Every day is a reason to celebrate reading. And there is no better way to do so, than to read new titles by Latino authors. Normally only read fiction? Switch it up and try a memoir. Eschew fiction because real life is stranger? Go ahead, select a new fiction title and prepare to be surprised. Don't put off reading a good book till tomorrow, when you can read one of these great books today!
Mañana Means Heaven by Tim Z. Hernandez shines the light on "Terry" also referred to as "the Mexican Girl," in Jack Kerouac's On the Road. Researchers have spent nearly 60 years trying to locate the real woman Kerouac had met, Bea Kozera (Franco), until Hernandez succeeded in 2012. Fortunately for all of us, Hernandez prevailed because Bea died this August at 92 years of age.
Lotería is Mario Alberto Zambrano's first novel. Luz is a young Mexican girl who writes to God. Her journal entries, prefaced with richly illustrated lotería cards (Bingo-like game), slowly reveal a family tragedy.
Manuel Gonzales is another new author. One reviewer called his collection of short stories, The Miniature Wife and Other Stories, "dark, smart, and strange." If you can hang with zombies in Texas, you won't be able to put this book down!
Not into zombies and the like? The Old Man's Love Story by Rudolfo Anaya is a different kind of otherworld read. The unnamed narrator is a widower and chronicles life without his beloved wife. Anaya totally captures the ache and longing of loss. If you haven't read anything by Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima is required reading.
2013 has been a super year for memoirs and graphic novels. Hold lists fluctuate for the following titles so don't delay and get a copy ASAP.
Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda.
Finally, a shout out to Arizona for naming Alberto Álvaro Ríos as their first Poet Laureate. If you are unfamiliar with Professor Ríos, check out Capirotada: A Nogales Memoir.
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