Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Book Your Stocking with Donna Miscolta

Book Your Stocking: December 5

Book Your Stocking 2018
You love books. Your favorite person loves books. You have a burning desire to love books. You have a book list ten miles long composed of book titles you must read now.


This is the place to be to revel in that love of books and to add another 1/4 mile to your to-read list. All December, writers and readers are sharing the book that they'd love to find in their winter stocking, whether they've read it, wish to read it again, or just discovered it.

Today's book recommendation is a discovery. Please welcome  Donna Miscolta who found a voice from the radio and traced it to a new book, just released this November.

Insurrecto by Gina Apostol
This is the book: Insurrecto by Gina Apostol

This is how I found it:
One morning in November, I turned on the radio and dropped into an author interview Scott Simon was conducting on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

I sat in the car, alert to the voice of the author whose intelligence, passion for her novel’s subjects, and humor and goodwill transfixed me.

Later, I went to the NPR site to read the interview with Gina Apostol and to find the passages that had most riveted me. 

Like this one about Elvis and who he belongs to:

The thing about Elvis is that I — you know, I didn't like him because he was my mom's favorite. But it was only a few years ago that I realized that all these songs that my uncles, when I was a kid, would sing — this is in the '70s — would sing for, like, long long long guitar-strumming fests, were actually all Elvis songs. So I actually thought Elvis was Filipino for a long time. ...

And this one about Americans’ history that goes beyond liberator:

I think it's important, for instance, for an American to recognize its multiple histories. You know, this history of wanting to be the liberator in the Spanish-American War period, but also recognizing the inhumanity that came from that war. So there's this tension of the two.

And this one about the kind of book it is:

…it's a Filipino book, it's an American book…

And this one about her intention as a novelist:

So I think as a teacher, it's just — given the difficulty of our times, it's also kind of liberating for me to do the work that I do as a novelist that's not at all separate from the ethical reader that I want, and the ethical citizen that I want in my classroom.

Shouldn’t we all read this book?


About today's reader:
Donna Miscolta
(photo by Meryl Schenker)

Donna Miscolta’s story collection Hola and Goodbye, winner of the Doris Bakwin Award for Writing by a Woman, was published by Carolina Wren Press in 2016. It won an Independent Publishers award for Best Regional Fiction and an International Latino Book Award for Best Latino Focused Fiction. She’s also the author of the novel When the de la Cruz Family Danced published in 2011. Recent work has appeared in The Fourth River, Cascadia Magazine, Moss, Blood Orange Review, and Seattle Review of Books. She writes a monthly blog at


Check out more recommendations from Book Your Stocking contributors: