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M. B. Alcat "Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back" (Los Angeles, California)
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Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display
Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library", 11 Jun 2011
Jorge Luis Borges, one of my favorite Argentine writers, said a long time ago "I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library" ("Siempre imaginé que el Paraíso sería algún tipo de biblioteca"). Those words have always resonated strongly with me because I love books, and have always treasured the time spent reading them in libraries. I specially enjoy knowing that when you finish the book you are reading, you can always immediately grab another one from the pile waiting to be read. All options are open, and you can follow your whims.

I was somewhat startled when a friend pointed out to me that an e-reader allows you to do that, suggesting that I should try Amazon's Kindle.

I finally bought my Kindle last November, before going on a one-month backpacking trip to India that included quite a few long train rides. I discovered that this e-reader is very easy to set up and read, and that even technology dummies like me can buy ebooks without a hitch. My Kindle is also quite sturdy, something I accidentally discovered after sitting on it. What is more, its battery lasts a long time and charges quite quickly, and its weight is negligible even when you take into account the cover with inbuilt light that I purchased separately. Most importantly, I found out that I'm never bored when I have it on my hands.

Now, I carry my library wherever I go, and with it the almost limitless options that implies, without the physical weight of dragging hundreds of books with me. This little e-reader makes a huge difference for me, and that is the reason why I highly recommend Kindle to you. Try it :)


The September Issue [DVD] [2009]
The September Issue [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ R.J. Cutler
Price: 3.90

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommend, provided that you are at least remotely interested in the fashion world and the way it works..., 12 Nov 2009
"The September issue" (2009), directed by RJ Cutler, is a behind-the-scenes documentary about the production of the September 2007 Vogue issue. Of course, this documentary is also about Anna Wintour, the woman who has been Editor in Chief of American Vogue since 1988, and that is also rumored to have been the inspiration for the "boss from hell" in the film "The Devil wears Prada".

Cutler's crew was given ample access to Anna Wintour's meetings with her staff, and went with Anna to many activities that are part of her job, for example fashion shows and visits to fashion designers. The director was also granted final cut rights, and it is easy to see that in the result he achieved, this interesting and somewhat hard-edged documentary, where elegant clothing and caustic remarks are similarly pervasive.

"The September issue" provides the spectator with a glimpse into the hard and extremely competitive world of the fashion business, where only the fittest seem to survive and even photos of very beautiful women need to be digitally enhanced. This documentary also allows us to know a little more about Anna Wintour, probably one of the more influential women in that world, and someone who happens to be rather scary when she thinks that her staff's efforts are below the standards of excellence and innovation expected from them.

On the whole, I can say that I enjoyed watching "The September issue" and that I can recommend it to you, provided that you are at least remotely interested in the fashion world and the way it works.

Belen Alcat


Madam Secretary: A Memoir
Madam Secretary: A Memoir
by Madeleine Albright
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better late than never at all..., 6 Nov 2009
I bought "Madam Secretary" almost five years ago, and only read it recently, during my holidays. I now regret not having done so before, but then, it is always best to do something late than never at all.

Madeleine Albright, the first woman to become Secretary of State in the United States, shares with us the story of her life, and a look behind closed doors regarding events that we can already find in the pages of history books. In this book you will find the kind of details regarding her professional life that will allow you to understand things like the dynamics of high stakes negotiations, or the important role that humor plays when trying to avoid direct confrontation.

In her collaboration with Bill Woodward, Albright manages to engage the reader, and even make him laugh. Can you help but smile when you read that "The mood was good - deceptively so. The summit would rapidly deteriorate into an exercise similar to the herding of cats"? Or fail to appreciate Albright's self-deprecating humor when she said to the Security Council that action on an issue had to be delayed until she received orders from Washington, because "The issue will not be decided until the fat lady sings"?

On the whole, "Madam Secretary" is a book that I loved. In my opinion, it is a very good choice for people who like to read witty and well-written autobiographies, but a particularly special treat for those that are also interested or working in the field of International Relations. Highly recommended...

Belén Alcat


Blaze of Memory (Berkley Sensation)
Blaze of Memory (Berkley Sensation)
by Nalini Singh
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-worth waiting for!, 4 Nov 2009
Are you already a fan of Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series, like me? Provided that is the case, I'm sure that you have been eagerly waiting for "Blaze of Memory", book 7 in the series.

To avoid the suspense, let me tell you first that this book is well-worth the waiting period. As the other books that came before it, this is a well-written paranormal romance novel that combines action and interesting characters, fitting seamlessly with the rest of the series, and the original world that Nalini created. In this opportunity, the main character is Dev Santos, the Director of the Shine Foundation and a man whose main task is to protect the gifted children that some in the Psy Council seek to destroy. But what will he do when this need to protect clashes with his attraction to Katya, an amnesic Psy woman that might well be a covert assassin sent to kill him and his people?

If you don`t have the faintest idea what that very fast summary was about, you are new to the series. In that case, don`t worry, you can always catch up, but I suggest you to begin by reading the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, "Slave to sensation". I suppose you could read "Blaze of memory" as a standalone, but by doing so you won`t be able to appreciate the textured world Nalini Singh created, or understand so well dynamics that are explained in the part of the story arch covered in previous books.

On the whole, "Blaze of memory" is a great book in an excellent series that deserves to be read in order, so that you can fully enjoy it. Highly recommended...

Belen Alcat


Who Killed The Electric Car? [DVD] [2007]
Who Killed The Electric Car? [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Phyllis Diller

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A non-traditional whodunit and second chances..., 14 Aug 2009
"Who Killed the Electric Car?", directed by Chris Paine, is a documentary, but also a non-traditional whodunit. The victim, in this case, is the electric car, but also every person who was robbed of the possibility of contributing to a cleaner environment by owning a battery operated car. The culprits are many, and they include the oil industry, greedy car companies, the US government, the Californian government, regulatory agencies and even consumers drawn to flashier cars.

In order to understand what happened, Chris Paine follows the process that goes from the creation and limited production of a specific type of electric car, General Motors' EV1, to the sad and senseless destruction of every vehicle of that car model. He puts events into context, and interviews, among others, activists that tried to keep the EV1 alive, consumers that loved that model, and engineers and technicians that created the technology that made the EV1 possible.

After watching this documentary, you cannot help but realize that a big opportunity was squandered by those who were thinking short term. Thankfully, life always gives second chances. Let's do better.

Highly recommended!

Belen Alcat


The Weather Underground [DVD] [2003]
The Weather Underground [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Sam Green
Price: 10.31

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "When you feel you have right on your side, you can do some horrific things", 14 Aug 2009
This is an interesting and well-made documentary that tracks the evolution of "The Weather Underground", a late 60s and early 70s USA radical movement that used violent means in order to fight against a government its members didn t believe in.

According to some, their struggle was "like a children's crusade gone mad". I completely agree, but I think that the strongest point of this documentary is the way in which it highlights the reasons why an student living in that period might have felt attracted to the kind of distorted political activism that "The Weather Underground" proposed.

In that sense, this film includes not only footage from that epoch, providing a good historical context, but also more recent interviews with former members of this movement, that give their retrospective opinions on what happened. A few would do exactly the same thing again, while others regret their deeds, saying that their intentions were good but their means weren t. One of them sums things up in what I think should be the tagline of this documentary: "When you feel you have right on your side, you can do some horrific things".

Highly recommended....

Belen Alcat


Weather Underground [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Weather Underground [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Lili Taylor
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: 5.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "When you feel you have right on your side, you can do some horrific things", 14 Aug 2009
This is an interesting and well-made documentary that tracks the evolution of "The Weather Underground", a late 60s and early 70s USA radical movement that used violent means in order to fight against a government its members didn t believe in.

According to some, their struggle was "like a children's crusade gone mad". I completely agree, but I think that the strongest point of this documentary is the way in which it highlights the reasons why an student living in that period might have felt attracted to the kind of distorted political activism that "The Weather Underground" proposed.

In that sense, this film includes not only footage from that epoch, providing a good historical context, but also more recent interviews with former members of this movement, that give their retrospective opinions on what happened. A few would do exactly the same thing again, while others regret their deeds, saying that their intentions were good but their means weren t. One of them sums things up in what I think should be the tagline of this documentary: "When you feel you have right on your side, you can do some horrific things".

Highly recommended....

Belen Alcat


The Story of India with Michael Wood: Complete BBC Series [DVD]
The Story of India with Michael Wood: Complete BBC Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Wood
Price: 6.25

5.0 out of 5 stars "Identity is not static, always in the making and never made", 5 Aug 2009
"The story of India" is a BBC series that follows Michael Wood in his quest to understand that country. Wood is an excellent presenter who appreciates India's history and culture, and explains them to the viewer in a simple and engaging way.

According to Michael Wood, "Identity is not static, always in the making and never made". That is probably the reason why he highlights the importance of studying India's history in order to understand the country that India has become. That belief is reflected in the organization of this series, that has six episodes that tackle the story of India from its origins to nowadays. Their titles are: 1. Beginnings; 2. The power of ideas; 3. Spice Routes and Silk Roads; 4. Ages of Gold; 5. The Meeting of Two Oceans; 6. Freedom

All in all, I can say that "The story of India" is informative, but also entertaining and visually beautiful. From my point of view, watching it was both a learning experience and a treat to be enjoyed. Highly recommended...

Belen Alcat


Born And Bred [2007] [DVD]
Born And Bred [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Federicco Esquerro
Offered by DVD Vault UK
Price: 5.00

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The emotional journey of a man that no longer lives..., 3 Aug 2009
This review is from: Born And Bred [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
"Nacido y criado" ("Born and bred"), a film by Argentine director Pablo Trapero, shows us the dark emotional journey of a man, Santiago (Guillermo Pfening). Santiago survived a tragedy that shattered his life, but he is no longer the same. Santiago is a man that no longer lives: he merely exists.

The background of this story is the harshly beautiful Argentine Patagonia, Santiago's chosen refuge to run from what happened to him and the people he loved. But can he really escape from the guilt he carries inside? The answer to that question is the heart of this story.

Highly recommended...

Belen Alcat
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 23, 2009 5:48 PM BST


Angels' Blood (Berkley Sensation)
Angels' Blood (Berkley Sensation)
by Nalini Singh
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have a problem I can live with :), 4 Mar 2009
Nalini Singh is one of my favorite authors. I'm already addicted to her Psy-Changeling series, where she has managed to create a thoroughly original and engaging world, that develops more and more in each book.

When I learnt that she was going to write a new urban fantasy series, I couldn't help but think "Oh, no, Nalini will have less time to write the books I like!". All the same, I'm very curious, so I couldn't help buying and reading "Angels'Blood", the first novel in the Guild Hunter series.

Now, I have a problem: a new addiction that joins my previously existing ones to chocolate and Nalini's Psy-Changeling series. I simply loved "Angels'Blood", its characters, and the new world it introduces. The main character is Elena Deveraux, a plucky guild hunter that tracks down vampires that break their contracts with angels, the immortal beings that create them in exchange for a period of servitude. Elena is the best at her job, and due to that she attracts what might end up being the mortal attention of Raphael, probably the most dangerous and beautiful archangel in existence. Raphael demands Elena to do the unthinkable: track a rogue archangel. Elena cannot say no to that request (or rather order), that will involve working closely with Raphael, and bring unexpected developments.

On the whole, I can say that "Angels' Blood" is the beginning of a series totally different from the Psy-Changeling series, but, strangely enough, just as good. Highly recommended :)

Belen Alcat


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