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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

POETRY: EVERY DAY WE GET MORE ILLEGAL BY JUAN FELIPE HERRERA

   CELEBRATING LATINX HERITAGE MONTH EVERY DAY WE GET MORE ILLEGAL  BY JUAN FELIPE HERRERA City Lights Publishers     America We Talk About It          Summer Journals – August 8, 2017 ....I had to gain, pebble by pebble, seashell by seashell, the Courage to listen to my self. My true inner self. For that I had to Push you aside. It was not easy I had pushed aside my mother My father my self in that artificial stairway of becoming you to Be inside of you – after years I realized perhaps too late there Was no way I could bring them back I could not rewind the Clock. But I did – I could do one thing. I could care. Now we --are here.                               –Juan Felipe Herrera       Passionate. Insightful. Unforgettable.   The Wanderer. For two years, U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera traveled the nation observing, reflecting, and recording.    Summary:  In his new collection of poems, EVERY DAY WE GET MORE ILLEGAL , Juan Felipe report

LATINX HERITAGE MONTH CELEBRATION BEGINS WITH DANCE

    The Latina Book Club celebrates the beginning of LATINX HERITAGE MONTH  w ith dance.   We’ve compiled an exciting list of Latinx dance styles from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, etc. We love the rhythms, the pageantry, the sensuality, the energy.  We love the freedom, the empowerment, the connection to our roots, and wanted to share same with our readers.  So, Manos Arriba!  Hands in the air!  Everyone on your feet, grab your partner or try these alone.  Enjoy!     Bomba y Plena      Mexican Mariachi, El Son de la Negra      Joropo   Cumbia   Salsa       Merengue   Danzon   Tango Bachata Rumba Cha Cha Cha     Samba     Lambada (the Forbidden Dance)   Macarena   Reggaeton Mambo     A Bailar se a dicho!    Dance, Dance, Dance !!! Happy Latinx Heritage Month !  

INTERVIEW WITH CHILDREN'S BOOK AUTHOR JUANITA GANDARA

The Latina Book Club begins its celebration of Latinx Heritage Month  with Juanita Gandara , Educational Consultant, Children’s Book Author and Founder of an anti-bulling program.   Juanita has come up with a great character that transcends literature and has become a role model for young minds. We are in awe of her work. All we can say is – Bravo!   Welcome to The Latina Book Club.  How are you coping with the Covid pandemic? Are you going out? If so, what was the first place you visited once the quarantine was lifted? Juanita:   I have been coping well overall despite the sudden changes we have all have had to adapt to.  For myself, going virtually has been the biggest challenge.  Fortunately, for myself, I consider myself a very resourceful and capable individual when it comes to learning and never gives up!  I rarely go out but if I do, it is to do my grocery shopping, occasional trips to the post office, etc.  The first place I visited abiding strictly by the Covid-19 gu

BOOK OF THE MONTH: MY TIME TO SPEAK BY ILIA CALDERON

Atria Books Silence has a price…. I’ve spent decades of my life practicing my own “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in terms of my skin color and facial features. Form the over-the-shoulder looks at school to the thousands of products I bought to straighten my hair to try to look more like other girls. Although I never wanted to think of myself as a victim of discrimination, rejection grazed me like bullets, no matter what kind of body armor I wore to try and ignore the problem. – Ilia Calderón This is a book by an exceptional woman. She does it all. There are very few stories of triumph that even touch what Ilia has achieved as a mother and a journalist. Give her any challenge, and she’ll overcome it. And I have no idea how she does it all with a smile on her face, as if it  were nothing. I’m so lucky to work with her and be a witness to the way this woman is changing the world.  -- Jorge Ramos, lead anchor of Noticiero Univision Inspiring. Timely. Candid. Fearless. L