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dirac

Operation Dulcinea

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Hugo Chávez of Venezuela is starting up a kind of Venezuelan National Book Club by giving away thousands of copies of “Don Quixote.” Next up: “Les Misérables.” From The Christian Science Monitor:

Nobel laureate José Saramago of Portugal, in a special introduction to the edition, stresses this theme of betterment and equality, writing that "curiosity moved Alonso Quijano [the ordinary man who later transforms himself into Don Quixote] to read, reading led him to imagine, and now, free of the ties of habit and routine, he is able to travel the roads of all the world."

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0525/p01s03-woam.html

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Ugh. I much prefer the ballet. That Cervantes book is one I am happy to never pick up again. I have often hoped its brilliance lies in its original Spanish because I was truly bored by "Don Quixote." Now, "Les Miserables" is an entirely different affair. Just re-read it and loved it even more.

But it's wonderful to see people, out of school, picking up books and reading just for pleasure and discussion. I think Oprah has done an enormous service to our country by transforming us into a reading public and so I salute :) anyone anywhere else who is able to mobilize others to read.

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Chicago has a "One City, One Book" program (or maybe it's the other way round? One Book, One City?) At any rate .... the idea is to get the whole community reading and talking about one particular book. Libraries lay in extra copies and often sponsor book groups. Of course, no one I know has actually taken part in this ...

I'm sure you want to know what books are chosen. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is the one I remember, but there have been others.

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