November 2019

Keep on Bookin'

New on the Border Book Shelf

‘On the Path of Marigolds’ book signing — A book signing and reading of “Living Traditions of Mexico’s Day of the Dead” by Santa Fe-based photographer Ann Murdy 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at Casa Camino Real Bookstore, 314 South Tornillo (at Amador) in Las Cruces. Also featured are altars to La Madre/The Mother, honoring mothers, grandmothers and female ancestors. Participants invited to bring a photo to place on the altar. Book available for sale at the event for $45. Information: Denise Chávez at Casa Camino Real Bookstore, (575) 523-3988 or
  Murdy has been documenting the celebrations around Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos in México for more than 20 years. A native of Southern California, she first started collecting Chicano art in the 1990s.

Brave Books — The independent bookstores is at 1307 Arizona. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Information: 204-7074 or Facebook at BraveBooksEPTX.
  Free Frozen Margarita Saturday is 2 to 10 p.m. Nov. 9. Singer/guitarist Rik Gracia performs acoustic favorites from the ’60s and ’70s. Frozen margaritas served (limit of 2 per adult); nonalcoholic drinks also available.

El Paso Writers’ League — The league meets 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, in the conference room at Dorris Van Doren Branch Library, 551 Redd Road. Two local published authors will address how to avoid info-dump by weaving back-story, world building and descriptions into one’s story. Bring pencil and paper. Admission is free and open to the public. Information: 755-4958 or on Facebook at ElPasoWritersLeague.

Woman’s Club Book Fair — The Book Club of the Woman’s Club of El Paso, 1400 N. Mesa, hosts a book fair 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, to benefit the Club and to promote literary and artistic talent in El Paso. Local authors and illustrators will sign copies of their books for children, youth, and adults, including fiction, historical non-fiction, poetry, and biographies. A Bake Sale will be also be held. Admission is free. Information: 532-6131 or

‘Poetry Therapy’ — The sessions are 6:30 to 8 p.m. every third Friday (Nov. 15, Dec. 20), at Brew Lab, 601 N. Oregon, Suite 1, sponsored by Literarity Book Shop. Information: 307-4242 or on Facebook at brewlabep.

‘A Celebration about El Paso’ — Book Publishers of El Paso presents a look at new and upcoming books by area authors 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at 2200 San Jose (at Ohio). Rosa Guerrero will preview her forthcoming book “Las Posadas, the True Christmas” and tell stories about El Paso. Admission is free; refreshments served. Information: 778-6670.
  Also presenting new books are Buddy Border with “The History of El Paso;” Chuy Aguirre with “Crisostomo de la Colina Flores (An Exemplary Undocumented Man);” Marta Estrada with “What God Has Joined Together (Wedding Bells Ring in San Elizario);” and John Cazares with “The Wheelchair Story (Our family’s weekly pilgrimage to San Ignacio).”

Holiday Book Sale — Friends of the Esperanza A. Moreno Branch Library, 12480 Pebble Hills, host a book sale 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, with paperbacks and trade-size books for fill-a-tote; also, wrapped children’s books, and more. Proceeds benefit the library. Information: 212-0442.

SISDFanCon — The Socorro Fan con is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Pebble Hills High School, 14400 Pebble Hills, to educate the community about non-traditional literature and resources that inspire lifelong literacy. Hosted by SISD Library Services. Information: 937-1352

Tumblewords Project — The writing workshops are 1 to 3 p.m. Saturdays at Armijo Library, 620 E. 7th (new location). Workshops are free; donations for the presenter are encouraged. No workshop Nov. 30. Information: 328-5484, 212-3710 (Armijo) or
Nov. 2: ”Día de los Muertos: Remembering Their Stories, even Pets” with Raquel B. Mejía. Mejía is a poet and literary curator for events and anthologies. She is currently collaborating on the theatrical production with the Escape from Tornillo theater collective. Each year, she presents a special workshop focused on old and new myths and traditions associated with Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead.
Nov. 9: ”The Use of the Imagination in Writing” with H.W. “Bill” Sparks. Sparks served 20 years in the Army, retiring in 1985. He now serves as a Veterans Advocate.
Nov. 16: “If You Bring Nothing to This Place but Your Carcass, Keep Out” with Gustavo Enriquez. Enriquez currently serves on the board of UTEP’s Creative Writing Society.
Nov. 23: “Live Painting” with Victor Hernández. Hernández is an artist from Socorro, Texas who spent several years in Austin and Houston working as a commercial artist. He has finished four murals in the past year.

Murder She Read — The Eastside chapter of the book discussion group supporting women mystery writers meets 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, to discuss “The Word is Murder” by Anthony Horowitz. Meeting place varies; call for location. Admission is free. Information: 629-7063 or

Reading Art Book Club — The book club of the Las Cruces Museum of Art, 491 N. Main, meets at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, to discuss “The Judgement of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism” by Ross King. Meetings are free and open to the public; participants do not need to have read the book. Information: (575) 541-2217, or

Victorian Sci-Fi Book and Tea Club — The book club devoted to Victorian era science fiction meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, at Magoffin Home State Historic Site, 1120 Magoffin. This month’s book is “Unveiling a Parallel: A Romance,” by Alice Ilgerfritz and Ella Merchant, 1893. Tea and pastries provided. Victorian era or steampunk dress encouraged, but not required. Tea and pastries provided. Admission is free. Information: 533-5147, or Facebook.

Shanna Sarsin — Author Shanna Sarsin will sign copies of her latest fiction book, “Elephant, Bunnies and a Headless Giraffe” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at Barnes & Noble at Fountains of Farah, 8889 Gateway West, Suite 120. The book is about an independent high society woman and self-made attorney embarking a journey to freedom and finding themselves. Information: 594-3024 or

Cactus Flower Bookery — 5024 Doniphan (Placita Santa Fe), Suite 9. Information: 203-8338 or
  This month’s theme for discussions is books about Indigenous Peoples of North American (fiction and nonfiction):
• Tuesday Tea Club is 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5. Tea provided.
• The monthly Read Between the Wines literary discussion and wine pairing is 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7. Wine samples for 21 and older.
  A free Day of the Dead Writer’s Workshop is 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, hosted by Raquel B. Mejia. All levels of writers are welcomed. Learn all about the Day of the Dead, writing techniques and skills.

Barnes & Noble — Information: Locations are El Paso’s East Side, Fountains at Farah; West Side, 705 Sunland Park; and Las Cruces Mesilla Valley Mall. Following events are at all stores:
  Book Club is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, featuring “Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo. Sign up at store or website.
  A Young Adult Book Club is 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, to discuss “The Fountains of Silence” by Ruta Sepetys.
  Children’s storytimes are 11 a.m. Saturdays, and Baby & Me storytimes caregivers and ages 0-24 are 11 a.m. Sundays.

Rail Readers Book Club — The club meets at 11 a.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at the Las Cruces Railroad Museum, 351 N. Mesilla in Las Cruces. Participation is free. Information: (575) 647-4480.

Books Are Gems — 7744 North Loop Ste B (behind Compass Bank). The nonprofit organization sells and gives away new and used books. Children who come to the store may receive six free used books. Teachers can also receive free books for their classroom. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday. Information: 845-5437 or

Black Cat Sunday Poets — Black Cat Books and Coffee, 128 Broadway in Truth or Consequences, N.M., hosts free poetry readings at 1 p.m. the second Sunday of the month. Information: (575) 894-7070.

New on the Border Book Shelf

‘Buenas Noches, El Paso’ — Luke Lowenfield, who wrote the original poem, and artist Hal Marcus will release their “whimsical and timely” children’s book in time for the holiday season.
  “Buenas Noches, El Paso” is about a child’s magical journey of discovery that truly captures the unique charm of the border region. Celebrating the limitless creativity of children, the book aims to leave all who turn its pages more connected to their community and each other than before they opened its cover.
  The book will make its premier Nov. 1-3 at Junior League of El Paso’s A Christmas Fair, and will later appear at Las Artistas Nov. 23-24. It will also be available at Hal Marcus’s gallery at 1308 N. Oregon. Information: 

‘No Soy Meche: La De Juan Gabriel’ by Joseph Carlson (Pupfish LLC). The Spanish language book chronicles the life of Mercedes Alvarez “Meche,” and her relationship with iconic singer Adan Luna (Juan Gabriel).
  Meche, now in her early 70s, is the only living person who knew the true Juan Gabriel and the secret private life that the famous singer successfully hid from the public and his fans. She was instrumental in starting Gabriel’s career and is featured in several of his songs, including the one named after her, “Meche.”
  “I started this project because after Juan Gabriel’s death many of his fans kept telling me they wanted to know the real life history of the legendary singer,” Carlson said. “I hired a professional Mexican author, Fausto Lozano Lara, who spent nearly one year interviewing ‘Meche’ and reviewing her personal memoirs and photos; many which date back several decades.”
  Learn more at

‘Copper Stain: ASARCO’s Legacy in El Paso’ by Elaine Hampton and Cynthia Ontiveros (University of Oklahoma Press). Through nearly 100 interviews with ex-employees and others involved in the smelter’s demise, the book is filled with “stories of horror, humor, courage and sorrow documenting the grim reality of laboring under giant machines and lava-spewing furnaces while turning mountains of rock into copper ingots.” According to a release from Hampton, the book exposes the political tug-of-war between industrial and enviromental issues. Available at

'A Fighter’s Will' by Thomas “Tommy” Dominguez III (Dorrance Publishing Co.). The 16-year-old Faith Christian Academy student has authored his first book, featuring a cover design by his sister Mia Ilani Dominguez. The coming of age story about a high school student named Bryson, which Dominguez should appeal to lovers of Shounen Jump stories and martial arts. Information:

Twenty Miles West of Branch, Texas’ is a collection of 13 short stories and a novella by veteran El Paso writer K.C. Knouse. The book begins with the title story of a brief encounter between a would-be good Samaritan and a stranded motorist on a West Texas highway. The ending selection is the novella about an old-school salesman coping with changing times as he makes some calls in Truth or Consequences. Available for $11.79 in paperback or $2.99 as ebook from and other online sellers. Information:

“Broken Circle” (Akahsic Books) by J.L. Powers and M.A. Powers. A teen-ager finds out his family business is headed by the Grim Reaper, and is surrounded by fellow teens all destined to become soul guides in Limbo. The authors area sister and brother, who now live on opposite ends of the country but grew up in Vinton. J.L. Powers’ first novel was “The Confessional,” set in a fictional version of Cathedral High School. This work still has some traces of the authors’ border roots, including a dose of Día de los Muertos.

Walking Juarez,” black and white photographs and text by NMSU journalism professor Bruce Berman (Border Blog Press). The book compiles photographs and stories he’s taken of Juárez and the border spanning 45 years. Berman said the book, “Walking Juarez,” is not about “how horrible Juárez is” but about the “sweet epiphanies and little insights.” The oldest photos in the book are from 1972, while the most recent photos are from 2017. Information:

The South Franklin Trinity,” by Jim Murphy (BLBM Publishing). The story takes place in El Puente, Texas, a far-west Texas community nestled in the Franklin Mountains. Three signature characters are absorbed in their own personal search for the meaning of life. Their unpredictable destinies cross a fiery path on the third Tuesday of April 2016. 
  Also recently released by Murphy is “I'm So Pissed Off!!!—An Adult Stress Relief Book.”

‘My Favorite El Pasoans: Past and Present
’ by James Robert Murphy (BookBaby). El Paso writer and musician JMurphy has compiled a list of 200 El Pasoans who have made their mark (but not always in a good way) in the fields of performing arts, literature, athletics and charitable causes, politics, history, crime and other areas.
Murphy said he began the project three years ago and put in on the back burner until a friend encouraged him to revisit it.
“My first version was a little stiff you might say; filled with the regular happy-go-lucky El Pasoans everybody hears about all of the time,” Murphy explains on his website. “So I went back to work and gathered a host of new colorful characters like escape artist Fred Brown. After his incredible 1937 street performance in San Antonio, Texas, the police arrested him for vagrancy.”
Other notables Murphy celebrates include pioneering auto mechanic Tom Ogle, bootmaker Tony Lama, blues guitarist Long John Hunter, record producer Terry Manning, actress Irene Ryan (Granny from Beverly Hillbillies), and even notorious serial “Night Stalker” killer Richard Ramirez.
The book retails for $20 and is available via

‘El Paso 120: Edge of the Southwest’ by Mark Paulda (TCU Press). In his follow-up to “Celebrating El Paso,” his first book of local photography, Mark Paulda has expanded his radius to 120 miles from El Paso, hence the title. The collection of landscapes and aerial images are grouped by location, mostly geographic gems such as the Guadalupe Mountains, Hueco Tanks, Kilbourne Hole and White Sands National Monument.
Paulda is an El Paso native who learned the craft and art of photography around the world, winning internationl awards.
“El Paso 120” is available for $35 at bookstores on online at

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