Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review

Dear Readers,

I have leave you with great news: I got engaged!!!

WEPA! Now is that how you wrap up a year or what? I'm so very happy and excited.

Thank you for all your comments, emails and stopping by to check out my blog. I leave you for a bit with this look back at the best of 2013:

Top read posts:

Just say "no" to MSG
Spanglish Mini Glossary
Cuchifrito Rotisserie Chicken Recipe
Origins: El Cuco
5 Things I Learned from Walter Mercado
25 Intriguing Facts About GGM from Gabriel García Márquez
DIY Guava Pastries: Pastelitos de Guayaba
Flan vs. Tembleque
New Book: Jenni Rivera: The Incredible Story of a Warrior Butterfly Jenni Rivera



Friday, December 06, 2013

#FridayReads: An Afro-Latina Book List

Inspired by Melissa Harris-Perry's black feminism syllabus over at Feministing I've put together a version geared toward the specific experiences of being both black and Hispanic in the U.S.A and beyond.


  1. Afro-Latin America, 1800-2000 by George Reid Andrews 
  2. Daughters of the Stone: A Novel by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa  
  3. Afro-Latino Voices: Narratives from the Early Modern Ibero-Atlantic World, 1550-1812 by Kathryn Joy McKnight 
  4. The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States by Miriam Jiménez Román 
  5. Women Warriors of the Afro-Latina Diaspora by Marta Moreno Vega
  6. Black in Latin America by Henry Louis Gates Jr. 
  7. The African Presence in Santo Domingo by Carlos Andujar 
  8. Latining America: Black-Brown Passages and the Coloring of Latino/a Studies by Claudia Milian  
  9. Unbecoming Blackness: The Diaspora Cultures of Afro-Cuban America by Antonio Lopez 
  10. The African Experience in Spanish America by Leslie B., Jr. Rout 
  11. Race in Another America: The Significance of Skin Color in Brazil by Edward E. Telles 
  12. Reyita: The Life of a Black Cuban Woman in the Twentieth Century by Maria De Los Reyes Castillo Bueno, Daisy Rubiera Castillo, Anne McLean 
  13. Autobiography of a Slave Autobiografia de un esclavo by Juan Francisco 
  14. Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas
  15. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz 
  16. Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon and Richard Philcox
  17. Women Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and the Caribbean by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez, Julia Alvarez, Edwidge Danticat and Michelle Cliff
  18. Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel by Isabel Allende
  19. Negras in Brazil: Re-envisioning Black Women, Citizenship, and the Politics of Identity by Professor Kia Lilly Caldwell 
  20. Racial Politics in Post-Revolutionary Cuba by Mark Q. Sawyer
  21. Blacks and Blackness in Central America: Between Race and Place Paperback by Lowell Gudmundson, Justin Wolfe  
  22. Blackness and Race Mixture: The Dynamics of Racial Identity in Colombia by Peter Wade 
  23. Yo Soy Negro: Blackness in Peru by Tanya Maria Golash-Boza 
  24. Freedoms Given, Freedoms Won: Afro-Brazilians in Post-Abolition SÏ€o Paolo and Salvador by Kim D. Butler
  25. Race and Ethnicity in Latin America by Peter Wade
  26. Black behind the Ears: Dominican Racial Identity from Museums to Beauty Shops by Ginetta E. B. Candelario
  27. Black and Green: Afro-Colombians, Development, and Nature in the Pacific Lowlands by Kiran Asher
  28. Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism, and Blackness in Mexico by Christina A. Sue
  29. Black Mexico: Race and Society from Colonial to Modern Times by Ben Vinson 
  30. Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
  31. Yemoja: Gender, Sexuality, and Creativity in the Latina by Solimar Otero, Toyin Falola 
  32. Neither Enemies nor Friends: Latinos, Blacks, Afro-Latinos by Anani Dzidzienyo
  33. Afrodescendants, Identity, and the Struggle for Development in the Americas by Bernd Reiter
  34. Mulattas and Mestizas: Representing Mixed Identities in the Americas, 1850-2000 by Suzanne Bost
What would you add? Let me know especially fiction and literature...



Tuesday, December 03, 2013

3 Amazing Ad Campaigns Aimed at Hispanics in 2013

Meanwhile over at Hispanic Trending... Check out my latest post - thanks Juan!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

#NonfictionNovember – 8 Recommended (Fiction & Nonfiction) Book Pairings

I found this challenge over at Regularrumination to find pairings for nonfiction with its complimentary fiction reads pretty interesting. Here are my recommendations:

Pairing 1:
In the Time of the Butterflies
 (Photo: Wikipedia)
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
with
The Last Playboy: The High Life of Porfirio Rubirosa by Shawn Levy

Pairing 2:
When I Was Puerto Rican: A Memoir by Esmeralda Santiago
with
If I Bring You Roses by Marisel Vera

Pairing 3:
Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies by Laura Esquivel
with
The Daughters of Juarez: A True Story of Serial Murder South of the Border by Teresa Rodriguez, Diana Montané and Lisa Pulitzer

Pairing 4:
Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat
with
Haiti: The Tumultuous History - From Pearl of the Caribbean to Broken Nation by Philippe Girard

Pairing 5:
We The Animals by Justin Torres
with
For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet's Journey by Richard Blanco

Cover of "Cherries in Winter: My Family's...
Cover via Amazon
Pairing 6:
Cherries in Winter: My Family's Recipe for Hope in Hard Times by Suzan Colon
with
The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico: A Novel by Sarah McCoy

Pairing 7: 
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
with
Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas

Pairing 8:
The Scent of Lemon Leaves by Clara Sanchez and Julie Wark
with
The Real Odessa: Smuggling the Nazis to Peron's Argentina by Uki Goni

Pairing 9:
The Woman in Battle: The Civil War Narrative of Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Cuban Woman and Confederate Soldier by Loreta Janeta Velazquez
with
Ines of My Soul: A Novel by Isabel Allende

Friday, November 15, 2013

#FridayReads: For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet's Journey by Richard Blanco

For All of Us, One Today is a fluid, poetic account of Richard Blanco's life-changing experiences as the inaugural poet in 2013. In this brief and evocative narrative, he shares the story of the call from the White House committee and all the exhilaration and upheaval of the days that followed. 

For the first time, he reveals the inspiration and challenges—including his experiences as a Latino immigrant and gay man—behind the creation of the inaugural poem, "One Today," as well as two other poems commissioned for the occasion ("Mother Country" and "What We Know of Country"), published here for the first time ever, alongside translations of all three of those poems into his native Spanish. Finally, Blanco reflects on his new role as a public voice, his vision for poetry's place in our nation's consciousness, his spiritual embrace of Americans everywhere, and his renewed understanding of what it means to be an American as a result of the inauguration. 

 Like the inaugural poem itself, For All of Us, One Today speaks to what makes this country and its people great, marking a historic moment of hope and promise in our evolving American landscape. 


Richard Blanco
 (Photo: pennstatenews)
Selected by President Obama to be the fifth inaugural poet in history, Richard Blanco is the youngest, first Latino, first immigrant, and first openly gay person to serve in the role. The negotiation of cultural identity and universal themes of place and belonging characterize his three collections of poetry—City of a Hundred Fires, Directions to The Beach of the Dead, and Looking for The Gulf Motel. Blanco is a fellow of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. He lives in Bethel, Maine.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

#FridayReads: Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities

If you want to see me squeak and squeal, geek out and get flustered and/or start hyperventilating, talk to me about the Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions
by Guillermo Del Toro, Marc Zicree. It's funny back in early 2012, I wrote about how awesome it would be to be able to take a peek at what inspired Del Toro and apparently the internet gods answered.

I think this would make an excellent gift and if you're really fancy, there's a limited edition that retails for half a grand, no joke:

Over the last two decades, writer-director Guillermo del Toro has mapped out a territory in the popular imagination that is uniquely his own, astonishing audiences with Cronos, Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, and a host of other films and creative endeavors. Now, for the first time, del Toro reveals the inspirations behind his signature artistic motifs, sharing the contents of his personal notebooks, collections, and other obsessions. 

An intimate look into one of the most imaginative minds of this century, Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities reproduces the notes, the drawings, the untold creatures, and ideas of things to come that fill del Toro's fabled illustrated notebooks


This book will be a visual treasure trove for del Toro fans, as readers get a look at reproductions of his actual journal pages, filled with his handwriting, illustrations, notes in Spanish and English, as well as new annotations that add context and clarity.

The result is a startling, intimate glimpse into the life and mind of one of the world's most creative visionaries. Complete with running commentary, interview text, and annotations that contextualize the ample visual material, this deluxe compendium is every bit as inspired as del Toro is himself.

Contains a foreword by James Cameron, an afterword by Tom Cruise, and contributions from other luminaries, including Neil Gaiman and John Landis, among others.

This book includes diary entries and illustrations for the following del Toro movies, both green lit and not: 
  • Cronos
  • At the Mountains of Madness (as yet unmade)
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Mephisto’s Bridge
  • Mimic
  • The Devil’s Backbone
  • Don’t be Afraid of the Dark
  • Blade 2
  • Hellboy
  • Pan’s Labryrinth
  • Hellboy 2
  • Pacific Rim

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Guillermo del Toro is the director of the films Cronos, Mimic, The Devil's Backbone, Blade II, Hellboy I, Hellboy II, and Pan's Labyrinth, which garnered enormous critical praise worldwide and won three Academy Awards.

Marc Scott Zicree has created classic episodes of "Star Trek-The Next Generation," "Deep Space Nine," "Babylon Five," "Sliders" and many more. He has appeared as a media expert on hundreds of radio and TV shows and is the author of the bestselling Twilight Zone Companion. He lives in West Hollywood with his wonderful wife, vile little dog, and affable big dog.

 
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