Thursday, May 31, 2007

On La Bloga

Lisa Alvarado, our featured performer for the next Proyecto Latina is the Thursday columnist for La Bloga. Her column today features Tianguis, Proyecto Latina and a profile on yours truly.

La Bloga is a blog that covers Chicana/Chicano Literature, Writers, Fiction, Children's Literature, News, Views, Reviews . My favorite feature is the extensive link list to author websites. No more wondering if your favorite Chicano author has a website. :)

Finally, make sure to mark your calendars and join us Monday, June 18th @ 7 p.m. for the next Proyecto Latina with Lisa Alvarado who will be sharing from a new body of work. As always there will be chismes and an open mic.

--Irasema Gonzalez

Monday, May 7, 2007

Tea Time: new hours and specials

Mon. through Sat.: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
10a.m. to 5 p.m.

The tea bar is finally open. That means that in addition to tasty drinks, we are introducing new hours. Please note that we are now open earlier and on Sundays. And to celebrate we are featuring a morning special:

small coffee/tea*

7 a.m.-9 a.m.
*(select tea options)

We have organic loose leaf teas --our current favorite is the King Crimson blend--and we can make it a hot or iced tea. Indulge in one of the chais, we have four flavors for choose from. And for a sweeter, hot weather treat, try one of our bubble teas--with or without tapioca pearls. And finally, we also have coffee, and we promise that we can make a mean cup of cafecito.

Our primary mission is to celebrate Latino literature from established authors but also to help nurture emerging voices that are also telling our stories. Buying a drink or snack at Tianguis is a great way to support and help the book selection grow.

We invite you to swing by next time you're in the neighborhood. We are conveniently located across the CTA Pink Line, Damen stop. We can make our space available after hours for meetings or other events, contact us for details.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

New bookclub selection: The Devil's Highway

The Devil's Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea is our next book club selection! It's the first book that we pick that I have not actually read first. But I think its a safe gamble since it's a national bestseller and a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

The book recounts a true story about a group of Mexican immigrants that got lost in May of 2004, along the Arizona desert on a deadly stretch known as The Devil's Highway or La Carretera del Diablo.

I'm already half-way through the first chapter. I've also thumbed through different parts of the book, including the table of contents, the interview and readers questions at the back of the book. One item that stands out is the timeline summarizing the deadly five day journey these men went on. It begins and ends during the month of May. I'm beginning to feel that perhaps the timing of this book as our book club selection for the month of May is serendipity. In the last couple of months, we had considered a couple of titles by Urrea and just recently and unaware of this coincidence picked The Devil's Highway. The thought of that
timing coincidence lingered as I began to read the first few pages, making Urrea's descriptions of desert and desolation all the more surreal.

In light of the ongoing immigration debate we think its a timely read for individuals on both sides of the argument. At the interview at the back of the book, Urrea is asked about how he kept his account objective, he responds, "If I was going to write a book hoping to deal with this issue fairly, how could I write with prejudice...I have to trust my readers to make up their own minds. Even if that means reaching decisions I didn't intend for them to reach."

We invite you to read along with us. If you have already read this book, we encourage you to revisit it and share your thoughts with us. You can do this either through the comment feature on this blog or by joining our book club discussion. Immigration affects us all at many levels, we hope this book can help spark some healthy dialogue in our community and perhaps inspire action leading to changes that ensure that tragedies like this no longer occur.

There are four weeks to read the book. The next book club discussion gathering will be Wednesday, June 6th at 7 p.m. Can't wait to see you.

The Devil's Highway (Bay Back Books, 13.99) is for sale at Tianguis.

--Irasema Gonzalez