Jan 072014

La Fiesta de San Andrés – Historia Visual (Editorial Agata/SCJ/Conaculta, 2003). Visual history, with Spanish-language text, of the Huichol Fiesta de San Andrés, related and photographed by anthropologist Kal Muller.

Famous photographer Kal (Kalman) Muller, who grew up in this Huichol Indian village in the sierras of Western Mexico, documents the relatively new tradition of celebrating the  fiesta of San Andrés. A highly unusual book, which could only have been produced by a great anthropologist-photographer.

fiesta-san-andresLa Fiesta de San Andrés nos muestra un rostro diferente del pueblo Wixarika (Huichol). La nación Wixarika famosa en todo el mundo por sus peculiares y arraigadas tradiciones, ritos, fiestas y cosmovisión, lo que ellos mismos llaman El Costumbre, se nos muestra inovadora, dinámica y adaptable. El antropólogo Kalman Muller, quien se crió en esta misma comunidad de San Andrós, y quien ha tenido contacto permanente con la misma durante toda su vida es el encargado de traernos estos vivencias. Mismas que nacieron por iniciativa de la propia comunidad, bajo la invitación de Rosalío Rivera Sánchez “Chalío”, para el legado histórico de las futuras generaciones Wixarikas y del mundo entero.

Language: Spanish. Softcover, 78 pages. Dimensions (in inches): 10.7 x 8.0 x 0.25 ISBN: 970-657-122-1 Price: US$20.00 plus shipping (contact us for details)

Want to learn more about the Huichol Indians?


 Posted by at 4:47 pm
Jan 072014

The Jew with the Iron Cross: A Record of Survival in WWII Russia, by Georg Rauch (iUniverse, Inc., 2006).

rauchPaperback: 269 pages; ISBN-13: 978-0595379873; dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches; Price: US$15.00 plus shipping (contact us for details)

As a teenager, author Georg Rauch helped his mother protect the Jewish couples hidden in their Viennese attic. Officially classified as one-quarter Jewish, Rauch is drafted into Hitler’s army and sent to fight for causes he detests. Rauch finds himself near death many times, but his talents as a shortwave radio operator, chef, and even harmonica player all play a role in his survival. Captured by the Russians in the autumn of 1944, Rauch faces brutality and near-fatal illness as a POW. Recruitment for Russian espionage saves his life this time, but his story isn’t over yet.

Based on eighty letters sent home from the Russian trenches, The Wooden Spoon is a riveting tale of paradox and survival during World War II.

“A fascinating account of what it was like for a partial Jew to serve in the German military during World War II. Rauch’s experiences and hardships dramatically depict the physical and emotional struggles of a ‘Mischling’ during the Third Reich.”—Bryan Mark Rigg, author of Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers

“Not about combat tactics but about what it meant to be in an army at war. Rauch has put a human face on aspects of the war that are usually only referred to in passing.”—Tom Houlihan, WWII cartographer

Georg Rauch was a successful professional artist who exhibited extensively in Europe, the United States and Mexico. Rauch and his wife, Phyllis, made their home overlooking Lake Chapala in the central highlands of Mexico for more than thirty years.

Want to learn more about this very interesting artist?

Jan 072014

Jalisco en el progreso de México – aportación a la obra de gobierno del Lic. J. Jesús Gónzalez Gallo. 6. Estudios Fundamentales. Published in Guadalajara, Jalisco, 1947.

gonzalez-gallo-jalisco-en-el-progreso-de-mexicoPaper bound. Papel cultural. 287 pp. Some minor stains and marks, but no annotations, notes or signatures.

Includes chapters:

  • Cronología Jalisciense by Prof. Ramón García Ruiz
  • Estudio Demográfico by Srta . Aurora P. Magallon
  • Estudio Económico de la Industria by Juan Victor Verges
  • Economía Agrícola y Ganadera Forestal de Caza y Pesca by Lic. Francisco Arguellos Castañeda
  • Comercio y Transportes by Lic. Augusto Avalos Lemus
  • Politica Hacendaria by Srts. Lic. María Steimpress Esponda.


RARE. Price US$20.00 plus shipping. Please contact us for rates.

 Posted by at 10:18 am
Jan 072014

A visit to Don Otavio, A Mexican journey, by Sybille Bedford  (Eland, 1982).

bedford-don-otavio-red319 pages. Price: US$8.00 plus shipping. Please contact us for rates.

This is the classic travel account based on a prolonged visit to Mexico (principally the area around Lake Chapala) in the early 1950s by the fine British travel writer Sybille Bedford. Slight crease to top right of front cover; tiny stain on frontispiece; otherwise a clean, tight copy with no apparent markings.

 Posted by at 10:14 am
Jan 072014

A visit to Don Otavio, A Mexican odyssey, by Sybille Bedford  (Eland, 2002).

bedford-don-otavio-grey312 pages. Price: US$8.00 plus shipping. Please contact us for rates.

This is the classic travel account based on a prolonged visit to Mexico (principally the area around Lake Chapala) in the early 1950s by the fine British travel writer Sybille Bedford. Former owner’s signature on frontispiece; otherwise a clean, tight copy with no apparent markings.

 Posted by at 10:06 am
Jan 042014

Tapalpa – Pueblo mágico (“Tapalpa – Magic Town”), was published by Editorial Agata/Fotoglobo in 2001.

tapalpaThis photo book with captions in Spanish has beautiful full-color photos of this magical mountain town. (Fotografias del pueblo mágico de Tapalpa con textos cortos).

Softcover, 143 pages. Dimensions (in inches): 11.0 x 8.5 x 0.4.

ISBN: 970-657-088-8 Price: US$35.00 (plus shipping, contact us for details)

Related books:

Tapalpa  (Editorial Agata, Fotoglobo, 2001) -64 pp; sepia photos


 Posted by at 6:12 pm
Jan 042014

The Line – La Linea, by Beldon Butterfield (Ediciones de la Noche, 2007).

butterfieldSoftcover, 444 pages. Dimensions (in inches): 8.25 x 5.5 x 1.0. ISBN: 978-1-60461-176-2 Price: US$20.00 (plus shipping, contact us for details)

This novel is set in the nether world of the Mexican drug trade, where men and women on both sides of the border wage an ill-fated “war on drugs” against a formidable enemy in command of an army of ruthless killers with endless resources.

Amid this amoral world of violence, a three way romance is forged between the striking and athletic DEA agent Fernanda Deering, the dashing but conniving Jaime Nuñez, a sub comandante in the PGR – Mexico’s elite law enforcement agency – and George Redfield, a bon vivant bi-cultured Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

Born and raised in Argentina, Beldon Butterfield is a U.S.-educated author who came to Mexico with Time Inc. and now divides his time between Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende.


 Posted by at 6:08 pm
Jan 042014

Tlajomulco (Editorial Agata, Fotoglobo, 2004).

tlajomulcoLanguage: Spanish. Softcover, 96 pages. Dimensions (in inches): 8.7 x 8.7 x 0.2 ISBN: 970-657-144-2 Price: US$20.00 (plus shipping, contact us for details)

A full-color book of great color photos and short descriptions of all the major sites and scenes in the municipality of Tlajomulco. Tlajomulco is an historic town located between the city of Guadalajara.and Lake Chapala in Jalisco, Mexico.

The book includes places such as Santa Cruz de las Flores, San Agustín, Cajititlán, San Lucas, San Juan Evangelista and Cerro Viejo.


 Posted by at 5:42 pm
Jan 042014

Laguna de Sayula; humedad del sur de Jalisco, México (Laguna de Sayula; wetland in southern Jalisco, Mexico”) Unión Editorialista. 2005

sayulaLanguage: Spanish. Softcover, 174 pages. Dimensions (in inches): 10.8 x 8.5 x 0.6. ISBN: 970-657-158-2 Price: US$40.00 (plus shipping, contact us for details)

This beautiful book about the Laguna of Sayula (located alongside the main toll highway linking Guadalajara and Colima) in Jalisco begins with a short historical introduction to the region. Most of the volume is dedicated to a comprehensive account of all aspects of the Laguna’s natural history: geology, flora and fauna, particularly the rich bird life that characterizes this region. The book is richly illustrated throughout with excellent color photos.

A very hard-to-find item. Only two copies in stock.

 Posted by at 5:34 pm
Jan 042014

Exploring Yucatan: A Traveler’s Anthology, selected and edited by Richard D. Perry (Espadaña Press, 2001).

perry-yucatanSoftcover, 318 pages. Dimensions (in inches): 9 x 6 x 0.9. ISBN: 0-9620811-4-0 Price: US$20.00 (plus shipping, contact us for details)

For centuries, explorers, adventurers, artists, naturalists and archeologists have recorded their experiences of work and travel in Yucatan. Their vivid memoirs give us historic insights into the attitudes of the past, document how conditions have changed over time, and help to illuminate the present in this exotic tropical region of Mayan Mexico.

Now, a broad and varied selection of these classic writings have been excerpted and collected in one volume to entertain and enlighten today’s traveler to Yucatan.

The selections include all the major Mayan sites and regions of the Yucatan peninsula, from Campeche on the Gulf coast to Tulum on the Caribbean coast. The narratives are accompanied by numerous historical and new illustrations, maps, a glossary and full index. Essential reading for anyone traveling the Ruta Maya.

 Posted by at 5:29 pm
Jan 042014

Past Times in Chapala by J. Jesús González G. (1994)

aquellos-tiempos-chapalaThis 56 page book is an evocative, bilingual (Spanish-English) description of the delights of the popular resort community of Chapala, on the shores of Mexico’s largest natural lake, written by a prominent politician. The book includes 75 sepia-tone photos dating from the early decades of this century. The translation is by Tony Burton.

Hard to find item. Price US$15.00 (plus shipping, contact us for details)

 Posted by at 5:22 pm
Jan 042014

Some Common and Interesting Plants of San Miguel de Allende, by John and Anne Packer, is a bilingual flora guide, with Spanish translations by Manuel Lopez, published by Plant Press Publications, 1999.

packer-plants-san-miguelSoftcover, 120 pages; 52 colour photos. Dimensions (in inches): 9.0 x 6.0 x 0.3 ISBN: 0-9684769-0-2 Price: US$15.00 (plus shipping, contact us for details).

This useful and authoritative bilingual field guide can be used anywhere in central Mexico. It is particularly well-suited for visitors from the north who are encountering semitropical plants for the first time. The book describes some of the more common trees and shrubs, cacti and herbaceous perennials, as well as many of the colorful climbers that make Mexican towns such interesting places to visit.

As well as a technical description, general information is supplied telling whether the plant is introduced from Europe or elsewhere, and other details that make the plant memorable. Common and scientific names are provided for every entry. “Easy to use, well laid out, concise and well written” – Atencion San Miguel

 Posted by at 5:14 pm
Jan 042014

A Drink Named Tequila by José María Muria and Ricardo Sánchez (Ed.Agata, 1996).

Softcover, 81 pages. Dimensions (in inches): 8.6 x 8.6 x 0.3. ISBN 968-7310-79-0  Price: US$15.00 (plus shipping, contact us for details)

All genuine tequila comes (by law) from within a limited region of Western Mexico, centered on the small town of Tequila, an hour’s drive west of Guadalajara.

Beautifully illustrated with 32 color plates, A Drink Named Tequila traces the history and mystery of tequila (the liquor) from its ancient roots to today. The text, by one of Jalisco’s foremost historians, José María Muria, provides many fascinating insights into Mexico’s national drink.

For example, did you know what the agave (maguey) plant, from which tequila is derived, represented in the ancient Nahuatl culture? “In the Nahuatl culture, the maguey was a divine creation that represented Mayáhuel, a goddess who had four hundred breasts to feed her four hundred children.”

For a long time, the production of liquor of any kind was completely prohibited in New Spain:

“With the intention of favoring the importation and sale of produce from the major Iberian peninsular landowners, the Spanish Crown had prohibited the production of liquor in America, and brutally persecuted those who disobeyed. This, as well as to ensure – at least, so they said – that the Indians and mestizos would consume less, was why mescal was born and raised clandestinely. In turn, this explains why it took so long to leave clear proof of its existence and why today we know so little of its teething stages and first, tottering steps.”

Many of the early tequila brands were given feminine names:

“It became common for distilleries to be baptized with a feminine variant of the surname of their owner; Martinez: “La Martineña”; Guarro: “La Guarreña; Gallardo: “La Gallardeña”; Flores: “La Floreña”; Quintanar: “La Quintaneña”, etcetera. It also became common to link the brand name with some positive quality, as in the case of … “La Perseverancia” (“The Perseverance”), or…  “La Constancia” (“The Certainty”).”

Of interest to historians looking at the migration of rural businessmen from the site of their wealth in the countryside toward the cities, Muria writes that,

“Of all the great rural businessmen, the tequila producers were the last to move their places of residence from the countryside. As the twentieth century began, it is well known that practically all the hacienda owners had relegated their ancestral residences to the role of summer homes or for occasional visits, given that now their greatest desire was to figure prominently in the loftiest circles of society in Mexico’s provincial capitals, the capital of the Republic, or even in Paris or some other flashy European city.”

The book does have a handful of minor flaws. For example, Muria writes that the cocktail known as a margarita is made from “a combination of tequila with a dash of lime juice, mint and salt”. Perhaps he wrote this phrase after tasting one too many tequilas, since for a genuine margarita, his “mint” would need to be replaced by a shot of orange-flavored liqueur such as cointreau or Gran Marnier…

Despite such minor details, A Drink Named Tequila (Editorial Agara, 1996) remains a fascinating and well-illustrated read.

Want to learn more about tequila?

 Posted by at 3:28 pm
Jan 042014

Paricutín, 50 years after its birth by Simón Lázaro Jiménez (Editorial Agata, 1994)

lazaro-jimenez-paricutin-volcanoOn February 20, 1943, Paricutín Volcano erupted in a farmer’s cornfield in Michoacjn. Simón Lázaro Jiménez, now a carpenter by trade, was just a young boy. Here, for the first time, an indigenous Purepecha Indian relives, in vivid and entertaining prose, his first-hand experiences on that fateful day and during the months that followed. Simple maps and 16 previously unpublished photos, including several by acclaimed photographer Walter Reuter.


“Early that morning when we reached the town all the houses were completely deserted, with their doors open but nobody inside. We went round the town three times and found five men reciting the Holy Rosary…” (p 14)

“The first flows of lava oozed out of the volcano’s mouth and formed a hard initial slope but this didn’t work as Nature intended. It only resulted in reinforcing the side, enabling the volcano to increase its height, which is just what happened.” (p 23)

“The greatest number of tourists always arrived at night because this was the best time to appreciate, in all its splendor, in all its magnitude, this marvel of Nature, and the volcano, as if showing off its immense pride, threw its fiery stones as high as possible. These same stones would then totally cover everything…” (p 27)

The author tells a compelling tale, and one which might never have seen the light of day had it not been for the generosity of Editorial Agata in arranging its translation and publication.

Softcover, 51 pages. Dimensions (in inches): 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.125 Price: US$10.00 (plus shipping, contact us for details)

Want to learn more about Paricutín Volcano?

 Posted by at 3:26 pm
Jan 042014

Sierra Primavera. (Editorial Agata, Fotoglobo, 2004)

The Sierra Primavera (Primavera Forest) is an extensive forested wilderness area, with hot springs and amaxing scenery, very close to the city of Guadalajara, in Mexico. This book has dozens of color photos of the scenery, geology, fauna and flora of this distinctive area, complemented by short essays on each aspect written by subject specialists.

Softcover, 96 pages. Dimensions (in inches): 8.7 x 8.7 x 0.2. ISBN: 970-657-153-1. Price: US$15.00

Where is the Sierra Primavera?

Location of the Primavera Forest, Guadalajara. Cartography: Tony Burton; all rights reserved.

Location of the Primavera Forest, Guadalajara. Cartography: Tony Burton; all rights reserved.

Want to read more about the Sierra Primavera?

 Posted by at 3:04 pm
Jan 042014

Guadalajara, Ayer y Hoy by guadalajara0ayerS. Gastaldi; Ruizesparza, Oskar Gastaldi (Author)

This soft cover book was published in 1998 by Editorial Agata / Museo del Periodismo y Las Artes Graficas, Guadalajara. A brief introductory text accompanies these superb photos of Guadalajara. About half the photos are sepia, the remainder are b/w.

Pages: 48 (almost all are photos). Language: Spanish. Price: US$15.00 (plus shipping, contact us for details)

 Posted by at 3:02 pm
Jan 042014

Tonalá: Raíces que perduran (Living Roots), bilingual edition (Editorial Agata 1994)

tonala-raices32 pages, Text by Gutierre Aceves Piña; translation by Tony Burton.

Brief text introduces the various types of ceramic art that have put the town of Tonalá in Jalisco firmly on the tourist arts and crafts map. The book is lavishly illustrated with 17 full-color photos, many of them full-page.

Used. Very hard to find. Price US$15.00 (plus shipping, contact us for details}


 Posted by at 2:44 pm
Jan 042014

Viva Mexico! by Charles Macomb Flandrau (Eland reprint 1982)

flandrauThis is a reprint of Charles Macomb Flandrau’s classic book, Viva Mexico! A traveller’s account of life in Mexico, first published in 1908 with a new preface by Nicholas Shakespeare.

“After leaving Harvard, Charles Flandrau (1871-1938) made several journeys to Mexico where he used his brother’s coffee farm as a base. From these experiences he gathered the material for Viva Mexico! which was published in 1908. It was immediately recognized as a classic and since then has been in constant demand by the American reading public.” (back cover text).

Sybille Bedford, another outstanding travel writer on Mexico, described this book as “the most enchanting, as well as extremely funny book on Mexico.”

Used book. 294 pages. Spine slightly faded; otherwise very good condition. Price: US$12.00 (plus shipping, contact us for details)

 Posted by at 2:24 pm
Jan 042014

La Ruta de Occidente: Las Ciudades de Toluca y Morelia, a soft cover book by Pablo C. de. Gante (Mexico, D.F.: DAPP, 1939)

Paperback: 95 pages
Publisher: Mexico, D.F.: DAPP (1939)
Language: Spanish

Very hard-to-find early guidebook to Mexico’s Highway 15, one of the country’s most scenic highways. This book has detailed descriptions, accompanied by numerous maps and b/w photos of the section from Mexico City to Morelia, the state capital of Michoacán.

Used. Price US$10.00 (plus shipping; contact us for details)

 Posted by at 2:09 pm
Jan 042014

Outdoors in Western Mexico, by John and Susy Pint (2nd edition 2011).

pints-coverArt and Cartoons by Jesús Moreno; graphic Design by Jesús García Arámbula.

212 pages. 41 maps.14 color photos. Too many drawings and cartoons to count.

This user-friendly book contains details of forty scenic places to camp, hike or picnic within a few hours of Guadalajara and Lake Chapala. Short descriptions include trail landmarks and background information. A very hard to find book!

Published by Quadrimag, C.V. in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Price: US $20.00 plus shipping (contact us for details)

“For decades now, the Pints — who live in Zapopan, Jalisco — have wandered off-the-beaten paths in search of the beautiful and the mysterious and the interesting. And in this book they have gathered articles they have written about rivers and canyons, caves, volcanoes (both active and inactive), hot (and cold) springs, waterfalls, petroglyphs, pre-Columbian tombs, circular pyramids, boiling mud pots, even poltergeists, and exotic flora and fauna… all within a few hours of Guadalajara.” (MexConnect)

Need to learn more about this book?

 Posted by at 1:55 pm
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