September 2019

Keep on Bookin'

New on the Border Book Shelf

Celebrando Las Ámericas: A Family Fiesta — Casa Camino Real Bookstore, in collaboration with the Border Servant Corps, will celebrate books, art, music, and culture, with a day-long fundraising event beginning at 9 Saturday, Aug. 31, at Peace Lutheran Church, 1701 E. Missouri, in Las Cruces, with a pop-up book sale, Silent auction also planned. Proceeds benefit refugee families and the ongoing initiatives of the Border Servant Corps, including Libros Para El Viaje/Books for the Journey, which donates books to families. Volunteers and book donations needed. Information: Denise Chávez at Casa Camino Real Bookstore, (575) 523-3988 or
  Storytelling with Adalucía Quan, children’s writer and artist begin at 10 a.m.
  Lotería Games for children and adults with Book Prizes is 11 a.m. with a “snack-esitos” sale at noon and arts activities at 1 p.m.
   A Celebrando Las Americas Concert with Jesús “Chuy” Martínez and Otilio Ruíz is 3 p.m., along with a reading by Loida Maritza Pérez, author of “Geographies of Home.” MC’s are Denise Chávez and Kari Lenander.
  The sale features children’s literature in English and Spanish, Southwestern, mystery, Chicano/Latino, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, environmental, vintage vinyl records, and selected Latin American art and jewelry.

Texas author John Erickson — The creator of “Hank the Cowdog” will give a reading from the popular children’s book series noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21-22, at Woman’s Club of El Paso, 1400 N. Mesa. The author will also sing and entertain and educate guests about ranch wildlife. Catered lunch by Hallelujah BBQ served 12:30 to 2 p.m. Saturday and noon to 2 p.m. Sunday. Cost (for presentation and lunch): $40; advance tickets only. Tickets: 532-6131 or 588-1899.

Southwest Festival of the Written Word — The literary festival is Friday through Saturday, Oct. 4-6, in Silver City, N.M. More than 50 Southwest authors gather to discuss their lives and works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, theater and more. This year’s theme is “Writing Sin Fronteras/Writing Without Borders.” Most events are free and all are open to the public. Information: (575) 313-3172 or
  Preview events the week leading to the festival include a printmaking workshop for poets at Power & Light Press and master sessions on Writing in a Woman’s Voice, and the Latino Boom!

Tumblewords Project — The writing workshops are 12:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Saturdays at the El Paso Public Library Main Branch, 501 N. Oregon. Workshops are free; donations for the presenter are encouraged. Information: 328-5484 or

Reading Art Book Club — The book club of the Las Cruces Museum of Art, 491 N. Main, meets at 2:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month in the Museum of Nature and Science classroom next door. The Sept. 11 book is “Painted by a Distant Hand: Mimbres Pottery from the American Southwest.” 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, Sept. 11, at Magoffin Home State Historic Site, 1120 Magoffin. This month’s book is “The Sleeper Awakes” by H.G. Wells (1899). 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.

El Paso Writers’ League — The league meets 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Dorris Van Doren Branch of the El Paso Public Library, 551 Redd. A panel of published authors will critique writers’ stories before the members; showing the process to help writers edit their work. Admission is free and open to the public. Information: 755-4958 or on Facebook at ElPasoWritersLeague.

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. The Sept. 18 book is “I Married a Soldier” by Lydia Spencer Lane. Participation is free. Information: (575) 647-4480.

Cactus Flower Bookery — 5024 Doniphan (Placita Santa Fe), Suite 9. Information: 203-8338 or
  This month’s theme for discussions is books about Adventure:
  Tuesday Tea Club is 2 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3. Tea provided.
  The monthly Read Between the Wines literary discussion and wine pairing is 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5. Wine samples for 21 and older.
  An Afternoon with Local Authors is 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, with lectures, reading and book signings. Authors appearing:
• L.C. Hayden, mystery writer of Harry Bronson detective series “When Memory Fails.”
• Eric Norway, ex-border patrol and DEA agent, author of “A Warrior's Betrayal: The Life and Death of Green Beret Chester Garrett.”"
• Susan Lynn Zenker, poet and author of “Desert Winds: A Collection of Poems about El Paso.”

Barnes & Noble — Information: Locations are El Paso’s East Side, Fountains at Farah; West Side, 705 Sunland Park; and Las Cruces Mesilla Valley Mall. Information: Following. events are at all stores:
  Book Club is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, featuring “Inland” by Téa Obreht. Sign up at store or website.
  A Young Adult Book Club is 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, to discuss “I’m Not Dying with You Tonight” by Gilly Segal.
  Batman Day is 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, celebrating the Dark Knight’s 80th anniversary.
  Demigod Day event celebrating the books of Rick Riordan is 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, with activities and giveaways.
  The East Side store will host two author events in September. Information: 594-3024.
  An #ElPasoStrong author event is 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, featuring local authors Brian Vukadinovich and R.A. Monday and their newest works.
  Author Louis Bodnar will introduce his latest book, “El Paso Sunrise,” 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24.
  Barnes & Noble in Mesilla Valley Mall, will feature author J.C. Cervantes and her second book in the Storm Runner Series, “The Fire Keeper,” at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7. Information: (575) 522-4499.

LGBT book group — The bimonthly book group meets on odd-numbered months. Open to all LGBT and LGBT-friendly people interested in book discussions. Cocktails and eats available. Information, location: Ted, 867-4261 or on Facebook at ElPasoGLBTBookGroup.

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

  ‘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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