Saturday evening, I had a wonderful time reading and signing my new novel, The Book of Want, at Libros Schmibros, a lending library/used bookstore founded by book critic David Kipen for the community of Boyle Heights (2000 E. 1st St. Los Angeles, CA 90033). I want to thank not only David and the volunteers who set up the chairs and basically rearranged Libros Schmibros for the reading, but I also thank Colleen Jaurretche, the operations manager, as well as the former operations manager, Catherine Fryszczyn, who is moving to Ukraine to serve in the Peace Corps. I thank you not only for what you are doing for the community, but also for your hospitality as we had an intimate evening with guests who listened to my reading attentively, and asked insightful, thought-provoking questions. If you want to learn more about David Kipen and Libros Schmibros, please read this fine piece by Carolyn Kellogg for the Los Angeles Times.
As I’ve noted before, writing is a lonely endeavor, but when I get to participate in book readings, the loneliness dissipates and I am reminded why I write. That personal connection with readers fills me with energy and inspiration…I wouldn’t write another word if I couldn’t participate in such literary events.
Now I’m off to Northern California for a book reading and signing on March 30, at 7:00 p.m. (the day before César Chávez Day), at the venerable (and independent) Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. This event is co-sponsored by the Stanford Chicano Latino Alumni Association of Northern California. The author, Stephen D. Gutierrez, will be introducing me. Kepler’s Books is just outside of Stanford University where I majored in English literature, so it’s a bit of a homecoming for me. If you can’t make it, visit my website for future events.
OTHER LITERARY NEWS:
• Over at LatinoLA, check out Jimmy Franco’s provocative essay, “Ruben Salazar: A Man of Courage” which is subtitled, “Not just a symbol of nostalgia, rather an example to everyone that we should stand up and continue to struggle.”
• Thursday March 31, at the University of Redlands, as part of their Visiting Writers Series, Lisa Alvarez and Manuel Muñoz will discuss their work in Sudden Fiction Latino (W. W. Norton). For more on this event, visit Lisa’s literary blog, The Mark on the Wall. Lisa and I will do a similar panel on April 9 at Literary Orange on the campus of UC Irvine (moderated by Andrew Tonkovich, host of Bibliocracy).
• Speaking of Manuel Muñoz, his wonderful new novel, What You See in the Dark (Algonquin Books), will be officially released on March 29. Check out his website for his book tour schedule.
• That’s all for this Monday. In the meantime, enjoy the intervening posts from mis compadres y comadres here on La Bloga. And remember: ¡Lea un libro!