20+ Books To Read During AND After Latinx Heritage Month

Latinx Heritage Month kicks off today! I’m so excited to share a month’s worth of content with you all. I will have guest posts, author Q&As, bibliography spotlights, reviews, and giveaways! Don’t be alarmed, I will not be posting something new every day. My goal is to provide 3 posts per week, so I encourage you to stop by weekly to stay caught up.

I am grateful to the bloggers and the authors who collaborated with me to make this happen. With your help, my celebration of Latinx voices and stories has been amplified exponentially.

To start off, I’m keeping it simple with a list of over 20 books you can read during AND after Latinx Heritage Month. This is a very important point I want to make. Specific months of celebration that serve to uplift our voices are great, in my opinion, but the enthusiasm shouldn’t wane on October 16th. If your reading history lacks Latinx narratives, I encourage you to make a concerted effort to change that. There is wealth of literature to choose from! Below is just a small sample to help you get started.  

If you need recommendations for the giveaway I’m hosting over the next month, you may choose any of these books. They will all qualify!


Young Adult

 

set-1

  • Labyrinth Lost  – by Zoraida Córdova
    • Brujas, positive LGBT representation, dangerous adventures, scary monsters, and so much more!
  • The Weight of Feathers – by Anna-Marie McLemore
    • Feuding families, star-crossed lovers, with a dash of magical realism.
  • The Memory of Light – by Francisco X. Stork
    • Contemporary YA that explores what it’s like to live with depression and to offers a realistic road to recovery and self-acceptance.

 

set-2

  • The Improbable Rise of Paco Jone– by Dominic Carrillo
    • A biracial 13-year-old attends a new school and finds himself climbing the school’s social hierarchy faster than he ever expected. 
  • We Were Here  – by Matt de la Peña
    • A story of three boys, an unlikely trio – their hardships and eventual friendship. Quintessentially, a coming-of-age story.
  • Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir – by Margarita Engle
    • A lyrical and poetic memoir of Engle’s childhood during The Cold War as she grows up amidst two cultures .

 

 

set-3

  • The Culling (The Torch Keeper #1) – by Steven Dos Santos
    • An action-packed, thrilling adventure reminiscent of The Hunger Games with a gay protagonist.
  • Last Night, I Sang To The Monster – by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
    • A dark, but powerful and unforgettable story about a teen who’s in rehab for alcohol addiction instead of attending high school. This one will affect you profoundly.
  • Gabi, A Girl in Pieces – by Isabel Quintero
    • Gabi is a Mexican-American teen who chronicles her last year of high school in powerful and energetic journal entries.

 

 

set-4

  • Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia – by Jenny Torres Sanchez
    • Frenchie is obsessed with death and Emily Dickison. The recent death of one of her classmates occupies and eventually affects her relationship with her closest friends.
  • A Thunderous Whisper – by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
    • Historical fiction set during the Spanish Civil War. It tells of what happened to the many children who were orphaned after the attack. 
  • Burn Baby Burn – by Meg Medina
    • The story follows teenager Nora Lopez, during a remarkable and explosive summer in 1970s NYC. 

 


Adult

 

set-5

 

  • Bird of Paradise: How I Became a Latina – by Raquel Cepeda
    • A memoir by Dominican-American Raquel Cepeda, in which she discusses issues of race, identity, and ancestral DNA among Latinos using her life as an example.
  • The Transmigration of Bodies – by Yuri Herrera
    • The story follows a man called “The Redeemer,” whose job is to help facilitate the trade between two feuding families who each posses a body that belongs to the other. 
  • Drown – by Junot Díaz
    • A collection of short stories that provide semi-autobiographical glimpses into the author’s life in the Dominican Republic and the U.S. 

 

 

set-6

  • The Distance Between Us – by Reyna Grande
    • A memoir that follows the author’s tumultuous life as a child in Mexico and her eventual journey into the United States to be reunited with her estranged father. 
  • A House of My Own – by Sandra Cisneros
    • A collection of stories and nonfiction pieces that together create a memorable autobiography of the beloved and acclaimed writer Sandra Cisneros. 
  • The City of Palaces – by Michael Nava
    • A love story set during and after the tumultuous reign of Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz.

 

 

set-7

  • The Hummingbird’s Daughter – by Luis Alberto Urrea
    • An epic mystical drama of a young woman’s sudden sainthood in late 19th-century Mexico.
  • A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying – by Laurie Ann Guerrero
    • An unforgettable collection of poems that reflects on parenthood, life in the Southwest, and the complexity of the everyday. 
  • Conversation in the Cathedral – by Mario Vargas Llosa
    • The narrative frame is a conversation between two men as they exchange stories about  frustrations with their lives and country. It takes place in 1950s Peru during the dictatorship of Manuel Apolinario Odría.

 

 

set-8

  • Half-Resurrection Blues – by Daniel José Older
    • Book 1 in an Urban Fantasy series with a diverse cast of characters and a refreshing and realistic depiction of Brooklyn.
  • The People of Paper – by Salvador Plascencia
    • This book is difficult to describe. It’s highly experimental,  postmodern, and ambitious with a hint of magical realism. Its mysteries await your unraveling. 
  • The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria – by Carlos Hernandez
    • A witty and fun collection of short sci-fi stories about people who have assimilated, but are seeking to reclaim themselves and their lives. 

 


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54 thoughts on “20+ Books To Read During AND After Latinx Heritage Month

  1. Oh my god, so many interesting picks! Here I go, increasing my tbr pile even further! 😀 The cover for The Memory of Light is amazing! <3 Will add this now. And The Distance Between Us and The City of Palaces. And The People of Paper is on my tbr anyways 😀

  2. Drown was so dope, especially the story about the masked kid. I’m still iffy on the Cisneros autobio: there’s so much of her in Mango Street, it seems like it’d be redundant.

  3. These are great recs! I can’t wait to read some of Anna-Marie McLemore’s books. I just picked up Burn Baby Burn from the library! Medina’s Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass is a good one too.
    If it’s okay, I linked back to this post and your blog on my #HHM post.
    I can’t wait to see all the features you’ll be sharing for the coming month. Keep up the great work, Naz!

  4. I am SO ashamed to say that I haven’t read any of these – getting on them, ASAP. Thanks for the list Naz, you’re a star. And I can’t wait to see what else you have in order for us!

    1. heh, don’t feel ashamed! There are many books by Latinx authors to choose from. I picked a few popular ones, but several ones that are lesser-known.
      Thanks so much for considering to read some of these books. It means a lot to me. <3

  5. I haven’t read those books, but they do sound amazing 🙂 I am surprised you did not recommend the book of unknown Americans, and if you have a chance do check out Jesusita by Ronald R Ruiz.

  6. Such a great list! I’ll definitely read Labyrinth Lost for the book club. I enjoyed Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Storx (and the discussion around it) so I’ll probably read The Memory of Light. I’ve got my eye on some books by Meg Medina and Margarita Engle at the library but due to assignments, I’ll most likely save them for after Latinx Heritage Month =). I also just reviewed Bread and Butter by Liz Mayorga, which was a short graphic novel issue about a Latina pursuing her dreams in San Francisco.

  7. Great post like always, Naz! A ton of the YA books are on my TBR and I’m hoping to get to them soon especially Benjamin Alire Saenz’s work. I’m reading Labyrinth Lost at the moment and I feel like the characters are lacking, but the world is so amazing.

    1. You’re the not first person to say this! I hate that I haven’t had much time to read this week, so I only got to read 30 pages of Labyrinth Lost. I will get through it all this weekend, though. I’ve seen quite a few positive reviews, but now some more negative ones are cropping up. I hope I’m not disappointed. :/ If so, then that would be unfortunate, but I have plenty of other books to read, so I’ll be fine.

  8. What a wonderful list of books, they all sound amazing, especially the ones with magical realism flair. I’ve read Weight of Feathers and really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to Labyrinth Lost. Also eyeing Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia because that cover would look amazing on my bookstagram XD

    1. I love books with long names and “Death, Dikckinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia” is definitely one of the longer ones out there. At least for YA.
      And yeah, I can already envision it on your Bookstagram feed. Do you have any dark-colored flowers? Any black flowers by any chance?

  9. Your blog is so bad for my TBR pile. I seriously add books to my list every time I come here. I have read work by several of the authors on this list, but the only book on the list I’ve read is The Weight of Feathers. I’ll have to look up some of the others.

  10. What a great list! They sound so good – I can’t wait to start seeing reviews of them around so that I can choose carefully when the time comes. That’s what other bloggers are for, right? 🙂
    It looks like both of us are going to be deep into projects the next little while. I feel so fortunate to be a part of it all. I’ll be watching this spot, even if I won’t have time to participate. Have fun with it!

  11. A Fantastic List! A lot of these are on my tbr but I definitely added a good amount too! The book that caught my eye was The Improbable Rise of Paco Jones – biracial main character WITH an interracial romantic interest all about growing up in middle school. I probably will pick this up for October to read in the first half. Thank you for putting this amazing resource together!

  12. Such a great list, and I feel so accomplished that I’ve read at least five, and the one’s I haven’t sound so good. Definitely going to see if my library has these so I can add them to our display for Hispanic Heritage Month. Can’t wait to check out your other post!

  13. Yass! So many amazing Latinx posts so far, Naz, can’t wait to read more! 🙂 I’ve been seeing Herrera’s book everywhere, so wonderful. Also, you are so bad for my tbr…Basically everything goes on my list, I need to explore more, my focus so far has been Chicana lit. But as you know I’ll be reading Labyrinth Lost next 😀

  14. What a fantastic list! You’ve got some of my all time favorite books and authors and number of titles that are new to me! I’ve added a few to my TBR pile. Thanks for the great post!

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