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Showing posts from December, 2013

REVIEW: PUMPS by Adrian Huerta

    Something different was tugging at her soul.   It was as though the raging fire that had been controlling her life, directing all of her decisions to viciously zoom through life, stomping on guys and living selfishly on her rise to the top was finally dulling to a mere flame.   She knew that it was still there, though.   She could feel it.   There was peace though, in her heart, a peace so subtle but strong. The peace calmed her and told her that things would be ok. --- Alexis Cruz         Bridget Jones meets high fashion in Adrian Huerta's PUMPS.   Alexis Cruz is a sassy, hot, take-no-prisoners, high maintenance drama queen readers will love!   She is brutally honest, outrageously outspoken with lots of sex appeal,   tremendous fashion sense, and who thinks nothing of crushing the hearts of men with her Jimmy Choos.   Whether we are cheering her on or ready to give her a set down, Alexis is a heroine -- or anti heroine! -- to watch.   This reviewer


I was out Christmas shopping yesterday so did not see this message until this morning – a response from the   New York Times!   They are responding to the continued protests from the Latino community in regards to their  not  including a Latino book or author on their annual book list…again. The Good News:  they ARE looking.  Poor Alan Weinberg is a consultant to the NYT and is being bombarded with emails. Now, while I am not sorry he is getting emails, I am sorry some of them are calling him racist and such.  Let’s not resort to insults, Mi Gente.  Let’s keep the dialogue open with Alan and the New York Times  and let’s keep it constructive and positive.  Below are his email and my response, which was probably too long but I wanted to give him as much info as possible.  If anyone has any extra links that would prove helpful about Latino book awards or review sites, let me know.  I will compile a more extensive list and pass it on. And if anyone knows of L


    Once again the New York Times failed to name any books by Latinos or about Latinos on their annual list.   Hence, we here at The Latina Book Club have created our own list of powerful books we read in 2013.    All the books are about Latinos, but not all books are written by Latinos.   We are open-minded, after all.   Some books are oldies, some are new, some are children’s, some are not.   All are worth reading .   So here for your reading pleasure is The Latina Book Club’s First Annual Books of the Year 2013 .      Happy Reading and Happy Holidays!   PS—Books make great stocking stuffers!   --mcf       BOOKS OF THE YEAR (in alphabetical order by title) 8 WAYS TO SAY I LOVE MY LIFE by various authors   (collection) ALMOST WHITE: FORCED CONFESSIONS OF A LATINO IN HOLLYWOOD by Rick Najera ASK MY MOOD RING HOW I FEEL by Diana Lopez (YA) BIRDS OF PARADISE: HOW I BECAME LATINA, A MEMOIR by Raquel Cepeda BLESS ME, ULTIMA by Rudolfo Anaya BORN TO L

REVIEW: GOING DOWN by Chris Campanioni

   He was addicted to the culture he reviled.   It tested him, and each time he surrendered to it he only realized it was possible to go further, deeper, descend completely. He was going down…. –Chris Selden You always want to act like you’re in control. Even if you’re only pretending. – Mark Van Etty Engaging. Captivating. Exciting.   New writers are always told, “write what you know.”   No one can dispute that Chris Campanioni knows a thing or two about being a model and so we are not surprised that his first novel would be set in the glamorous world of fashion or that our protagonist would be a mini-Chris. What we are surprised at is at the novel’s dark tone.   Our hero is a tragic figure -- restless, bored, lost.   His backup plan falls through, and it is not until tragedy strikes at the heart of him, that he finds the courage to step back from the fame, the money and start anew. Campanioni writes with a frank, open, engaging style, with great narratives, vivid des


    “Somehow I had managed to allow myself to be open to the wonders of life. I’d continue to work through whatever regrets and doubts about myself.   But learning to live with my choices, in love, not fear, would be my guideposts. … I closed my eyes and let the heat of the sun envelop me.”    ---Julia Powerful. Emotional. Uplifting. Theresa Varela makes an exciting debut with COVERING THE SUN WITH MY HAND.   The prose is rich and evocative.   The characters so realistic you’d recognize them as you walk up the stairs to your apartment.   This is a novel about family, love, duty.   It’s about mothers and daughters; about growing up, about finding yourself, about making difficult choices, about life.   I love the symbolism of the title – covering the sun with your hand.   It cannot be done, just like one cannot hide from the truth.   No matter how big your hand or how long you hold it up, the sun will shine around it and through it, so does truth, so does life, which


     The Latina Book Club's mission is to promote Latina / Latino authors. We do this through book reviews, author interviews, publicity announcements, book of the month selections, etc. A new popular feature we added this year is " Writers Wednesdays ." The first Wednesday of each month, we will feature a writer talking about ...writing.        Note:   Joao’s translator Karen Bennett will present A TRAGÉDIA DE FIDEL CASTRO AND ITS AMERICAN AVATAR at the international conference – Version, Subversion: translation, the canon and its discontents--An International Conference on Literary Translation – at the Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto on December 12-14 in Portugal.   Click here to see the conference’s program.   Happy Reading!         I admit it; I want to punch my readers, but before I do, I try to make them laugh." – Joao Throwing a literary punch by João Cerqueira When I started thinking about the plot and the characte


     Vibrant.   Enchanting.   Sensual.   Author Patricia Engel continues to be a refreshing voice in literature.   She has taken a classic theme and made it new again.   IT’S NOT LOVE, IT’S JUST PARIS is a coming of age story.   It’s about being independent.   It’s about growing up.   It’s about breaking tradition.   It’s about finding oneself.   It’s about romance.   Patricia’s prose is seductive; her narrative evocative.   She does a great job of bringing her characters to life and making us care about them, cheer for them, cry with them.   The story is well written and well plotted.   And not only do we fall in love with Lita, Cato and Countess Séraphine , but we fall in love with the City of Lights itself (again!).   This is a great book to end the year on a high note.    Vive la France!     Book Summary:     Lita del Cielo, the daughter of two Colombian orphans who arrived in America with nothing and made a fortune with their Latin food empire, has been granted o