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Showing posts from June, 2020


Carolrhoda Lab Blanca:  Life is not a multiple-choice test.   Verdad:  Hell is now, saying it happens later is a power play.   Honest. Tragic. Realist. Truthful. This is a bold novel that deals with hard topics like death, betrayal, homelessness and sexual orientation. It’s well-written, with a great cast of characters.   It’s also very realistic, and like today’s youth, Verdad and Danny face hard choices as they learn who they truly are, who they want to be, and whom they want to love. SUMMARY:   A powerful exploration of love, identity, and self-worth through the eyes of a fierce, questioning Puerto Rican teen.   Fifteen-year-old Verdad doesn't think she has time for love. She's still struggling to process the recent death of her best friend, Blanca; dealing with the high expectations of her hardworking Puerto Rican mother and the absence of her remarried father; and keeping everyone at a distance. But when she meets Danny, a new guy at s


Al jibaro nunca se le quita la mancha de platano. A jibaro can never wash away the stain of the plantain .                         -Esmeralda Santiago Vintage, 1990 If you are Puerto Rican, you have probably heard of Esmeralda Santiago.  She is the author that gave Puerto Ricans a face and a voice.  She is every Boricua – torn between two cultures, two languages, two identities.  Which is the real Esmeralda? The answer is another question – why can’t she be both? Esmeralda’s WHEN I WAS PUERTO RICAN is the first of three memoirs that take readers from the pueblitos of the small Caribbean island to the big city in Manhattan.  Esme’s new life is full of challenges, discoveries and dualities.  In fact, the original version of the novel had two parts  –  Puerto Rico and America.  Esmeralda is both Puerto Rican and American. There are no sides to choose.  Her journey is ours, and hopefully, we can do it with equal grace and success. SUMMARY:  In a childhood


In honor of Father’s Day, The Latina Book Club , has put together this short list of male authors.    We selected a wide variety, from coming of age stories to political poems to dark thrillers.   G reat selections all.     Happy Reading.     LOVE by Matt de la Peňa (G.P. Putnam) Written by a Newbery Medal winning author, this novel is about the love that surrounds us. As children we can see it, feel it, even taste it.  We lose that feeling as adults, but this beautifully illustrated picture book by Loren Long, brings those loving feelings back to life. MAXIMILIAN AND THE LUCHA LIBRE CLUB: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller by Xavier Garza (Cinco Puntos Press) Book 3 in the series, has Max joining the Lucha Libre Club – a club for kids related to the luchadores. His friend Paloma is in it too, but it’s Cecilia who has captured Max’s young heart, no? WHAT LANE?   by Torrey Maldonado (Nancy Paulsen Books / Penguin) This native New Yorker and educato


Real revolution in language is taking the stranger’s tongue and using it better than he.— Richard Rodriguez HUNGER OF MEMORY The Education of Richard Rodriguez By Richard Rodriguez Bantam, 1982 Memoir Astounding. Superb. A Triumph. The difficult journey of an immigrant child struggling to navigate two cultures, two languages, two worlds is the same now as it was in the 1960’s and 1970's.   The struggle to learn a new language, to be accepted, to belong to the new world takes a toll on the child and can often threaten the bonds of family and culture.   Such is Richard’s story. HUNGER OF MEMORY is the story of Mexican-American Richard Rodriguez, who begins his schooling in Sacramento, California, knowing just 50 words of English, and concludes his university studies in the stately quiet of the reading room of the British Museum.   Here is the poignant journey of a “minority student” who pays the cost of his social assimilation and academic




The taste of you remains Clinging to paradise But as the distance from you grows All that my heart ever knows Hunger for your kiss Longing for your touch Beautiful Maria of my soul --Lyrics, Beautiful Maria of My Soul Song by Los Lobos THE MAMBO KINGS PLAY SONGS OF LOVE By Oscar Hijuelos (1989) Farrar Straus Giroux Winner of the 1990 Pulitzer Prize in Literature We loved the book, the movie and the sequel !!! SUMMARY:   It's 1949 and two young Cuban musicians make their way from Havana to the grand stage of New York City. It is the era of mambo, and the Castillo brothers, workers by day, become stars of the dance halls by night, where their orchestra plays the lush, sensuous, pulsing music that earns them the title of the Mambo Kings. This is their moment of youth, exuberance, love, and freedom―a golden time that decades later is remembered with nostalgia and deep affection. Hijuelos's marvelous portrait of the Castillo brothers, their families,


The Latina Book Club supports our Black Brothers and Sisters   and our Afro Latinx / Black Latinx Communities during these hard times.   Black Lives Matter.    We See You. We Hear You.   We Support You. Aside from donating money to the different organizations supporting the movement and the protesters, we want to support Afro-Latinx / Black Latinx authors by purchasing and reading their books.   Below is a short list in no particular order.   We welcome additions to this list.     Happy Reading.   Take care and Stay Safe.   20 AFRO LATINX  /  BLACK LATINX WRITERS  NO ONE IS ILLEGAL: FIGHTING RACISM AND STATE VIOLENCE IN THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER   by Justin Akers Chacón and Mike Davis (Haymarket Books) AN AFRICAN AMERICAN AND LATINX HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES By Paul Ortiz (Beacon Press) 13 WAYS TO LOOK AT A BLACK BOY By Tony Medina & 13 Artists   (Penny Candy Books) THE LATINX POETRY PROJECT Produced by Davina Ferreira   (Ale


Bilingual Review Press, 1992 D estiny is not a metaphysical confrontation with one’s self, rather, society has knit its pattern so tight that a confrontation with it is inevitable. —Ana Castillo Unconfirming. Unapologetic. Quixotic.   Rebellious. Ana Castillo’s debut novel, THE MIXQUIAHUALA LETTERS, was “groundbreaking” and largely misunderstood. Mainly because the book was not a novel per se, instead the 138-page book is a collection of letters from Teresa to her friend Alicia, an artist.   Readers are cautioned at the beginning of the book that they have three options on how to move forward – “for the conformist, the cynic and the quixotic.”   Depending on which option the reader takes that would determine his journey and satisfaction at the end. The letters are only from Teresa’s point of view, but they contain enough substance to flesh out both women, and to highlight their adventures.   Confronted with strict societal roles and rules of conduct, Teresa


Just when there is a light at the end of this Covid-19 tunnel we’ve been bunkered in for the past eight weeks, there is a confrontation at the Brambles in Central Park and a murder in Minneapolis that shatter our lives, our country, the world. The Latina Book Club condemns racism in all its forms. We especially condemn the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police.   We stand in solidarity with our Black brothers and sisters, friends, neighbors, and community members. We Are   In This Together .   We recognize that ALL Americans are equal, and that no matter the color of our skin, religion, sexual orientation, economic background, et al, ALL of us are part of the whole, and we must be treated with respect and dignity. We know that by working together we as a community, as a country, can ALL stamp out racism, police brutality, sexual harassment, bullying and greed, and create a new and better world. Until that time comes, please know that....  We