National Hispanic Heritage Month starts September 15 and runs through October 15. Hoopla has a collection of ebooks just for the occasion. Here are some of our readers’ favorites.
In this new cooking poem, Jorge Argueta brings us a fun and easy recipe for a yummy salsa. A young boy and his sister gather the ingredients and grind them up in a molcajete, just like their ancestors used to do, singing and dancing all the while. The children imagine that their ingredients are different parts of an orchestra – the tomatoes are bongos and kettledrums, the onion, a maraca, the cloves of garlic, trumpets and the cilantro, the conductor. They chop and then grind these ingredients in the molcajete, along with red chili peppers for the “hotness” that is so delicious, finally adding a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of salt. When they are finished, their mother warms tortillas and their father lays out plates, as the whole family, including the cat and dog, dance salsa in mouth-watering anticipation. Winner of the International Latino Book Award for Guacamole, Jorge Argueta has once again written a recipe-poem that families will delight in. Each book in the cooking poem series features a talented illustrator from the Latino world. In Salsa the text is complemented by the rich, earthy illustrations of Duncan Tonatiuh, winner of the Pura Belpré Award. His interest in honoring the art of the past in contemporary contexts is evident in these wonderful illustrations, which evoke the pre-Columbian Mixtec codex.
When new friends Lupe, Flapjack, and Elirio are each bullied by Las Matamoscas, they know they’re going to like one another. When they find out they all love lowrider cars, they know they’ll be friends for life. But the bullies won’t leave the Lowriders alone-and they don’t let any girls or babies into car clubs. Can these three determined outcasts prove they deserve to be in the car show? Humor, Spanish words, and lowrider culture come together in this heartwarming graphic novel of three friends navigating the bumpy terrain of friendship, bullying, and standing up for what you believe in. ¡Vámonos!
When twelve-year-old Izzy discovers a beat-up baseball marked with the words “Because magic” while unpacking in yet another new apartment, she is determined to figure out what it means. What secrets does this old ball have to tell? Her mom certainly isn’t sharing any, especially when it comes to Izzy’s father, who died before Izzy was born. But when she spends the summer in her Nana’s remote New Mexico village, Izzy discovers long-buried secrets that come alive in an enchanted landscape of watermelon mountains, whispering winds, and tortilla suns. Infused with the flavor of the southwest and sprinkled with just a pinch of magic, this heartfelt middle grade debut is as rich and satisfying as Nana’s homemade enchiladas.
The host of a highly popular PBS series, Pati’s Mexican Table, and a self-described “overloaded soccer mom with three kids and a powerful blender,” Pati Jinich has a mission. She’s out to prove that Mexican home cooking is quicker and far easier than most Americans think. Her dishes are not blanketed with cheese, or heavy and fried, or based on complex sauces. Nor are they necessarily highly spicy. Surprising in their simplicity and freshness, they incorporate produce and grains. Most important, they fit perfectly into an everyday family cooking schedule and use just a handful of ingredients, most of which are already in your pantry. Many are homey specialties that Pati learned from her mother and grandmother, some are creative spins on classics, while others are not well known outside of Mexico. Dishes like Chicken à la Trash (it’s delicious!), a one-pot meal that Pati gleaned from a Mexican restaurant cook; Mexican Meatballs with Mint and Chipotle; Sweet and Salty Salmon; and Mexican-Style Pasta can revitalize your daily repertoire. You’ll find plenty of vegetarian fare, from Classic Avocado Soup, to Divorced Eggs (with red and green salsa), to Oaxaca-Style Mushroom and Cheese Quesadillas. Your friends and family will enjoy Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Pickled Ancho Chile Vinaigrette; Crab Cakes with Jalapeño Aioli; and Chicken Tinga – (you can use rotisserie chicken), which makes a tasty filling for tortas and tostadas. Pati also shares exciting dishes for the holidays and other special occasions, including Mexican Thanksgiving Turkey with Chorizo, Pecan, Apple, and Corn Bread Stuffing; Spiral-Cut Beef Tenderloin; and Red Pozole (“a Mexican party in a bowl”), which she served on her wedding day. Desserts like Triple Orange Mexican Wedding Cookies, Scribble Cookies (sandwich cookies filled with chocolate), and little Apricot-Lime Glazed Mini Pound Cakes are sophisticated yet simple to make.
In 1920s Southern California, Lupita Camacho leaves Mexico and settles not far from the border-and so begins the journey of an American family told by a chain of tales stretching across three generations. Early stories track Lupita’s concessions to the demands of her new country and her new fish cannery job overseen by a lecherous boss who makes sure Lupita, her friend Rosa, and their Chinese coworkers work long, hard, and, for the most part, in silence, since speaking any language but English is forbidden. The family’s first-generation Americans populate later stories as they work toward assimilation, complete with kidney-shaped in ground pools, even though their homes and children never quite match those in the pages of Ladies Home Journal. Finally, distanced from the culture of their ancestors and freed from the stigma of accented English, Lupita’s grandchildren live lives that are as wide-open as America: hosting karaoke nights, becoming female wrestlers, arriving at high school reunions utterly transformed. However, these modern-day family members discover that despite their freedom, they somehow remain set apart. In a time when the word “immigrant” has become politically charged and sometimes stripped of its earlier sense of dignity, these exquisitely human stories provide welcome restoration. In Hola and Goodbye, Donna Miscolta’s altogether fascinating and flawed characters face progress and failure against the backdrop of each new generation-bound together, and to us all, by the search for a place in this world.
Bellwether Award winner Susan Nussbaum’s powerful novel invites us into the lives of a group of typical teenagers-alienated, funny, yearning for autonomy-except that they live in an institution for juveniles with disabilities. This unfamiliar, isolated landscape is much the same as the world outside: friendships are forged, trust is built, love affairs are kindled, and rules are broken. But those who call it home have little or no control over their fate. Good Kings Bad Kings challenges our definitions of what it means to be disabled in a story told with remarkable authenticity and in voices that resound with humor and spirit.
My Documents is the latest work from Alejandro Zambra, the award-winning Chilean writer whose first novel was heralded as the dawn of a new era in Chilean literature, and described by Junot Díaz as “a total knockout.” Now, in his first short story collection, Zambra gives us eleven stories of liars and ghosts, armed bandits and young lovers-brilliant portraits of life in Chile before and after Pinochet. The cumulative effect is that of a novel-or of eleven brief novels, intimate and uncanny, archived until now in a desktop folder innocuously called “My Documents.” Zambra’s remarkable vision and erudition is on full display here; this book offers clear evidence of a sublimely talented writer working at the height of his powers.
A terriorst attack at a Chinese nuclear facility. A man convicted of cybercime. Nick Hathaway, played by Chris Hemsworth, works with the US and Chinese goverments to find out who could have been responsible for the opening attack. The team goes across the globe to catch the person with the plan to wreak havoc.
This feature has good flow. It’s not so action-packed that you will never recover or so slow that you just want the movie to end. Having said that the climax of the movie was anticlmatic. It felt the ending happened quickly and abruptly.
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Wei Tang
Directed by: Michael Mann
Review by Anne B.
Check out our catalog for all the new books at Danville Public Library.
Martha Stewart has been a part of American life since I can remember. She has been the quintessential businesswoman, seemingly good at everything she put her hand to; she has also been the poster child for the shady side of business, with her four-month prison term for insider trading. However, through it all, she has always been with us, in all of her endeavors, telling us very precisely, just how to do exactly everything! And so it is with her 2017 book, The Martha Manual.
The subtitle proclaims, “How to do (ALMOST) everything.” In this household guide, Martha instructs us on everything from knitting and the perfect form for yoga to fixing four types of faucets and composting. The book is divided into a dozen main sections. Each section has a short title, like “Launder”, “Fix and Maintain”, “Celebrate”, or “Enjoy”. Each topic within a section usually contains a precise two-page explanation of a common household or garden task.
She includes a number of projects, like setting up a household command center. Each project includes the needed supplies, and pictures to show the more complicated steps, like in the sewing and knitting sections. Another project teaches you how to properly cook and carve your Thanksgiving turkey. Templates in the back of the book can be used duplicate patterns for card-making, sewing and embroidery.
Many of the sections include easy-to-read charts. In “How to grow a vegetable garden” she includes a chart showing 16 common garden fruits and vegetables, their preferred temperature range, when to harvest, and tips on planting, managing, and harvesting your garden. Other charts help you determine the amount of fabric and the steps to re-upholster a chair, stop unwanted pet behavior, or choose a live Christmas tree.
Several sections contain “Martha Musts”, which are tips on ideas or products to make life easier. These include things like hand-drying clothing or using a revolving turntable to frost a round cake.
The book is filled with pictures of lovely rooms, beautiful gardens and yards, and tempting food. Drawings show things such as hand placement for knitting or the proper dimensions for a croquet court or how to tie the knot for a tire swing.
One section, Enjoy, seemed slightly out of place or mistitled. It included packing for a picnic, hanging a hammock, yoga, and other pleasurable lawn activities. I felt a little like I was being told what or how to enjoy.
So, if you are one of the people who like seeing how to do things around your home, or you enjoy being told how to do (ALMOST) everything, then The Martha Manual may be the book for you. Just mind that you don’t neglect the back of that Christmas tree in your living room window!
Review by Leann S.
The DPL Writers’ Group brings together aspiring and accomplished writers of all levels to learn about writing and publishing and to share their work for helpful feedback.
From 10:00 to 12:00 on Zoom. For adults, ages 18 and over.