Rodriguez's latest book
Rodriguez's latest book

Famed Chicano Author Luis J. Rodriguez to Kick Off OC Libraries' "Big Read" Oct. 3 at Bowers

Luis J. Rodriguez is not just a best-selling author, not just the poet laureate of Los Angeles, not just a bear of an hombre AND owner of the awesome independent bookstore Tía Chucha's in Sylmar--he's all that and a mensch and a half. I've seen Rodriguez talk for hours after his reading, hearing stories and offering advice to people of all walks of life.

He's also someone who, unlike most LA-based authors, ain't no stranger to big, bad OC. He's done more than a few appearances at the Centro Cultural de México, and I had the honor of introducing him at the Fullerton Public Library some years back. He must've liked my spiel, because now I get to have the bigger honor of having a conversation with him before ustedes to kick off OC's version of The Big Read, the library-led phenomenon that has readers of a city/college/county reading the same book, with events pegged around it.

This year, OC's Big Read selection is Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea, a fine read. Urrea, alas, is unavailable to visit Orange County, so the Big Read's sponsors--OC Public Libraries, the local chapter of REFORMA (a national organization of Latino librarians) have invited other Chicano authors as able substitutes.

As for Rodriguez and I: expect us to talk about his career, his campaign for California's governor seat last year, his outlook on the presidential campaigns for next year, his poetry, and a whole bunch of DESMADRE.

The event will happen THIS SATURDAY at the Bowers Museum's Kershaw Auditorium, 2002 N. Main St, SanTana, (714) 567-3600. Starts at 2 p.m., and attendance is FREE--but call ahead because this will probably sell out. See you there!

Email: Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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