books and reading · culture/multiculturalism · Hispanics/Latinos · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · New York

Getting My Dominican On

I used my book allowance this week to buy myself some books that would help me get my Dominican on. I know what you’re thinking: Your what? And since when do you have a book allowance?

Your answers go something like this:

I’ve had a book allowance for a year now. Ever since my husband came home from school and discovered that I’d bought myself a shelf worth of writing books. In my defense, most of them were from Half.com but he wasn’t having that. Hubbie put his foot down. Food is more important than books he swears and so now I’m only allowed to buy $50 worth of books a month. I know, you’re choking on your pity. Go on. I’ll take in a sniffle. I do try to squeeze every little penny out of my allowance but my Amazon.com wish list is nearly ready to explode. Don’t even get me started on how well I’m doing actually reading all the books I buy.

Ah, getting my Dominican on means I’m trying to feed my multifaceted self with books on Latino topics. And we’ve grown up since “Dirty Girls on Top.” Now I’m reading books (er, scheduled to read books) on Dominican racial identity “Black Behind the Ears; Dominican Racial Identity from Museums to Barber Shops” and books on Latina-American identity “Hijas Americanas” and I even scored a book on Dominican cooking, “Traditional Dominican Cookery” with good ole Tia Clara. I even purchased “Twilight” in Spanish. It might take me a year to finish it with my trusty electronic translator but we’ve come a long way from Dr. Seuss.

Now, the Latina side of the bookcase is almost looking as fierce as the Jewish side. If only I could tear myself away from writing long enough to sit down and read all my new books. Did I mention that two Jewish books (“Seven Blessings” by Ruchama King and “Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe” by Lisa Alcalay Klug) and Harry Potter in Spanish are also waiting for me at the library? Oy vey, no wonder the lenses in my glasses are so thick.

And I’ve planned out some of my picks for next month, Paula Derrow’s sex anthology, “Behind the Bedroom Door: Getting It, Giving It, Loving It and Missing It” and a book on the Dominican diaspora, “A Tale of Two Cities: Santo Domingo and New York after 1950.” And I’ll be reading “Human Parts” by Orly Castel-Bloom and Liel Leibovitz’s book “Aliya” (on American immigration to Israel) for a writing class.

What are you reading?

9 thoughts on “Getting My Dominican On

  1. I actually read Dirty Girls Social Club – surpisingly not as light of a chick lit as I thought it would be!btw – this is my first time reading your blog and I love it!and can i say – that you actually look pretty jewish to me! if you wore a sheitel you’d look sephardi!

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  2. I’m reading “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”… for the first time! Loving it so far but I’m only 20-30 pages in.Plus all my books for school – Food science, chemistry, etc.I hated Cool Jew, and thought it was shlocky, corny, insulting of my intelligence and overly reliant on stereotypes. That said, it’s a good bathroom book to keep next to the toilet because it’s easy to read in short snippets. It has a few chuckles in it, too, to be sure. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it if you care to share. I loved Seven Blessings. I thought it was a very good book. In my house we are mildly obsessed with “frum chick lit” – Which is funny because I HATE regular chick lit. But I’ll read Tova Mirvis, Ruchama King, etc any day.

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  3. I’ve just started “the master and margarita” and let me tell you, it is awesome. Now I know where the rolling stones got the idea for “sympathy for the devil” from.

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