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Looking for a good read ...

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  • jacqu1wh1te
    Hi all, I have just joined the list and not sure what the etiquette is by way of introducing oneself, but here goes ... I am an Australian, currently living in
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 29, 2005
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      Hi all,

      I have just joined the list and not sure what the etiquette is by
      way of introducing oneself, but here goes ... I am an Australian,
      currently living in London but moving to Costa Rica in September to
      work on a volunteer programme (that also covers Nicaragua) for a few
      months before wandering joyously aimlessly about the area for
      another few months. So stay tuned for a few thousand questions!

      So, my first one ... I am getting quite excited about the move and
      wondering if anyone could recommend any Costa Rican literature to
      get me in the mindset. Am really interested in anything set in
      Costa Rica (preferably by locals, but Western authors OK) and prefer
      either fiction or modern day biographies. Unfortunately my Spanish
      isn't quite there yet, so would also need to have an English
      translation.

      Any thoughts, comments suggestions more than welcome ...

      Cheers
      Jac
    • Fred Morgan
      Monkeys are Made of Chocolate by Jack Ewing The Ticos - (forgot or can t spell the authors) The Travel book by Harry Paiser is pretty interesting read in parts
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 29, 2005
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        Monkeys are Made of Chocolate by Jack Ewing
        The Ticos - (forgot or can't spell the authors)
        The Travel book by Harry Paiser is pretty interesting read in parts -
        and may give you some clues on different parts of the country.
        Martin Rice's book "At Home in Costa Rica" (I think I got the title right)
        I have some others but they are in Spanish - and very interesting.

        Before asking the thousands of questions - make sure to search the
        archives or an irritable moderator will get you. ;-) You will get much
        more complete answers by checking the archives and the bulletin board.
        When people repeat themselves, they tend to be terse, and sometimes a
        bit guff.
      • Robbie
        One book I like to recomend apart from The Ticos and the Costa Ricans which I feel are mandatory for anyone considering living here... There is a book
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 29, 2005
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          One book I like to recomend apart from "The Ticos" and "the Costa
          Ricans" which I feel are mandatory for anyone considering living here...

          There is a book called "The Laughing Falcon" written by William
          Devereaux or Deverell, I never can remember, it is a fiction based on a
          real story that took place in Costa Rica many years ago, takes place in
          and around Quepos, San Ysidro and the Savegre River. Has some great sub-
          plots and I highly recomend it for anyone who comes here and goes
          rafting on the Savegre.

          I think it is now out in paperback. The author lives in Quepos part of
          the year and knows the territory. It is kinda long, but a great read.

          Also, and this has nothing to do with Costa Rica, I just read a book
          called "Killing Pablo" about Pablo Escobar, the famous Columbian Drug
          Cartel guy. Gave me a whole new perspective on Columbia. The book is
          pretty old, but I enjoyed it.

          Right now, trying to improve my written Spanish I am reading 7th and
          8th grade high school textbooks! Not so interesting, although one is
          about poetry and has translations of a bunch of stuff from Edgar Allen
          Poe. Weird to read it in Spanish!
        • Mike Hilton
          Another great true storey is The Gringos Hawk. Cant recall the author but its about a yuppie from the 70 s who moved to the jungle south of Dominical. I
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 29, 2005
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            Another great true storey is The Gringos Hawk. Cant recall the author but
            its about a yuppie from the 70's who moved to the jungle south of Dominical.
            I believe the author still lives there.
          • Alajuelanorth
            Jac, No worries about etiquette here - it is hard to keep your feet clean in the rainy season so how do you exercise the finer points of social order with
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 29, 2005
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              Jac,
              No worries about etiquette here - it is hard to keep your feet clean
              in the rainy season so how do you exercise the finer points of
              social order with muddy feet anyway?

              On the subject of books with the word Costa Rica in them written or
              translated into English wrtitten by people who really enjoy the
              country or who have somehow contributed to the country it is an
              arduous search with meagre results.

              Those results can however be true jewels. The first that comes to
              mind is the Quetzal and the Macaw - the story of the work of Boza
              and Ugalde's efforts to establish and build the national park
              system. I think this is a must read for anyone really interested in
              the country. It highlights some true genius and shows the will of
              the people in a way that helps make sense of some of the things that
              Costa Ricans are famous for. It also contradicts some so called
              truisms about Costa Rica (such as "you can't change anything").

              A good introduction to some Costa Rican writing in the gringo
              language is "Costa Rica, A travellers Literary Companion" - a bunch
              of short stories including a beautiful tale concerning the old
              Alajuela hospital and one written by the current Pres, Pacheco. I
              wish there were more of this book or such short stories in English -
              anyone know of some?

              I liked "The Earth Dwellers" a book written from the perspective of
              ants and set in La Selva - you have gotta have an admiration for all
              things ant in this country which is officially run by ants not by
              the government at all.

              Recently I found "The Sparrow and the Hawk" which tells the tale of
              the balance of pwer between the US and Costa Rica and particularly
              focuses on the work of Figueres in setting up the current way of
              things in Costa Rica (papa not baby now sipping Perrier in
              Lucerne). A worthy read to understand how some things evolved from
              the early 1900's to today.

              I just found something called "A Cultural History of Latin America"
              but havent read it. There are lots of plant and animal books in
              english. Am looking for more?

              Some books are out of print - I can recommend:
              Bethel Bilezikian Charkoudian
              Bethel Charkoudian Books
              FreeGlobalBookSearch.com
              18 Maple Avenue
              Newton, MA 02458-1910
              1-617-965-5639
              fax 1-617-965-0268
              http://www.FreeGlobalBookSearch.com



              - she can find almost any book!
              Berni
            • Harry S. Pariser
              I have an (outdated) list of Costa Rican books at: http://www.savethemanatee.com/TravelSurvivalKits/costaricabooks/CRbookstore.shtml I would also recommend two
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 29, 2005
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                I have an (outdated) list of Costa Rican books at:

                http://www.savethemanatee.com/TravelSurvivalKits/costaricabooks/CRbookstore.shtml

                I would also recommend two out of print books: Tropical Nature by
                Adrian Forsyth and The Armies of the Ant by Charles L. Hogue.




                --
              • Fred Morgan
                Tropical Nature is a very interesting book - and it is available. Just search for it at Amazon. I was able to pick it up at Barnes and Noble about a year ago.
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 29, 2005
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                  Tropical Nature is a very interesting book - and it is available. Just
                  search for it at Amazon. I was able to pick it up at Barnes and Noble
                  about a year ago.
                • barrystevens2001
                  ... Suggest you might try and locate a copy of a DVD - The Blue Butterfly , a true story filmed in the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca area. It shows the
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jul 1, 2005
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                    --- In CostaRicaLiving@yahoogroups.com, "jacqu1wh1te"
                    <jacqui.white@e...> wrote:
                    > recommend any Costa Rican literature

                    Suggest you might try and locate a copy of a DVD - "The Blue
                    Butterfly", a true story filmed in the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
                    area. It shows the interaction of white and indigenous culture, and
                    the adventures of a young boy with an inoperable brain tumor who
                    comes to the jungle to realize his dream of finding a blue morphous
                    butterfly before he dies. He ends up being cured by a shaman.

                    Along the way, you get to see jungle, rivers, a Bribri village, many
                    critters, including some downright spectacular bugs, flowers... and
                    hear the jungle sounds, including a great sequence of a troop of
                    howler monkeys really howling.

                    We deal with Bribri Indians every day. I wanted to see how authentic
                    this movie was, so we showed it to a lunchtime crowd of about 60 of
                    them at lunch one Saturday. They said it was very authentic - only
                    pointed out the music as being a bit overdone, but with authentic
                    flute pieces.

                    Some of those who saw the movie pointed out that the shaman himself
                    was in it, and that they knew him personally.

                    My wife and I operate El Puente - The Bridge, a non-profit that
                    provides educational assistance, food assistance, and microloans to
                    indigenous people in the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca area, You can see
                    what we're up to by visiting http://www.elpuente-thebridge.org

                    Barry Stevens
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