Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2012


   THE LOST ANGEL won Best Novel in Adventure/Drama in both the English and the Spanish/Bilingual categories of the 2012 International Latino Book Awards.  The book is sort of like a cross between THE DI VINCI CODE and the movies of Indiana Jones -- Thrilling.  Heart-stopping. Memorable. THE LOST ANGEL by Javier Sierra Atria Books, 2011 Book Summary:   In approximately seventy-two hours, a little-known Middle Eastern terrorist group plans to bring about the end of the world. Convinced that they are the descendants of angels and on the verge of at last returning to heaven, they kidnap scientist Martin Faber, whose research has uncovered an extraordinary secret. Martin’s only hope for survival is the rare psychic gift of his young wife. But Julia Alvarez must find the courage to save her husband while running from religious extremists and clandestine government agencies. Javier Sierra takes readers on an exhilarating international adventure, from the summit of legendary Mount A


The Latina Book Club has been presented with the BEST BOOKS BLOG AWARD by Deirdre A. Eden of A Storybook World. This is The Latina Book Club's second award.  In 2011, we were named "Favorite Literature Blog." Thank you, Deirdre.  Visit Deirdre and her world at        

REVIEW: TRAVELER’S REST by Jonathan Marcantoni (plus, A Chat With The Author)

   The Latina Book Club is happy to review this new collection from a talented author. Our review is below, followed by a “chat” with the author. TRAVELER’S REST will be available for purchase on June 28. Mark your calendars! ---mcf TRAVELER’S REST By Jonathan Marcantoni Savant Books June 28, 2012 You get the life you work for . –Gustavo, exile Marcantoni is a gifted literary voice. TRAVELER’S REST is at once bold, passionate and tragic. Readers will identify with the endless quest for home, for love, for family. And, appreciate the realization that we are all ultimately defined by the choices we make, so we can either live with them or change them; not always an easy task, but one worth striving for. TRAVELER’S REST is a collection of short stories centered around Tony, a former drug addict. Like the other characters populating this book, Tony is a lost soul caught in a purgatory of despair and violence. There’s the friend searching for a home; the brother looking fo


   We lost Piri Thomas recently. His book, DOWN THESE MEAN STREETS, opened the door to a world of gang violence not seen before. Unfortunately, too many of our young Latino men –nationwide!– are lost to gangs and drugs. But some survive and are able to get out of that land of darkness. One such success is Luis Rodriguez. He too has a gruesome tale to tell. Below is an excerpt from his memoir; Plus, links to his author page and video trailer. --LBC "Vivid, raw . . . fierce, and fearless . . . Here’s truth no television set, burning night and day, could ever begin to offer." —The New York Times “Cry, child, for those without tears have a grief which never ends.”—Mexican saying THIS MEMORY BEGINS WITH flight. A 1950s bondo-spackled Dodge surged through a driving rain, veering around the potholes and upturned tracks of the abandoned Red Line trains on Alameda. Mama was in the front seat. My father was at the wheel. My brother Rano and I sat on one end of the back seat;


      The 14th Annual International Latino Book Awards were held at the Instituto Cervantes in New York City on June 5, 2012. The auditorium was packed with authors, family, friends, publishers, sponsors, readers, etc. The main sponsors were Libros Publishing, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster/Atria Books, The University of Arizona Press and the Arte Publico Press. Our hosts for the evening were Kirk Whisler and Jim Sullivan of Latino Literacy Now and Nora de Hoyos Comstock, President of Las Comadres Para las Americas. And the winners are: THE MARIPOSA AWARDS (for Best First Book) Best First Book in English – OCOTILLO DREAMS by Melinda Palacio (Bilingual Review Press) Best First Book in Spanish -- EL TIEMPO ENTRE COSTURAS: UNA NOVELA by Maria Dueñas (Atria Books) BOOK AWARDS (various categories) Best Children’s Education Book in English -- THE DREAMER by Pam Munoz Ryan (Scholastic) Best Young Adult Fiction in English – THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS by Fra


    BEYOND THE TIES OF BLOOD By Florencia Mallon Pegasus Books June 6, 2012 In the tradition of Kiran Desai’s THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS and Julia Alvarez’s IN THE TIME OF BUTTERFLIES, BEYOND THE TIES OF BLOOD is a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit and the transcendence of family. “Sometimes, one moment, one thing said or not said, done or not done, it changes everything. And not always for the better….Truth is that way sometimes. It can hurt more than a lie.” –Tonia Mallon has written a powerful story about truth and reconciliation. The characters are memorable, the action intense and the emotional impact enormous. Readers will cringe and cry and cheer. Set amid Chile’s violent 1973 military coup, BEYOND THE TIES OF BLOOD will both move you and frighten you. It’s about family, loyalty, politics, community, violence, despair, hope, but most of all, it’s about survival – and not just survival of the victim, but of the victims’ loved ones as well. Our heroine,


   Congratulations to Aurora Anaya Cerda on fulfilling her dream of a physical bookstore in El Barrio. Aurora's mom, Maria, helps her cut the ribbon. La Casa Azul Bookstore opened it's doors on June 1, 2012 -- for a three-day celebration! -- to a crowd full of family, friends and fans.  The bookstore is located at 143 East 103rd Street in Harlem.  Hours are Tuesday thru Saturdays, 12-8pm, and Sundays, 12-6pm. The location is wonderful and right near the #6 train.  The book selection is plentiful, and there's even a kids' section.  There's also a huge garden and a private meeting space.  Anyone interested in doing events at La Casa Azul Bookstore should email Aurora at .   REMINDER:   The  ONLINE La Casa Azul Bookstore is still opened as well.  Do stop by and enjoy!    

REVIEW: BARRIO BUSHIDO by Benjamin Bac Sierra

  BARRIO BUSHIDO By Benjamin Bac Sierra El Leon Literary Arts “No one got the answers, so I made up my own answers. Cause when God stops loving you there aint nothing you can do but go on.”                  El Lobo Bac Sierra’s debut is raw, harsh and hellishly disturbing. It’s gruesome and yet you can’t stop reading. It’s like a car accident that you have to slow down for and watch. And watch we do as Bac Sierra’s three homeboys are caught in an endless circle of violence and despair. There may be no honor among thieves, but there is a code of loyalty among the homeboys. And where one leads the other two follow, no questions asked. There’s El Lobo, the undisputed leader, whose thirst for violence leads to the homeboys eventual downfall. Then there’s El Toro, the enforcer. He left the hood for a stint in the Marines, and came back a proficient killing machine. Finally, there’s Santo, the good one. Maybe the conscious of the group, but he too is powerless to stop Lobo’s m


BOOK OF THE MONTH:   JUNE FAT NO MORE: A Teenager's Victory over Obesity by Alberto Hidalgo-Robert Piñata Books The Latina Book Club welcomes young author Alberto “Bert” Hidalgo-Robert. This courageous young man struggled with his weight all his life. At 14, he received a health scare that changed his world. FAT NO MORE is the result. It’s a journal, a memoir, a cookbook all rolled into a wonderful and inspiring package. In fact, I think Michelle Obama needs to recruit him for her campaign. And don't think that this is a kid's book.  It's more than that.  FAT NO MORE can help kids, adults, families, friends of all ages.  Learn more about Bert below. Q&A WITH BERT Is "dieting" a four-letter word? What is your opinion on dieting? Is there a miracle diet? Do any of them work? If not, why not?           According to the Dictionary, “dieting” means: the regulation of food in order to improve the physical condition. This definition sounds very s