Libros/Books

Looking for something good to read? Here are the best Latina-ish books I’ve come across. I have read every book on this list, and I only add books I loved. Come back often. I read a lot and this list will be a work in progress! Also, if you have a book to recommend, please leave it in the comments! Gracias :)

NEW! Come visit me on GoodReads to see what I’m reading now and see even more books I’ve read or plan to read!

Books to help Gringas survive marriage to a Latino:

※ Toxic In-Laws: Loving Strategies for Protecting Your Marriage, by Susan Forward

※ Hombres y machos: masculinity and Latino culture by Alfredo Mirandé

※ The Latino male: a radical redefinition by David T. Abalos

Latina-ish Non-Fiction

※ The Jumping Tree by René Saldaña, Jr.

※ God’s Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre by Richard Grant

※ Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child by Elva Trevino Hart

※ Reaching Out by Francisco Jiménez

Latina-ish Fiction

※ Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

※ America’s Dream by Esmeralda Santiago

※ Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck

※ Tomorrow They Will Kiss by Eduardo Santiago

※ Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle

※ The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

※ B as in Beauty by Alberto Ferreras

※ Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

※ Bitter Grounds by Sandra Benitez

※ America Libre by Raul Ramos y Sanchez

※ Amigoland by Oscar Casares

※ Damas, Dramas, and Anna Ruiz by Belinda Acosta

※ Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea

※ Evenings at the Argentine Club by Julia Amante

※ Silent Wing by Jose Raul Bernardo

※ Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez

Latina-ish Poetry

※ Poetry Like Bread by Martin Espada

※ Wáchale!: Poetry and Prose on Growing Up Latino Today

Latina-ish Selections for Niños

※ Skippyjon Jones (series) by Judy Schachner

※ Buenas Noches, Luna by Margaret Wise Brown

※ Jorge y Marta by James Marshall

※ La Oruga Muy Hambrienta by Eric Carle

※ El Conejito Andarín by Clement Hurd

※ The Day It Snowed Tortillas / El Día Que Nevaron Tortillas, Folktales told in Spanish and English by Joe Hayes and Antonio Castro Lopez

※ Si Le Das Una Galletita A Un Ratón by Laura Joffe Numeroff

※ Cuentos Que Contaban Nuestras Abuelas (Tales Our Abuelitas Told): Cuentos populares Hispánicos by Alma Flor Ada, F. Isabel Campoy, Felipe Davalos, and Susan Guevara

※ Qué Montón de Tamales (Too Many Tamales) by F. Isabel Campoy

※ En Mi Familia/In My Family by Carmen Lomas Garza

※ Calling the Doves / El canto De Las Palomas by Juan Felipe Herrera

※ My Diary From Here to There/Mi Diario De Aqui Hasta Alla by Amada Irma Perez

※ Magic Dogs of the Volcanoes/Los Perros Mágicos de los Volcanes by Manlio Argueta

※ El gallo que fue a la boda de su tío by Alma Flor Ada and Kathleen Kuchera

※ Friends from the Other Side/Amigos del Otro Lado by Gloria Anzaldúa

※ F is For Fiesta by Susan Middleton Elya

※ Mamá Goose – A Latino Nursery Treasury by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy

※ From North to South by René Colato Laínez/Illustrated by Joe Cepeda

※ El Perro y El Gato (series) from HBO

Note: I do occasionally accept books for review. All book reviews posted on Latinaish.com contain my honest thoughts and in no way does being given the book influence my opinion.

23 thoughts on “Libros/Books

  1. A good author you should check out is Stella Pope Duarte. She’s a friend and colleague of mine who has some amazing work. A friend of mine chided me for digging Chicana Chick Lit- I called him an unenlightened menso. I suggest “If I Die in Juarez” (Pulitzer nomination), “Let Their Spirits Fly” and I’m currently reading her new short stories, “Women Who Live in Coffee Houses”. Check her out!

    • A friend recommended this but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. Thanks for mentioning it. I’ll move it closer to the top of my “to read” list!

    • Loved “Rain of Gold” and “Burro Genius”! Villaseñor is such an inspiration. My husband’s story VERY is similar and I really feel that I can connect to his life story. Definitely a must read on both! They really describe the conflict of growing up between two cultures and the whole identity crisis and lack of acceptance that goes with it.

  2. ok, so I picked up this book at Walmart yesterday (for only $3!)to read on the plane, but I couldn’t wait (it’s been awhile since I’ve had a “for fun” book to read AND time to read it) so I just finished it and I liked it. I didn’t find it on your list so I’m saying, let me send it to you (when I get back from my trip) because I liked it, all the main characters (3 different women with their own chapters) are Latina, and finally, because I keep trying to find something I can share with you, as you’ve been so generous with your gifts in the past. Bonus: One of the ladies is a writer from El Salvador and she has a REALLY interesting past from her country. I liked all the women at different times, and wanted to strangle each one at different times, so for me, great Sunday read. :)

    • I’ve never read that book and I LOVE stories where I go back and forth between loving/hating characters. This sounds really great – I would love to read it. Send it on over. I can’t wait to hear how your trip went!

  3. I loved A traves de cien montanas by Reyna Grande. Also available in English, entitled Across a Hundred Mountains. Thanks for all the other recommendations.

  4. I love your blog! Just got done reading about your dia con los tios (sorry, don’t know how to active accent marks in this dialog box), and I was laughing. I have an uncle-in-common law from Spain with whom I and my husband have spent many similar days. To be honest, a lot of times Tio Alfonso y Tia Maria were waiting on us, smoking and napping in their coche outside some Spanish church while my hubby and I ran in to gape at some priceless altar painting, etc. All of us really just wanting to get down to the business of eating and drinking vino tinto!

    I have just published a novel about a Mexican American teen (as an ebook). Like you, I’ve got a strong Latinaish strain and just had to write this story, inspired by many years working in Iowa cornfields and factories as well as living and teaching in Mexico. Good luck on your own WIP, I look forward to reading it someday. p.s. I hope this isn’t too tacky but one reason I wrote this book is that there is a big gap in YA fiction about Mexican American teen girls. I was an editor of a multicultural lit anthology and we just kept coming across the same (wonderful) names over and over in our quest for Latin American short stories, novel excerpts, etc. I know this will change gradually, and look forward to that happening.

    When I Am Singing to You by Rebecca Burke (Kindle, B and N, Smashwords)

    Fourteen-year-old Carmen Delgada, the daughter of migrant workers, ends up living with other homeless teens at an urban YWCA after her jealous mother kicks her out of the house. When Carmen learns that her new friend Hazel is pregnant, she vows to help her—a decision that results in tragedy.

    • Thanks for stopping by to comment, Rebecca. Love the story about how your time was spent in Spain :)

      I love YA and have written some too. I think it’s a great genre. Your novel sounds compelling. I wish you a lot of luck.

  5. Please don’t feel like you need to reply to this, Tracy, but if you have an interest in YA, please run out and beg, borrow, or steal any books by Benjamin Alire Saenz. I just finished Sammie and Juliana in Hollywood (a poor barrio in NM, not la vecindad con los ricos y famosos en CA), and honestly, it was incredible. He’s won many awards for his writing, and now I understand why. The characters will never leave me. Picture an urban high school in the year 1969–poor kids being drafted to Viet Nam, racism still obvious and ugly, girls, especially poor ones, suffering a double standard, etc., etc. The dialogue is so true, it tears your heart up. One-stop shopping if you want to learn how to use Spanish swear words in context. Cinco puntos press. Check it out.

    • WOW – Sounds fantastic! Thanks for taking the time to tell me about this author. I just added some of his books to my “to read” list Good Reads so I won’t forget to check him out!

      Gracias!!

  6. Tracy, I’ve enjoyed your cell phone fotos muchisimo! Have you thought about turning your travel blog about your trip to El Salvador into anything–a story, novel, essay, etc.? You have such a great eye for details and dialogue…love the guy in the movie theater joking about palomas!

    Have you ever heard about DailyCheapReads, a site that advertises cheap reads for ebooks? All the books are under $5, which is critical for folks who are really mowing through the books on their Kindles and Nooks, etc. (Many are even better–99 centavos.)

    More pertinent to some of your readers–they now have a section for books in Spanish. And of course they have lots of other categories, e.g. YA in their junior edition. My novel, When I Am Singing to You, made their cut of indie authors, so that’s how it came to my attention in the first place.

    Good deals to be had (mostly mainstream publishers, but again, a handful of indie authors):http://dailycheapreads.com/junior/

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