones son generosas, tomando todo el espacio en la página y el recurso narrativo apela a la inteligencia del lector quien se regocija de ir entiendo este lenguaje tan ahorrativo y a la vez tan ingenioso. Las historias pueden en algunos casos llegar a cierta complejidad y es importante no confundirse: “sin palabra” no significa necesariamente “para bebés”. Estos títulos fomentan la imaginación del lector, así como su capacidad a entender secuencias.

¡No hay nada como compartir con un niño la lectura de uno de estos títulos! En total silencio o con gran refuerzo de explicaciones verbales, el cuento siempre acaba de la misma forma: ¡leámoslo otra vez!

Aquí una selección de algunos excelentes cuentos sin palabras:


Flotante, David Wiesner, Océano Travesía
Flotante; David Wiesner; ebook
Una ola deposita una vieja cámara submarina en los pies de un niño que curiosea en la playa. Las fotografías que revela son asombrosas, y la última muestra a una muchacha, sosteniendo la foto de un muchacho… Así sucesivamente, descubre una cadena de niños que, a través del tiempo, han tenido la cámara en sus manos. Un libro para lectores ya grandes, a partir de 7 años.

Bárbaro, Renato Moriconi, Fondo de Cultura Económica
Barbaro
Confiando en su fortaleza, un guerrero cabalga sobre su caballo y en su travesía se enfrenta valientemente a accidentes geográficos, vicisitudes del clima, temibles guerreros, serpientes venenosas, cíclopes furiosos, criaturas aladas, dragones y hasta a la furia de los dioses; sin embargo, ¿tendrá la audacia para derribar a su último contrincante? !Una gran obra de literatura! Y con mucho sentido del humor.

Jacinto y María José, Dipacho, Fondo de Cultura Económica
WebJacinto
Sin palabras, con una plástica realista pero a la vez poética, Jacinto y María José es una sencilla historia sobre dos niños que se gustan en una región selvática. En sus páginas, un candor cercano a la magia emerge de las ilustraciones y evoca los óleos de Henri Rousseau. La atmósfera de encantamiento que recorre esta obra invita a una observación detallada para mayor deleite del lector.

La Sorpresa, Sylvia van Ommen, Fondo de Cultura Económica
WebSorpresa
Una silenciosa ovejita cubierta de esponjada lana decide trasquilarse después de medirse y teñirse. Lleva la lana a hilar, se pone a tejer, envuelve su creación en un paquete y lo lleva, generosa, como regalo sorpresa.

Sr. Minino, David Wiesner, Oceano Travesía
Senor Minino; David Wiesner;
El nuevo libro de Wiesner nos presenta al Sr. Minino, un elegante felino blanco y negro al que no parecen interesarle los típicos juguetes para gatos: los ratones de peluche, los cascabeles o los gallitos de badmington. ¡Qué aburrido!. ¡Qué convencional! Pero entonces descubre una pequeña esfera de metal con patas. ¿Qué es eso? El gato no imagina que se encuentra ante una diminuta nave espacial en cuyo interior hay varios extraterrestres verdes. Entonces, el señor Minino hace lo que todo gato haría con algo nuevo y desconocido: se pone a jugar con la esfera sin tener idea de las consecuencias.