Thursday, November 29, 2012

Our FIRST Small Business Saturday!

If you live in the U.S., you surely know about Black Friday and its convenient offspring Cyber Monday. But do you know that between these two we now celebrate Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday, as the name suggests, is a date organized to raise awareness and encourage neighbors to shop local. (

We celebrated Small Business Saturday at La Casa Azul Bookstore with support from El Museo del Barrio, the Ballet Hispánico and Aroma Boutique Café and Bakery. Anyone who shopped at the bookstore on Saturday got a chance to enter a raffle to win tickets to a performance of the Ballet Hispánico or a reception at El Museo del Barrio. All visitors also got to enjoy cupcakes by Aroma Boutique and Bakery (along with coffee La Casa Azul Bookstore set out).

We asked a customer browsing through the memoir section whether she knew it was Small Business Saturday. Turns out she did! Erica Lubliner, from California, was happy her trip coincided with the date. She’d been following the progress of the store online and was excited to visit La Casa Azul Bookstore because she believes it fills an important niche in our community. Also, as a small business owner herself (ÍO-Designs/121770916916), she knows the importance of community support.

Small Business Saturday is now a few days behind us, but, as you know, every day is a good day to support your local independent bookstore!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Supporting VONA and writers of color

¡Hola! My name is María Richardson and I’m an MFA student who’s recently joined the team at La Casa Azul Bookstore. I’ll be writing about events at the store and keeping you updated on new arrivals to our shelves. La Casa Azul Bookstore is alive with the works and visits of talented authors from our community. We hope you’ll stay tuned to find ways of approaching these new and established works and artists.

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Last Thursday November 15, La Casa Azul Bookstore hosted a fundraiser for VONA/Voices. VONA is the only multi-genre workshop for writers of color in the U.S. As Aurora, the bookstore owner, noted, there is a strong link between VONA and the bookstore, both working to nurture and promote the work of writers of our community.

The value of VONA was evident on Thursday, as faculty and alums read poems, short stories and excerpts from novels and memoirs. We traveled to Ethiopia, considered the force of Sandy, faced difficult medical diagnoses, moved through the blues, and were led through furtherspaces, situations, and states of mind.   

It was a night of talent and appreciation. VONA’s alums described the workshop as ‘a week that felt like a semester’, a place of ‘synergy and community’ and, as many coincided, ‘life-changing in the most positive way.’

VONA needs support to continue its work.
To donate to VONA’s indiegogo campaign go to:

To learn more about the workshops go to:
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To find a list of Thursday night’s readers (and discover what book at La Casa Azul Bookstore they recommend) look below:

Stacey Evans
Recommended book: Woman Hollering Creek: And Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros

Grace Lee
Recommended book: Burro Genius: a Memoir by Víctor Villaseñor
Sunita Durandar
Recommended book: In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Álvarez

H’Rina De Troy
Recommended book: Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

Vanessa Martír
Recommended book: How the García Girls Lost their Accent by Julia Álvarez

Jeffery Renard Allen: 

Maaza Mengiste:

Willie Perdomo:
Recommended book: The Latina’s Bible by Sandra Guzmán