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Showing posts from August, 2011

BOOK OF THE MONTH: MOTHER TONGUE by Demetria Martinez

MOTHER TONGUE
By Demetria Martinez
A One World Book
Ballantine Books



SUMMARY:  Mary is nineteen and living alone in Albuquerque. Adrift in the wake of her mother's death, she longs for something meaningful to take her over. Then José Luis enters her life. A refugee from El Salvador and its bloody civil war, José has been smuggled to the United States as part of the sanctuary movement. Mary cannot help but fall in love with the movement and the man. And little by little, she begins to reveal to José Luis the part of herself she has never known. . . .

The truth is stranger than fiction…. MOTHER TONGUE is based in part upon Martinez's 1988 trial for conspiracy against the United States government in connection with smuggling Salvadoran refugees into the country, a charge that with others carried a 25 -year prison sentence. A religion reporter at the time, covering the faith-based Sanctuary Movement, Martinez was found not guilty on First Amendment Grounds. MOTHER TONGUE was the wi…

REVIEW & BOOK DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: THE FARTHEST HOME IS IN AN EMPIRE OF FIRE: A Tejano Elegy

THE FARTHEST HOME
IS IN AN EMPIRE OF FIRE:
A Tejano Elegy
By John Phillip Santos
Penguin Book Memoir





“My Spanish ancestors were not homebodies. They were outliers from the start of our story en las Americas, nomads setting out from whatever their Spanish past was, willing to leave all they knew behind once and for all in search of a new way of life in an unimagined place. Perhaps they were confident that the past would remain where it had always been, if only abandoned, lost, swallowed up, like the enchanted continents of myth like Mu or Atlantis that live on in memory long after any map survives detailing their coastlines and whereabouts. Because of that long estrangement across generations and hundreds of years, there were no living memories of Spain in the Lopez-Vela families.” --- John Phillip Santos



This book is a “wildly inventive” combination of family memories, personal odysseys and magical realism. John Phillip Santos chronicles his journey to discover his mother’s family, w…

MEET “TOO HOT TO TOUCH” AUTHOR JULIE LETO

The Latina Book Club congratulates New York Times Bestselling Author Julie Leto on her new book, TOO HOT TO TOUCH, which will be released tomorrow, August 23. Run, do not walk, to your nearest bookstore for this book; then go home and enjoy.



Q: Your books are hot, sexy and fun. Tell us about your new series and how you have incorporated those themes into it. What “legendary lovers” should we expect to “see”?

A: The heroes of this series are fictionalized descendents of Joaquin Murrieta, who was the bandit upon which the story of Zorro was based. Even before Antonio Banderas took up the cape and sword, I've been enraptured by this character! The skill, the finesse, the underlying sense of justice...it's just too romantic for a girl like me to ignore. In my stories, the brothers have inherited a ring that supposedly helps bring out their inner bandits. Of course, the women they meet don't hurt, either. The series is sexy and romantic and adventurous and fun...everything in ke…

AUTHOR CAMEO.....ELIZABETH NUNEZ

Elizabeth Nunez emigrated from Trinidad to the U.S. after completing high school. Nunez is provost at Medgar Evers College, the City University of New York, and the award-winning author of six novels, including PROSPERO’S DAUGHTER, the New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice and 2006 Florida Center for the Literary Arts One Book, One Community selection at the Miami Book Fair.

Nunez’ writing style has been compared to that of Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. Winner of numerous awards, she is also a co-founder of the National Black Writers Conference, and was its director from 1986 thru 2000. She continues her work in support of writers of color with her radio program on WBAI 99.5FM and as chair of the PEN American Open Book committee.

Her lastest novel, ANNA IN-BETWEEN (Akashic Books, 2010), is an emotional, heart-breaking story.




SUMMARY: Anna, the novel's main character who has a successful publishing career in the United States, is the daughter of an upper-class Caribbean…

REVIEW: THE NEW LATINA’S BIBLE by Sandra Guzman

I wrote THE NEW LATINA'S BIBLE with a simple desire: to inspire Latinas to feel joyous about their culture, to understand that they mattered, that they are beautiful and intelligent and that they could dream big and achieve the unimaginable. – Sandra Guzman



THE NEW LATINA’S BIBLE
The Modern Latina’s Guide to Love,
Spirituality, Family, and La Vida
By Sandra Guzman
Seal Press, 2011




Sandra Guzman, the former editor-in-chief of Latina magazine, published the first THE LATINA BIBLE in 2002 by Random House. She has now updated and expanded the original for a total of 14 chapters that cover everything from “Surviving Your Mother” to “Centering Your Soul” to the “Secrets of Latina Dating” to “Marrying Outside la Raza” to “The Get-Ahead Gide for the Nueva Latina.”



This book is about empowerment, about family, about love, about being yourself, about being Latina.

It takes one Latina to know a Latina. Guzman’s book is full of “good advice, hard-earned wisdom and valuable mirroring.” It’s a …

FRIDAY FORUM: READ LATINO

by Maria C. Ferrer



Two words. Two messages.

READ LATINO

When I founded The Latina Book Club in 2005, I was looking for other people who shared my love of reading and who were interested in reading Latino authors in English.

I have always been an avid reader. I devour books. But around 2004, I realized that except for the courses I took in college and an odd book here and there, I didn’t read any Latino authors. Heck, if they didn’t have a big name, I didn’t even know them or how to find them. Hence, I purposely set out to discover Latino authors, and thus the birth of The Latina Book Club.

I started with Esmeralda Santiago’s WHEN I WAS PUERTO RICAN and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ 100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE -- books totally at opposite ends of the spectrum but two classics that captured the best of Latino literature.

And so a dream was born to read Latino, to read Latino authors, and to share those books with others –Latinos and non-Latinos alike! – so they too could discover the joy of reading a…

AUTHOR CAMEO.....PAUL REYES

Paul Reyes is the former editor at large of The Oxford American and currently is a contributing editor with Virginia Quarterly Review. He began his career in journalism grinding it out as a fact-checker for such magazines as Lingua Franca, Talk, The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, and GQ.

His first book, EXILES IN EDEN: LIFE AMONG THE RUINS OF FLORIDA’S GREAT RECESSION (Henry Holt & Co., 2010), is a hard-hitting, personal, and poetic portrayal of his own family and the people and communities affected by the foreclosure crisis.



BOOK SUMMARY:  While working with his father’s small company that “trashes out”—enters and empties—foreclosed homes in Florida, Reyes wrote EXILES IN EDEN. Grounded in Florida and Reyes family history, and with character-driven visits to the dark corners of this crisis (including with those who are calling for revolution) Reyes explores the human element of this frightening rattling of the American Dream. From examining the unique “ecosystems” of each fai…

BLOG TOUR: OUT OF THE SHADOWS by Gabriella Hewitt (Plus, Contest!)

The Latina Book Club is pleased to be part of the Blog Tour for the writing team of Gabriella Hewitt (aka Sasha Tomaszycki and Patrizia M.J. Hayashi).  Join us as we speak to the authors about their new Shadow Series.  And, don't miss the contest at the end. 



OUT OF THE SHADOWS by Gabriella Hewitt
Samhain Publishing, August 2011



When the last shadow warrior falls, so will all humanity.

BOOK SUMMARY:   With each demon he vanquishes in service to the Aztec sun god, Tomás fulfills his duty to defend humankind—and surrenders another piece of his humanity to his wolf spirit. All hope seems lost until a mission leads him to the door of the one thing he thought he’d never find…his spirit mate –the only woman who can save him from oblivion. When Carolina hears the wolf’s howl, it pierces the very core of her lonely heart. Yet she dare not answer. As the last guardian of her land and the secret it contains, she is haunted by the mistake that cost the lives of her family. Never will she repea…

BOOK OF THE MONTH: CONQUISTADORA…and …Q&A with author ESMERALDA SANTIAGO

Ana is a girl “cloistered and swaddled in the expectations of her class, but she identified with the audacity of the conquistadores, with the confidence that, if they turned their backs on country, family and custom, they could make fortunes and more exciting lives through the work of their hands, the might of their swords. The more she read, the more Ana longed for a world beyond her balcony….”



CONQUISTADORA
By Esmeralda Santiago
Alfred A. Knoft

BOOK SUMMARY:   Gloriosa Ana Maria de los Angeles Larragoity Cubillas Nieves de Donostia – aka Ana – is a young Spanish senorita at the beginning of the 19th century. She discovers the diaries of her ancestors and is entranced by their stories of Puerto Rico and Ponce de Leon. Ana is eager to conquer worlds of her own and to visit the Caribbean paradise; she finds a way in the handsome Argoso twin brothers – Ramon and Inocente. She marries Ramon, the oldest, and the trio moves to a sugar plantation on the island. Ana’s dream becomes a reality,…