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
Jan 042014

Juan Rulfo and The South of Jalisco by Wolfgang Vogt (Editorial Agata, 1995).

Extended essay by Dr. Volfgang Vogt, translated by Tony Burton. This book is a detailed look at the work of one of Mexico’s foremost novelists, and its place in the school of regional literature. Includes 32 black & white photos (by Juan Rulfo) and bibliography.

ISBN 968-7310-56-1. Softcover, 81 pages. Dimensions (in inches): 7.6 x 5.2 x 0.25. Price: $10.00 (plus shipping; contact us for options/details)

The southern part of Jalisco, only a few hours’ drive from Lake Chapala, epitomizes many people’s idea of the “real Mexico”. This extended essay on the work of Juan Rulfo, one of Mexico’s most famous novelists, examines how his writing is a superb example of the school of regional literature. Rulfo was also an accomplished photographer and the book includes 32 of his black & white photos and a bibliography.

Related books:

  • San Gabriel,  Editorial Agata / Fotoglobo, 2004. This is the area forever associated with famous Mexican novelist Juan Rulfo. Includes numerous color photos of San Gabriel, Piedras Niñas, Jiquilpan, Buenavista, Salsipuedes, Telcampana, Totolimispa and San José.

Related posts:

 Posted by at 1:44 pm
Jan 042014

San Gabriel  (Editorial Agata/Fotoglobo, 2004).

san-gabrielSan Gabriel (formerly Venustiano Carranza – this is the name still used on many maps) is a municipality close to Sayula and Cd. Guzmán in Jalisco, Mexico.

This book features color photos of the numerous small hamlets, haciendas, villages and landscapes of the area around San Gabriel. Places described include San Gabriel, Piedras Niñas, Jiquilpan, Buenavista, Salsipuedes, Telcampana, Totolimispa and San José. This is an area forever associated with world famous Mexican novelist Juan Rulfo.

Softcover, 96 pages. Dimensions (in inches): 8.7 x 8.7 x 0.2 ISBN: 970-657-139-6  Price: US$20.00 [plus shipping; contact us for options/details]

Related books:

 Posted by at 1:12 pm
Jan 042014

A House Far South in Mexico by Elaine Dandh. (Perception Press 2000).

Loosely modeled on the best-selling Year in Provence, this is a blow-by-blow account, from the perspective of the woman of the house, of one couple’s adjustment to moving to Mexico to live.

Softcover, 271 pages. Dimensions (in inches): 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 Price: US$20.00


On one grey November day in New England, knowing nothing at all of what they were getting into, the narrator and her husband, His Himship, moved to Mexico. In their first year they managed to careen around most of the country, from the mountains of Michoacan to the villages of Chiapas.

They took part in fiestas, descended into ancient burial vaults, and bought a silver dagger from a neighbor who may have been a witch but was certainly a dealer in stolen merchandise. Venturing into a culture which they knew nothing about, they tried to teach their maid how to deal with a faithless husband. Meanwhile the two attempted to record the quaint folkways of the mixed lot of American expatriates they had fallen into.

 Posted by at 12:26 pm
Jan 042014

Village In The Sun by Dane Chandos (reprint by Tlayacapan Press, 1998)

chandos-village-in-the-sunIn the early 1940s, an Englishman Dane Chandos (the pen name for a two-man writing team) decided to settle in a small village on Lake Chapala. This is a most welcome reprint of the much sought-after, highly entertaining account of his adventures during his first year in Mexico. As he builds his home, Chandos absorbs local customs while bonding with a colorful cast of characters. A delightful book!

Softcover, 259 pages. Dimensions (in inches): 8.3 x 5.45 x 0.6 Price: US$15.00 [plus shipping – contact us for details]

Written in the early 1940s, Village In The Sun is still considered to be one of the most endearing books written about Mexico to this day. Set in the area of Ajijic, Jalisco, it gives a delightful view of the Mexicans and their culture without criticism and judgment. The story is a most entertaining month-by-month account of an Englishman weathering his first year in Ajijic. It is written in a time when the road from Chapala to Jocotepec was a muddy trail and steam bed washouts were part of life during the rainy season. Ice was delivered by bus from Guadalajara, dropped off by the side of the road and left in the sun. In the process of building his house, the author gradually absorbs local customs while bonding with a colorful cast of characters.

Related books:

All three books “House in the Sun”, “Village in the Sun” and “Candelaria’s Cookbook” are delightful and essential reading for anyone who cares about the spirit of Mexico and its people. The sale of these books helps fund an educational program for young people living in the village of San Antonio Tlayacapan, where the books are set.

 Posted by at 12:26 pm
Jan 042014

House In The Sun by Dane Chandos (reprint by Tlayacapan Press, 1999)

chandos-house-in-sunThis is the classic account of how an expatriate Englishman Dane Chandos (the pen name for a two-man writing team) ran an hotel in a Lake Chapala village fifty years ago – “a magical place where anything can happen–and frequently does!”.

Softcover, 246 pages. Dimensions (in inches): 8.3 x 5.45 x 0.6. Price: US$15.00 [plus shipping – contact us for details]

“The house which he was building in Ajijic, on Lake Chapala, south of Guadalajara, is now nearing completion and, at the time of which he writes, is converted to a small inn taking a few paying guests. Here, Dane Chandos unfolds his day-to-day adventures as “Señor of the Inn,” an amateur hotelier who is at the mercy of both his loyal, unpredictable and often maddening servants, and of his equally unpredictable and maddening – though never boring – guests. All this is set forth with tender understanding and captivating wit against the background of the primitive little village which lies “between the lake and the paws of the mountains,” where anything can happen.” (review by Alan Cogan)

House In The Sun has more descriptive details about Mexico than the previous book by Dane Chandos – Village In The Sun  – as the author occasionally takes his guests on sightseeing trips including a pilgrimage to the Virgin of Zapopan, a canoa trip around the lake, and a drive to Uruapan to see the still-erupting volcano at Paricutin.

Related books:

All three books “House in the Sun”, “Village in the Sun” and “Candelaria’s Cookbook” are delightful and essential reading for anyone who cares about the spirit of Mexico and its people. The sale of these books helps fund an educational program for young people living in the village of San Antonio Tlayacapan, where the books are set.

 Posted by at 12:26 pm

Lake Chapala Map Set details

 Lake Chapala Map Set  Comments Off on Lake Chapala Map Set details
Jan 032014

These are the definitive street plans of the major villages on Lake Chapala including Chapala, Ajijic and Jocotepec, and their subdivisions, together with touring maps of the north and south shore, and a detailed regional map showing highways, tourist information and villages within day-trip range of Guadalajara and Chapala.

Price $10.00 (includes shipping to anywhere in North America).

Where to buy

Lake Chapala MapsRecent Amazon reviews:

April 4, 2013: “Very Practical Map of Area with all key cities. We found the map really easy to use and up to date.”

April 23, 2014: “Wonderful, easy to read and carry in a pocket or travel wallet. Glad I was able to snag one to help me prepare for my visit to Lake Chapala, Mexico later this year.”

April 10, 2014: “My wife and I just returned from a week long exploration of Ajijic and Chapala on the shores of Lake Chapala. I was never without this map. I carried it with me, often folded in my back pants pocket. We walked around most of the time and this map helped me move around, know where we were and how to get back to our hotel. We also reviewed the map before we traveled to the area. I highly recommend it if you are traveling to the Lake Chapala area in Mexico.”

Dimensions (in inches): Concertina folded to 8.0 (ht) x 4.4, unfolding to 8.0 (ht) x 35.0 (printed both sides). The layout for the two sides is shown below:
Lake Chapala Maps, layoutThe maps come complete with an index to all streets, and the perfect size to fit in a glove box or hand bag, with all the details you’d expect:
Detail of Chapala MapThese best-selling maps are regularly updated. Price $10.00 (includes shipping to anywhere in North America). Please contact us direct for ordering details.

Where to buy

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