¡Ask A Mexican! by Gustavo Arellano

Why do Mexicans wear clothes when they go swimming? And what's up with those monuments to dead people on the windows of their cars? And, by the way, what is it about the word illegal that mexicans don't understand?

These are the kinds of questions that the author gets all the time for his syndicated column, ¡Ask A Mexican!, and answers them in said column each week. He does so with some panache and a little bit of humor, helping gabachos and wabs alike. (Look them up in the beginning of the book if you don't know what they mean; the author graciously tells you there, as well as several times in the text to whom he is referring with those slang words.)

Occasionally, the author gets a little long-winded on some subject, (in particular, the article on Mexican infatuation with singer Morrissey), but for the most part, these are short concise answers to inquisitive and sometimes antagonistic questions. I leave it to the author to either verify or dispute whether these are the actual questions he received for his column, since some of them seem made-up to me, especially the sometimes funny, sometimes unbelievable psuedonyms that the alleged letter writers use to sign their queries.

But don't let that dissuade you from reading a pretty good book in its own right. Just go into it with an open mind. I rate this one 6 stars.