¡Salud! It's National Hispanic Heritage Month, which means we are raising our glasses to celebrate the talents and contributions of authors, winemakers, and distillers whose heritage is rooted in the 20 Latin American countries and territories in this month's all new #GGBookClub.
Part dark gothic fantasy, part journey into the bizarre, this delicious blending of tall tales and Latin American surrealism is set in 1836, Wisconsin, where Catalina lives with her pa and brother in a ramshackle cabin on the edge of the wilderness. When a sudden illness claims Pa, a strange man, covered in bark and dripping sap from his eyes, takes her brother and disappears, leaving behind a bird with crimson wings. Catalina can’t let this man have her brother. So, she grabs Pa’s knife and follows the bird. Along the way, she gains help from a young lumberjack, who is also hunting the Man of Sap. Together they encounter strange beasts and tormented spirits, and as they uncover more about the Man of Sap, they discover just how deeply Catalina’s fate is entwined with his. Enjoy this book alongside a glass of Carmenere, a grape with its own twisted history. This red wine is mouthwateringly juicy with jammy aromas and notes of dark fruit, herbs, and white pepper on the palate.
Flor Marte has a gift: she can predict, to the day, when someone will die. So when she decides she wants a living wake—a party to bring her family and community together to celebrate the long life she’s led—her sisters are surprised. Has Flor foreseen her own death, or someone else’s? She refuses to tell her sisters: Matilde, Pastora, and Camila. But Flor isn’t the only person with secrets: her sisters and cousins are hiding things, too. Spanning the three days prior to the wake, Family Lore traces the lives of each of the Marte women, weaving together past and present, Santo Domingo and New York City. This is an indelible portrait of sisters and cousins, aunts and nieces—one family’s journey through their history, helping them better navigate all that is to come. A premium El Salvadorian white rum crafted in honor of the Mayan goddess of the arts, Chac Chel, muse to ancient artists and craftsmen, Cihuatán Jade is extremely versatile with aromas of custard cream, white chocolate, vanilla, and bananas. Make your favorite rum-based cocktail and dive into the lives of the Marte women.
Trip. My parents started using that word about a year ago—“one day, you’ll take a trip to be with us. Like an adventure.” Javier Zamora’s adventure is a three-thousand-mile journey from his small town in El Salvador, through Guatemala and Mexico, and across the U.S. border. He will leave behind his beloved aunt and grandparents to reunite with a mother who left four years ago and a father he barely remembers. Traveling alone amid a group of strangers and a “coyote” hired to lead them to safety, Javier expects his trip to last two short weeks. At nine years old, he cannot foresee the perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, pointed guns, arrests, and deceptions that await him; nor can he know that those two weeks will expand into two life-altering months alongside fellow migrants who will come to encircle him like an unexpected family. Solito is Javier Zamora’s story, but it’s also the story of millions of others who had no choice but to leave home. A wine that depicts the journey of a mysterious passenger, Victoria Ordóñez’s La Pasajera Rueda 2018 is bright and fresh with tantalizing notes of apples, white flowers, and hay.
In Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed, bestselling and award-winning authors as well as up-and-coming voices interrogate the different myths and stereotypes about the Latinx diaspora. These fifteen original pieces delve into everything: ghost stories and superheroes, memories in the kitchen and travels around the world, addiction and grief, identity and anti-Blackness, finding love and speaking your truth. Full of both sorrow and joy, this anthology is an essential celebration of this rich and diverse community. Edited by The Bronx Is Reading founder Saraciea J. Fennell and featuring an all-star cast of Latinx contributors: Elizabeth Acevedo, Cristina Arreola, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Naima Coster, Natasha Diaz, Saraciea J. Fennell, Kahlil Haywood, Zakiya Jamal, Janel Martinez, Jasminne Mendez, Meg Medina, Mark Oshiro, Julian Randall, Lilliam Rivera, and Ibi Zoboi. A book filled with so many different stories deserves to be paired with a lush, complex wine like XumeK Malbec 2019 from Argentina. A softer style of Malbec, this wine has explosive notes of black plum, violets, spice, and tobacco.