Culture

25 Inspiring Books Written About Latinas You Should Be Reading For Women’s History Month

A good book will either pull you in and remind you of yourself or, help you to lose yourself. Latinas have been mastering the art of storytelling for decades, crafting and weaving tales of our culture and experience to help themselves and others to understand their own cultural experiences has been just one of the many talents they have been able to sharpen and hone.

In the spirit of Women’s History Month here’s a list of 9 inspiring books written by Latinas that are totally worth a read.

1.  Women Hollering Creek: And Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros

inspiring books

“A collection of stories, whose characters give voice to the vibrant and varied life on both sides of the Mexican border. The women in these stories offer tales of pure discovery, filled with moments of infinite and intimate wisdom.” — From the Inside Flap

2. This Bridge Called My Back by Cherríe Moraga, Gloria Anzaldúa

“When it was published in 1981, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color was a vermilion ink bloom on the crisp white wedding dress of the U.S. feminist movement. It was meant to be shocking. This anthology of prose and poetry by Black, Latina, Asian, and Native American women was the first to express loudly, clearly, bilingually that the ‘sisterhood’ could not be colorblind. Women of color are not the same as white women. They experience America differently.” —  The Huffington Post

3. Corazón by Yesika Salgado

“Corazón is a love story. It is about the constant hunger for love. It is about feeding that hunger with another person and finding that sometimes it isn’t enough. Salgado creates a world in which the heart can live anywhere; her fat brown body, her parents home country, a lover, a toothbrush, a mango, or a song.” —Amazon

4. Women with Big Eyes by Ángeles Mastretta

“Thirty-nine indomitable aunts are captured in a series of lyrical snapshots in this autobiographically inspired collection, a bestseller in the award-winning author’s native Mexico. Mastretta (Lovesick) originally conceived these brief stories as a way of telling her daughter about her long line of powerful female ancestors; the resulting fictional series of portraits delivers charming lessons in life and love.”—Publishers Weekly

5. You Don’t Have To Like Me: Essays on Growing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding Feminism by Alida Nugent

“In this series of entertaining essays, popular blogger and author Nugent (Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse) documents her journey to feminism while skewering misogynist tropes and delivering some painful truths. Using her own experiences to expand on larger issues, Nugent bravely confides the details of her battle with bulimia and society’s ever-shifting idea of the perfect body…”—Publishers Weekly

6. A Cup of Water Under My Bed by Daisy Hernández

“[Hernández] examines the warmth and pain she found in her relationships with her family, the varied reactions they had when she came out as bisexual, and the cognitive dissonance she experienced as she became upwardly mobile. Throughout, she talks about the power of reshaping your experiences through narrative, of taking the past apart and putting it back together in a way that makes sense to you and makes it truly your own.”—The Huffington Post 

7. Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

“I strongly encourage you to read Juliet Takes a Breath. It’s quite dazzling, funny as hell, poignant, all the things.—Roxane Gay

8. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

“Why isn’t 15-year-old Julia Reyes a perfect Mexican daughter in her mother’s eyes? Mostly because of her older sister, Olga, who puts family first, listens to her parents, and dresses conservatively. Julia, by contrast, argues with her mother, talks back at school, and dreams of becoming a famous writer. When Olga dies suddenly, Julia is left wishing that they had been closer and grieving what she sees as Olga’s wasted life. And when she starts to suspect that Olga might not have been so perfect, she follows every clue.”—Publishers Weekly

9.The Ladies of Managua by Eleni Gage

“Three generations . . . confront the tumultuous history of their country and their family in this vibrant story about radical acts of womanhood.” ―O Magazine

10. Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue

“Sudden Death shows us that games are never merely games, because no game is played without consequences — some of which then permanently clouding our ability to look back and understand the procession of bodies that enable our play, our culture.” —Los Angeles Times 

11. The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

This novella by Sandra Cisneros tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, a Latina teen growing up in a Chicago barrio. In a series of vignettes, Cisneros poetically spins Esperanza’s beautiful story of resisting oppression while coming of age. Like so many of the books on this list, Esperanza’s story resonated with Latinas because of the shared experiences of familia and facing obstacles. Even now, readers can vividly recall the sadness of reading about female characters like Esperanza’s abuela, who were so trapped within their lives.

12. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Speaking of Esperanzas, the main character in “Esperanza Rising” is the privileged daughter of a wealthy landowner living with her parents in Mexico when misfortune forces her and her mother to flee to a California farm workers colony. Set in the era of the Great Depression, Pam Muñoz Ryan’s story spurred our thoughts as young readers on topics surrounding prejudice, choice, economics and labor unions. The plot of this novel took us on a journey riddled with characters who managed to maintain optimism despite living amidst so much sadness and suffering.

13. Quinceañera Means Sweet 15 by Veronica Chambers

As readers of Veronica Chambers’ novel, connecting to Afro-Latina best friend’s Marisol and Magdalena was easy because of their friendship, crushes and familial pressures to maintain their Latino culture. The two friends navigate the cultural divide of being American, Black and Latina while also trying to remain true to themselves and their own interests. No doubt this book inspired young readers to stay educated about ourselves and explore our own roots.

14. Becoming Naomi León by Pam Muñoz Ryan

At the very beginning of this novel, Naomi León’s strong bond with her abuela and brother appear unshakeable. That is until her alcoholic mom inserts herself into their lives and turns everything upside down when she decides to take Naomi away. After a chain of luckless events, Naomi is sent on a flight to Mexico with her brother and grandmother where she discovers her Mexican heritage. Pam Muñoz Ryan’s book helped us to better understand our anxieties as children.

15. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

For many readers, Rudolfo Anaya’s novel acted as an introduction to the world of magic realism, and a unique grandson/abuela bond that was easy to relate to. At the heart of “Bless Me, Ultima” is the story of a boy undergoing a series of rites of passages which put him face to face with themes surrounding identity, free will and fear— subjects Latinas and really all women can relate to.

16. How Tía Lola Came to (Visit) Stay by Julia Alvarez

Who didn’t want a tía like Tía Lola after this read? That is, if they didn’t have one like her already. Julia Alvarez tells the story of a boy named Miguel whose move to Vermont after his parents’ divorce is chaperoned by his colorful Tía Lola. Between this book’s pages is a story of acceptance, cultural diversity and holding onto family, even when it hurts.

17. Cuba 15 by. Nancy Osa

Nancy Osa’s novel is about Violet Paz, a girl who’s part Cuban, part Polish family. Cultures collide when she hits 15. For many Latinas coming from families who immigrated to the U.S., Violet’s narrative was a relatable read that taught them to embrace their multiple cultures.

18. The Guardians by Ana Castillo

Author Ana Castillo bestowed Latinas a fiercely independent female character in Tía Regina. As a young reader of this book, the amorous relationship between Regina and Miguel was a pleasing introduction to sensuous literature that (dare I say) rivaled the likes of Judy Blume.

19. Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

In this book, Sandra Cisneros writes of the lies, trauma and history that affects a multigenerational family. It all comes out as they take a summer road trip to Mexico City, making us reminisce about long car rides and the pains of learning difficult parts of your heritage.

20. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

“Themes as diverse as growing up first-generation American, Latinx culture, sizeism, music, burgeoning sexuality, and the power of the written and spoken word are all explored with nuance. Poignant and real, beautiful and intense.” ―Kirkus Reviews 

21. The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by NoNieqa Ramos

“Ramos’ relevant and thought-provoking debut is a powerful addition to any collection.” ―Kirkus Reviews 

22. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Alex is a bruja in a long line of brujas. Her Deathday – when she comes into full power with the blessing of her family and all the dead brujas who came before her – is approaching. But unlike her mother and sisters, Alex actually mistrusts magic. After all, magic has done nothing good for her: her godmother died young because of it and her father disappeared after her magic did something so sinister he got scared of her. ―Kirkus Reviews 

23. Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

“A darkly enchanting retelling of the classic fairy tale Swan Lake” ―Bustle

24. Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia

“Garcia has become synonymous with a certain breed of drama-filled, compulsively readable romance.” ―Bustle

25. The Friend by Sigrid Nunez

“Nunez’s prose itself comforts us. Her confident and direct style uplifts—the music in her sentences, her deep and varied intelligence.” –The New York Times Book Review


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Tens Of Thousands Of Puerto Ricans, Including Bad Bunny And Ricky Martin, Call For The Resignation Of Gov. Rosselló At Massive Old San Juan Protest

Things That Matter

Tens Of Thousands Of Puerto Ricans, Including Bad Bunny And Ricky Martin, Call For The Resignation Of Gov. Rosselló At Massive Old San Juan Protest

badbunnypr / Instagram

On Wednesday, tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans shouted “Ricky, renuncia!” as they marched through the streets of Old San Juan in its fifth and largest protest calling for the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

Early in the demonstration, Puerto Rican stars like Bad Bunny, Residente, Ricky Martin, PJ Sin Suela and more gathered in front of the Capitolio, where they held large Puerto Rican flags and signs that read “los enterraron sin saber que somos semillas,” and encouraged a roaring crowd to not abandon their fight. As the artists stood atop a white truck in the midst of protestors, activist Tito Kayak, who famously placed the Puerto Rican flag on the Statue of Liberty’s crown in 2000 in protest of the US’ presence in Vieques, scaled the flagpole in an attempt to remove the American flag. The crowd erupted in cheers, chanting “Tito, Tito,” showing that the protest in the US territory extends beyond the people’s grievances with their local government.

Bad Bunny took to the streets of Puerto Rico with his fellow Americans to protest a governor they want out of office.

Credit: badbunnypr / Instagram

Protests erupted on Saturday after Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism published 889 pages of a private Telegram chat between the governor and some of his officials. The messages included profanity-laced homophobic, transphobic and misogynistic comments about female politicians, celebrities and protestors and hard-hearted jokes about the victims of Hurricane María. For the people of Puerto Rico, who were just rocked by a money-laundering scheme by its education and health leaders and endured repeated neglect and abuse by both its local and federal governments following the devastating hurricane, the chats symbolized the final straw.

As darkness fell on Wednesday, some of the celebrities spoke out.

Credit: badbunnypr / Instagram

“This government has to begin respecting the people. We can’t stop protesting,” Residente, born René Pérez Joglar, said. Later, Puerto Rican singer iLe, Residente’s younger sister, sang the original, revolutionary version of La Borinqueña, with demonstrators, holding their flags and fists in the air, joining her in song, belting, “Vámonos, borinqueños, vámonos ya, que nos espera ansiosa, ansiosa la libertad.”

By la Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion, tension sparked in the mostly-peaceful protest in the late hours of the night. Demonstrators, some throwing bottles of water and fireworks, busted through a barricade. Police fired tear gas, dispersing the massive crowd and angering local residents who allege officers discharged on empty streets where elders and youth in their homes struggled to breathe as a result of the smoke.

Other areas of the old city looked like a war zone, with officers chasing and shooting rubber bullets at protestors, trash bags blazing on cobblestone streets and the windows of graffiti-laden establishments shattering.

According to authorities, at least seven protesters were arrested during the protests and four police officers were injured. There is also an investigation into an officer who forcefully grabbed a demonstrator alleging she was trying to jump over a barrier, though footage of the incident later revealed she was not.

Motorcycles also thundered through the city early Thursday morning, as a protest caravan of thousands of motorcyclists, led by El Rey Charlie and reggaetoneros Brytiago, Noriel, and Ñengo Flow, traveled from Trujilo Alto to Old San Juan in a journey that captivated the island.

People on the island are relentless in demanding that their voices be heard.

Credit: elreycharlie / Instagram

“We won’t stop. The oppression is over. The repression is over. Ricky, resign or we will take you out because the people put you there and we are ready to remove you. We want you out,” El Rey Charlie, a beloved motorist on the island, told Puerto Rican network WAPA-TV.

Outside of San Juan, groups around the island also took to the streets. In the States, the diaspora and their allies similarly demonstrated in Orlando, New York, Miami, Boston, Cleveland, San Antonio and more, while international actions occurred in the Dominican Republic and Spain as well.

Despite the massive uprising, Rosselló has contended that he would not resign. The governor, who previously apologized for his “improper act,” said that he believes he could win over the people of Puerto Rico.

“I recognize the challenge that I have before me because of the recent controversies, but I firmly believe that it is possible to restore confidence and that we will be able, after this painful process, to achieve reconciliation,” he said in Spanish. “I have the commitment, stronger than ever, to carry out the public policy.”

The governor is desperately trying to get people to forget about the unacceptable and offensive conversations he was involved.

Credit: @ricardorossello / Twitter

As Rosselló insists he would not step down, the president of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, Carlos Méndez Núñez, has already appointed three lawyers to investigate the contents of the leaked chats to determine whether an impeachment process can begin.

Additionally, Puerto Rico’s non-voting delegate to Congress Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón, who is a member of the governor’s pro-statehood New Progressive Party, has called for a meeting among her PNP colleagues.

There is no shortage of corruption that people want to get rid of right now.

Credit: @Jenniffer2012 / Twitter

“There must be an urgent meeting of the directory of @pnp_pr to discuss everything that is happening,” González-Colón said on Twitter.

President Donald Trump also took the opportunity to lambast the embattled governor as well as criticize the island, including the mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulín Cruz, for corruption.

President Trump weighed in on the matter and used it to attack an island still recovering from the hurricane and the mayor of San Juan.

Credit: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

He continued: “This is more than twice the amount given to Texas & Florida combined. I know the people of Puerto Rico well, and they are great. But much of their leadership is corrupt, & robbing the U.S. Government blind!”

But for many protesters, the marches aren’t just about sending a message of indignation to Rosselló, but rather to all corrupt politicians on the archipelago as well as the colonial federal government. Protest posters illustrate Rosselló with Trump’s hair to compare the two abhorred leaders, while vandalism on concrete walls screams for the resignation of the governor, the fiscal control board and the island’s colonial ties to the U.S.

Today and tomorrow, the people say, the uprising continues, with demonstrations planned across Puerto Rico and its diaspora in the US and worldwide.

Read: Here’s What You Need To Know About The Puerto Rico Uprising

Chisme Says Javier Bardem Is Close To Landing The Role Of King Triton And People Have Some Thoughts

Entertainment

Chisme Says Javier Bardem Is Close To Landing The Role Of King Triton And People Have Some Thoughts

Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Staff

Disney just recently announced that Halle Bailey would be portraying Ariel in the live-action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’ and finally we are starting to see better presentation of POC on the big screen.

The reaction to her casting was huge and, of course, came with it’s share of racist trolls.

But Disney is giving us another reason to celebrate ‘The Little Mermaid’ with word that Javier Bardem is in talks to start as Ariel’s father, King Triton.

Javier Bardem could possibly play King Triton in the live-action ‘Little Mermaid.’

Credit: @RottenTomatoes / Twitter

Big news from Disney — Spanish actor Javier Bardem is reportedly in talks to join the cast of Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of the ‘Little Mermaid.’

And the best part? He’s up for the role of Ariel’s dad and the ruler of Atlantica, the mighty King Triton. If the reports are true, Javier will be joining a star-studded cast for the highly-anticipated flick.

Although Javier is in talks to play King Triton, other actors have publicly said they’d want to be considered in the Rob Marshall-directed movie. Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor Terry Crews took to his social media and posted a selfie of himself as the underwater ruler.  “Ariel’s Dad!!!!,” he wrote alongside the image.

Reactions on Twitter have been mixed to the news but a lot of people love the idea of Javier Bardem as King Triton.

And you can count us among that group. He’s a very talented actor, who, in fact, has won an academy award. So we have faith that he’ll be an amazing King Triton.

And this user had a very beautiful way of looking at the possible casting.

Credit: @DEADLINE / Twitter

The sea is definitely a colorful place. Plus, also, mermaids aren’t real so Disney can cast whoever they want in which ever role they want.

While this person was excited for the possibility of something like Cinderella.

Credit: @DEALINE / Twitter

And we have to say that we agree. Brandy in Cinderella was everything and we would love to see Halle Bailey bring that same sort of energy to this role as Ariel – and we have faith that she will.

Though it looked like many on Twitter weren’t having any of it.

Credit: @IGN / Twitter

It looked like some were confused by the whole family tree while others just wanted the so called classic ‘Little Mermaid’ (read: white) that they grew up with and already know.

But more than one Twitter user easily shut down the haters.

Credit: @Spartan901 / Twitter

That’s right people. Mermaids aren’t real. They could cast this however they want to cast it.

While many others were totally stanning for Terry Crews.

Credit: @people / Twitter

Count us in on this as well. Who doesn’t love funny man Terry Crews?! Apparently, he also really wants the role. He even tweeted out a photo of the film with the caption #ArielsDad.

Whoever plays King Triton will be joining a star-studded cast.

A few weeks ago, the studio announced that R&B singer (and Beyoncé’s protégé) Halle Bailey would take on the role of Ariel, while Melissa McCarthy would play Ariel’s nemesis Ursula. Other castings include 12-year-old actor Jacob Tremblay as Ariel’s best friend Flounder and Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina playing Scuttle, the pair’s other friend that gives them access to objects from the human world. Harry Styles is also reportedly in talks to play Ariel’s love interest Prince Eric.

READ: Racist Twitter Is Coming For The Black Actress Recently Tapped To Be ‘The Little Mermaid’ And She Ain’t Batting An Eye

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