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September 13, 2022

Latin American Heritage Month Book Recommendations

 

NOTE: This post was originally titled “Hispanic Heritage Month Book Recommendations,” but here’s why I changed it to “Latin American Heritage Month.” I recently learned it’s more accurate to say Latin American Heritage Month instead because of the fact that there’s 33 countries (and 15 territories) in Latin America and 448 spoken languages, with Spanish, Portuguese, and French being the main three, which really only makes up 1% of the spoken languages, the most being Indigenous languages. And “Hispanic” refers to only the Spanish-speaking countries/territories, of which there are only 20 countries and one territory. (Thanks to Eliana Chinea for this info.) So The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa, which I originally had on this post but removed because Brazil’s primary language is Portuguese, definitely belongs on this list, as well as so many others! We’re not limited to only Spanish-speaking countries, but all of Latin America. đź‘Ź Which is definitely more inclusive and makes so much sense. ❤️


From September 15th to October 15th it is Latin American Heritage Month.

To celebrate the beautiful and colorful cultures that span many countries and territories of Latin America, as well as Latinx characters and authors, I have created a short list of book recommendations for you. This is not an exhaustive list but rather a starting point.

Enjoy!



BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS


A Taste of Sage

by Yaffa S. Santos

Dominican

Romance

BUY @ BOOKSHOP

BLURB: Lumi Santana is a chef with the gift of synesthesia--she can perceive a person's emotions by tasting their cooking. Despite being raised by a single mother who taught her that dreams and true love were silly fairy tales, she takes a chance and puts her heart and savings into opening a fusion restaurant in Manhattan. The restaurant offers a mix of the Dominican cuisine she grew up with and other world cuisines that have been a source of culinary inspiration to her.

When Lumi's venture fails, she is forced to take a position as a sous chef at a staid French restaurant in midtown owned by Julien Dax, a celebrated chef known for his acid tongue and brilliant smile. Lumi and Julien don't get along in the kitchen and she secretly vows never to taste his cooking. Little does she know that her resolve doesn't stand a chance against his culinary prowess.

As Julien produces one delectable dish after another, Lumi can no longer resist his creations. She isn't prepared for the intense feelings that follow, throwing a curveball in her plan to move on as soon as possible. Plus, there's the matter of Esme, Julien's receptionist, who seems to always be near and watching. As the attraction between Lumi and Julien simmers, Lumi experiences a tragedy that not only complicates her professional plans, but her love life as well...


American Dreamer

by Adriana Herrera 

Dominican

LGBTQ+ Romance

BUY @ BOOKSHOP

BLURB: For Nesto Vasquez, moving his Afro-Caribbean food truck from New York City to the wilds of Upstate New York is a huge gamble. If it works? He'll be a big fish in a little pond. If it doesn't? He'll have to give up the hustle and return to the day job he hates. He's got six months to make it happen--the last thing he needs is a distraction.

Jude Fuller is proud of the life he's built on the banks of Cayuga Lake. He has a job he loves and good friends. It's safe. It's quiet. And it's damn lonely. Until he tries Ithaca's most-talked-about new lunch spot and works up the courage to flirt with the handsome owner. Soon he can't get enough--of Nesto's food or of Nesto. For the first time in his life, Jude can finally taste the kind of happiness that's always been just out of reach.

An opportunity too good to pass up could mean a way to stay together and an incredible future for them both...if Nesto can remember happiness isn't always measured by business success. And if Jude can overcome his past and trust his man will never let him down.


American Sweethearts

by Adriana Herrera 

Dominican

Romance

BUY @ BOOKSHOP

BLURB: Juan Pablo Campos doesn't do regrets. He's living the dream as a physical therapist with his beloved New York Yankees. He has the best friends and family in the world and simply no time to dwell on what could've been.

Except when it comes to Priscilla, the childhood friend he's loved for what seems like forever.

New York City police detective Priscilla Gutierrez has never been afraid to go after what she wants. Second guessing herself isn't a thing she does. But lately, the once-clear vision she had for herself--her career, her relationships, her life--is no longer what she wants.

What she especially doesn't want is to be stuck on a private jet to the Dominican Republic with JuanPa, the one person who knows her better than anyone else.

By the end of a single week in paradise, the love/hate thing JuanPa and Pris have been doing for sixteen years has risen to epic proportions. No one can argue their connection is still there. And they can both finally admit--if only to themselves--they've always been a perfect match. The future they dreamed of together is still within reach...if they can just accept each other as they are.


CHECK OUT MORE IN THE DREAMERS SERIES:

Book 1: American Dreamer

Book 2: American Fairytale

Book 3: American Love Story

Book 4: American Sweethearts

Book 5: American Christmas


ALSO CHECK OUT ALL BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR:

ADRIANA HERRERA


Island Affair

by Priscilla Oliveras

Cuban

Romance

BUY @ BOOKSHOP

BLURB: Sought-after social media influencer Sara Vance, in recovery from an eating disorder, is coming into her own, with a potential career expansion on the horizon. Despite the good news, her successful siblings (and their perfect spouses) have a way of making her feel like the odd one out. So, when her unreliable boyfriend is a no-show for a Florida family vacation, Sara recruits Luis Navarro--a firefighter paramedic and dive captain willing to play the part of her smitten fiancé . . .

Luis's big Cuban familia has been in Key West for generations, and his quiet strength feeds off the island's laidback style. Though guarded after a deep betrayal, he'll always help someone in need--especially a spunky beauty with a surprising knowledge of Spanish curse words. Soon, he and Sara have memorized their "how we met" story and are immersed in family dinners, bike tours, private snorkeling trips . . . sharing secrets, and slow, melting kisses. But when it's time for Sara to return home, will their fake relationship fade like the stunning sunset . . . or blossom into something beautiful?


You Had Me At Hola

by Alexis Daria

Puerto Rican

Romance

BUY @ BOOKSHOP

BLURB: After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new "Leading Lady Plan" should be easy enough to follow--until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez.

Leading Ladies don't need a man to be happy.

After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he'll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had.

Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars.

With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton's most closely guarded secret.


A Lot Like Adios

by Alexis Daria

Puerto Rican

Romance

BUY @ BOOKSHOP

BLURB: Hi Mich. It's Gabe.

After burning out in her corporate marketing career, Michelle Amato has built a thriving freelance business as a graphic designer. So what if her love life is nonexistent? She's perfectly fine being the black sheep of her marriage-obsessed Puerto Rican-Italian family. Besides, the only guy who ever made her want happily-ever-after disappeared thirteen years ago.

It's been a long time.

Gabriel Aguilar left the Bronx at eighteen to escape his parents' demanding expectations, but it also meant saying goodbye to Michelle, his best friend and longtime crush. Now, he's the successful co-owner of LA's hottest celebrity gym, with an investor who insists on opening a New York City location. It's the last place Gabe wants to go, but when Michelle is unexpectedly brought on board to spearhead the new marketing campaign, everything Gabe's been running from catches up with him.

I've missed you.

Michelle is torn between holding Gabe at arm's length or picking up right where they left off--in her bed. As they work on the campaign, old feelings resurface, and their reunion takes a sexy turn. Facing mounting pressure from their families--who think they're dating--and growing uncertainty about their futures, can they resolve their past mistakes, or is it only a matter of time before Gabe says adiĂłs again?


Mexican Gothic

by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 

Mexican

Fantasy - Historical, Horror - General, Gothic

BUY @ BOOKSHOP

BLURB: After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, NoemĂ­ Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She's not sure what she will find--her cousin's husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and NoemĂ­ knows little about the region.

NoemĂ­ is also an unlikely rescuer: She's a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she's also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin's new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by NoemĂ­; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi's dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family's youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help NoemĂ­, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family's past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family's once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as NoemĂ­ digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And NoemĂ­, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.


How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

by Julia Alvarez

Dominican

Historical Fiction, Literary, Classics

BUY @ BOOKSHOP

BLURB: Uprooted from their family home in the Dominican Republic, the four Garcia sisters - Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofia - arrive in New York City in 1960 to find a life far different from the genteel existence of maids, manicures, and extended family they left behind. What they have lost - and what they find - is revealed in the fifteen interconnected stories that make up this exquisite novel from one of the premier novelists of our time.

Just as it is a feature of the immigrant experience to always look back, the novel begins with thirty-nine-year-old Yolanda's return to the island and moves magically backward in time to the final days before the exile that is to transform the sisters' lives. Along the way we witness their headlong plunge into the American mainstream. Although the girls try to distance themselves from their island life by ironing their hair, forgetting their Spanish, and meeting boys unchaperoned, they remain forever caught between the old world and the new. With bright humor and rare insight, Julia Alvarez vividly evokes the tensions and joys of belonging to two distinct cultures in a novel that is utterly authentic and full of irrepressible spirit.


Esperanza Rising

by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Mexican

Middle Grade

BUY @ BOOKSHOP

BLURB: Esperanza thought she'd always live a privileged life on her family's ranch in Mexico. She'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home filled with servants, and Mama, Papa, and Abuelita to care for her. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard work, financial struggles brought on by the Great Depression, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When Mama gets sick and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances-because Mama's life, and her own, depend on it.


Gabi, Girl In Pieces

by  Isabel Quintero

Young Adult

Mexican-American

GOODREADS

BLURB: Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy's pregnancy, Sebastian's coming out, the cute boys, her father's meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.


NOTE: I couldn’t represent every Latin American country/territory in this post, and I acknowledge that most of the book recommendations are from the same country/territory (and are also romance), so I want to end this post with a call-to-action (for me and you) to add books to our TBR lists that are about, written by, or with characters from all Latin countries/territories.


QUESTIONS: Do any of those titles look/sound interesting to you? Are you adding any to your TBR list? Have you read any of these titles?




6 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the book recommendations. Mexican Gothic is one I've been thinking about reading.

Liz A. said...

Great list. I don't think there's any way to do an exhaustive list on a blog post, so this is a good start.

Chrys Fey said...

@Natalie, I’m curious about Mexican Gothic.

Chrys Fey said...

@Liz, I always say it’s not an exhaustive list because, well…you know how people can be. lol

M.J. Fifield said...

Gabi, Girl in Pieces looks and sounds interesting (not that any of them don't look & sound that way, of course...). I definitely want to add that one to my TBR list.

Thanks for the list!

Chrys Fey said...

@MJ, I read Gabi, Girl In Pieces some years ago. I found it at the library, and I loved it. It’s one of my favs.