Which is your favorite genre? Which do you avoid?
Racism and discrimination of the marginalized (Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi, Forgotten Dead Mob Violence Against Mexicans in the United States by William Carrigan example). Borderland/Latino experience. Avoid nearly all forms of fiction.
What is a book that you're afraid to read?
More reluctance than fear the last chapter of the Bible: Revelations.
What is a book you dislike/hate that everyone loves? Do you remember the last time you put down a book without finishing?
The Story of Anne Frank (cannot connect or identify with the character that appears too self-absorbed). Abraham Lincoln and Mexico: A History of Courage, Intrigue and Unlikely Friendship (real page turner).
What book is currently sitting on your nightstand?
American Child Bride (my abuelita/grandma married at fourteen!)
What’s the last great book you read? The last book you recommended to everyone you know?
The End of the Myth From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America by Greg Grandin.
Do you have a favorite book no one else has heard of?
Occupied America By Rodolfo Acuña & An American Genocide and the California Indian Catastrophe by Ben Madley
What’s the last book you read that made you laugh?
John Updike’s A&P. Recall reading assignment from my English 1302 course (years ago). I could not help but so enjoy the reading (busted a gut). Honestly need to re-read just to laugh with gusto!
What’s the most interesting thing that you learned from a book recently?
Abraham Lincoln and Mexico: The crucial role the Lincoln administration (particularly US Grant) saving Mexican republic under Benito Juarez from French imperialism.
Do you prefer books that reach you emotionally, or intellectually?
Yes. Without question! Example: Night by Elie Wiesel. Read book in first semester in graduate school. My twelve-year-old drowned on July 4th. The assigned reading to some extent offered me solace given the author’s horrific story of survival. Embracing the idea of “work is freedom” by focusing on my coursework rather than allowing grief to totally consume me and otherwise be useless to my wife and five-year-old daughter those words to some extend saw me through those very difficult times.
What book might people be surprised to find on your bookshelf?
Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski.
What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you the most?
The Archie Griffin Story. To this day I often quote and live by Griffin’s success motto: desire, determination, dedication.
Have your reading tastes changed over time?
Yes, to some extent. As a young teen read many athlete biographies actually frequently visited library over summer months using the card catalog! However, given the educational system I grew up in, never considered my reading preferences of any academic or intellectual value.
What book would you most like to see turned into a movie or TV series that hasn’t already been adapted?
Would love to see Decade of Betrayal by Francisco Balderrama turned into a movie! The book (actually, brought author to Cy-Fair as a speaker) provides a powerful testament of the immoral demonization of people of Mexican heritage during the Depression. The author shares the powerful story how racism, xenophobia and otherwise misperception of Mexicans public welfare abuser, job stealers, became targets of the Hoover administration the ex-patriation and/repatriation of 500,000+ (60% US citizens, children) back to Mexico (my aunts and uncles among them). The work provides a powerful narrative politics of immigration open borders as exploitable labor, closed borders when surplus of willing white workers exists.
What’s the last book you read that made you cry?
The Other Slavery: The Uncovered History of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez.
What’s the last book you read that made you furious?
They Called Them Greasers: Anglo Attitudes Towards Mexicans in Texas by Arnoldo De Leon.