It’s August and it’s still hot. Here are some books to help keep your cool:
• Aug. 1: In the novel The Sound of Things Falling, Colombian author Juan Gabriel Vásquez explores the effects of the drug war in his native country.
• Aug. 6: A Colombian-American college student finds romance in the world’s most romantic city in Patricia Engel’s It’s Not Love It’s Just Paris.
• Aug. 13: In Spanish novelist Javier Marias’ The Infatuations, a woman is intrigued by a couple she sees at her local café – and then the man is murdered.
• Aug. 29: Tim Z. Hernandez imagines the life of Bea Franco, the farmworker who inspired a character in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, in Mañana Means Heaven.
• The Latino Comics Expo , featuring Lalo Alcaraz and Mario Hernandez, will take place Aug. 17-18 in Long Beach, Calif.
• Reyna Grande will be the keynote speaker at the Comadres and Compadres Writers Conference Oct. 5 at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, N.Y. The event will include panelists and one-on-one sessions with agents and editors.
• Sept. 1 is the deadline for Lee & Low Books’ New Voices Award, given to an unpublished children’s book written by a writer of color.
• Mario Alberto Zambrano talked about his novel, Lotería, to NPR.
• Alfredo Corchado discussed his book Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent into Darkness, to NPR’s Fresh Air and PBS NewsHour.
• Joy Castro talked about her newest book, Nearer Home, to “Words on a Wire.”
• The life of The Alchemist author Paulo Coehlo is being made into a movie, according to the Huffington Post.
• Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 is now available on e-readers, according to the Los Angeles Times. Francisco Goldman read Bolaño’s 2008 short story, “Clara,” on The New Yorker magazine’s fiction podcast.
• Junot Díaz made annotations on portions of his award-winning book The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao for the Poetry Genius website, according to MediaBistro.
• The federal courts have ordered the Tucson, Ariz., school district to make Mexican-American Studies available in its classrooms, reports NPR.
• Each major publishing house now has a Latino author on its roster, reports Latinzine.
• Graphic novels are becoming more popular in Colombia thanks to a lift in tax restrictions, according to Publishing Perspectives. One of the titles is a biography of Gabriel Gárcia Márquez.
Also this month:
• Nobel Prize winner Jacinto Benavente y Martinez was born Aug. 12. The Hispanic Reader turns two years old on Aug. 16. Jorge Luis Borges, Paulo Coelho and Oscar Hijuelos celebrate birthdays on Aug. 24.