What We Are Reading Today: This Is All I Got

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Updated 23 May 2020

What We Are Reading Today: This Is All I Got

Author: Lauren Sandler

This Is All I Got is a riveting account of a year in the life of a young, homeless single mother, her quest to find stability and shelter in New York City — and the journalist who got too close while telling her story.
It is a dramatic story of survival and powerful indictment of a broken system, but it is also a revealing and candid depiction of the relationship between an embedded reporter and her subject and the tricky boundaries to navigate when it’s impossible to remain a dispassionate observer.
In this book, Lauren Sandler “uses immersive journalism, chronicling a year in the life of Camila, a 22-year old, homeless, single mother, as she navigates the labyrinth of finding housing stability and shelter in the richest city on earth,” said a review in goodreads.com.
Sandler’s storytelling skills “are exceptional. She slips in substantive information on the structural and systemic causes of homelessness. Among other things, we learn that most people in poverty are women, particularly single women of color with children,” said the review.

What We Are Reading Today: The Cubans by Anthony DePalma

Updated 31 May 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Cubans by Anthony DePalma

The Cubans from Anthony DePalma, a former foreign correspondent for The New York Times,  is a must-read for anyone interested in Latin America, say critics.

“In his thoroughly researched and reported book, replete with human detail and probing insight, DePalma renders a Cuba few tourists will ever see,” said Marie Arana in a review for  The New York Times.

DePalma burrows deep into one enclave of Havana, the historic borough of Guanabacoa, some three miles southeast of the capital.

“Lying across the famous harbor from the city center, Guanabacoa is close enough to have ties to Havana’s businesses, politics and culture,” he writes.

“Yet it operates at its own speed, with its own idiosyncrasies and an overriding sense, as one Cuban told me, of ‘geographic fatalism’ that comes from being so close to the capital, yet so very hard to reach from there.”

The book sadly leaves scant hope that anything will change in Cuba in the foreseeable future, but is testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the Cuban people.