Cuesta College’s popular Book of the Year program is gearing up with a variety of events throughout the coming weeks. This year’s book is bestselling novel The Barbarian Nurseries, which explores the theme of being an immigrant in the United States of America today. Pulitzer Prize winning L.A. Times journalist and author Héctor Tobar will discuss the novel on Cuesta College’s San Luis Obispo Campus on March 15. Nurseries tells the story of a live-in Hispanic maid in Southern California who encounters a bizarre chain of events involving her mixed race employers that stirs up painful social, racial and class conflicts.

The upcoming events include:

  • Film Screenings - Welcome to Shelbyville: Free screenings are scheduled for the documentary film Welcome to Shelbyville, an independent film about how a small town in the heart of America’s Bible Belt grapples with rapidly changing demographics. The screenings will take place on March 3 at the Paso Robles City Library and March 9 at the San Luis Obispo Library. Q&A will take place following the screenings.
  • Art Installation: The San Luis Obispo Campus’s Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery will be open extended hours on March 15, from noon to 5:00 p.m., with a special featuring of artworks by acclaimed Los Angeles artist Camille Rose Garcia. The child of a Mexican activist filmmaker father, Garcia’s layered, broken narrative paintings of wasteland fairy tales act as critical commentaries on the failures of capitalist utopias.
  • Edúcate – Sí, Se Puede Conference: On March 18, hundreds of San Luis Obispo County Latino and Latina high school students will partake in Edúcate – Sí Se Puede (Yes, You Can – Get Educated). The annual event is held on the SLO Campus and designed to motivate students to be successful in college and identify their career goals.
  • Book Discussions: A series of book discussions will take place at local libraries, with the first scheduled for 10:30am on February 10 at the San Luis Obispo Library, and the final discussion set for March 22 at the Arroyo Grande Library at 5:30 p.m.
  • Ballet Folklorico: Righetti High School students present the traditional regional dance on March 5 at the Arroyo Grande Library at 2:00 p.m.
  • Tour to Tijuana: The Immigration Dilemma: An informative presentation on the Mexican border city will take place March 12 at the Morro Bay Library at 11:00 a.m.
  • Catholic Charities: Learn about immigration and how it affects our population at the Arroyo Grande Library on March 12 at the Arroyo Grande Library at 2:00 p.m.

Tobar’s visit to Cuesta College will take place on Tuesday, March 15, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., in the Cultural and Performing Arts Center. General admission tickets are $5 and can be purchased at or by calling (805) 546-3198. Tickets for Cuesta College students are free and can be obtained by calling (805) 546-3190. For general information about the Book of the Year Program, please contact Carina Love at

The Book of the Year Program is a project of the Academic Senate of Cuesta College and is organized by the Cuesta College Book of the Year Committee. For more information please visit or follow the Book of the Year program on Facebook and Twitter.