September 14, 2014

Bloggers Share: Favorite Latino Authors/Books for Latino Heritage Month

Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month starts tomorrow and goes through October 15th.
I thought a great way to celebrate would be to have some blogger friends over
to give us all recommendations of their favorite Latino/Hispanic authors and/or books.

Thanks for sharing with us, bloggers!

Shannon @ River City Reading:

I love the book Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina"First, don’t be thrown off by the title. It’s strong and says so much about what this book is: real, bold and not afraid to lay it all out. What it’s not is gratuitous or gimmicky. The number of titles written by or about Latinos is shockingly small, particularly compared to the number of teens reading them. Medina’s book works to fill a much needed space in YA literature, both for Latino students seeking a novel that reflects them back and others who can benefit from connecting with a non-white character."  Read the rest of Shannon's review by clicking on her blog name above!

Emma @ Words and Peace:

The Harp and the Shadow by Alejo Carpentier
Translated by Thomas Christensen and Carol Christensen
Original Title: El arpa y la sombra
Published in 1979

This book is so well written, I love Carpentier’s prose, and his way of presenting hypocrisy at the levels of the Papacy, of the Spanish Ferdinand and Isabella, who provided Columbus with money for his trips, and of Columbus himself.  This should be considered as a classical historical novel of the New World.

Tamara @ Traveling with T:

I was a girl in college- I was a reader- but I had very specific genres that I cared to read.  I was browsing the book store one day- looking for something along the lines of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, SEX AND THE CITY, or some other chick book to read during my designated non-studying time. Some bookstore genius (bless their marketing skills!) put this book right near my fav section of the store- the chick lit section.  I saw THE DIRTY GIRLS SOCIAL CLUB- and loved the cover- but really loved the title. It rolled off the tongue just right.  I wondered about the title. The cover and the title was what sold me on the book. 

Kayla @ Bibliophila, Please

I used to draw a blank when asked, “What’s the best book that you’ve ever read?” After reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz, it always immediately comes to mind. The writing style is unique, with much of the story being told in the footnotes. There are enough science fiction and fantasy references that I immediately felt a kinship with the book, author and characters, despite it being a bit of an intimidating book, having won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. I was also immersed in a culture that I knew nearly nothing about from Oscar’s Dominican American family and those aforementioned footnotes. I only mention the books Latino significance last because The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is an outstanding novel, all labels aside.

Serena @ Savvy Verse and Wit had several to share:

1.  Pablo Neruda -- any of his books will do, but I would recommend Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair.
It provides the best of his love poems, and reading these you can see why he's so popular and famous.  Reading these with a spouse or significant other will definitely have you feeling romantic.

2.  Carolina De Robertis -- Perla 

This book has stayed with me long after reading it in 2012; it was atmospheric, ethereal, and gorgeously written.  De Robertis created a character who was psychologically unraveling, but made the ghost-like elements so believable.  Her family is hiding secrets and the secrets have everything to do with The Disappeared in Argentina -- those who vanished in the 1970s and 1980s after the government labeled them as subversives.  It's haunting.

3.  Isabel Allende -- Portrait in Sepia
This is the novel I compare all others to when dealing with memory loss in a character.  Allende handles it so well in her novel set innineteenth-century Chile.  Aurora is protected by her memory loss, but eventually she must come to terms with what she cannot remember.  She's guided by her ferocious grandmother who thrives despite the male-dominated society in which she lives.

4. Luis Alberto Urrea - Into the Beautiful North  

This novel was a fantastic adventure - it reminded me of those journey stories that you read as a child that get you set for adventure and seeing new things. Nayeli is a young woman in a Mexican town who sets off on an adventure with her friends to find the opportunities they hear so much about in America. Her friends have colorful personalities and get into trouble, as you could imagine they would, as they set off to save their town from the bandits and drug dealers that continue to plague them. It's particularly wonderful on audio narrated by Susan Ericksen.

What is your favorite book by a Hispanic/Latino author or character?  Share in the comments!

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