Cinqo de Mayo at The Bookstore!

So, hopefully by now most of you have heard me talk about my very favorite bookstore, an indie in Glen Ellyn, IL called The Bookstore. I found it originally by tweeting with two of the fabulous booksellers there, Sue and Margie, although all of the booksellers there are terrific. Ever since my first visit, I try to go at least once a month, although I tend to feel jumpy if it has been more than two weeks. It is my favorite place to go and have bookish talk offline. By the way, if you’re in the Chicago area, you should come and check out the Glen Ellyn Bookfest on June 19th, I’ll be there!

Me and Luis

On Wednesday, the wonderful people at The Bookstore organized a fantastic event with Luis Alberto Urrea. Luis has written, among other things, “Into the Beautiful North” and “The Hummingbird’s Daughter.” I own both of those books, but haven’t read either of them yet, although I did read his nonfiction work, “The Devil’s Highway” in preparation for this event. I took my Mother-in-Law with me, and she read “Into The Beautiful North,” which she is really liking, even though she has not yet had time to finish it.

The appetizers

And what an event it was! In addition to the awesome Luis, The Bookstore provided margaritas and a local Mexican restaurant, Chicks and Salsa (love the name!), provided appetizers.

But the real highlight of the evening was Luis’s talk. He was there partially to promote his new book – a graphic novel, “Mr. Mendoza’s Paintbrush, ” which is not yet officially on sale but which the publisher sent to The Bookstore for all of us to be able to buy. You’d better believe I picked one up.

Luis is amazing. he is just a fantastic storyteller (I know, I know, maybe why he is a successful author?). Not only that, but he has lived a really amazing life. He was born in Tijuana to an American mother and Mexican father but moved to the United States when he was young, although he returned to the Tijuana garbage dumps later in life to do missionary work. He talked at least briefly about all four of his full-length books and oh my GOSH did he ever make me want to read all of them! I mean, I guess that’s the point of something like this, but still. I was seriously tempted to throw all my obligations out the window when I got home and just binge on his work for awhile.

I also want to say, that both Luis and his wife Cindy seem like really sweet, awesome people. I wish them the best of luck on their upcoming book tour!

Luis during his talk

Showing off "Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush"

I received no compensation for this post, other than a great evening that was free for everyone – oh, and that book Sue lent me! I did spend a good deal on books while I was there, though.

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20 comments to Cinqo de Mayo at The Bookstore!

  • What could be better than margaritas and books? I knew you’d love Luis – he and Cindy are just wonderful!

  • The Bookstore sounds great! I have an indie bookstore pretty close to me that I rarely go to. Your post makes me want to remedy that!

  • Amy

    I can’t say enough how much I LOVE the idea of books and margaritas! Sounds like it was a great time, and it also sounds like I need to read one of his books :)

  • Ohh! Books & margaritas, what an excellent combination!

    I’m so glad you got a chance to meet Luis and Cindy. I met them at BEA last year. When I mentioned who I was, they yelled “JEN!!!” and came round the table and hugged me. They are great people, and Luis is an outstanding author!

  • What a terrific bookstore. Looks like you had great fun.

  • How fun — and good food to boot! I met Luis and his wife last year at BEA. They are truly so nice!

  • good name for a bookstore :)

  • Such fun!

    I get jealous every time you talk about this wonderful bookstore. Makes me wish I were just a weekend trip away from Chicago still.

  • This sounds great! I loved his book “Into the Beautiful North”. You’re lucky to have met him.

  • That would be some serious danger if I drank margharitas in a bookstore. My credit card would melt, and I would not have room on my bookshelves to display my purchases. I think it’s great you have an indie store like this where you can go. I’m jealous!

  • DW

    I love going to local indie bookstores. The people there are great for book suggestions. Seemed like you had an awesome time there. I haven’t heard of his books before, but I’m definitely going to check them out now.

  • Ooh I saw him last year at BEA at the signing tables for Into the Beautiful North. And sad to say, I STILL have yet to read it!

  • Jen-

    Thank you for the wonderful compliments and the great post. I am still basking in the glow of Luis’s genius, so there was no way I could have put together such a nice post about our party yet. Luis is the most masterful storyteller I’ve ever met, and I do think some of those miracles he talked about happen every time he writes. What a thrill and an honor it was to just give him the floor and hear him talk . . . and talk!

    Great to see you as always!


  • I was lucky enough to see him speak last year at the LA Times Festival of Books. I agree, he’s a marvelous ambassador for his books.

  • Oh, you make me wish I lived close to you. Can you imagine the fun we would have attending such events together?!

  • Ti

    Um…margaritas and books? Now that’s what I call a bookstore!

  • Look like you had a GREAT night! I wish there were more events like this near me. :(

  • What a fabulous day!!! I wish we had a terrific indie around here.

  • Suejustbooks

    I second all of Margie’s comments. It has been meeting you and getting to know you through Twitter and now at The Bookstore that makes me love Twitter. It’s always such a treat when you visit. I was also in complete awe of Luis and feel blessed to have been able to meet him and Cindy. Lastly, what could be better than books, margaritas and awesome people!

  • I love to meet authors in person, but I’ve never been to an author signing with yummy appetizers. Wine and beer yes (yea Harlan Coben!).