From the Stacks: Five Exceptional Books About Mexico (Gringo Edition)

Books about Mexico

As you may have suspected, the life of a freelance writer is no cake walk. But there are perks. Like getting free books in the mail. The other day I received the latest from Tony Burton, Mexican Kaleidoscope: Myths, Mysteries, and Mystique. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I have high hopes. Burton is one of the best. Which got me thinking about my  favorite Mexico books and reminded me that it’s been some time since […]

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Book Review: Diana Kennedy, Rendered Lard, and the Late, Great Steve Rogers

Originally published in June of 2012, republished in 2017. My dad Steve Rogers was a good cook, maybe even a great cook. He could turn a few wilting odds and ends  into a memorable lunch, and his obsessive interest in traditional methods and ingredients was matched by a fearless creativity that led him far off the beaten path. When I was a little girl, I loved to sit and watch him in the kitchen. Watching Steve cook was like watching […]

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Book Review: Mexico City Noir

Reading a short story is like a conversation with the stranger sitting next to you on the Greyhound: the getting-to-know-you process is accelerated to an uncomfortable pace and then you never see the guy again. A compilation of short mysteries, Mexico City Noir doesn’t offer many exceptions to this problem. Several of the tales seem slight; you can sense the authors stretching for meaning and falling back on cheap tricks to make up for the necessarily slender plots. The book gets off to […]

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Book Review: Narcocorrido by Elijah Wald

note: Click on links for music. Would you rather listen to gangster rap, country music, or polka?  If you cringed in horror at any of the three options, well, brace yourself. If you answered, “All three!” then you probably already know your Tigres from your Tucanes. Whatever your musical tastes, the blood-splattered accordion-happy world of the Mexican narcocorrido is a fascinating place to visit. In Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerillas, folklorist and musician Elijah Wald explains […]

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Book Review: El Narco

I shouldn’t be reviewing this book or recommending it to our readers. As an editor for a travel site and managing editor for The People’s Guide to Mexico, one of my goals is to, you know, encourage people to go to Mexico. It’s my job to say that your fears about Mexico are overblown, that the media is mongering fear, that our vision of modern Mexico is skewed by the press, that vast portions of Mexico are still safe, that […]

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Garlic Chipotle Love Sauce

My cooking project for today was to make the opening recipe in my latest, favorite cookbook: Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-inspired Dishes from My Kitchen to Yours, by Aaron Sanchez. Carl recognized Aaron’s name as one of the judges on a kitchen show ,”Chopped”  I had read a review of this book on either the Seattle Times or the NY times.  I asked for it at our local Deming library.  Don’t know if they ordered it because of me, but […]

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Book Review: The Ultimate Hang

Hammocks were a big deal in my family. We had opinions about hammocks. I was raised with the gospel of hammocks, and I never deviated. The best hammocks in the world are woven in the Yucatan Peninsula. In a perfect world, one would always buy one’s hammock by the kilo at an ancestral cave-like Merida hammock shop. Cotton thread, not acrylic. Ropes should not be tied directly to the hammock ends. One should lie in the hammock at a slight […]

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Books about the Mayans

After reading Mayan Backroads, and John Doran’s recommended books, I was inspired to go back into The People’s Guide to Mexico’s original website and update some of the books that Carl and others had reviewed there.  For these and other books and articles about the Maya, see The Maya: Recommended Reading While poking around amazon.com, I also found some interesting books that I hadn’t seen before, such as The True history of Chocolate and Maya Achi Marimba Music In Guatemala. If you have read […]

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Mayan Backroads

Hello Carl and Lorena; Your book (The People’s Guide to Mexico) helped me on my very first trip through Mexico almost 30 years ago as a very naive young man.  Later, I passed it amongst my family and friends who read it like a novel (and all enjoyed it thoroughly).  I still have that original copy in surprisingly good condition.  My cousin had it for eight months and didn’t want tot return it to me.  In the end her sense of justice […]

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Book Review: Western Mexico: A Traveler's Treasury

From the shores of Lake Patzcuaro to the cloud forest of Manatatlán to the mines of Zacatecas, Western Mexico: A Traveler’s Treasury takes the armchair traveler on a tour of western Mexico’s treasures, many of them little known. The author, geographer Tony Burton, gets off the beaten path time and time again, and provides detailed historical and cultural information about towns that many guidebook authors only mention in passing: La Barca, San Juan de los Lagos, Tamazula, and Lagos de Moreno, […]

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