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REVIEW: FLYING FREE BY CECILIA ARAGON

Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace.—Amelia Earhart FLYING FREE is Inspiring. Empowering. Rewarding. Cecilia Rodriguez Aragon is the daughter of a Chilean father and a Filipina mother. She grew up a shy, timid child often bullied by her white classmates. The teachers ignored her intelligence and tried to steer her away from science. “Girls can’t do science.” Cecilia showed them. Cecilia may have been painfully shy but she stuck to her guns and earned her PhD in computer science. She worked with astronomers to solve some of the greatest mysteries of the universe; worked with Nobel Prize winners; taught astronauts to fly; worked with NASA designing software for Mars missions; and created musical simulations of the universe with rock stars. Today, she’s semi-retired from flying but holds her dream job – Professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Washington. It only took her six years to overcome her shyness. FLYING FREE recalls those years. It all

I HAVE A DREAM

  We may have come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now. --        Martin Luther King, Jr.  

BOOK COVER FRIDAYS WITH SYLVIA MORENO-GARCIA

    by Maria Ferrer Welcome to a new feature on The Latina Book Club ,  Book Cover Fridays    Every Friday we will be discussing book covers, because YES, we do judge books by their cover. They are so much fun, and book covers often times give clues as to what the book is truly about. In a 2018 survey, 82% of respondents said they check out the book covers and read the back cover copy before buying a book. We agree. We are visual people so let’s judge books by their covers. We want to start with Sylvia Moreno-Garcia ’s MEXICAN GOTHIC (Del Rey), last year’s runaway hit. The author’s first gothic novel and an Amazon Best Book of July 2020. What do you see on this book cover? Well the title alone tells us that it is going to be dark. Gothic conjures up images of dark pleasures and forbidden desires. The heroine is young, sexy, and look at that beautiful dress with lace bodice and tulle skirt. Gorgeous. Now, did you notice the brocade wallpaper behind her, the wilted flowers in he

BOOK OF THE MONTH: I AM THESE TRUTHS BY SUNNY HOSTIN

The Latina Book Club wishes everyone a Happy & Healthy New Year.  We wanted to start 2021 with a powerful and inspirational book,  and are well pleased with our find.  I AM THESE TRUTHS by Sunny Hostin is a timely, poignant and moving memoir. From New York, to Washington, and back again, our heroine has overcome poverty, racism and sexism through hard work, education and tremendous perseverance. Sunny’s story is a triumph and an inspiration to women everywhere. I AM THESE TRUTHS A Memoir of Identity, Justice, and  Living Between Worlds by Sunny Hostin HarperOne What are you? A simple and difficult question for a Latina woman straddling two cultures. Sunny Hostin has lived between two worlds and has learned to “bridge them together to fight for what’s right.” Asunción Cummings Hostin aka Sunny Hostin grew up half Puerto Rican and half African-American raised by teenage parents in the South Bronx. Escaping poverty and the turbulence of her early life through hard work, a bi

WHEN THE VIRUS CAME CALLING – Q&A WITH THELMA T. REYNA

The Latina Book Club welcomes Thelma T. Reyna , editor, of the newly published WHEN THE VIRUS CAME CALLING.  It's a heart-wrenching anthology that records the events Americans - and the world! - have been living and struggling with these past seven months.  Some of the stories are hard to read, but all expose the havoc this disease has wrought and, most importantly, the resilience of people who refuse to be defeated.  WHEN THE VIRUS CAME CALLING:  COVID-19 STRIKES AMERICA Thelma T. Reyna, Editor   A ground-breaking anthology of 46 distinguished American contemporary poets and prose writers, written in real time in the first half of the historic, devastating coronavirus COVID-19 invasion of America in 2020. In heart-wrenching, wide-eyed observations, firsthand events, tragedies, and reflections, these top authors document for us the horrors, grief, and heroism of friends, family, neighbors as we watched the disease unfold. Here are moments of hope and togetherness as well, seeki

REVIEW: FIVE MIDNIGHTS BY ANN DAVILA CARDINAL

  Dark.   Scary. Mysterious. Deadly. Monsterous. She had me at Puerto Rico. Ann Dávila Cardinal’s first solo novel  is suspenseful and thrilling at the same time.     Lupe, a self proclaimed Gringa-Rican, from Vermont visits Puerto Rican to spend the summer with her father’s family, including her police-chief Tio.   Only this summer is different. El Cuco, a childish bogeyman is killing teenagers and Lupe is in the middle of solving the mystery. Seems El Cuco is targeting “los cangrejos” – five estranged friends one of whom is her cousin. Lupe pairs with Javier, one of the cangrejos and a former addict. The spirited duo are in a race against time to stop the Cuco before anyone else dies.   FIVE MIDNIGHTS is an energetic super natural thriller with great glimpses of Puerto Rican barrios. It is an action packed fast page-turner. The author has also created a great cast of interesting diverse characters, which we are happy to report are back in the sequel, CATEGORY FIVE.   This time

LATINX HERITAGE MONTH: HISTORY OF LATINX IN THE UNITED STATES

  A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. –Marcus Garvey We’re not taught anything that we contributed to this country and we’ve been around for 500 years . – John Leguizamo   I get my energy and strength from the spirit and words of my ancestors, from my mother’s spirit that shines so bright, and from the unconditional love and support of my father and family. –Yvette Modestin   My great strength is knowing who I am and where I come from, my island. –Oscar de la Renta   Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month by looking at some books on Latinx history in the U.S.  In 2014, for the first time in history the majority of students were non-white. Finally, some educators were able to start teaching history that included the contributions of marginalized peoples.  It’s a start.  It’s a wave. A storm is coming, and we are the storm.   AN AFRICAN AMERICAN AND LATINX HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES   by Paul Ortiz (Beaco