SSoP Podcast Episode 04 — Mexico: Folklore and Beachy Paradise

SSoP Podcast Episode 04 — Mexico: Folklore and Beachy Paradise

Thursday, 23 January, 2020

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.


buy | read review

The True History of Chocolate

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Like Water for Chocolate

buy | read review

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

buy | read review

Girls' Night Out

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Sea Monsters

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other books we mentioned


other cool stuff we talked about

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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Tropical coasts, lush jungles, ancient Mayan and Aztec ruins, majestic colonial architecture, fresh margaritas — Mexico is an inspired background for all kinds of stories about sun, fun, friendship, and family.
The pages of 'Like Water for Chocolate' burn with the various ways humans can love each other: passionately, platonically, painfully — and food is a full-fledged character in this lush, satisfying family saga.
Forget everything you know about hot chocolate! This luscious recipe is rich, creamy, and not too sweet — the perfect thing to sip while you snuggle up with a book. Ready in minutes, no paper packet of brown powder in sight.
Beaches on the Pacific and the Caribbean, magical cenotes, mystical pyramids, amazing street food, and candy-colored architecture — these photos will have you booking a trip to Mexico asap. Sorry and you're welcome.
Casiopea is a heroine you can believe in: smart, brave, sweet but scrappy. Each of her days is much like the one before and the one after, until she meets the Mayan god of death and has the adventure of her life.
This weekend, take an unsettling but stylish adventure to an isolated mansion in 1950s Mexico. Yes, the Doyle family is creepy and the house is quite sinister, but our heroine Noemí is a charming and feisty companion.

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