I never intended to become a bookstagrammer, someone who is part of a vibrant bookish community on Instagram that posts and engages with others about what they are reading. Seven years into it, what started for me as a way to find and connect with other readers quickly evolved into a passion to amplify books by authors of color, with a special emphasis on Latinx authored books.
I didn’t discover the magical feelings that come with reading a book in which you see yourself and your community reflected on the page until I was well into my 20s. Since then I’ve tried to inhale as many books as possible by Latinx authors. Though I consider myself someone that celebrates and reads Latinx-authored books all year long, Hispanic Heritage Month is my favorite time of the year to amplify, spotlight, and uplift the vast spectrum of Latinx storytellers writing our stories.
The below list of 21 books by Hispanic authors — from famous to debut — only showcases a small fraction of the range, vibrancy, and depth of Latin literature out there for you to read.
You'll find novels from the Mexican American perspective; poetry collections; a children's book about monarch butterflies’ journey across the continent; memoirs about the immigrant experience, and more. Read them during Hispanic Heritage Month — and always.
Comedian Aida Rodriguez details stories throughout her life — not all of them humorous. She was kidnapped as a child and passed back and forth by different family members. Rodriguez captures coming-of-age in the U.S. with these sharp and hopeful essays, as well as offering a unique lens into Latino representation in comedy.
Three unforgettable sisters embark on a dark journey, battling ghosts, cannibalism, cults, and their own internal turmoil. Packed with gory and complicated characters, this novel illustrates three generations of women and their past, and present and how it impacts their futures.
In this beautifully illustrated picture book, a little girl honors and remembers a furry companion during Dia De Los Muertos.
Food, in this picture book, isn’t just food. Plátanos, for the characters, invokes memories of a rich history and culture that an abuela shares with her granddaughter. Through food, we can pass down love.
As the first woman to ever publish a book of poetry in Zoque, a language spoken in Southern Mexico, and Spanish, this poetry collection encompasses colonialism, lineage, and the balance to embrace ancestral roots and the present. Powerful and lyrical, this collection is unlike anything other collection of poems I’ve read before.
'Daughters of Latin America: An International Anthology of Writing' by Latine Women Edited by Sandra Guzman
An intergenerational collection of 140 Latine writers, scholars, and activities across the world including well-known authors such as U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón, Audre Lorde, Edwidge Danticat and many more, that explores a vast spectrum of literary legacy.
Nominated for the National Book Awards before its publication, this haunting novel centers a dying man and the mentor he chooses to continue his life's work.
What does it mean to be a creep? This collection of essays weaves cultural criticism with Gurba’s own lived experiences. The creeps, Gurba argues, are among us— they always were.
In "Our Migrant Souls," Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Héctor Tobar writes about growing up Latino and unpacks the meaning of the word "Latino" altogether. Tobar illustrates the vast spectrum of the Latino identity and its complexities, making space for what it will look like for generations to come.
It’s 1899 in Paris and two Latinas run into each other at an undercover party for women who love women. Manuela and Cora Kempf Bristol, Duchess of Sundridge attempt to fight the desire that pulled them together. If you're bummed the steamy novel had to end, check out Adriana Herrera's other books in the Las Leonas series.
In this tender middle-grade novel, Natalia De La Cruz Rivera y Santiago follows dreams of being a synchronized swimmer. Her parents fear that, because of her size and skin colors, others might not view her as the graceful and beautiful swimmer she wants to be. But Nat’s got fight and so does this beautiful book about self-acceptance and community.
In this heartfelt middle-grade novel in verse, Laura Rodríguez Colón lives with her aunt — hoping, always, to return to living with her parents. So when she finds a puppy, she gets the idea that perhaps she can train the pup to become a therapy dog. She might be allowed to visit with her parents again and maybe the dog could help return things to how they used to be.
From the author of the widely popular and well-known memoir "When I Was Puerto Rican," this long-awaited novel spans from Puerto Rico to the Bronx, from 1975 to 2017 and from the point of view of five women.
This collection of poems sharply centers on the Dominican Republic and Haitian identities and intersections with immigration, colonialism, racial identity and the Afro-Latine experience.
This collection of poems, recently longlisted for the National Book Award for Poetry, is available both in English and Spanish within the same copy of the book. In the collection, José Olivarez navigates the beauty of love in all its different forms — sibling love, friendship love, and parental love, while also navigating what it means to be Mexican American and the “American Dream”.
29 years after her sister was murdered by an abusive ex in Mexico, Cristina Rivera Garza looks for answers. Illuminating the epidemic of femicide and intimate partner violence, this unique and heartbreaking memoir, shortlisted for the 2023 National Book Award for Nonfiction, is a must-read.
Expect explorations of women and their agency from this legend in Chicana literature. This new short story collection fits into Castillo’s legacy perfectly, following women navigating secrets and their impact.
Two parents experience the unexpected loss of their 11-year-old son. In a moment of grief, the mother decides to do something drastic, so she won't ever have to say goodbye completely. The horror novel that unfolds isn’t one of fright for monsters that lurk in the dark, but instead the grief one carries after a soul-crushing loss. Pack with moments of gore, this novel with have you thinking about the power of love and how we move toward acceptance.
This witty and sharp interconnected short story collection from a 2022 National Book Award fiction finalist explores the impact of stress and anxiety for people living on the margins.
This book is for anyone who has ever wanted to try and understand their mother. For anyone that understands the depth of that journey. Flores is in her 30s and can only just tolerate her mother, Paula. They recently lost the one person who was a bridge between them — Martín, Flores father, and Paula’s husband. Mother and daughter are forced to finally confront their past in this deeply beautiful novel about moving forward.
Ada Limón, recently named the 24th U.S. poet laureate, is the author of six books of poetry. "The Hurting Kind" is her newest collection and one that blew me away. Similar to her other poetry collections, the core of her work is our connections to nature and connection to others. "The Hurting Kind" found me in a moment in my life when I felt depleted and empty. Reading the collection replenished me and reminded me to be more intentional and open to the wellness that the natural elements provides for us by simply existing.
Recently longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction, "The Town of Babylon" is Alejandro Varela’s smart, tender and very queer debut novel. The late-in-life coming-of-age story features Andrés, a gay professor who returns to his suburban hometown to check in on his aging parents and ends up attending his 20-year high school reunion. Varela said the novel is meant to magnify the importance of community as a buffer against stress and poor health. He explores the idea magnificently through stubborn yet hilarious protagonists that you can’t help but root for.
Also longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction, "Maria Maria" is a collection of short stories that features magic, tarot, wild creatures and the unimaginable as the Mexican American characters piece through themes love, grief and power. Put it together, and you get a genre and boundary-defying collection.
With a total of five published books, Samanta Schewblin is an acclaimed an oft-nominated powerhouse known for exploring the creepy and distributing aspects of humanity we often want to ignore. Her newest short story collection "Seven Empty Houses" examines, through seven strange stories, the idea of “home”. These stories will unnerve so much you won’t be able to stop thinking about them long after you’ve set the book down.
This historical fiction novel set in the 19th century centers the Atlantic slave trade in Puerto Rico through the cruel journey, Pola, the main character, encounters when she is captured and sold to birth future enslaved children. Though the novel centers heavier topics, its core themes are the endurance of the human spirit and its healing, as the title suggests.
For those that read "Solito" by Javier Zamora, a Read with Jenna book pick this past month, and are looking for a book to read next, "My Boy Will Die of Sorrow" gives added context to the plight immigrants endure once placed within the U.S. Customs and Border Protection system. As a human rights lawyer, Olivares weaves in a few stories from the hundreds of immigrant families he represented under Zero Tolerance, which separated thousands of children from their parents once they were taken into custody at the U.S. Mexico border. Sharing his own family’s separation story when he was a child who was later able to migrate with his family to join his father in the U.S, Olivares breaks down the level of emotional and traumatic journey’s with care and empathy, that so many immigrant families have endured.
There are rom-coms and then there are Mia Sosa’s rom-coms, which is exactly what you’ll hear from readers who’ve read this USA Today’s bestselling novel "The Worst Best Man." "The Wedding Crasher" delivers on all the will-they-won’t-they feels rom coms normally give us when Solange and her cousin accidentally interfere during a random couple’s wedding day. The groom sees this as a blessing and his out from possibly making a terrible decision. However when he learns that he might not get a job assignment needed to claim a promotion without a significant other, he pretends that he is in love with Solange. So Solange and the groom, Dean, embark into a phony relationship. Along the way they begin to notice things might not be as fake as they seem.
In this illustrated fable, a Mexican American girl suddenly changes into a monarch butterfly on her 13th birthday. The reader is pulled into monarch butterflies’ great migration journey from northeastern North America to the forests of southwestern Mexico. In doing so, we learn about the ways in which climate change and humanity’s lack of concern about the smallest of beings can easily destroy the delicate ecosystems around us. Insightful and with stunning images, this novel includes helpful tips on how we can better interact, care and protect our environment.
This big-hearted family novel, set in Costa Rica and moves between 1968 and the mid-1900s, centers around a mother-daughter estrangement. Teresa Cepeda Valverde’s family is changed by a lethal fire. The novel unfolds an attempt at piecing together what truly was at the root of the fracture and demise of her family. John Manuel Arias’ debut novel is vivid and rich with the ways in which external pressures often assist in breaking families apart.
Author Camila Sosa Villada draws from her previous experiences as a sex worker, street vendor and hourly maid in Argentina to write a beautifully nuanced story that centers a community of trans sex workers. This vibrant trans coming-of-age story illustrates the power, comfort and protection the community can provide.
A troubled family unearths a strange object in the backyard of their family home and so unfolds the story of the Izquierdo family and the three generations pulled together by genetics and a possible curse placed upon them by a jealous neighbor. This family sage is at its core an exploration of love, forgiveness, loss and faith.