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Tropical coasts, lush interior jungles, storied Mayan and Aztec ruins, majestic colonial architecture — Mexico is an inspired background for stories that explore the joy (and challenges) of family and the magic of everyday experiences.
In this episode, we discuss two wildly different family sagas. One is set during the Mexican Revolution and infused with magical realism; the other travels back-and-forth in time from contemporary Mexico City to the 1940s and ’50s. We also recommended a moving coming-of-age story set in Chicago and Mexico, a detailed history of chocolate (!), and an un-put-downable beach read.
Read the full transcript of Episode 04: Mexico.
These are the Coes, Sophie and Michael, who gave us The True History of Chocolate and heartwarming love story for the ages.
The book Caramelo is a rich family drama, and as it digs into family secrets, it name-drops some highlights from Mexico City’s past. Here are two:
Café de Tacuba: The Café de Tacuba is one of the oldest restaurants in Mexico City. ‘The recipes used here haven’t changed in 50 to 60 years. It’s like entering someone’s memories, or even your own. Stepping in here means entering the golden years of Mexico City.’
Yolanda Montes, a.k.a., Tongolele: She was all the rage as a vedette (cabaret star) in late 1940s and early 1950s Mexico. Here’s a video interview from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — and a collection of glamorous photographs from back in the day. But Tongolele in action is the best:
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Top image courtesy of Jezael Melgoza.
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Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
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We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.
This 30-page 2020 Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.
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