Page Turn Episode 026

Hello and welcome to Episode Twenty Six of Page Turn: the Largo Public Library Podcast. After missing a month due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic we’re back and so happy to be! I’m your host, Hannah!

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The Spanish Language Book Review begins at 17:42 and ends 21:43 at
The English Language Transcript can be found below

But as always we start with Reader’s Advisory!

The Reader’s Advisory for Episode Twenty Six is Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala. If you like Speak No Evil you should also check out: Happiness, Like Water by Chinelo Okparanta, Every Kind of Wanting by Gina Frangello, and Where We Come From by Oscar Casares.

My personal favorite Goodreads list Speak No Evil is on is Oooh Shiny! March 2018.

Today’s Library Tidbit is all about tabletop gaming and Dungeons & Dragons.

Tabletop game covers a very wide array of types of games, including chess, shogi, backgammon, mahjong, and go. However, Dungeons & Dragons specifically developed out of wargames. Wargames started as military training tools. The Prussian were the first known people to use tabletop wargaming and they did so for military training. Once the Prussian beat the French in the Franco-Prussian war wargaming became a more widely used training strategy and also spread to be a fun hobby. One of the more well known early wargames players was author H. G. Wells who created a rule book for a game called Little Wars that used toy soldiers, a large open area like a living room floor or a lawn, and spring loaded cannon to attack opponents with.

Gary Gygax, a well known wargaming enthusiast, developed Dungeons & Dragons with Dave Arneson by adapting wargames by adding in fantasy elements. Some fantasy authors that influences Dungeons & Dragons include, but are very not limited to, J. R. R. Tolkien, Poul Anderson, Jack Vance, Fritz Leiber, and Lewis Carroll.

Dungeons & Dragons is set up and the narrative run by a person called a Dungeon Master. This person is responsible for creating the dungeons (maps that the players go through), writing a narrative the players will be following, guiding the players using the narrative along the story path, playing the non-player characters and monsters, and oh yeah, keeping the rules. Players before starting the game role up a character sheet. A character sheet is where a player keeps track of their characters stats and inventory.

Although D&D is famous for being played in person and on a shared “tabletop”, the game has a devoted online game scene in the modern day. Online D&D groups function the same as their offline counterparts with a Dungeon Master and a handful of players except instead of sharing a table, the group members meet over voice and video chat programs like Discord, Google Hangouts, Skype, or Zoom.

If you’re interested in playing Dungeons & Dragons online you can see if any friends have a group you could join, check out social media, and online discussion boards. Groups looking for new members or Dungeon Masters could post on D&D Beyond or the Looking For Group sub-reddit. You can also check out Facebook groups too!

Several library workers here enjoy a variety of different types of tabletop gaming and we hope that if you’re interested that you look into trying out one using an online service.

And now it’s time for Book Traveler, with Victor:
Intro: Welcome to a new episode of Book Traveler. My name is Victor and I am a librarian at the Largo Public Library. Today I am going to talk to you about a fiction book that we have in the Spanish collection entitled La Fruta del Borrachero by Ingrid Rojas Contreras.

Synopsis: In this captivating debut, Ingrid Rojas uses by her own life to talk about the passage from childhood to adulthood of two powerful narrative voices. An exuberant story that, framed in one of the most convulsive times of Colombia, sheds light on the unexpected ties that can be born between two women when faced with the most stark violence.

Bogota, Colombia. 1990s. The Santiago family lives in an exclusive and closed community, safe from the political turmoil that terrorizes the country. The little girl of the family, Chula, who is seven years old, seems to live in a bubble, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs and assassinations looms out of the neighborhood, where the omnipotent Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and terrorize the nation. When his mother hires Petrona, a maid from the neighborhoods occupied by the guerrillas, Chula tries to get along with her. But Petrona, who tries to support her family while her first love takes her in the wrong direction, hides more than she seems. Thus, girl and maid are wrapped in a network of secrets that will force them to choose between sacrifice and betrayal.

Opinion: In La Fruta del Borrachero, the arrival of Petrona complicates the life of the Santiagos, taking them out of their bourgeois Colombian bubble, and throws them into the brutal reality of their country when they were in full war against the Colombian government, the Medellin Cartel and its leader, Pablo Escobar. This is how the narrator of the novel, little Chula, describes the omnipresent man in the nineties: “he was the King Midas of words. Everything he touched, turned him into a narco followed by a hyphen: narco-paramilitary, narco-war, narco-lawyer, narco-congressman, narco-state, narco-terrorism, narco-money ”.

Chula’s narration is also joined by Petrona, a young woman from one of the poorest sectors of the city, the protagonist of a much worse story and testimony of the enormous iniquity of Colombian society, and how violence is also unevenly distributed between poor and rich. The plot of the novel is built on the friendship between Chula and Petrona; a history of solidarity between women in the worst moment of a crisis. The most painful thing about La Fruta del Borrachero is that the most incredible events in the story really happened. Framed between the convulsive years between 1989 and 1994, the narrative begins in the time of the assassination of presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galán and continues to describe the long period of drought, as well as the blackouts and lack of water that resulted, and the spectacular persecution of Pablo Escobar, in addition to his last interview and the prayer found in his shirt pocket when he was killed.

The same confessional imprint of La Fruta del Borrachero that gives distinctive strength to the voice of Rojas Contreras represents a revolution in Latin American literature. Because La Fruta del Borrachero is not a bad novel between narcos and police; bad and good. The way the novel mixes biographical events with fiction is its greatest success.

Outro: That is all for today. Until the next edition of Book Traveler. Goodbye.

Stay safe everyone out there! Check out our virtual programming here and also don’t forget to sign up for our Summer Reading Program on Beanstack!

For everyone interested our intro music is by Break the Bans and the outro music is by Jahzzar, both artists can be found on Free Music Archive.