A First for Us in a New Book Ready for Pre-Order

SKZ4Açedrex has a few non-fiction works available, but nothing like this. And that’s the whole idea. There are too many diet books out there to count. This one is different.

Rook’s Page proudly presents Skinny Zen by Jan Holmes Frost. It features a positive, meditative approach to weight loss with a simple scoring system for meal plans and little gems of useful advice, all with a unique sense of humor. You won’t dread turning the pages of this encouraging essay.

“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.” ~Zen proverb

Think happy, think skinny, think Skinny Zen. Slow down, focus, take a deep, mindful breath, and learn strategies for your body’s particular needs.

Everyday diet books set a negative vibe when it comes to weight loss management. They even set negative goals for you! Skinny Zen shows you how to accentuate the positive and become in tune with your true weight loss regime. Frost’s wry wit will have you forgetting the D-word (diet) as you check out the numerous website links and learn new habits. Namaste.

Skinny Zen releases on May 10. Get a new attitude just in time for those summer clothes. It’s available for Kindle preorder now. Get it on release day automatically! Other formats and a softcover edition coming soon!

Meditaciones sobre la lengua

¿Te has preguntado alguna vez cómo vino a ser el idioma castellano como es? Presentamos un documento divertido y muy curioso y contestará todas tus preguntas con cierto humor que no se encontrará en los libros de texto modernos.

Los amigos italianos del erudito Juan de Valdés no cesan de preguntarle cómo expresarse bien en la lengua castellana, que era el idioma más culto a mediados del siglo XVI. Un día se sienta con ellos y contesta todas sus preguntas, instruyéndoles en la historia de la lengua, su gramática y ortografía y los vocablos destacados según el uso corriente que dicta las normas. Critica los escritores contemporáneos y de los siglos anteriores que reconocerás. Sé parte de esta conversación histórica y atestigua cuáles reglas descritas por el buen doctor se pueden aplicar también hoy — y cuáles no. Este libro es también un tesoro para el estudiante de los refranes populares, que sirven de ejemplo una y otra vez.

Esta edición incluye:
• El texto completo modernizado
• Notas para el estudio no disponibles en otro lugar

Kindle | Kinde España | Nook | Kobo

Los textos que empezaron todo

Para el gran final de nuestro Abril de los Descubrimientos, regresamos al principio, a los textos y el hombre misterioso con que todo empezó.

Cristóbal Colón es la figura histórica más controvertida de todos los tiempos. Lee sus propias palabras como las tenemos hoy en una edición conveniente y bien editada y decide tú cuál ha sido su impacto en la cultura del mundo. La edición contiene los textos completos del Diario de a bordo del primer viaje al Nuevo Mundo y las cartas de relación de los sucesos de los tres subsecuentes que hizo Colón además de una transcripción entera de su testamento. Son los documentos imprescindibles para entender los primeros pasos en la creación de una economía global.

Esta edición incluye:
• Los cuatro viajes del Almirante y su testamento
• Ensayo crítico sobre el Diario a bordo publicado aquí por primera vez
• Notas para el estudio del Tercer viaje

¡No te pierdas esta oportunidad!

Kindle | Kindle España | Nook | Kobo

El padre Las Casas y el imperio inca

Acabamos de ver cómo defiende Bartolomé de las Casas los “derechos humanos” de todo un mundo. Aquí el obispo de Chiapas describe todo un mundo nuevo como sólo él puede. Este compendio de historias y costumbres de la pluma del primer defensor moral en las Américas es de incalculable valor documental y cultural para el estudiante del Perú. Extraído de su obra extensa, Apologética historia sumaria, estos capítulos encapsulan la gran variedad de conocimientos que tenía el fraile humanista: política, religión, lengua, y costumbres. Lea y decida por su cuenta si Bartolomé de las Casas entendía la situación de los indígenas peruanos.

Esta edición incluye:

• El texto con sus grafías originales donde no interfieren con la lectura
• Un importante estudio preliminar de Manuel Jiménez de la Espada
• Una biografía y valoración de la obra de Las Casas

Kindle | Kindle España | Nook | Kobo

The Law in Thirteenth-Century Spain, Now in Paperback

December is going to be Açedrex’s medieval month, and I’m happy to start it off with the fulfillment of a promise I made in September: Law and Order in Medieval Spain is now available in paperback here, and soon in many, many other venues where your library or bookstore will be able to order it.

The print edition is improved over the digital version with accurate plate numbering and overall editing. I’ve made it as affordable as possible and hope you will enjoy it. It’s a very good looking book.

If you have written a treatise on medieval Spanish literature, in Spanish or in English, and would like to see your work in print, please submit.

Please see the first post for a complete description and information on how you can get a free pdf of this book if you were one of the three people who bought a digital copy. Yes, three people! That’s a bestseller for academic non-fiction!

More Spanish Travel by English and American Authors

As promised, Spanish Travels Volume 2 is now available!

As in the first volume, a lot of the value in this nineteenth-century travel writing lies in the unapologetic point of view. But this collection illustrates its value as a historical resource, too, with three charmingly lopsided sociological snapshots of Spain in the mid 1800’s and at the turn of the 20th century.

This edition includes a fully active Table of Contents and footnotes for easy navigation and 80 photographs and drawings in black and white, which can be enjoyed with an e-ink reader as easily as with a backlit one. If you’re familiar with modern Spain, you’ll marvel at the visual similarities and differences.

L. Higgin’s Spanish Life in Town and Country covers land, government, pop culture, the military, commerce, the condition of women and even delves into a personal account of the literature of the day, all in a friendly and insightful manner accompanied by stunning photos of people and places. If you ever need to quickly understand the context of a Galdós novel, this book will give you that, and a lot of gossip, too.

The Picturesque Antiquities of Spain is a collection of Nathaniel Armstrong Wells’s letters from Spain to a friend. The author never hesitates to wax poetic about Spain’s legendary past in the same breath that he complains about the freshness of the eggs at his hotel. His unyielding enthusiasm is that of a tourist, but this tourist has read up on his history and learned the language, if haphazardly. His frank bewilderment at some Spanish behavior makes him a comical guide through a country of stark contrasts.

William Dean Howells, a well known American novelist and critic in his time, caps the collection with Familiar Spanish Travels. As in his other writing, Howells shuns sentimentality, giving a blow-by-blow account of his travels, trains, and hotels, wryly commenting, “We were glad to go away from that dreadful place” and “we liked much better,” where appropriate. I can’t help but hold it against Howells that he makes the rookie mistake of comparing Córdoba in his time to its glamourous past or to other Andalusian cities, so that he’s quite disappointed. Otherwise, he includes entertaining vignettes about the quaint people he meets and the little boys he’s like to adopt and take back to America (in contrast to the scores of others he’s thrilled to leave behind). He rhapsodizes about the woman who finally fulfilled his dream to be told to “Go with God.” His sharp observations lead to poignant commentary on the contemporary society he’s observed in America and abroad.

A unique collection, not to be missed for fans of Spanish history, culture, and travel.

Now available in Nook and Kindle.

New Spanish Travel by English Writers

Açedrex is pleased to continue expanding our offerings in English on Spanish topics with a new two-book series.

I’ve always been a fan of nineteenth-century travel narratives in English. They make comparisons that reveal more about England or the US than they do about the country visited. They don’t avoid showing their awe or their disgust. They’re resolutely opinionated and unabashedly judgmental. In other words, their perspective makes the book.

In spite of all that, someone reading these narratives today can learn a lot about the Spain of the time: history, politics, customs, economic conditions and religious morality. This edition presents Castilian Days by John Hay and The Land of the Blessed Virgin by W. Somerset Maugham.

John Hay, lawyer, diplomat and journalist, served as Lincoln’s secretary and was US Secretary of State during the terms of McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. He helped negotiate the treaty that ended the Spanish-American War. First published in 1875, Castilian Days contains his sharp observations of Spain, 1867-1868, when he was secretary of legation in Madrid. Hay’s no-nonsense reporting makes you feel you are discovering Spain right along with him.

W. Somerset Maugham was one of the most popular writers of his era and is known as one of the most significant travel writers of the time. Playwright, novelist, and short story writer, Maugham wrote his reflections on Spain during his literary travels there early in his career. The Land of the Blessed Virgin is a collection of wryly detailed essays on what the author saw and the people he knew in Andalusia. The prose — and the Spain it portrays — sparkles.

The edition includes the full text of both books and a convenient interactive table of contents. Spanish Travels Volume 2, available in October 2011, will contain more great prose from savvy travel writers and period photography and etchings.

Available in Kindle and Nook.

The Long Arm of the Law in Medieval Spain

Our first new nonfiction title is making its debut! If you are the author of a history or literary criticism book about Spain, especially Spain in the Middle Ages, this is your invitation to submit a query or proposal to acedrexpublishing@yahoo.com.

Although their milieu bore striking similarities to the Wild West, the people of medieval Spain were preoccupied with constructing valid laws and learning how best to abide by them. This obsession with legality comes out in epics, songs, stories, and even in miracles of the Virgin Mary.

Scholars have largely failed to see the usefulness of considering the different types of text produced under Alfonso X together, preferring to look at them in isolation or in conjunction with later literature. By investigating what the varied projects of Alfonso X’s scriptorium have in common, as well as how they diverge, we can better approach the underlying ideals manifested in each text. The thirteenth-century society they portray then comes into brilliant focus.

This book proposes a new direction for all such studies by suggesting unprecedented comparison between the Cantigas and the other texts from Alfonso X’s scriptorium. The legislative program, which presents the guidelines for daily life, manifests the king’s theoretical model for an ideal society. In the Cantigas de Santa Maria, time and again, these same ideals are dramatized for the edification of their public. In these songs, Alfonso allows Mary to work for him, promoting his political program for Castile. Specifically, the legal material not only supports Cantigas analyses, but also provides a theoretical context against which the miracle stories play out. Comparing the outcomes with the legal ideal gives a more realistic and comprehensive picture of every day life all over Alfonso X’s Iberia. Both texts fulfill a didactic function that unifies the king’s disparate works and forms the foundation of Castilian culture.

This digital edition contains 30 color illustrations for color e-readers and a completely interactive table of contents and footnotes for easy navigation.

This title will be available in paperback by the end of the year, at which time anyone purchasing the digital edition can write to acedrexpublishing@yahoo.com for a free pdf to use for scholarly citation purposes.

Digital editions available now for Kindle or Nook.