December 15, 2015

BOOK OF THE MONTH: STEPDOG BY MIREYA NAVARRO



G.P. Putnam's Sons
I underestimated the dog.

He wasn’t just a dog. He was negative energy, a competitor for my husband’s attention, a nuisance, a bad roommate, a total traitor.—Mia



STEPDOG is a comedy of errors about woman versus dog.  The funniest part is that this story is true.

Mireya “Mia” Navarro has written a wonderfully funny, sentimental story about her and her rival. She is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist with The New York Times.  She’s traveled the world and covered many difficult topics from immigration to 9/11.  She has won numerous accolades and taught university.  Nothing gets under Mia’s skin.  Well, nothing but the dog.

It’s a hate-hate relationship from the start.  Mia finds the man of her dreams, with the dog of her nightmares.  She knows that marrying a man from a different culture will be a challenge—she's Catholic; he's Jewish; plus, he has kids which will also be difficult. Stepmom sounds horrible in any language—English and Spanish.  But Mia never thought that the biggest rival for her husband’s affection would be the dog. 

Eddie, a blue heeler, arrived four months before she did and staked his claim.  Jim was his, and Eddie was going to make sure it stayed that way.  He would bark at Mia; push himself between her and Jim when they were hugging or kissing; and when ignored Eddie was known to leave his mark outside their bedroom door.  

Many dismissed Mia’s complaints about Eddie as ridiculous.  A dog was a dog, right? 

Wrong!  With as much attention as Jim paid the dog, Mia sometimes felt like the mistress on the side.  Years pass and Mia tries everything to win the dog over without success.  They are living in sunny California, when she is recalled to New York.  They try a bi-coastal relationship again (Jim and Mia had one while dating), and when the kids are off to college, Jim agrees to move to New York permanently.  Mia plots to leave Eddie behind, but Jim is not leaving his big galoot.

Eddie loves New York, but the small one-bedroom apartment in the city is too small for all of them. They move to Montclair, New Jersey, into a beautiful duplex.  Now Eddie can have a backyard and Mia can have a floor of the house to call her own.  A near death experience with Eddie—plus, a number of self-help books, $300 an hour counselor visits and bitch-sessions with girlfriends—gets Mia to see Eddie in a different light.  Finally after almost 12 years together, Mia and Eddie learn to coexist and to share the love of their best guy.

This book is very much about Family, especially blended families where everyone learns to live in harmony and celebrate two cultures—even the dog.  Readers will enjoy the quick pace and smooth writing, and may finish just in time to walk their dogs.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Mireya Navarro is a reporter for The New York Times.  She has also taught journalism at Columbia University, the City University of New York, and the Maynard Institute for Journalism education. She was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and currently lives in New York City and Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband, Jim, and stepdog, Eddie.  Visit her at www.mireyanavarro.com.



December 7, 2015

3rd ANNUAL BOOKS OF THE YEAR LIST

   


The Latina Book Club is proud to release its 3rd Annual Books of the Year list.

All the books are written by Latino authors or about Latino characters.  The List contains something for everyone – fiction, 
non-fiction, poetry, short stories, young adult, memoirs, mysteries, thrillers, children’s books, etc.

We encourage all our readers to Help Support An Author by buying their books and telling all your friends.  We also wish everyone Happy Reading and Happy Holidays. --Maria Ferrer








2015 BOOKS OF THE YEAR

A Estudiar, Carajo by Ana María González (Amazon Digital - Spanish)

A Falling Star by Chantel Acevedo (Carolina Wren Press)

A Miracle from God in the Hands of a Mother by Catalina Prieto (CBH Books)

Adultery by Paulo Coelho (Vintage)

Alburquerque by Rudolfo Anaya (Open Road Media)

As My Mother Would Say/ Como Decia Mi Mama by Judith Valles (iUniverse)

Barrio Imbroglio: An Abraxas Hernandez Mystery by Daniel Cubias (Angry Cherub Publishing)

Battle for a Soul by Manuel A. Melendez (Aignos Publishing)

Becoming Julia de Burgos: The Making of a Puerto Rican Icon by Vanessa Pèrez-Rosario (Illinois University Press)

Becoming Maria: A Memoir by Sonia Manzano (Scholastic Press)

Covered Paces by Luigi A. Juarez (Editorial Trance)

Declarations of a Life / Declaraciones de Una Vida by Frank Brewster III (Brewster Guacamaya Enterprises)

Delicious Desires by Sabrina Sol (Entangled)

Diego’s Dragon: Spirits of the Sun by Kevin Gerard (Crying Cougar Press)

Dreamers: An Immigrant Generation’s Fight for their American Dream by Eileen Truax (Beacon Press)

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle (HMH Books for Young Readers)

Evolution by Stephanie Diaz (St. Martin’s Griffin)

Floating on Mama’s Song/ Flotando en la Cancion by Laura Lacamara (illustrator Yuyi Morales, HarperCollins)

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh (Harry N. Abrams Publishing)

His-Panic by Eddie Cisneros (E.W. Brooks Books)

Hollywood Witch Hunter by Valerie Tejeda (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Humbled by the Journey by Miguel Benito Fernandez (Story Farm)

Kings of 7th Avenue by Jonathan Marcantoni (Black Rose Writing)

Lalo Loves to Help by Cecilia Velastegui (Libros Publishing)

Last Stop Market Street by Matt de la Peña (G.P. Putnam’s Sons for Young Readers)

Letters from Heaven/ Cartas del Cielo by Lydia Gil (Arte Publico Press)

Lights Out: A Cuban Memoir of Betrayal and Survival by Dania R. Nasca (Amazon Digital Services)

Little Boy: Saga of a Comanche Warrior by Max Oliver (Pearson Publishing)

Local News: Stories by Gary Soto (HMH Books for Young Readers)

My Land Sings: Stories from the Río Grande by Rudolfo Anaya (Open Road Media Teen & Tween)

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo (Clarion Books)

New York-Christmas Tales: With a Spanish Harlem Accent, Volume One by Manuel A. Melendez 

Nights of Indigo Blue: A Daisy Muñiz Mystery by Theresa Varela (Aignos Publishing)

Parisian Promises by Cecilia Velastegui (Libros Publishing)

Perla Garcia and the Mystery of La Llorona, “The Weeping Woman” by Rodolfo Alvarado (Caballo Press of Ann Arbor)

Point of Balance by J.G. Jurado (Atria Books)

Poli: A Mexican Boy in Early Texas by Jay Neugeboren (Texas Tech University Press)

Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace by Mary A. Perez (Charter House Press)

Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older (Arthur A. Levine Books)

Shutter by Courtney Alameda (Feiwel & Friends/ MacMillan)

Sofi and the Magic Musical Mural / Sofi y El Magico Mural Musical by Raquel M. Ortiz (Arte Publico Press)

Sofia Martinez: My Family Adventure by Jacqueline Jules (Picture Window Books)

Stepdog: A Memoir by Mireya Navarro (G.P. Putnam's Sons)

The Book of Unknown Americas by Christina Henríquez (Alfred A. Knopf)

The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho by Anjanette Delgado (Kensington)

The Cruel Country by Judith Ortiz Cofer (University of Georgia Press)

The Flavor of Our Hispanic Faith by Karen Valentin (Doubleday and Judson Press)

The Heart Has Its Reasons by Maria Dueñas (Atria Books)

The Hidden Light of Mexico City by Carmen Amato (Amazon Digital Services)

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (Vintage)

The Hybrid by Venus Morales (Creativia)

The Intriguing Life of Ximena Godoy by Graciela Limon (Arte Publico Press)

The Last Passenger by Manel Loureiro (Amazon Crossing)

They Only Eat Their Husbands: Love, Travel and the Power of Running Away by Cara Lopez Lee (Conundrum Press)

Tuesday Tucks Me In by Luis Carlos Montalván (Roaring Brook Press)

Transcendental Train Yard by Norma E. Cantu (Wings Press)

Unraveled: An Autumn Covarrubias Mystery by S.X. Bailey (Evernight Teen)

Vamonos! Let’s Go! By Renè Colato Laínez (Holiday House Inc.)

White Light by Vanessa Garcia (Shade Mountain Press)

Who’s Ju? 7th Grade Sleuths by Dania Ramos (Northampton House Press)

  

Happy Reading!

For our 2014 Books of the Year, click here.

For our 2013 Books of the Year, click here.