Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Into The Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea... A Review & Giveaway!

Giveaway Has Ended!
Congrats to Cindy, Dawn and Krystal!

It's a story of a small dusty Mexican town where electricity was too modernizing for some of the residents of Tres Camarones, the peso was almost worthless, and there was no work. The town seemed to be slowly disintegrating... and then the men left to go north... to find work... making Tres Camorones easy prey for the banditos, the drug dealers, to settle in and take over the town... But our 19 year old heroine Nayeli has other ideas...

From the Publisher...Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US when she was young. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village--they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men--her own "Siete Magníficos"--to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over.

Into The Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea is wonderful. The prose flows easily and paints a vivid portrait of hot dusty roads and the people who live near them. The sprinkling of Spanish among the narrative also gives the landscape authenticity. Tres Camarones, where the story begins, is where we meet our heroine Nayeli, who works in the little restaurant The Fallen Hand Taco Shop, her best friends Yolo, who works as a pin tender at a 3 lane bowling alley, and Vampi, who works as a shrimp peeler and is the only "goth" girl in the little Mexican town. We are immediately caught up in their friendship and their simple pleaures of life. On first thought, the town seems like a deadend, hopeless. But the girls and the other women surrounding them breathe life in this town and into the story. We meet Tia Irma, a feisty woman who was running to replace the Municipal President (she had after all leadership experience as the Sinoloa's retired Lady Bowling Champion), Nayeli's hypochondriac mother Maria, and of course Tacho, the owner of The Fallen Hand who was gay.

When banditos threaten to take over the little town, 19 year-old Nayeli along with Yolo, Vampi and Tacho, with the idea of The Magnificent Seven fresh in Nayeli's head, go in search of help. It is that journey, which is truly more of a journey of self discovery than just over the boarder that makes this book special.

The narrative is what moves the story along, and it is honest, fresh and enjoyable. There were many issues that came to mind as I read Into The Beautiful North such as immigration, small town life, and deciding to pursue ones dreams no matter what. A perfect pick for a reading group because of the questions this book stirs. Luis Alberto Urrea suggests topics for a book club to discuss on his website:

*Immigration
*Choices faced by young people in Mexico
*Life-changing road trips
*Friendships between young women
*How movies inspire our actions
*The power of a postcard
*Small town Mexico as mirrored in small town America
*Does midwestern America seem "magic realist" to small town Mexico?
*The growing power of women in Mexico
*The Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven

If you enjoy friendships, small towns and great narrative, wrap yourself in Into The Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. It's one of my favorite reads this year!

Courtesy of Valerie of Hachette Book Group, I have 3 copies of Into The Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea to GIVE AWAY! Here's how to Enter...

To Enter this giveaway...
*For one entry leave me a comment with your email address!

*Get an extra entry for following my blog! Just leave a comment letting me know you're a follower! ( Not a follower yet? No problem, sign up by clicking on the 'followers" button on the sidebar to the left! Just let me know you became a new follower!)

*Blog or tweet about this giveaway and leave me the link.

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only (No PO boxes). The books will be shipped to the winners directly from the publisher. Contest ends 11:59pm EST on July 17th. I will randomly pick the winners the next day and email them! (please check your email.. winner must reply to me within 3 days! Thanks!) Good Luck!

68 comments:

Marjorie said...

I have so much about this novel that I would really like to read it.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Marjorie said...

I follow by google reader.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Michele said...

This sounds like a great read. Please enter me.
Thanks!
mmmtnbike09@yahoo.com

Michele said...

I follow your blog.

mmmtnbike09@yahoo.com

Linda said...

I'm fascinated by the Magnificent Seven connection. Would love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

extra entry - I follow through Google Reader

lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

DarcyO said...

I'd love to read this one. Please include me.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

DarcyO said...

I follow with GFC.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

Super said...

Sounds really interesting!

tsuper (at) iupui (dot) edu

Super said...

I follow with Google Friend Connect.

tsuper (at) iupui (dot) edu

Atypical Girl said...

Sounds like a great book!!!


Amy
artsyrockerchick at aim dot com

Atypical Girl said...

I'm also a follower!


Amy
artsyrockerchick at aim dot com

stpand said...

Please enter me.

I'm a follower.

http://services.nexodyne.com/email/icon/AtMeSkEE/wxPKu%2BY%3D/WWFob28%3D/0/image.png

Elisabeth said...

This looks like a great read!!! I have been following your blog for a few months now and love it!! (2)

ladybook21@yahoo.com

skkorman said...

I would love to read this book—please enter me to win!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

ms marz said...

hi! new follower here!

jenniferlynn418@hotmail.com

ms marz said...

also, an entry for leaving a comment!! =D

jenniferlynn418@hotmail.com

amandawk said...

I would love to win this book.
amandarwest at gmaildotcom

amandawk said...

I'm a follower.
amandarwest at gmaildotcom

amandawk said...

Tweeted. http://twitter.com/amandawk/status/17966480664

Chantel said...

Sounds like a great book, I'd love to win.

cwilliams127 at gmail dot com

Chantel said...

I'm following you blog.

cwilliams127 at gmail dot com

Chantel said...

Tweet: http://twitter.com/cityslicker127/status/17980058238

cwilliams127 at gmail dot com

Martha Lawson said...

Sounds awesome. Please enter me for it!

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Martha Lawson said...

I follow on gfc

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Denny, Alaska said...

Please count me in; thanks!

denny(dot)gill(at)gmail(dot)com

Denny, Alaska said...

I follow via GFC, thank you.

denny(dot)gill(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

I would like to read this book

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Steve Capell said...

I'm intrigued by the Magnificent Seven connection. Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway.

steven(dot)capell(at)gmail(dot)com

J.T. Oldfield said...

Please enter me. I follow w/ GReader.

j.t.oldfield[at]gmail.com

Jeff said...

I would love to win! Thanks for the giveaway!

jeffintennessee at gmail dot com

holdenj said...

I've heard wonderful this about this story, thanks for the chance to win.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I am a GFC follower, thanks!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Carol W. said...

I've been hearing such positive comments about this book. Please enter me in the giveaway.

wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

Carol W. said...

I follow with GFC.
wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

Autumn said...

I'd love to read this book!

autumn.crochet @ gmail (dot) com

Autumn said...

I'm a follower too!

sharon54220 said...

This is one of many books that has been on my radar for quite awhile.
I would love a chance to win

Thanks

sharon54220@gmail.com

sharon54220 said...

I am a follower via GFC

sharon54220@gmail.com

Cindy W. said...

This is a book I would love to read. Thanks for the chance to read it.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I am a follower of your blog.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Shellie - Layers of Thought said...

follower!
layersofthought@gmail(dot)com
Thanks!

Benita said...

I so want to read this book. It's on my to read list, but I haven't yet secured a copy. Thanks for the possibility.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

Brand new GFC Follower. I'm glad I found you.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Cams said...

Count me in

cams1031@gmail.com

Cams said...

I'm a follower

Rebecca Graham said...

Sounds like a good read.

rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

Cass said...

Sounds wonderful! Thanks for the giveaway. :)

cc932005[at]hotmail[dot]com

Dawn M. said...

I've heard a lot of good things about this book. Would love the chance to read it. :0)

Thanks!
librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Dawn M. said...

I follow.

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Bethie said...

Please enter me. Thanks for the chance.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Bethie said...

I am a new follower.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Simply Stacie said...

I follow

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Anita Yancey said...

Sounds like a great read. Please enter me. Thanks!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

PeechieKeen said...

Great contest!

kittenlover03@sbcglobal.net

Mary said...

Sounds like a great summer read:)
Thanks for the opportunity

Vidisha said...

I'm fascinated by the Magnificent Seven connection. Would love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

extra entry - I follow through Google Reader


vidishamun@gmail.com

Amanda said...

I would love to win this!!
winnieayala at yahoo dot com

Kailia Sage said...

I am a GFC follower!

twilightforever.edward(at)gmail(dot)com

pixie13 said...

I've seen some good reviews on this book. Please accept my entry. Thanks!

gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com

pixie13 said...

GFC follower

gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com

pixie13 said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/pixie13sweeps/status/18653616111

gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com

Luvdaylilies said...

Sounds like a good read, I'd love to be entered=)

Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

Luvdaylilies said...

I'm a blog follower~Luvdaylilies

Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

Terry Mac said...

Yes I am into friends, small towns, and definitely good narrative! So, this book sounds like an excellent summer must read. Hope to be one of your lucky three winners.

terrymac1a at hotmail dot com

Terry Mac said...

I am a follower of your blog.

Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

terrymac1a at hotmail dot com

Elisabeth said...

Sounds like a great read!

ladybook21@yahoo.com

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