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Gabriela Sosa, former diplomat of the Republic of Panama, transitioned to the realm of mass media, hoping to bring the topic of climate change to a bigger audience. She has been living in Los Angeles for the last 13 years, where she has worked as a newscaster for Univision’s KMEX, a radio producer for Radio Express, and an independent producer, earning herself an Emmy in Field Production for the Oscar-nominated documentary film, “Which Way Home.”
Currently, Gabriela has become a Climate Leader and volunteers with the Citizens Climate Lobby, Organizing for Action against Climate Change and Tree People, among others. She has written multiple screenplays, plays, musicals, radio shows, news reports and speeches, and starred in several films and theater productions. Gabriela is also a guest blogger featured on Vélo Vogue. If you ever happened to need an interpreter at the Federal or State Courts of California, you may have run into her. She has studied 11 languages and loves to travel, cook and garden, as well as to practice martial arts.
Gabriela’s ongoing project is called “My EcoVillage,” a TV and online show, highlighting ecovillages and sustainable living across the globe. She hopes to build an ecovillage and live in one in Panama someday.
on Nov. 11, 2013 :
I adored the intimate portrayal of a first hand account of this prominent time in climate change history and really advocate reading this book.
I was very shocked by the events that took place in Turkey and was drawn to the subject matter as a result but I was so wonderfully surprised by the fact that we jolted from climate change to romance so effortlessly that it really brought the situation alive, humanized it and served to subtly plant the seed of climate change issues in my mind in a new and crucial manner. I loved the descriptive accounts of Turkey and the characterization.
A wonderful read if you are either an activist, a romantic, a realist or all !
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Oct. 30, 2013 :
I really enjoyed Love In The Time of Taksim. I read the review by Laura before I purchased the book, so I was aware that it would be a memoir of the author's time at a climate change conference during the Turkish protests. I'm a fan of memoirs and of environmental and social revolutions, so my curiosity was piqued, plus I love to travel and have not yet been to Turkey, so it seemed like a good choice.
I thought the author wrote in a very easy to read style and it just really flowed. It was one of those quick reads that is perfect for when you are super busy and want to get your mind on something else but not in a fully fluffy way.
I enjoyed the romance element (though I am a huge fan of chick lit) and it took me back to moments of intercultural romances I've had in far off lands. But I also liked following a character that wants to make the world a better place and is doing something about it. It would be great if she writes a follow up memoir so that we can see how she's learned to put the climate change training to use.
I also agree with the previous reviewer about the author's ability to capture one person's experiences at a set point in time - I love that too. And it did take me on a brief trip to Turkey without the price of the ticket.
I'd recommend this for one of those days you just want a quick escape. I barely put the book down as it swept me away for a fun moment in time.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Oct. 27, 2013 :
I read this book because I'm quoted in it. Not only am I that vain, but I paid money to do it!! (Yes, gasps of shock ARE appropriate). Considering I get literally hundreds of books sent to me for free, this was a pretty massive leap.
I told the author that I'd bought it and was going to start reading, and she asked me to leave a review. Fair enough--I do get a certain sick joy out of reviewing books, after all. Of course, what the author may not have realised is that not only do I do the odd bit of freelance editing, but I am brutal. I'm definitely someone you want reading your book before, not after, you publish it.
So, what did I think of the book, then? Well, the pace wasn't too bad. I was in Istanbul recently for the same reason as the author, and was caught up in the riots (though my experience involved riot police and tear gas, rather than being safely in a different district). I was trying really hard to like the book, and was 50/50 on it until I reached the part where I was quoted: and the author had spelled my name incorrectly. Not only that, but a few paragraphs later she mentions the 'Black Sea', says what it's called in Russian, and spelled that incorrectly as well. Don't mess with my beloved Russian language!
Sadly, these were just two examples of the complete lack of attention to detail present throughout the book. There were spelling mistakes, sentences with random words in them, and the grammar was a nightmare. Not quite "she went good" nightmare, but just about every example of a 'perfect' tense was a mess. I understand that the author speaks at least three languages fluently (her book, by the way, acts as a rather brilliant CV)--but sadly, that didn't translate. Get an editor.
And the storyline? What did I think of that? Well, the blurb suggests either 'cli-fi' (climate change fiction) or 'romance'. It wasn't really either. The first section of the book talks about the author's struggles to get to Istanbul, the middle is mixed, and the last half is her hooking up with her host. The constant non-contextual pushing of an environmental agenda had me face-palming, while I simply didn't care about the 'characters' enough to care if they got together or not. This book certainly isn't cli-fi, and neither is it a romance: a romance has a beginning, middle and a conclusion, and has characters that we can either relate to or learn from. Or even hate. And what really drove me crazy was that every time I'd try to reach that state of 'suspended disbelief' so key to a good read, the author would come smashing through the fourth wall with some kind of obvious statement or joke.
This book is more like a sequence of diary entries than anything else, an impression only reinforced by the use of dates as chapter headings. As a diary, I like it. I might not read it, because I can't relate to the main characters/author--but I could appreciate it. What I do like about the book is that it so perfectly captures one person's experiences at a set point in time, and I love that: I'm a big fan of diaries and blogs in general.
Another thing I did like is the author's observations about Turkey: they were all very much spot-on. It's a place I've visited a few times, and as someone who's been there, she really brought the experience back to me. One thing I always forget is how affectionate Turkish men are with one another--to the point of friends holding hands in public--and I loved little details like that being brought back to me.
I imagine that the author's friends and family would enjoy this book, because they know her and appreciate her sense of humour, but it wasn't for me. I'm sorry I couldn't like it more.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)