Vamos: LéaLA, la primera feria del libro en español en California


Todos los amantes de la lectura en español estamos de fiesta este fin de semana en LA.

LéaLA promete ser uno de esos eventos especiales que hay que disfrutar en Los Angeles, con escritores, intelectuales  y amantes de la lectura en un espacio enorme y con entrada GRATIS. Lo organiza la Universidad de Guadalajara con otros patrocinadores locales.

No todos los días tenemos la oportunidad de ver en persona a Isabel Allende, Laura Restrepo, Xavier Velasco, Ofelia Medina, Kate del Castillo, Lydia Cacho, Francisco Martin Moreno, Dayanara Torres, José José (!!!) y muchos otros presentadores en un solo lugar. Además hay talleres de lectura, de cine, de lenguaje e idioma, temas culturales, etc.

Ahorita estuve leyendo el programa y me emocioné mucho. ¡Quiero ir a todo! Espero ustedes se puedan dar una vuelta tambien.

Tendrán temas para lectores de todos los géneros, y algo para toda la familia, incluyendo un espacio de lectura para niños. Because it’s never too early to get them to love books.

Visiten el website y vean todo lo que pueden disfrutar. Aqui esta el link:

Programa LEA-LA

Por favor vayan y lleven a su familia. De verdad hay que asistir para apoyar este evento porque 1) es un esfuerzo muy grande traer todo este programa a California y 2) si no vamos, ya no nos van a querer traer estas opciones culturales gratuitas. Que vea todo el mundo que los latinos en California leemos y queremos más cultura y más opciones inteligentes.

Léa-LA es este viernes 29 y sábado 30 de Abril, y el domingo 1 de mayo en el LA Convention Center en Downtown LA, “Concourse Hall”. Direccion es 1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Abierto desde las 10am hasta las 7pm. Entrada Libre!

Cookbooks Galore

Cookbooks para todos en el Barnes and Noble.

Spring is here, Easter is coming up, and just from browsing at my local Barnes and Noble, it seems everybody is coming out with a new cookbook.

I don’t know about you but every time I see a shiny cookbook, it makes me want to just go out and cook something new. It does inspire me. I guess that’s the whole point behind the marketing strategy. You can cook like these chefs, so called chefs, and celebrities (so they say) but am I a regular cook? Not by a long shot. Who has the time nowadays?

So I was surprised to see a new cookbook by Eva Longoria, the Desperate Housewife, globe-trotting, UCLA student (she’s getting a master’s degree in Chicano studies, thank you very much) and Latino activist who supports mental health issues, children’s health, among a bunch of other causes.  Apparently this multi-tasker still has time to prepare home cooked meals for her familia. Or so the book implies, as there’s plenty of pictures of Eva peeling veggies, in the kitchen, con su mamá y sus tías, moviendo el sartén. Hmmm, I have a feeling it’s more her mom and tías that do the cooking. Just saying!  Anyway, it’s called “Eva’s Kitchen” and has the typical “latina” or mexican-latino fusion inspired recipes, with glossy, colorful pictures.

Eva Longoria's new cookbook is called "Eva's Kitchen."

Otra que no se queda atrás es la Gwyneth Paltrow, the overachiever everybody loves to hate. I am currently on “la-gwyneth-otra-vez -me-está- cayendo-gorda mode” but it is always shifting. (I have a love-hate relationship with her, which is more than I can say for the blogging community, which loves to hate her… but I digress.)

Goop's book. "My Father's Daughter" (Photo from

La Goop herself  just came out with a cookbook called “My Father’s Daughter” and everybody on the online foodie blogs came out to bash her, yet again, for her snobby, better than thou, life is perfect attitude. She can really annoy the hell out of people. But truth be told, she’s very talented, she can sing, hablar español, has good style and good genes. Enough said.

One of the tweets I follow on Twitter, Ruth Bourdain (fictional account that mashes Ruth Reichl and Anthony Bourdain’s point of view, you should follow it!) had a funny tweet the other day regarding the book:

So I was surprised when I happened to like the book, after browsing through it, and thinking, I really want to get it. Dammit! I loved the look and feel of the book, it has beautiful photos, the recipes look delicious, and achievable. Pero es de la Gwyneth, así que…I’ll admit:

Si tuviera an extra $30 bucks I might consider purchasing it. But since I don’t, right now I’ll just admire it at the bookstore and wait till it goes on sale, eventually.

Lo que me llamó la atención es que nowhere in the book, and I mean nowhere, is it mentioned that she is married to Chris Martin. Not in the acknowledgements to everybody who is important in her life, not in the thank you’s, not even in the back flap bio. Hmmm. That sounds weird to me.


UPDATE: So I was mistaken: looks like they are still together. Chris Martin was at her NYC book presentation-private dinner this week.

Here’s the link to the NYT photogallery. (Click here) Nice party! Ah the beautiful people.

And here’s the link to the companion article, Click:   She acts, she sings, she cooks?

Is Gwyneth trying to be the new Martha? (Photo from

No show, con del Toro y Carlos Fuentes

It was a very disappointing Friday night at Disney Hall in LA. Turns out that the much anticipated book presentation of Carlos Fuentes’ VLAD was abruptly cancelled. No word on the motives and nobody from the organizing committee, la Universidad de Guadalajara en Los Angeles UDGLA, bothered to show up to give us an explanation. Bummer! It would have been an interesting conversation, even though Mr. Fuentes tends to be a little pompous and wordy… rollero pues, but Mr. del Toro would’ve made it more animated and fun.

Quien sabe qué pasaría. But the organizers could’ve been more courteous and let us know beforehand. It’s not an easy task to get to downtown LA on a Friday evening. Parking isn’t cheap, either. At least Disney Hall was fair enough to return the parking fee.

I felt bad for a guy who came in with his collection of Carlos Fuentes books so he could get his autograph. And they looked like books from Mexico, like older print editions, with the soft cover almost falling off y el cartoncito deslavado. A true Fuentes reader. Qué lástima. There are not many of those fans here in LA.

Just hope the Feria del Libro en Español “LeaLA” is better organized by the UDGLA. It’s set for April 29, 30 and May 1st in LA.


No show. Ni Carlos Fuentes ni Guillermo del Toro llegaron.

Sunday evening cafecito y “Killer Crónicas”

Después de una semana full of revelations, estoy disfrutando de un little downtime cafecito and a wonderful book I received from Susana Chavez-Silverman, a true Spanglish linguist and beautiful writer.

“Killer Crónicas” has me hooked and I’m barely on chapter 2. This book will serve as an early literary example of how Spanglish gradually evolved into a vibrant and energetic new language, pese a quien le pese.  I have to catch myself from gasping as I go through the pages, because this is what the voice in your Spanglish head sounds like (at least my inner voice) and she has captured it perfectly, even writing in accents from Madrid, Buenos Aires and Mexico. So very interesting indeed.

Says the LA Times: “A stirring memoir…practically a performance. Killer Crónicas is a testament to the matruring sense of global and pan-Latin citizenship being claimed by Chicanos and US born Latinos in the AmericanWest. Combine this with such innovation in language, and her book may be one day regarded as a refreshing turning point in Latino literature…”

Killer Cronicas, Bilingual Memories by Susana Chavez Silverman (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004) y un cafecito. The perfect late afternoon combo.

¡Ya era hora! Premio Nobel de literatura para Vargas Llosa

Esta mañana fui feliz con la noticia de que Mario Vargas Llosa recibe el Premio Nobel de literatura. ¡Desde cuando que lo merecía! Muchas felicidades al escritor!

Para celebrar voy a releer “La tia Julia y el escribidor”. O tambien “Travesuras de la niña mala”. O la favorita de mi amigo el Chelo, “Quien mato a Palomino Molero?”, esta la voy a tener que sacar de la library.

La tia Julia y el escribidor. Hay que disfrutarla de nuevo! (Foto de

Aqui les dejo una breve bibliografía de uno de mis autores favoritos, por The UK Guardian. Hagan click!

And read the NY Times article here:

RIP J.D. Salinger…


What I like best is a book that’s at least funny once in a while…What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.
The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield

J. D. Salinger

I was in the 8th Grade at Our Lady Of Guadalupe Academy when I first read The Catcher in the Rye and it was the first book that I remember made me feel like a “grown-up”.  A friend had lent it to me, it wasn’t required reading or anything (I suppose the nuns would not have approved) and finished it in days.  

So I’m sorry to hear the news that J.D. Salinger passed away today at 91 years old. He never wanted to be seen, nor gave inteviews, and we never really knew much about him, which added to the intrigue. It must be a sad day for his fans.

I think I’ll pick up a copy in the library to read it again.

New Year, same vice

“When I get a little money, I buy books; if any is left, I buy food and clothes.” – Erasmus, humanist and scholar.

Libros para todos los gustos.

Aqui su segura servilleta had a little money left over from the holidays and in the spirit of gift giving- to myself- I headed over to my favorite Barnes and Noble. I LOVE THIS PLACE. I can, and have on occasion, spent many afternoons just browsing the beautiful and wonderful books and different sections.

This year I gave myself a few goodies, all to fit with my resolution to read more.

Clockwise from left: a Vargas Llosa classic, a life planner for 5 years, a mag to inspire to run more, and book to read when I need faith and motivation from my friend Joel.

What did you give yourself this year? I highly recommend self gifts, preferably by January 6, so you can say “me lo trajeron los Reyes Magos.”  Not that we need any excuses!