Thursday, September 22, 2011

Interview with Justin Torres, author of We the Animals


As you may remember from my previous post, I had a chance to sit down with Justin Torres on Monday to discuss his debut work, WE THE ANIMALS, with him and even though it was an epic 2.5 hour-long trek to Brooklyn, I had a wonderful time and was honored to be there.

Here is some of the coverage from the event below and a special thanks to everyone who came out!

 

Left to right: Ron Hogan (Beatrice.com), me, Greenlight Bookstore owner: Jessica Stockton, and Justin Torres

Me & Justin Torres

Justin Torres signing copies of WE THE ANIMALS at the Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, New York
This is my absolute favorite photo of the evening! *Photo: Joseph Pulley

Nothing like seeing your name up there.
Standing room only
Justin Torres reads before a packed house

If you haven't read this book yet, you definitely need to pick it up. It's definitely a book of the year and reminds me of a fusion between Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas, Blu's Hanging by Lois-Ann Yamanaka , Push: A Novel by Sapphire, and The Road by Cormac McCarthy; yes, it's that caliber.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Lit Links & Scoops


The Brooklyn Book Festival is this weekend! La Casa Azul Bookstore will be there with Las Comadres and  17 authors signing books at Booth #125!

I hope you can make it to my bookstore event on Monday with Justin Torres.

- This is what happens when social media makes you jaded - I totally feel what he is saying:
Replacing Culture with Polarity
Today, words are only as good as the clicks they attract.

I don’t have to write anything profound. I just have to write something catchy.

I don’t need to be right, or even to take a stand. I just need to be interesting enough to be momentarily quotable.

I don’t seek out well-reasoned responses or rational debate. I just want comments, likes and retweets, which prove that I still have a pulse. Via Are We the Generation That Destroyed the Concept of Communication
- While the title of this article was skewed toward sexist sensationalism, I really enjoyed reading it -
A Message to Women: You are not irrational, crazy, or sensitive

- I love Chris Brogan, he is a good guy who is always willing to help and he is passionate about what he does, so when he talks about drawing boundaries - I think people should listen:
TAKE BACK YOUR STRINGS

Goodreads has launched a Netflix-like recommendation feature, while Amazon launches a netflix for ebooks (according to rumor).

- On freedom of press and social media, meanwhile in Mexico a gruesome message was set for bloggers and Twitterers on what happens to those who "snitch."

SAT Reading Scores Now Lowest Ever Since 1972

 LeVar Burton Bringing Back Reading Rainbow to a New Generation

Donate to the ‘40K in 40 days’ campaign and help us open La Casa Azul Bookstore in East Harlem.


40K in 40 days campaign, La Casa Azul Bookstore from Lucha Libros on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Back to School: 50 Great Hispanic Novels Every Student Should Read

Onlinecollegecourses.com has a put together a great list of Hispanic novels that everyone should add to their list.

It's sorted by author's country of origin and contains a very nice mixture of recent and past notable books.

Here are the top books from Hispanic American authors:


  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros 
  • This short novel is perfect for rainy afternoon reading. Central to the novel is a young girl named Esperanza, who is coming of age in a Chicagoan Mexican and Puerto Rican neighborhood. She flounders in desperation to leave her impoverished life behind and move on to bigger and better things.
  • Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo AnayaPart of a trilogy, this award winner has landed on many banned book lists for its depiction of witchcraft and violence. It’s an undeserved reputation for an incredibly important read that blends folklore, religion and coming of age issues into one beautifully written work.
  • In the Time of Butterflies by Julia AlvarezSet in the Dominican Republic during the Trujillo dictatorship, this novel tells a fictionalized version of real life events surrounding three sisters murdered for their roles in a plot to overthrow the government.
  • And the Earth Did Not Devour Him by Tomas RiveraA compilation of short stories and vignettes rather than a novel proper, this collection helped expose many of the abuses and horrors faced by migrant workers in the 1940s and 1950s. Disturbing, tragic and beautiful, it is an essential read for anyone interested in Hispanic lit.
  • Llamame Brooklyn by Eduardo LagoWhile Lago is a Spanish-born writer, he lives and writes in America, and this book chronicles his experience living abroad. Llamame Brooklyn (or Call Me Brooklyn) was inspired by Lago’s own time in the US. It details the life of a young man struggling to come to terms with his Spanish identity while residing in New York with his adopted family.


To browse through the rest of the list, click here.

Monday, September 05, 2011

NYC: Justin Torres in Conversation with Literanista at the Greenlight Bookstore

Mark your calendars, friends!

I will be interviewing author, Justin Torres (We The Animals) on Monday, September 19, 2011, at 7:30 PM at the Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn. A very special thank you to Ron Hogan of Beatrice.com who will present the discussion. I hope you can join us!
Monday, September 19, 7:30 PM
Blogger/Author Pairings:  
Justin Torres discusses his novel We The Animals with Valerie Russo of Literanista
Introduction by Ron Hogan of Beatrice.com


Former New York bookseller Justin Torres has been taking the literary world by storm with his fiercely powerful debut novel of the intense love and idiosyncrasies of family life. A first person narrative of three growing brothers and their volatile and passionate parents, the book is also a coming-of-age story in which personal identity – cultural, ethnic, sexual – wars with the overwhelming demands of family.

Justin discusses his work with Valerie Russo, creator of Literanista, where she writes about multicultural books, new media, and social issues. The event is hosted by series curator Ron Hogan, creator of the seminal literary blog Beatrice.com.


Location: Greenlight Bookstore 

686 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, New York
11217

Subway: C at Lafayette, G at Fulton Street, or 2/3/4/5/B/D/M/Q/N/R at Atlantic/Pacific Terminal.

Click here for a map


RSVP via Facebook

Friday, September 02, 2011

Everything Must Come to an End

Those of you familiar with my blog know my passion for dragonflies. I came across this video made by a photographer who found a dying dragonfly on his deck and shot this haunting video. I thought it was a fitting way to say goodbye to summer but also to remind ourselves that every thing we experience no matter how small or fleeting is an opportunity.

Last Moments Of Life from Paul Kroeker on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Digital Natives, Pedagogy & Blogging

I'd like to invite all of my readers, especially the educators in the audience to welcome and follow my sister, Ms. Garcia, who is now blogging at Pre-K, My Way.



I'd also like to bring your attention to a very cool book called Teaching Digital Natives: Partnering for Real Learning from "Marc Prensky, who first coined the terms "digital natives" and "digital immigrants,"" as he "presents an intuitive yet highly innovative and field-tested partnership model that promotes 21st-century student learning through technology."
 
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