“A great book combines enlightenment with enchantment. It awakens our imagination and enlarges our humanity.” National Endowment of for the Arts about the Big Read

BIG READ time is here again.   And JMRL’s Big Read Committee has put together another fun program surrounding their chosen book of the year, “Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya.  (In Spanish that would be “Bendíceme Ultima.”)

From the National Endowment for the Arts website we get a description of this book:  “Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima is about pride and assimilation, faith and doubt. The summer before Antonio Juan Márez y Luna turns seven, an old woman with healing powers comes to live with his family. There is something magical and mystical about Anaya’s coming-of-age story in post-World War II New Mexico. The novel presents a world where everyday life is still full of dreams, legends, prayers, and folkways.”

As you can see, this book has the magic often associated with books by Latin American authors.  We find this in the books by Isabel Allende and Gabriel García Márquez.  Laura Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate” shares this trait as well.  The BrownBaggers book group recently read García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” and I can tell you that “Bless Me, Ultima” is definitely an easier read, but don’t be fooled by that, because like “Solitude” it contains provocative subject matter.

So enjoy this year’s Big Read offerings that will include a salsa cook-off and Southwest cooking class.  It will take you to book discussions at different JMRL branches and films in different locations.  So andele ahorita.  Bring in the Spring with a Big Read.

~ The Reluctant Blogger

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