Dec 102016
 

This review, by Dale Palfrey, of “Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique” appeared in the 24 November 2016 edition of the Guadalajara Reporter:

New tome uncovers obscure details about amazing Mexico

“Mexican Kaleidoscope,” the latest book by Tony Burton, takes readers on a delightful romp through Mexican history and culture, spanning 10,000 years from the Pre-Hispanic era to modern times.

“Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique”

Where to buy this book

The author explains the genesis of the book in the first line of his preface: “My quest to find evidence of the past in Mexico’s present led me to some surprising discoveries.” It’s an observation that reflects his unquenchable thirst for “little-known facts, incidents or individuals plucked from the vaults of Mexican heritage.”

Indeed, over 165 pages broken up into 30 brief chapters, Burton reveals astonishing details about the people and events woven into the rich and colorful tapestry that is Mexico. All the better due to his knack for turning dry facts into to fluid prose. It’s the kind of book you can easily read straight through or jump from one vignette to another according to the appeal of the diverse topics.

The first three thematic sections are related to the centuries prior to the Spanish Conquest, proceeding chronologically through the era of New Spain’s settlement and the consolidation of independent Mexico.

Here he explores the foundations of Mexican farming and cuisine, the scientific genius of ancient astronomers and secrets unraveled through archaeological research. Further on he introduces the cradle of the Mexico’s wineries, the population’s African roots, great exploratory adventures by land and sea, and the ups and downs of the railway industry and military ventures.

Subsequent sections delve into people and society, and culture and popular beliefs, offering fascinating insights on the insular Huichol and Tarahumara tribes, true tales of eccentric characters who have left their stamp on the country, and the superstitions and common wisdom that make the people tick.

The text is complemented with handsome black-and-white illustrations designed for each chapter by lakeside artist Enrique Velázquez. The final pages are dedicated to a comprehensive bibliography and complete index to the contents.

The good news for lakesiders interested in acquiring “Mexican Kaleidoscope” is that Burton will launch sales at a public presentation and book-signing reception scheduled for Friday, December 2, 5 p.m., at the Centro Cultural de Ajijic. The books will be sold at discount price compared to the Mexican retail price of 300 pesos (US$19.99). Guests will also be able to view an exhibit of art works by Velázquez while enjoying wine and light refreshments.

About the author

Born in the United Kingdom in 1953, Tony Burton is a geographer who taught, lectured and guided specialist cultural and ecological trips in Mexico for 18 years. He and his wife Gwen currently reside on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada and frequently travel back to Mexico.

His previous book titles include “Western Mexico: A Traveler’s Treasury” (2014), now in its fourth edition, and “Lake Chapala Through the Ages, an Anthology of Travelers’ Tales” (2008). He is the co-author, with Dr. Richard Rhoda, of the landmark volume “Geo-Mexico, the Geography and Dynamics of Modern Mexico” (2010).

He has also written extensively on Mexico’s history, economics, tourism and geography, with bylines appearing in numerous magazines, journals and online publications in Mexico, Canada, the United States, Ireland and elsewhere. Look for his growing compilation of profiles on writers and artists tied to the Lake Chapala area at sombrerobooks.com and frequent contributions to the geo-mexico.com website.

Dec 022016
 

Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique, by Tony Burton, with thirty original pen and ink illustrations by Enrique Velázquez, is available in both print and e-book editions from all major online retailers (prices in US$):

Copies of the print edition are also available at select retail outlets at Lake Chapala:

  • Diane Pearl Collections
  • Mi México
  • Enrique Velázquez Art Gallery
  • La Nueva Posada (hotel/restaurant)

cover-front-onlyMexican Kaleidoscope delves into Mexico’s colorful history and culture. The author focuses on a fascinating selection of events, discoveries, individuals and intrigues to explore some of the reasons why Mexico has become such an extraordinarily diverse and interesting nation.

The 30 short chapters of Mexican Kaleidoscope span the centuries, from long before the Spanish conquest to the modern day. The topics considered range from the mysteries of Mexican food, Aztec farming and Mayan pyramids to mythical cities, aerial warfare, art, music, local sayings and the true origins of Mexico’s national symbols. Along the way, we encounter many unusual, strange, revealing and wonderful facts about Mexico.

Mexican Kaleidoscope unravels some of the many forces that have helped shape Mexico’s history and culture and helps us understand the appeal and mystique of this engaging country.

The true quality of Enrique Velázquez’s original illustrations is best appreciated in the print editions. Both print and e-books have a full bibliography. The print edition also has a full index.

The author and artist signed books at a formal book launch in Ajijic on 2 December 2016 at 5.00pm in the Centro Cultural Ajijic, on the village plaza.

Mexican Kaleidoscope received this highly favorable review in the Guadalajara Reporter. [Click to read full review]

In the words of Dr. Michael Hogan, author of the best-selling The Irish Soldiers of Mexico and recently published Abraham Lincoln and Mexico: “This is a book that fills in the gaps of many hitherto unexplained aspects of Mexican society, and unravels mysteries of culture… Burton’s style is friendly and hospitable to the homebody as well as enlightening to the veteran traveler. It is a book so generous-spirited and worldly-wise that it would make a suitable gift for the novice flying to Mexico for vacation, while at the same time being a cherished companion for the expat already comfortably at home there.”

Chapter titles:

Before the Spaniards
1 The Three Sisters and early kitchens
2 Ancient astronomers rebooted the calendar
3 Sustainable farming in Aztec times
4 Pyramid sounds and the Maya blues
5 Rubber balls and Americas’ oldest ballgame
6 Roman symbols on a Maya pyramid?
Spanish rule (New Spain)
7 Post-conquest inventory
8 Oldest winery in the Americas
9 Baaad sheep depleted environment
10 Afro-Mexicans outnumbered Spaniards
11 Epic journeys and mythical cities
12 The Manila Connection: cultural exchange
Independent Mexico
13 Birth of the Mexican Navy
14 U.S. appropriates Cinco de Mayo
15 Railroads helped forge the nation
16 Utopian experiment in Sinaloa
17 Historic aerial bombing of warship
18 Deceptive national symbols
People and society
19 Huichol Indians preserve traditions
20 The Tarahumara of the Copper Canyon
21 Train driver sacrificed life for town
22 Archbishop who had miraculous birth
23 Cross-dressing maid conned high society
24 Eccentric painter led art revolution
Culture and beliefs
25 Violinist added notes to musical scale
26 January’s weather foretells year ahead
27 World’s most popular romantic song?
28 Mexico’s soundscapes and traffic whistles
29 Sports fans embrace Mexican wave
30 Mexican cats have only seven lives?

Oct 012016
 

The print and ebook editions of Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique will be published later this month. To be among the first to receive this new book, and for a chance to win your own FREE copy, please sign up below for publication updates via email.

UPDATE – 22 October 2016. This draw has been won by Emily G. of Canal Fulton, Ohio – congratulations, Emily!

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Please note that your email will be stored securely, will not be shared with any other party, and will only be used for messages relating to the publication of Mexican Kaleidoscope.

The lucky winner will be chosen at random when the print book is published and will receive a completely FREE copy of the book (format of their choosing; tax/shipping included). Depending on the number of people signing up for updates, we may offer additional prizes.

In Mexican Kaleidoscope author Tony Burton delves into Mexico’s colorful history and culture. He focuses on a fascinating selection of events, discoveries, individuals and intrigues to explore some of the reasons why Mexico has become such an extraordinarily diverse and interesting nation.

The 30 short chapters of Mexican Kaleidoscope span the centuries, from long before the Spanish conquest to the modern day. The topics considered range from the mysteries of Mexican food, Aztec farming and Mayan pyramids to mythical cities, aerial warfare, art, music, local sayings and the true origins of Mexico’s national symbols. Along the way, we encounter many unusual, strange, revealing and wonderful facts about Mexico.

Mexican Kaleidoscope unravels some of the many forces that have helped shape Mexico’s history and culture and helps us understand the appeal and mystique of this engaging country.

The text is enhanced by charming original illustrations by Ajijic artist Enrique Velázquez. This book includes an index and bibliography.

Dr. Michael Hogan, the best-selling author of The Irish Soldiers of Mexico and the recently released Abraham Lincoln and Mexico, was gracious enough to read an advance copy and commented as follows:

“In this lively interweaving of history, cuisine, culture, tradition and superstition, Tony Burton brings the reader refreshing and often startling insights into the forces that shaped Mexican culture. There is something for everyone in this eclectic collection. Burton’s style is friendly and hospitable to the homebody as well as enlightening to the veteran traveler. It is a book so generous-spirited and worldly-wise that it would make a suitable gift for the novice flying to Mexico for vacation, while at the same time being a cherished companion for the expat already comfortably at home there.”

Mexconnect publisher David McLaughlin, who also read an advance copy, writes that:

“Once again, Tony Burton has melded his incredible knowledge of Mexico into a masterful and very entertaining collection of perspectives into Mexico. Mexican Kaleidoscope is exactly what this book is: multiple views into the colorful and dramatic story of Mexico throughout its history.”

An official book launch is being arranged for early December, in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. Full details of the book launch will follow in due course. Watch this space!

Sombrero Books welcomes comments related to any of our books or the posts published on this blog. Please email us or use the comments feature at the bottom of individual posts.

 Posted by at 5:11 am
Sep 022016
 

Sombrero Books is pleased to announce that the Kindle ebook version of Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique has just been released [Click the link to purchase]. The print edition will follow shortly, with an official book launch event in late November, in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. Full details for the book launch in Ajijic will be given here as soon as they are confirmed.

cover-front-onlyIn this new book, author Tony Burton delves into Mexico’s colorful history and culture. He focuses on a fascinating selection of events, discoveries, individuals and intrigues to explore some of the reasons why Mexico has become such an extraordinarily diverse and interesting nation.

The 30 short chapters of Mexican Kaleidoscope span the centuries, from long before the Spanish conquest to the modern day. The topics considered range from the mysteries of Mexican food, Aztec farming and Mayan pyramids to mythical cities, aerial warfare, art, music, local sayings and the true origins of Mexico’s national symbols. Along the way, we encounter many unusual, strange, revealing and wonderful facts about Mexico.

Mexican Kaleidoscope unravels some of the many forces that have helped shape Mexico’s history and culture and helps us understand the appeal and mystique of this engaging country.

The text is enhanced by charming original illustrations by Ajijic artist Enrique Velázquez. This book includes a bibliography. The print version includes a full index.

Dr. Michael Hogan, the best-selling author of The Irish Soldiers of Mexico and the recently released Abraham Lincoln and Mexico, was gracious enough to read an advance copy and commented as follows:

“In this lively interweaving of history, cuisine, culture, tradition and superstition, Tony Burton brings the reader refreshing and often startling insights into the forces that shaped Mexican culture. There is something for everyone in this eclectic collection. Burton’s style is friendly and hospitable to the homebody as well as enlightening to the veteran traveler. It is a book so generous-spirited and worldly-wise that it would make a suitable gift for the novice flying to Mexico for vacation, while at the same time being a cherished companion for the expat already comfortably at home there.”

Mexconnect publisher David McLaughlin, who also read an advance copy, writes that:

Once again, Tony Burton has melded his incredible knowledge of Mexico into a masterful and very entertaining collection of perspectives into Mexico. Mexican Kaleidoscope is exactly what this book is: multiple views into the colorful and dramatic story of Mexico throughout its history.”

We hope you will enjoy this book as much as these advance reviewers did!

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