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A specific book about Mexico?

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Post by Rosa Venus Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:16 pm

I'm trying to remember the name of a book I read years and years ago, and am having a brain cramp. It was all about Mexico, history and culture, and was a great book to read when I was first living here. I learned a lot about Mexico and it helped me understand things better. I want to say the name of it was something like "A Day in the Life of Mexico" by Allan _________.

Does anyone know which book I'm referring to? I'm having no luck with google.
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Post by CHILLIN Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:43 pm

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Post by Plan B Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:03 pm

A must read:

Manana Forever?: Mexico and the Mexicans

In this shrewd and fascinating book, the renowned scholar and former foreign minister Jorge Castañeda sheds much light on the puzzling paradoxes of politics and culture of modern Mexico.
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Post by Rosa Venus Sun Sep 12, 2021 5:32 pm


Thanks for trying but it wasn't among those books. Argh. This is driving me nuts not remembering the name of it.
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Post by Gamina Sun Sep 12, 2021 5:34 pm

"Distant Neighbors" by Alan Riding
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Post by Rosa Venus Sun Sep 12, 2021 5:48 pm

Thanks, but no. I know that book.
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Post by Rosa Venus Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:29 pm

In the off chance anyone is interested, a friend finally reminded me of which book I was trying to remember. "The Life and Times of Mexico" by Earl Shorris. A fascinating read about a fascinating country. More than just names and dates and history, it can actually help you understand Mexico. Here's a link to it on Amazon:

The Life and Times of Mexico
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Post by CHILLIN Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:00 pm

Thanx Rosa. Ordered by Kindle. Earl will owe you one in the afterlife.
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Post by ComputerGuy Thu Sep 16, 2021 7:21 pm

Hard to get now, but There's A Word For It In Mexico is the best book on the culture here I've ever read. It focuses on the meaning behind 139 important Spanish words, why they exist, and what they have provided to the culture as a whole. The meaning behind abrazos, personalizmo, haciendas, and so many more. Not just a translation, it delves into the situations that led to the words. For example, one (which I don't recall) explains why there are walls around almost every home in Mexico: when the Spanish ruled, if they saw you on the streets, you could easily be jailed or killed, so walls were built to avoid being seen. The Little Bite explains how the whole system of bribes came into being: who you knew, and who's palm you could grease, could mean the difference between a good or bad life, or life and death itself.

After reading this, more than once, I had a much deeper appreciation of the country and the people, and could never be one of those "black holes" who complain about everything here, because I understand.

https://www.amazon.com/Theres-Word-Mexico-Lafayette-Mente/dp/0844272515/ref=sr_1_1?tag=detailedview-20&crid=20PLOHMXIYQ5X&dchild=1&keywords=there%27s+a+word+for+it+in+mexico&qid=1631837577&sr=8-1&asin=0844272515&revisionId=&format=4&depth=1
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Post by mudgirl Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:09 pm

Reading about word origins is really fascinating and entertaining. My ex had a book simply called "Word Origins" (not about Mexico, or any particular culture). It had a seemingly random collection of words. One I remember was "antimacassar", which means those doilies and cloths old ladies used to (and some probably still do) drape over the back and arms of the sofa. There was a popular hair oil for men way back when, called Macassar Oil. Those doilies protected the furniture fabric from getting oily.

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Post by tonyburton Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:41 am

For a thought-provoking account of recent times in Mexico, 'On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey,' a travelogue by the legendary Paul Theroux published a couple of years ago, is a very interesting read.

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Post by panama Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:05 pm

The Mexican Mind-by Boye' Lafayette De Mente

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Post by exajijicresident Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:16 pm

People's Guide to Mexico by Carl Franz is a great book about Mexico, too.

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Post by ComputerGuy Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:24 pm

Even tells you how many threads to check for on the edges of any hammock you might want to buy. Been around a long, long time and was a true bible for many.

(At least 12, by the way.)
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