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Thursday, July 24 2014 @ 06:58 PM EDT

Panama-Guide Top Level Category - Books and Reading Materials

Many of the English speaking expatriates moving to Panama require a steady supply of books and reading material. Slowly but surely supply is rising to meet the demand. There are a few places in Panama City that carry English language books and they are all making efforts to improve their stock of English language materials. The book exchange at the Expat Center is growing rapidly and becoming very popular and is effectively turning into an ad-hoc library for the community. Articles in this category are related to books and reading materials, how to obtain books while living in the Republic of Panama, recommendations, reviews, etc. Articles are added to with the most recent information on top, and older articles get pushed toward down as new material is added. If you require additional information about this or any other category of information regarding the Republic of Panama please take advantage of our powerful in-house search engine. And if you still can't find what you're looking for we even take requests! Welcome aboard, and please remember to tell your friends about Panama-Guide.com, the #1 English Language Website about the Republic of Panama. Salud.
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Book Fair This Weekend At ATLAPA

Books & ReadingUnder the motto 'A wonderful world', today inaugurated the Eighth International Book Fair of Panama, to be held at the ATLAPA Convention Center until Sunday, 26 August 2012. The organizer reported that two weeks ago the 7,000 square meters of the fair exhibition space was 'formally exhausted' (sold out).

This year the Panamanian Chamber of Books designated France as the guest nation, so during the fair activities there will be a virtual exhibition of the Louvre museum in Paris.

The children's pavilion was inspired by the greatest writers of all time, Julio Verne and Antoine de Saint Exúpery.

'The greatest French writer alive' - Tomorrow, at 3:00 p. m., in the Chaquira room of the ATLAPA convention center, as part of the fair's cultural program, they will examine the work of Jean Gustave Le Clézio, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2008.

This tireless traveler, considered to be "the greatest French writer alive," lived for four years with the Embera-Wounaan and other cultures in many parts of the world, which has allowed him to bring his adventurous spirit to his work. (Siglo)

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Hummingbirds Don't Fly In The Rain - A Book By Kimberly Klein

Books & Reading By Kimberly Klein - SOMETIMES LIFE SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE… Kim Klein had it all – more money than most people dream of, a man of distinction, a mansion befitting such a couple, and Talia, their lovely and talented daughter. Okay, so the marriage had soured, and her now ex-husband wasn’t all she’d thought him to be. Still, they’d had a child together and Kim lived like a queen – at least for a little while, and in spite of her ex’s lies and attempts to get out of paying alimony.

BUT THEN…. On December 23, 2007, Kim’s world was entirely blown apart: a small private plane carrying Kim’s thirteen-year-old daughter, Talia, Kim’s ex-husband, Michael, and her daughter’s best friend crashed into the side of a volcano in Panama. All on board were killed, except for the friend.

The event made international headlines and was reported as breaking news on many TV shows, including “Good Morning America” and “20/20”.

Kim’s ex-husband was Michael Klein, an internationally known hedge-fund manager, whose wealth included islands off the coast of Panama. One of his islands featured a fabulous resort where he often took friends and their daughter on trips. Talia was their only child.

Hummingbirds Don’t Fly in the Rain chronicles the seven-day, suspense-filled journey that begins the moment Kim Klein receives a phone call announcing that her daughter’s plane is missing.

As you read Hummingbirds Don’t Fly in the Rain you will feel like you are accompanying Kim on her search and rescue mission yourself!

You will witness: Kim’s hurried and frantic journey to Panama, Her desperate attempts to help with the search and rescue efforts, The shocking discovery of the crashed plane, The news of only one survivor—not her daughter, Kim’s heart-breaking return to the U.S. with her daughter’s ashes in her backpack

Woven into the tension-filled events are the intimate details of the relationship between Kim and her husband prior to the accident. Michael engages in extramarital affairs, abandons Kim and the baby, lies about his finances, and much more.

Hummingbirds Don’t Fly in the Rain reads like a suspense thriller, yet every word is true! You will receive an insider’s look at the mystique of “the rich and famous” and the often hidden and sordid details of their lives. At the same time, you will be given a glimpse of something special to come. As Kim lies in agony after receiving the news of her daughter’s death, she suddenly feels a pressure around her left wrist and realizes that Talia is trying to communicate with her!

Kim then begins to receive detailed and descriptive messages from Talia through a medium. The information the medium receives is not knowledge he could have previously known about. And what about the hummingbirds that keep showing up? Even when it’s raining, the hummingbirds appear – and hummingbirds don’t fly in the rain!

Ultimately, Kim discovers that there is no such thing as death and that her daughter continues to live. Kim resolves to learn how to communicate with Talia and other deceased loved ones herself!

Is it possible to triumph over tragedy?

The gripping and breathtaking journey Kim embarks upon in Hummingbirds Don’t Fly in the Rain will fill you with hope and inspiration. Watch as Kim learns to trust her instincts and develop her other-worldly communication skills.

This is an inspiring, true story that will have you cheering for Kim as she finds her way to her own center of balance, love and peace – in spite of the impossible odds!

Related Links:

http://kimberlyklein.com/book_hummingbird.html

http://www.amazon.com/Hummingbirds-Mothers-Extraordinary-Search-Daughter/dp/098377501X

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hummingbirds-dont-fly-in-the-rain-a-mothers-extraordinary-search-for-her-daughter-in-this-life-and-the-next-135087538.html

Editor's Comment: This tragedy takes place in Panama. No parent should ever have to bury a child.

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Wow, What A Great Book ... "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"

Books & Reading By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I just finished Stieg Larsson's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" on my Kindle, and I have to say the book turned out to be fantastic - a really unexpected surprise. I only bought it because it was on the top of the New York Times bestseller list. When I got it, I was fully prepared to try the first few chapters and bail out if it sucked. Well, it started off pretty good, picked up speed, and then turned out to be one of the best books I've read in a very long time - real page-turner. Of course I just downloaded the second book in Larsson's series - "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and I can't wait to get started on that. Good stuff. Anyway, if you're in Panama and you like to read, you really should consider getting yourself a Kindle or one of the other eBook readers that are available out there. Not having access to a great English language bookstore, library, and reading material was one of the last major downsides (for me) to living in the Republic of Panama. Now, with my beloved Kindle - that's a thing of the past. Can you tell I'm having fun?

Copyright 2011 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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I Love My New Kindle ... Great For Book Lovers in Panama

Books & ReadingBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - When I was up in New York back in December, my sister gave my mother a Kindle for her birthday. That was the first time I had ever seen, held, or played with one. After that I decided I wanted one so I ordered it from Amazon with a protective carrying case from Belkin (smart move.) Since then, I have absolutely fallen in love with my Kindle. I've been doing more reading in the past month or so than I have in years. I've already knocked out Tom Clancy's "Dead or Alive," Clive and Dirk Cussler's "Crescent Dawn," and now I'm about halfway through Stieg Larsson's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." I've downloaded a bunch of research and reference material, as well as some cool bedtime stories for my four year old daughter. The battery seems to last forever, it has both 3G and WiFi connectivity, plenty of memory to hold literally thousands of books, it's small, light, and handy. It fits in my back pocket and I can actually read while standing in line at the bank or grocery store. Anyway, if you love to read and live in Panama, having a Kindle puts you in direct and instant contact with the entire Kindle bookstore on Amazon. In short, I'm really diggin' it.

Free To A Good Home: When I got on the airplane to fly back to Panama I bought a hardcover copy of Tom Clancy's newest book "Dead or Alive" for about $40 bucks (expensive, at the Newark airport). Since then I have downloaded the book (for $9.95) and finished it on the Kindle, and I never even got past the first couple of chapters in the actual book so it's practically never even been read. Anyway, I'll give it away to whoever wants it - as long as you promise to keep handing it off to someone else for them to read next. It you're interested give me a call at 6614-0451 or send me an email - don@panama-guide.com. First come, first serve.

Copyright 2011 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Excerpt: The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years

Books & Reading By Sonia Shah Hardcover, 320 pages Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. List price: $26 - The view through the mosquito net is blurry, but I can see the thick skin of grime on the leading edge of each blade of the ceiling fan as it slowly whirs around, keening alarmingly. This is how it was every summer when I visited my grandmother's house in southern India. While my cousins snore on the bed mats laid across the floor beside me, glistening bodies bathed in the warm night breeze, my sleeping mat is ensconced in a hot, gauzy cage. The mosquitoes descend from the darkened corners of the whitewashed room and perch menacingly on the taut netting, ready to exploit any flicker of movement from their prey within. It is hard to fall asleep knowing they are there, watching me, but eventually I drop off and my tensed body uncurls. They sneak into the gaps my protruding limbs create, and feast.

In the morning, all my hard work of trying to fit in, to overcome the Americanness of my suburban New England life, has been undone, for my Indian cousins are smooth and brown while I am speckled with bleeding scabs. My grandmother vigorously pats talcum powder over my wounds, the white powder caking pink with congealed blood, as my cousins snicker. I don't understand how they escape unscathed while I am tormented. But incomprehension is part of the package of these childhood summers in India. Just outside my grandmother's house ragged families huddle in rubble along the road and use the train tracks as their toilet. They wave their sticklike arms in my face and moan woefully when we pass by on the way to temple, caricatures of beggars. One boy's leg has swollen to the size of a log, and is gray and pimpled, from some disease brought on by a mosquito bite. My grandmother tightens her grip on my hand. We give the children nothing. I can't understand this, either. When we get to the white marble temple, it is full of incense and golden statues encrusted with diamonds and rubies — to my seven-year-old mind, the very picture of prosperity.

Part of me despises my estrangement, my incomprehension, the fact that I must sleep under the suffocating net and take the malaria pills while my cousins don't. But part of me is secretly glad. The boy with the swollen leg frightens me. The family who lives on the curb frightens me. India frightens me. These fears, for the girl who is supposed to be Indian but isn't, are unspeakable.

When no one is looking, I crush the mosquitoes' poised little figures with my palm and smear the remains on a hidden seam in the couch. Our Jain religion forbids violence of any kind. No eating meat. No swatting flies. My grandmother wears a mask over her mouth while she prays, to protect airborne microbes from inadvertent annihilation in her inhalations, and considers walking on blades of grass a sin. Meanwhile, there I am in the corner, cravenly pulverizing mosquito corpses behind my back, blood literally on my hands.

Back home in New England, the mosquitoes still bite, but there are no nets at night, no pills to take, no scary beggars on the side of the road. We shop for forgettable plastic trinkets at the mall. My fear and loathing of the mosquito are blunted into games of tag. My father calls himself Giant Mosquito, undulates his fingers like proboscises and chases me and my sister. It's scary, but fun-scary. We screech with glee and stampede through the house.

Thirty years later, on the S-shaped land bridge between the North and South American continents, I meet Jose Calzada. Calzada is a mosquito stalker of sorts, and I, the mosquito hater, have come to learn about the local mosquitoes and their exploits. A parasitologist from Panama City, Panama, Calzada spends his time rushing to the scene of disease outbreaks across the isthmus. The mosquito-borne parasite that causes malaria, Plasmodium, is one of his specialties.

It is April 2006. For most of the past century, there hasn't been much work in this field for people such as Calzada. Panama prides itself on being one of just a handful of tropical developing countries to have tamed its mosquitoes and nearly conquered malaria. American military engineers built a canal through Panama in the early 1900s, and forced malaria to retreat to the remote fringes of the country. Since then it has stagnated, primarily in its most benign incarnation, vivax malaria, which is rarely fatal.

But things have changed in recent years, and Calzada has agreed to show me some obscure signs. He emerges from the imposing Gorgas Memorial Institute, Panama's sole health research center. Clean-shaven and trim, Calzada has a slightly worried look in his eyes that is off set by high cheekbones suggesting a perpetual halfsmile. I wait while he meticulously changes out of his work clothes — button-down oxford shirt and slacks — and into a T-shirt and jeans. Climbing into my diminutive white rental car and tossing a baseball cap on top of his backpack in the backseat, he patiently directs me out of the labyrinthine metropolis. Navigating Panama City's congested streets, past shiny skyscrapers and packed cafes, is a task that challenges even my well-honed Boston driving skills.

After twenty minutes heading east out of the city, the road turns quiet. It's a lovely drive, with hills in the distance, verdant pasture and scrub unbroken save for a few elaborately gated houses set far back from the road. Colombian drug lords, Calzada says, by way of explanation. Another hour passes, and the road rises, a glittering lake coming into view, just visible through a tangle of jungle. As we near the water, the pavement ends, and we pull over.

Here, at the end of the road, is the town of Chepo. From what I can see, it consists of a wooden lean-to facing a sleepy roadside cafe. Two police officers amble out of the lean-to, which turns out to be a checkpoint. They take my passport and vanish, leaving Calzada and me to buy a cold drink at the near-empty cafe. As we sit, I can just make them out in the murk within the lean-to, inspecting the blue passport with great care, turning it over and over in their hands as if for clues to some baffling mystery.

Inspection completed, Calzada leads us on foot behind the road. The hillside is green and lush, with a slick red clay track leading to the crest. He heads up and I follow gingerly.

Excerpted from The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years by Sonia Shah. Copyright 2010 by Sonia Shah. Excerpted by permission of Sarah Crichton Books / Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Travel smart: Guides to becoming an expat

Books & ReadingELLEN CREAGER - FREE PRESS TRAVEL WRITER - Did you ever think of just picking up and moving to another country? The travel book publisher Moon has expanded its "Living Abroad" series. New volumes describe living in Panama, South Korea, Guatemala, China and Spain. More than 5.25 million nongovernmental U.S. citizens live abroad, according to the Association of Americans Resident Overseas. While meant for expats, the books, retailing for $19.95, also come in handy for tourists who might be spending a few weeks or months in a country as part of study abroad or extended tour. You never know when you'll be back.
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New political thriller set in Panama

Books & ReadingIn author Yaron Glazer's debut novel, Islands of Shadow, Islands of Light, secrets buried in Noriega's Panama are unearthed in the rush to prosperity, and powerful forces will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from coming to light. The story follows Jessica Talbot, a woman with a violent past of her own who returns to Panama City after years of absence to investigate the brutal quelling of a prison riot. Her search will lead her across the country and into the past – to the disappearance of a boy during the American invasion - and to a man who may be the country's next president. Based on personal journals maintained by the author as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama during the late nineties and on research and interviews conducted over the past few years at La Joya prison, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and Isla Coiba – a shuttered penal colony – this fast-paced story weaves history and fiction to explore a country struggling with the promise of boom and the legacy of military rule. Islands of Shadow, Islands of Light (ISBN 1439249431) is available on Amazon.
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Hinsdale author's debut novel set in Panama

Books & Reading By AMY GAIL HANSEN - Panama is a lush, tropical country at the southern tip of Central America. Mention it, and Americans conjure the notorious Panama Canal, Panama Jack, Panama hats and even the 1984 Van Halen hit about a race car called "Panama." But for award-winning writer Cristina Henriquez of Hinsdale, Panama is a second home. Her father is a native, and she's been visiting his family there since she was just eight months old. "My experiences in Panama are not as a tourist," explained Henriquez. "I do normal things there, like pick up prescriptions at the drugstore with my grandmother." But for award-winning writer Cristina Henriquez of Hinsdale, Panama is a second home. Her father is a native, and she's been visiting his family there since she was just eight months old. "My experiences in Panama are not as a tourist," explained Henriquez. "I do normal things there, like pick up prescriptions at the drugstore with my grandmother." (more)
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Books - The Canal Builders: Making America's Empire at the Panama Canal

Books & Reading By By Jessica Schneider for Monsters and Critics.com - A groundbreaking history of the Panama Canal offers a revelatory workers-eye view of the momentous undertaking and shows how it launched the American century. The Panama Canal has long been celebrated as a triumph of American engineering and technology. In The Canal Builders, Julie Greene reveals that this emphasis obscures a far more remarkable element of the canal's construction and the tens of thousands of workingmen and women who traveled from around the world to build it. Drawing on research from around the globe, Greene explores the human dimensions of the Panama Canal story, revealing how it transformed perceptions of American empire at the dawn of the twentieth century. For a project that would secure America's position as a leading player on the world stage, the Panama Canal had controversial beginnings. When President Theodore Roosevelt seized rights to a stretch of Panama soon after the country gained its independence, many Americans saw it as an act of scandalous land-grabbing. Yet Roosevelt believed the canal could profoundly strengthen American military and commercial power while appearing to be a benevolent project for the benefit of the world. But first it had to be built. From 1904 to 1914, in one of the greatest labor mobilizations ever, working people traveled to Panama from all over the globe—from farms and industrial towns in the United States, sugarcane plantations in the West Indies, and rocky fields in Spain and Italy. When they arrived, they faced harsh and inequitable conditions: labor unions were forbidden, workers were paid differently based on their race and nationality—with the most dangerous jobs falling to West Indians—and anyone not contributing to the project could be deported. Yet Greene reveals how canal workers and their families managed to resist government demands for efficiency at all costs, forcing many officials to revise their policies. The Canal Builders recounts how the Panama Canal emerged as a positive symbol of American power and became a critical early step towards twentieth-century globalization. Yet by chronicling the contributions of canal workers from all over the world, Julie Greene also reminds us of the human dimensions of a project more commonly remembered for its engineering triumphs.
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Panamanian writer Rodriguez Velez dies

Books & ReadingPANAMA CITY, Panama (UPI) -- Noted Panamanian writer and journalist Mario Augusto Rodriguez Velez has died of a heart ailment at age 92, colleagues said Sunday. The Panamanian Writers Association said Rodriguez Velez died Saturday at a Panama City hospital, the Latin American Herald Tribune reported. A journalist, essayist, dramatist, poet and storyteller, Rodriguez Velez was the oldest active writer in the Central American nation, said his grandson, author Jose Luis Rodriguez Pitti. He was awarded the Order of Omar Torrijos Herrera, Great Cross grade, by Panamanian President Martin Torrijos last year in recognition of his support for communications and Panamanian culture and history. From 1932 to 1989 he worked in a variety of positions, from correspondent to chief editor and director at a number of newspapers and magazines, including Mundo Grafico, La Hora, Prensa Libre, El Dia, El Panama America, Prensa, Matutino and La Republica, Preludios, Urraca, Siete, Educacion, Loteria, Mas and Semana. He also authored several story collections, starting with "Campo Adentro" in 1947.
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Two Happy Warriors Were We

Books & Reading By Hunter Baker (The American Spectator) The Reagan I Knew By William F. Buckley, Jr. (Basic Books, 279 pages, $25) When William F. Buckley died in February 2008, it was widely known that he had been working on a book about Ronald Reagan. He died before completing the task. The unfinished nature of the work is something that should be understood at the onset. It is quite clear that The Reagan I Knew runs short of a great deal of personal reflection by Buckley on the former president. There is simply no question about it. The good news for readers is that the editorial team made skillful use of Buckley-Reagan correspondence and a series of footnotes to create a highly engrossing reading experience. Indeed, the book may have begun as the narrative story of a relationship with substantial personal reflection, but of necessity it became a successful collection of letters with a solid array of commentary by an author who pre-deceased his project's completion. (more)
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Insider's Book Explores the Past, Present and Future of Panama and the Panama Canal

Books & Reading GARDEN CITY, N.Y. -- November 12, 2008 -- Global Passage: Transformation of Panama and the Panama Canal by McMillan explores how Panama shifted to a true democracy after 1989, when military dictator Manuel Noriega was ousted. McMillan asserts that because 69 percent of Panama Canal traffic is to or from the United States, it is crucial for Americans to have an accurate picture of the country, or risk severe economic and political consequences. He discusses the role of China, which has expressed interest in expanding their port facilities, and which he feels could dominate the Panama Canal and become the major economic force in Central America. McMillan also voices concern that Panama's alliances with such leftist-leaning nations as Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua could put more pressure on Panama to distance itself from the United States. McMillan describes the past history of the canal from its creation by Teddy Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter’s Panama Canal Treaty that “surrendered” it to the Panamanians. The challenge for the future, states McMillan, is to encourage the United States to play a large role in financing and building the expanded Panama Canal and canals built in Nicaragua.
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Panama donates to France book collection on Panama Canal's history

Books & ReadingPANAMA CITY, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Panama has donated to France a collection of books chronicling the history of the Panama Canal's construction and its transfer to Panamanian sovereignty, the director of the Panamanian Diplomats' Academy, Paulino Romero, said here Tuesday "The Panamanian Foreign Ministry's Diplomats Academy gave 32 samples of the edition 'Commemoration of the Panama Canal Transfer1999' to the French ambassador to Panama, Pierre Henry Guignard," Romero said. Romero told reporters that the bibliographic collection will beat the University of Sorbonne in Paris and it will be guarded by the Contemporary Documentation Center. "In these volumes are the best Panamanian experiences of the tasks from national life, as well as on national and international politics, literature, science, education and pedagogy," Romero said. Saying he valued the importance of the donation, Guignard added that the books will tell readers the history of the ties between the two countries, which are linked to the first years of Panamanian history. The first attempt to construct the Panama Canal began in 1880 under French leadership. After this attempt failed, the project of building the canal was begun and completed by the United States in the early 1900s, with the waterway opening in 1914. The building of the 77 km canal was plagued by problems, including disease and landslides. By the time it was completed, some 27,500 workers were estimated to have died in the French and American efforts.
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New book offers detailed picture of Panama operations in ‘89

Books & Reading By Alex McVeigh Pentagram Staff Writer - The United States invasion of Panama was, for a brief time, a dominant case study for military service institutions as a study in post-Cold War tactics. But as larger issues in the Middle East have come to define the past twenty years of American conflict, the Panama invasion has lost its luster for the military strategist. The Center of Military History has recently released its own take on the events leading up to the invasion, written by Lawrence Yates. ‘‘The U.S. Military Intervention in Panama: Origins, Planning, and Crisis Management, June 1987-December 1989” provides a complete historical overview of the events that led to the invasion of Panama. Yates, a Ph.D. who spent 24 years teaching and writing about military conflicts at the Combat Studies Institute, was in Panama in 1989, during Operation Just Cause. (more)
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"The Strength to Move a Mountain" - W. Storrs Lee

Books & Reading

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This book, "The Strength to Move a Mountain" by W. Storrs Lee, was published in 1958 and it gives a better than usual look into life in Panama during the construction of the Panama Canal. The book starts just before the US-backed revolution that created Panama as a country, formerly a Department of the Government of Colombia, and it ends with the opening of the Panama Canal. The book was written at a time when there were still a ready supply of first hand witnesses and those who had actually participated in the revolution of Panama and the construction of the canal. From this book I take a couple of interesting snippets which help to illustrate little things that shaped Panama as it is today. (more)

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Path of Empire: Panama and the California Gold Rush

Books & ReadingReviewed by Richard Feinberg for Foreign Affairs: Forty-niners eager to pan for gold in California had several routes to choose from in getting there: the arduous overland trek by covered wagon so often mythologized by Hollywood, the long sea voyage around Cape Horn, or the interoceanic Panamanian passageway, a path made more attractive by the remarkably quick construction by U.S. investors of the first transcontinental railroad. Writing in the now-trendy tradition of "cosmopolitan," or "world," history, McGuinness draws insightful comparisons and connections between the westward march in the United States, the dawn of U.S. imperialism in the Caribbean basin, and the emerging identity of "Latin America" as a construct in opposition to the theories driving northern expansionism. A superb storyteller, McGuinness artfully re-creates the famous (in Panama) 1856 "watermelon slice incident," and links the resistance of black Panamanians against U.S. encroachment to their fears of the antebellum pro-slavery filibusters who had seized Nicaragua a year earlier. Although ambivalent about the repercussions in Panama of global capitalism, McGuinness notes that it was Simón Bolívar who first proposed that someday Panama, which is today enjoying a major commercial trade and real estate boom, might become "the emporium of the world." Aims McGuinness. Cornell University Press, 2007, 264 pp. $35.00.
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The Really Big Dig

Books & ReadingBarrons.com - Edited by JAY PALMER, Reviewed by Jim McTague: IN 1889, THE WORLD WITNESSED THE MOST CATASTROPHIC financial collapse in history up to that time. Investors had thrown all their money into a gigantic hole in the ground. Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interoceanique, which was funded largely by French investors to finance construction of a Panama canal, went bankrupt because the credit markets lost confidence in its promise to complete the project, already eight years in the making. The digging of the canal had been a source of tremendous French pride and an affront to the ego and global ambitions of an emergent United States of America, which was asserting itself in the Pacific and the Caribbean (and thus the Atlantic). (more)
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2009 Our Children’s Art Agenda, 14th Consecutive Edition

Books & Reading

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - From an email I received this morning: "Hi Mr. Don. I'm across your address through panama-guide.com. I am the coordinator for the 2009 Our Children’s Art Agenda, 14th consecutive edition. Produced by the Children Helping Children Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Montreal, Canada. The agenda is a collaboration of artwork from young artists from ages 2 to 18 from around the globe. Profits from distributing the book are donated to the Research for Children’s Diseases Foundation. (more)

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Excerpt from 'Panama Fever'

Books & ReadingBy Matthew Parker EXCERPT - CHAPTER ONE - "THE KEYS TO THE UNIVERSE" - What had motivated the voyages that led to the discovery of the New World was exactly what the Panama Canal would eventually deliver—a through passage to the East. On his fourth voyage, in 1502, Columbus, by then embittered and sickly, sailed all along Panama's northern coast, obsessively searching every tiny cove for a "hidden strait." At one point he anchored in Limón, or "Navy," Bay, now the Atlantic terminus of the canal. Even after Columbus's failure to find an open passage to the East, the idea died hard. In 1507, the first map ever printed of the New World optimistically showed an open strait about where the Isthmus of Panama is located. (more)
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The Launch of Madame Blanche - New Magazine in Panama City

Books & Reading

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - A good friend of mine Alfredo Bocanegra launched his new magazine "Madame Blanche" last night in a coming out party in Koopas. Alfredo is one of the best and most accomplished photographers in Panama. The magazine covers both local and international musicians and artists. For example the first issue of the magazine covers the "roots of Panamanian rock." Alfredo is a character, a great guy, a very talented photographer, good drummer, and usually the guy singing along to Pink Floyd fearlessly and at full volume. I wish him, his crew, and his magazine all the best. Photos from the launch follow (hot model alert...)

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The Official Launch of "Madame Blanche"

Books & Reading By Lehisy Domínguez for El Siglo - Next week a new magazine called "Madame Blanche" will be launching in Panama. The magazine will cover the music and art scene in Panama, will be directed at readers between 20 and 40 years of age, and will cover, promote, and emphasize local talent as well as international artists. The team working on the magazine is formed by established and accomplished professionals such as María Ruth Sánchez (La Prensa), Raúl Altamar (Blank), Pilar Cáceres (Much Music), Juanita Jaramillo (MTV Latino), Anastasio Puertas (Billboard). The chief editor is Fabricio Mejía (Rolling Stone) and the Director of the magazine is Alfredo Bocanegra, one of the most recognized and accomplished photographers in the country and the person responsible for establishing the high artistic level the magazine displays. The magazine will be offered for sale in pharmacies and stores throughout the country. There will be an official launch party at 6:00 pm at Koopas on 9 April.
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Book Review - "Panama Fever" by Matthew Parker

Books & Reading Reviewed by Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times - Most Americans' knowledge of the Panama Canal was acquired in a haze of junior high school history -- somewhere alongside "trust busting" and the "bully pulpit" in the unit on Teddy Roosevelt and turn-of-the-century American confidence. There was a spasm of interest in the canal 31 years ago, when the United States agreed to turn it -- along with the surrounding territory -- over to Panama, and also a flicker of notice in 1999 when the actual handover occurred. Beyond that, it's been pretty much out of sight, out of mind -- except on the political fringes, where some have tried to argue that Sen. John McCain's birth in the Canal Zone disqualifies him from seeking the presidency. (more)
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The Expat Center and Book Swap Closing

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By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This week I learned that the "Expat Center" which has been operating on Calle D in El Cangrejo for the past two years or so will be closing. The short answer is that the guys who were paying the bills both need the space, and can no longer afford to pay for the non-profit Expat Center at cost. As a result there are literally thousands of books in the book swap now available to a good home. Anyone can come and take away as many books as they want, and they just ask you not to bring them back. So, if there is anyone out there who has the space and the inclination, there is a completely stocked book-swap looking for a good home. Bagel Bakery, maybe? John has the room...

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Panama Woman Published In ‘Chicken Soup’ Book

Books & Reading By Nicholas L. Dean for the Post-Journal - Panama Native Clair Saeger’s original story ‘‘Happy With Nothing’’ is included in the recently-published book, ‘‘Chicken Soup For The Teen Soul.’’ Clair Saeger usually writes stories for her family, but it was a story about her mother which got the Panama native published. In her junior year of high school, the current college senior entered a contest being held by Teen Ink magazine. Now, some years after having had her essay printed in the magazine, Saeger’s story, ‘‘Happy With Nothing,’’ has been included in ‘‘Chicken Soup For The Teen Soul.’’ A new book in the ‘‘Chicken Soup For The Soul’’ series, the teen-themed compilation collects ‘‘real life stories by real life teens.’’ Tackling topics like change, challenge, loss and other issues facing teens, the book shows readers they are not alone through its friendly peer-to-peer style. (more)
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Panama Uncovered: New Book by Thomas Bleming

Books & ReadingLUSK, Wyo., Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- An explosive mixture of international intrigue and danger and the cover-up that followed, "Panama: Echoes From A Revolution" (published by AuthorHouse - http://www.authorhouse.com) travels back to the late 1970s to tell the true story of the invasion of Panama by privately funded U.S. citizens. Author Thomas James Bleming should know. He was there. Reviewers have been blown away by this true action-thriller: "A real life Jason Bourne," writes David Mirhadi, Casper Star Tribune. "The characters, places, conditions and treatment that Bleming describes would be suitable for a Hollywood movie," writes Alan B. Johnson, U.S. District Judge, Cheyenne, Wyo. (more)
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First Daughter Jenna Bush Goes 'On the Record'

Books & Reading Fox News.com - GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: First twin daughter, Jenna Bush, worked for UNICEF in Latin America and met with children and young adults living with HIV and AIDS. She says it's a life changing experience, so much so that she has now written a book "Ana's Story." Now this book might be a real eye opener for many. We spoke with Jenna Bush earlier today after she met with students at the SEED Charter Schools in Washington. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) VAN SUSTEREN: Jenna, a brand-new book, "Ana's story." Whose idea was it to write it? JENNA BUSH: Mine. My job with UNICEF was to meet with different kids who were living in exclusion, which means they are living in an extreme poverty or living with HIV/AIDS, or living in homes with abuse. (more)
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Jenna Bush Begins Book Tour and Media Blitz

Books & Reading By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG - WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 — Just a few short years ago, she was a party-loving college girl, sticking her tongue out in view of photographers and giving her parents heartburn. Now Jenna Bush, 25, is sporting a diamond-and-sapphire ring, engaged to be married — though probably not at the White House, her mother says — and heading out on a book tour. America is meeting this new, grown-up Jenna — twin sister of Barbara, daughter of George W. and Laura — this weekend with the publication of her book, “Ana’s Story.” It is a chronicle of Ana, 17, an H.I.V.-positive single mother in Panama whom Ms. Bush encountered while an intern there for Unicef, the international children’s advocacy group. (more)
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Area author gave his all to write book on Duran

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Roberto
Roberto "Hands of Stone" Duran
By Sam Carchidi for the Philadelphia Inquirer - From leafy Haddonfield to the tough streets of Panama. Yes, it's been quite a journey for teacher-turned-author Christian Giudice. For that, readers of his first book should be grateful. Giudice (pronounced Jude-uh-jay) has written a fascinating, exhaustively researched biography called Hands of Stone: The Life and Legend of Roberto Duran. Duran, a colorful boxing legend who once knocked out a horse with one punch, held world titles at four weight classes and is the only man to have fought in five decades. (more)
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Professor Anton Rajer at the MCA

Books & Reading Last week the restorer of the National Theatre of Panama and the author of the book "Paris in Panama." Professor Anton Rajer, the worlds foremost authority on the works of Panamanian artist Roberto Lewis, presented a lecture on the recently inaugurated exhibit of Lewis' work at Panama's Museum of Contemporary Art in Ancon. The author signed his limited and numbered edition of "Paris in Panama" - "Paris in Panama is an inspiring bilingual book documenting my country's art and history. It brings alive an important and lost chapter in Latin America's artistic heritage and focuses on the need to preserve and restore it."—Carmen Aleman Healy, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Panama
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Taiwan-Funded Community Library in Panama Inaugurated

Books & ReadingBy Ramon Huang and Luis Huang - Panama City, May 6 (CNA) A community library in the Panamanian township of La Conga, constructed using donations from the Republic of China (ROC) government, was formally inaugurated Saturday to upgrade Panamanian school children's educational quality. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Taiwanese Ambassador to Panama Hou Ping-fu said that as there are no libraries at Panama's remote schools, the Taiwan government decided to make donations to help build the library at the request of FUNDACUNA, a local non-profit organization. Taiwan is also planning, in the near future, to donate computers to Panama's elementary schools in remote areas as part of its efforts to help improve the quality of education in the Central American country, Hou said. Coinciding with the inauguration of the library, FUNDACUNA also distributed a shipment of clothing and footwear donated by Taiwan to the disadvantaged in La Conga. Taiwan donated a total of 76 containers of clothing and footwear to Panama last year. FUNDACUNA Chairman Edith Roqueber told CNA that the organization has received funds from the ROC government to help build six community libraries, and that so far three libraries have been inaugurated.
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