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ASU to host OneBookAZ events

March 11, 2009

Each April, communities throughout Arizona come together to read and discuss two books chosen by popular vote of the people –one for adults, and one for children.

This year’s adult book has very close ties to ASU – it’s “Capirotada,” a memoir of growing up in Nogales by our very own Alberto Álvaro Ríos.

And because Ríos is a faculty member – he’s the Katharine C. Turner Endowed Chair in English and a Regents’ Professor of English – ASU will host its own OneBookAZ event on Wednesday, April 8, at 2 p.m., in the Memorial Union Ventana Room A (241A).

Ríos will read from his book, and there will be a panel discussion about its themes of family, culture, and life on the U.S.-Mexico border. A book-signing will follow the discussion.

Panel members from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will include Daniel Arreola, School of Geographical Sciences; Claudia Sadowski-Smith, Department of English; and Marta Sánchez, Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies Program.

Presenting the reading and discussion are the ASU Department of English with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records (ASLAPR).

Capirotada, Ríos says, is Mexican bread pudding – “a mysterious mixture of prunes, peanuts, white bread, raisins, milk, quesadilla cheese, butter, cinnamon and cloves, Old World sugar—all this, and things people will not tell you."

For more information about the reading, contact Claudia Sadowski Smith at (480) 965-7660, or

ASU’s Deer Valley Rock Art Center also is participating in OneBookAZ by hosting a storytime with Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford, author of the OneBookAZ for children, “Hip, Hip, Hooray, It’s Monsoon Day!” from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, April 24.

“Hip, Hip Hooray” is a story about how many people anticipate and celebrate the coming of the monsoon season, which largely defines North America’s spectacular Sonoran Desert.

For more information about the reading, contact Kim Arth, (623) 582-8007, or

Also, "Capirotada" is the April book for discussion by the Piper Center for Creative Writing's online book club. For more information go to

ASLAPR will host a kick-off event for OneBookAZ at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway. Ríos and Rivera-Ashford will talk about their books, there will be a desert reception and book-signing, and the Camelback Brass Quintet will provide music.

To reserve tickets for this event, contact the Arizona State Library, (602) 926-3369 or by April 8.

OneBookAZ is looking toward Arizona’s Centennial in 2012 by reading books through the anniversary that center on Arizona topics and themes.

For more information about OneBookAZ go to