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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month With These 6 Reads

Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time to expand your reading horizons to different cultures. Even if you are not of Hispanic ethnicity, it's good to broaden your reading with different perspectives and experiences than your own.

There have been many amazing Latinx books coming into the book world so I’ve compiled a list of 6 great books in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, with genres ranging from supernatural to fantasy to LGBTQ.

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Genres: Domestic Fiction, Romantic Comedy

Rating: 4.02/5 on Goodreads

Olga Dies Dreaming follows Olga, who’s a wedding planner for Manhattan powerbrokers and can orchestrate love stories of others but can’t seem to find her own. Her brother, Pedro “Prieto” Acevedo, is a popular congressman representing their gentrifying Latinx neighborhood in Brooklyn but is haunted by secrets and decisions he’s made.

Their mother abandoned them when they were young to pursue a radical political agenda in Puerto Rico. She barely keeps in touch except with letters in which she berates them for not focusing on the cause and political choices. When Hurricane Maria devastates Puerto Rico, their mother comes back and tries to convince them to do what she wants.

Olga Dies Dreaming is a story that examines political corruption, familial strife, and the very notion of the American dream. It discusses the Puerto Rican experience and history, machismo, generational trauma, colonialism, capitalism, and sexuality within the Latino community.

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

Genres: Supernatural Horror, Historical, Gothic, Mystery Thriller

Rating: 3.85 on Goodreads

When the Mexican Government was overthrown, Beatriz’s father was executed and her home and social status were destroyed. When Don Rodolfo Solórzano, despite the rumors of his first wife’s sudden death, Beatriz chooses to seize the security his estate provides to have her own home again.

But Haciendo San Isididro is not what she imagined.

Beatriz knows that something is wrong with the hacienda when visions and voices invade her sleep, invisible eyes following her every move, and the cook burning incense in the kitchen and marking the doorway with strange symbols.

Desperate for help, ask the priest, Padre Andrés, who has skills as a witch, to fight off the presence haunting the hacienda.

Violeta by Isabel Allende

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 4.05/5 on Goodreads

Violeta is the story of a woman, who lives to be 100 and dies of old age during the coronavirus epidemic. Told in a series of letters recounting her life to her grown grandson, she recounts devastating heartbreak and passionate affairs, times of both poverty and wealth, terrible loss, and immense joy.

Violeta was born during the Spanish flu epidemic in 1920. She goes through WWII, a military coup, dictatorship, murder of friends and family, divorce, being abused for decades by her lover, rebellious children, the fight for women's rights, the rise and fall of tyrants, and two pandemics.

The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Rating: 3.9/5 on Goodreads

The Lost Dreamer is a YA fantasy that takes inspiration from ancient Mesoamerica. It focuses on two narrators, Indir and Saya. The story is told in their alternate voices as each goes through a variety of conflicts.

Indir, a Dreamer descended from a long line of seers and able to see beyond reality, carries the rare gift of Dreaming truth. But when the king dies, his son comes into power and wants an opportunity to bring the Dreamers to a permanent end—an opportunity Indir will give him if he discovers the two secrets she is struggling to keep.

Saya is a seer, but not a Dreamer, and her mother exploits her gift, passing it off as her own as they travel from village to village. They never stay in one place, as if they’re running from something. When Saya loses the necklace she’s worn since birth, she discovers that seeing isn’t her only gift and begins to suspect that everything she knows about her life is a lie.

The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Genres: Nonfiction, Social Justice

Rating: 4.43/5 on Goodreads

Looking past the activism of the DREAMers or the border, Cornejo Villavicencio explores the lives of the undocumented. She finds people that are often reduced in the media as political pawns or nameless laborers. The stories she tells show the love, magic, heartbreak, insanity, and vulgarity that are a part of the day-to-day lives of her subjects.

In New York, we meet the undocumented workers who were recruited into the Ground Zero cleanup after 9/11. In Miami, we enter the botanicas that offer medicinal herbs and potions to those whose documentation status blocks them from other healthcare options.

In Flint, Michigan, we learn of demands for state IDs to receive life-saving clean water. In Connecticut, Cornejo Villavicencio finds family in two teenage girls whose father is in sanctuary.

Cornejo Villavicencio uses powerful personal narratives to bring to light the remarkable stories of resilience, madness, and death of the undocumented.

The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes

Genre: LGBTQ, Romance, Young Adult

Rating: 4.43/5 on Goodreads

The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School follows Yamilet Flores, who after being outed by her former best friend decides to transfer with her brother Cesar to a private Catholic and very white school. She’s one of the only Latina girls at the school and has to work hard to stay closeted out of fear of how her mom would react.

Yami gives herself new priorities: to keep her brother out of trouble, make her mom proud, and don't fall in love. But when Yami starts school and meets Bo, an openly queer girl at her school, everything changes.

The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School explores the joys and heartaches of living your full truth out loud

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month and have fun reading!

1 Comment

I love to read so this whole article gives me six more books to add to my reading list. The most interesting book in my opinion based on cover and description would be "Violeta" by Isabel Allende. I do think it's interesting that the books all have struggles as one of the main focuses.

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