Read A Book, Pumpkin'

Steven Robert Allen
3 min read
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Have you ever chowed down at El Farol, the tasty Santa Fe tapas restaurant located in that cute historic building along Canyon Road? No? Well, on Monday, Oct. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m., El Farol is coming to Albuquerque. Chef James Campbell Caruso will make an appearance at Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW, 344-8139) to promote and sign the new El Farol Tapas and Spanish Cuisine, and, more importantly, he'll be offering scrumptious samples lifted from the book.

The following evening, on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m., the store will host Albuquerque's old man of letters, Rudolfo Anaya, who's got two new books out: Serafina's Stories and The Santero's Miracle: A Bilingual Story. Later in the week, Albuquerque's literary superstar Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, who achieved such stunning success with her best-selling debut novel, Dirty Girls Social Club, will read from and sign her second novel, Playing with Boys. Valdes-Rodriguez will be at Bookworks on Thursday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m.

Educators just don't get appreciated enough. In our backwards culture, if you can hit a ball with a stick, you're showered with millions. If you can successfully cultivate the young minds of the future, on the other hand, you're destined for a life of relative poverty. During the week beginning Monday, Oct. 11, Bound To Be Read (6300 San Mateo NE, 828-3500) will attempt to rectify this injustice in some small way with its Educator Appreciation Week. Throughout that week teachers, home schoolers and librarians will get a 25 percent discount off regularly priced merchandise. The bookstore will also host a variety of free events for educators as well as provide free hors d'ouevres and door prizes.

Back before I transformed into the hip, handsome swan I am today, I was a geeky, spittle splattering, Dungeons and Dragons playing duckling. As a preadolescent, I was particularly fond of fantasy novels. One of my favorite novelists back then was Stephen R. Donaldson, a New Mexican writer best known for his impressive double trilogy, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, which told the story of a pathetic, self-loathing leper who's magically transported to an alternative universe in which he's a glamorous hero who must save the world from annihilation. Donaldson's Covenant books were huge international bestsellers. Now, 25 years later, he's decided to release a new book in the series, The Runes of the Earth. Donaldson will be at the Coronado branch of Barnes and Noble (6600 Menaul NE, 883-8200) on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 2 p.m. to unveil this much-anticipated return to his beloved series.

These are some of the best bookstore events occurring during the month of October. For the full shebang, call your favorite local stores.

Local bookstores that want their November events included in this column should contact me by phone at 346-0660 ext. 251 or by e-mail at

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