Thursday, June 18, 2009

Guest Columnist: Lydia Gil. Críticas reviews are back!

Lydia Gil

In February of this year, Reed Business Information decided to stop publishing Críticas magazine, which for eight years offered some of the most complete coverage of the U.S. Spanish-language book market.

As essential as this tool proved for librarians, teachers, booksellers and, of course, readers, the publishers based their decision to shut it down not on a decreasing readership, but on (surprise!) decreased ad support.

Shortly after the announcement, writer Adriana V. López asked readers to respond to the publishers and to let them know why Críticas was important to them. Apparently, enough readers took the time to write, since Críticas is back... Or at least their book reviews.

Yesterday, Library Journal sent an email announcing that reviews of Spanish-language books for adults and children can now be found on the LJ website []. According to the message, reviews of Spanish-language fiction for adults will continue to appear monthly "by the same expert reviewers who have been covering these books for Críticas for years." Reviews of children's books, however, will appear every other month.

This is mixed news, however, because Críticas offered a lot more than just book reviews. They also reported on industry news and literary trends and published a monthly Spanish-language best-sellers list. While some of these topics can be found at the America Reads Spanish website [], what gets placed under "Industry News" is rather miscellaneous, to put it nicely...

Estoy leyendo... TENGO UNA TIA QUE NO ES MONJITA (Ediciones Patlatonalli).

This adorable children's book by Melissa Cardoza Calderón is about a young girl named Meli (¡ajá!) and her wonderfully eccentric aunt, who is single, doesn't have kids, and is not a nun. She does have a lot of fabulous amigas, and one day Meli catches her kissing one of them... ¡en la boca! It's amazingly beautiful how Cardoza can tell so much in such few words. Great illustrations too!

La Bloga welcomes back for her second guest column, Lydia Gil. La Bloga, and Lydia, appreciate your comments. Click on the Comments counter below. La Bloga welcomes guest columnists. If you'd like to be our guest, click here to send us your idea.

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