My Account

Loading...

¡Hola Amigos! Adult Reads for National Hispanic Heritage Month 2023

Home 

¡Hola Amigos! Adult Reads for National Hispanic Heritage Month 2023

hispanic heritage 2023

The U.S. Hispanic population reached 62.1 million in 2020, up from 50.5 million in 2010, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority.   In 2020, Hispanics made up nearly one-in-five people in the U.S. (19%), up from 16% in 2010 and just 5% in 1970.  What’s more, between 2010 and 2020, a little over half of the U.S. population growth stemmed from the increase in the Hispanic or Latino population.

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to pay tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans tracing their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.  September 15 is a historically significant day that marks the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The designated period is also a nod to those from Mexico and Chile, which celebrate their independence on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. 

In celebration of their special histories, cultures and contributions here are some contemporary adult fiction titles by Hispanic authors and/or about Hispanic characters, followed by nonfiction titles and memoirs,  all available with your Livingston Public Library card.

Fiction

ballad of love and glory

 A Ballad of Love and Glory by Reyna Grande

An epic historical romance about a Mexican woman and an Irish-American soldier who fall in love in the thick of the Mexican-American War.

Carmen and Grace by Melissa Coss Aquino

Aquino’s contemplative, drug trade–centered debut is more coming-of-age tale than crime novel. Cousins Carmen and Grace are tight growing up and lean on each other when their traumatic family lives overwhelm. When Grace is taken in by the enigmatic Dona Durka, who wants to “save” Grace for her son until she is of age, things start changing. Durka takes Grace under her wing and begins priming her as her right-hand woman in her drug trafficking business. Smart, ambitious, and lured by the money, Grace takes quickly to the trade and begins building her own sisterhood of trusted companions, including, of course, Carmen. But Carmen does the unthinkable: she falls in love and gets pregnant. The novel opens in 2014, with Carmen in jail and blaming Grace, before quickly flashing back to 2002, showing both Carmen’s and Grace’s perspectives on the unfolding drama. 

Doña Cleanwell Leaves Home by Ana Castillo

“Cada cabeza es un mundo,” as the Mexican dicho (saying) tells us; each person holds a world in their head. In the case of Castillo’s story collection, the characters’ worlds careen over, under, and around each other. From Chicago to Mexico City and other points south, these Mexicans, New Mexicans, Mexican immigrants, their descendants, and a few ghosts attempt to connect with varying levels of success. These snapshots, beginning in the 1970s and reaching to contemporary times, explore human bonds through tales dramatizing the challenges women have faced over the decades, including sexual assault, discrimination, and postpartum depression.

The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade

From an award-winning storyteller comes a stunning debut novel about a New Mexican family’s extraordinary year of love and sacrifice. It’s Holy Week in the small town of Las Penas, New Mexico, and thirty-three-year-old unemployed Amadeo Padilla has been given the part of Jesus in the Good Friday procession. He is preparing feverishly for this role when his fifteen-year-old daughter Angel shows up pregnant on his doorstep and disrupts his plans. Their reunion sets her own life down a startling path.

The Girls in Queens by  Christine Kandic Torres

 Two Latinx girls growing up close in Queens, NY, Brisma and Kelly are entering high school when shy Brisma becomes involved with local baseball legend Brian, creating a disruptive triangle that is eventually upended. Years later, the three reunite, but while Kelly sticks up for Brian when he is accused of sexual assault, Brisma looks back uncomfortably at problems in their relationship. 

haunting of alejandro

The Haunting of Alejandra by V. Castro

A woman is haunted by the Mexican folk demon La Llorona as she unravels the dark secrets of her family history in this ravishing and provocative horror novel.

The Neapolitan Sisters by Margo Candela

Growing up with a kind but alcoholic father and a suspicious, passive aggressive mother, the Bernal sisters each developed their own way of coping: Dulcina had her art and drugs and alcohol, Claudia plunged into her studies and fled to Princeton, and Maritza watched one Disney movie after another in between devouring romance novels. Now all grown up, the sisters are reunited at last for Maritza’s dream wedding. But they are no less different than they were growing up: Maritza is a princess bridezilla, Claudia is the family “fixer,” and Dulcina “Dooley” is finally sober. With all three Bernal sisters back in their East L.A. home, each begins to take steps to come to terms with each other, their parents, and the secrets from their shared past. While their lives may have taken different paths, they are still sisters at heart. 

A Night of Screams : Latino Horror Stories

This riveting collection of horror stories-and four poems-contains a wide range of styles, themes and authors. Creepy creatures roam the pages, including La Llorona and the Chupacabras in fresh takes on Latin American lore, as well as ghosts, zombies and shadow selves. Migrants continue to pass through Rancho Altamira where Esteban’s family has lived for generations, but now there are two types: the living and the dead. A young man returns repeatedly to the scary portal down which his buddy disappeared. A woman is relieved to receive multiple calls from her cousin following Hurricane María in Puerto Rico, but she is stunned to later learn her prima died the first night of the storm.

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Warmhearted but tough-minded story of a sister and brother grappling with identity, family, and life goals in gentrifying Brooklyn. Olga and Prieto Acevedo grew up in Sunset Park, in one of the first Puerto Rican families to move into a then-White working-class neighborhood. Now Olga lives in a Fort Greene high-rise and is a very high-end wedding planner. Prieto is back in the family house with his grandmother after a divorce; he’s a congressman fighting for his district– Vivid portraits of various friends and relatives capture the richness of Nuyorican culture, and sharp-eyed observations of the Brooklyn social and political landscape underpin a busy plot.

Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

A meld of Mexican horror movies and Nazi occultism: a dark thriller about the curse that haunts a legendary lost film–and awakens one woman’s hidden powers.

spec fic for dreamers

Speculative Fiction for Dreamers : A Latinx Anthology

A collection of speculative works, including short stories, poems, plays, and graphic short stories that address the breadth of Latinx experiences and identities, including those of DREAMers.

Trust by Hernan Diaz

A stylish and propulsive novel rooted in early 20th century New York, about wealth and talent, trust and intimacy, truth and perception. Pulitzer Prize finalist Diaz returns with a multilayered novel that pieces together a searing portrait of a New York financial elite during the period through four discrete documents. 

West Side Love Story by Priscilla Oliveras

Romeo and Juliet gets a fresh retelling through two rival San Antonio families and their dueling mariachi bands. Oliveras paints with lush prose a lively mariachi scene and the community of the Capuletas’ and Monteros’ San Antonio. 

The Wind Knows My Name by Isabel Allende

This powerful and moving novel traces the ripple effects of war and immigration on one child in Europe in 1938 and another in the United States in 2019. Vienna, 1938. Samuel Adler was six years old when his father disappeared during Kristallnacht–the night their family lost everything. Samuel’s mother secured a spot for him on the last Kindertransport train out of Nazi-occupied Austria to the United Kingdom, which he boarded alone, carrying nothing but a change of clothes and his violin. Arizona, 2019. Eight decades later, Anita Diaz, a blind seven-year-old girl, and her mother board another train, fleeing looming danger in El Salvador and seeking refuge in the United States. However, their arrival coincides with the new family separation policy, and Anita finds herself alone at a camp in Nogales. She escapes through her trips to Azabahar, a magical world of the imagination she created with her sister back home. Anita’s case is assigned to Selena Duran, a young social worker who enlists the help of a promising lawyer from one of San Francisco’s top law firms. Together they discover that Anita has another family member in the United States: Leticia Cordero, who is employed at the home of now eighty-six-year-old Samuel Adler, linking these two lives. 

Woman Of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

A sprawling novel that follows five generations of a family of Mexican and Indigenous descent who live throughout the region now known as New Mexico and Colorado.

Nonfiction/Memoirs

crying bathroom

Crying In the Bathroom by Erika L. Sanchez

An accomplished poet and novelist, Sánchez expands her oeuvre with this refreshingly candid memoir. Sánchez spares no detail in relating her life experiences, from the gang-run Chicago streets of her youth to her difficult years as an angsty goth teen, early dating life, marriage, divorce, professional success, and motherhood. 

The Death of My Father The Pope by Obed Silva

Silva braids the story of his father’s death with tales of his own tumultuous life growing up between the United States and Mexico. This lyrical memoir offers an indelible look at the complicated ways grief, family, and addiction can intertwine.

For Brown Girls With Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts : A Love Letter to Women of Color by Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez

Latinx activist Rodríguez debuts with an impassioned and accessible guide to dismantling the “systemic oppressions” that hold back women of color. Marked by its candidness and earnest commitment to the power of self-belief, this is an inspiring and well-informed call to action.

Harvest of Empire : A History of Latinos in America by Juan Gonzalez

A sweeping history of the Latinx experience in the United States. With family portraits of real-life immigrant Latino pioneers, as well as accounts of the events and conditions that compelled them to leave their homelands, Gonzalez highlights the complexity of a segment of the American population that is often discussed but frequently misrepresented.

¡Hola Papi! How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons by John Paul Brammer

The popular LGBTQ advice columnist and writer presents a memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey growing up as a queer, mixed-race kid in America’s heartland to becoming the “Chicano Carrie Bradshaw” of his generation.

in the shadow of the mountain 1

In the Shadow of the Mountain : A Memoir of Courage by Silvia Vasquez-Lavado

In 2016, Vasquez-Lavado earned the distinction of becoming the first Peruvian woman to stand atop Mount Everest and, in 2018, the first openly gay woman to complete the Seven Summits—the highest mountains on seven continents. A gifted writer, Vasquez-Lavado immediately draws readers into the account of her Everest expedition, but this is not a typical mountaineering tale focusing on harrowing hardships while ascending the infamous summit. Her intimate debut memoir also chronicles another kind of survival journey, one that includes years of sexual abuse by a family friend in Lima and her eventual escape to the U.S., thanks to a college scholarship. 

The Man Who Could Move Clouds by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Contreras writes a spellbinding memoir that brings her extended family’s ancestral magic into the present day. At the center is her grandfather, Nono, a Colombian curandero. Contreras adroitly deepens her fascinating family stories by placing them within resonant historical, cultural, and linguistic contexts.

My Broken Language by Quiara Alegría Hudes

With this riveting memoir, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Hudes tells the story of attempting to find the language that best fits her, along with the languages (English and Spanish) she heard throughout her childhood. Beginning with the distant memory of her parents’ split, Hudes evocatively recalls life traveling between her abuela’s North Philly kitchen, her mother’s West Philly home, and her father’s farm in a homogenous Main Line suburb. Recollections of her mother’s and grandmother’s upbringings in Puerto Rico are rich with detail, as are depictions of aunts, uncles, and cousins who find their way in and around Philadelphia. 

The Soul of a Woman : On Impatient Love, Long Life, and Good Witches by Isabel Allende

Allende offers up an intimate memoir on the impact of feminism on her unique and fulfilling life.

Woman Without Shame : Poems by Sandra Cisneros

In her first collection in nearly three decades, MacArthur fellow Cisneros undergoes a journey of rebirth, considering her role as a woman artist and finding her place both within herself and in her ancestral Mexico.

You Sound Like a White Girl : The Case for Rejecting Assimilation by Julissa Arce

Arce interweaves her own story with cultural commentary in a powerful polemic against the myth that assimilation leads to happiness and belonging for immigrants in America. Instead, she calls for a celebration of our uniqueness, our origins, our heritage, and the beauty of the differences that make us Americans. 

Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe

Stay in the loop and never miss out! Our weekly newsletter is the best way to stay informed on all things Library!
What are you waiting for?
Subscribe
20 May 2024
Did you know that with your Livingston Library card you can listen to full albums by popular artists...
Read More
19 May 2024
Livingston Library Community,  True crime is one of the most popular genres at the library and it shows...
Read More
17 May 2024
Are you looking forward to reading Kristin Hannah’s “The Women,” or have you already read it and are...
Read More
16 May 2024
Whether it is in the form of books, TV shows, podcasts, documentaries or even conventions, true crime...
Read More
15 May 2024
Combining the spectacle of musical theater with the fluidity of motion pictures, movie musicals remain...
Read More
14 May 2024
By Congressional resolution and Presidential proclamation in 2006, Jewish American Heritage Month is...
Read More
13 May 2024
On the latest episode of L-Town Radio, Joe spotlights some of the greatest musicians who ever lived in...
Read More
12 May 2024
Livingston Library Community, Join us as we celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month...
Read More
10 May 2024
Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with an AAPI Take Home Craft then enjoy some...
Read More
10 May 2024
Come see two great films on our big screen this month! On Saturday May 18 at 1:30 PM is Jonathan Glazer’s...
Read More