Entertainment

Here Are The Most Anticipated Latino-Written Books Coming Out This Year

Growing up, the only time we heard stories that resonated with us was reading that one Latino authored book during Hispanic Heritage Month. Thankfully, the number of Latin-American authors have skyrocketed since grade school.

Whether you’re searching for the next memoir to grip your heart, a work of fiction to expand your imagination or an anthology of poems to take in, we’ve got you. Here are the most anticipated Latino-authored books that have already been released, or are scheduled to be released in 2019.

“The Affairs of the Falcon” by Melissa Rivero

CREDIT: @melissarivero_ / Instagram

Peruvian author Melissa Rivero’s “The Affairs of the Falcon” marks her debut into the world of fiction. You can bet her experience as an undocumented immigrant living in Brooklyn seeps all the fear, dreams and determination into each page and each reader’s heart.

“Native Country of the Heart” by Cherríe Moraga

CREDIT: @thefeministreader / Twitter

Activist Cherríe Moraga is giving us a heart full of love and loss—from everything she learned about her mother’s immigration story from Mexico to the U.S. before she passed from Alzheimer’s to her lesbian coming of age story in a Mexican-American family. Moraga gives us it all.

“In the Dream House: A Memoir” by Carmen Maria Machado

CREDIT: @carmenmmachado / Instagram

Machado is taking us inside a world that is so evasive and difficult to describe: her experience in an abusive same-sex relationship. The way she places you smack dab in the emotional whirlwind of her past is pretty creative and worth reading.

“Mouthful of Birds” by Samanta Schweblin

CREDIT: @librarypoweruser / Twitter

Schweblin has been lauded by The New York Times as “the most acclaimed Spanish-language writers of her generation.” Her newest release is exquisite and bizarre in its own right. One Amazon reviewer described it as “Eerie, chilling, heartbreaking, thought-provoking. A must read.” You just have to read it to understand.

“Analee in Real Life” by Janelle Milanes

CREDIT: @janellemilanes / Twitter

Milanes does an incredible job of describing the rift of self between an online sense of self–confident, brave, and adventurous–and the reality of living with social anxiety out in the real world. The story of Analee Echevarria is something that every person immersed in technology can relate with.

“The Scandal of the Century: and Other Writings” by Gabriel García Márquez

CREDIT: @timhoiland / Twitter

While Márquez is best known for “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” he is famous for saying that he wants to be remembered for his journalism. This is the first ever complete anthology of Márquez’s journalism.

“Things We Lost in the Fire” by Mariana Enriquez

CREDIT: @annabookdesign / Twitter

Argentine Mariana Enriquez is the only person who could describe the grim realities of contemporary Argentina. This isn’t a feel-good read. Enriquez speaks truth to paper, entrenching her readers in the stark inequalities, the pervasive fear in a military dictatorship and how you go on living life.

“The Spirit of Science Fiction” by Roberto Bolaño

CREDIT: @penguinpress / Twitter

Set in Mexico City, this book has found a home with Spanish-language world. This will be the first time it meets the English speaking world thanks to a translation by Natasha Wimmer.

“With the Fire on High” by Elizabeth Acevedo

CREDIT: @acevedowrites / Instagram

Caption: “This is the story of Emoni Santiago, a teen mom who wants to be a chef but isn’t sure if following that dream is best for her family. This character arrived to me fully formed and whispering in my ear and on May 7th she will be in the world.”

“Superman: Dawnbreaker” by Matt de la Peña

CREDIT: @alexperc92 / Twitter

De La Peña is a New York Times bestselling author and Newbery award winner. Thanks to his pen, we now have the Superman edition of the DC Icons series.

“Dealing in Dreams” by Lilliam Rivera

CREDIT: @kima_jones / Twitter

Rivera’s debut novel, “The Education of Margot Sanchez,” would be hard to beat… until you meet Nalah. After she builds her own girl gang, she wants more and must cross borders to make all her dreams come true.

“Don’t Date Rosa Santos” by Nina Moreno

CREDIT: @christineexists / Instagram

Call this the Cuban Rom-Com you needed on paper. Nina Moreno is giving us the novela level of drama and love curses that Latinas can relate to.

“In the Dead of Night” by Linda Castillo

CREDIT: “In the Dead of Night” Digital Image. Barnes and Noble. 24 April 2019.

Bestselling New York Times author Linda Castillo is rereleasing an old murder mystery classic. Sara Douglas can’t seem to shake the nightmares from her parents’ murder and partners with the chief of police to get to the bottom of it.

“The Moscow Rules” by Antonio & Jonna Mendez

CREDIT: “The Moscow Rules: The Secret CIA Tactics That Helped America Win the Cold War” Digital Image. Barnes and Noble. 24 April 2019.

The power couple that gave us Argo is now sharing their own personal accounts of working as CIA operative in Moscow during the Cold War. We’re just waiting for the film adaptation.

“The Daughter’s Tale” by Armando Lucas Correa

CREDIT: @amycnickless / Twitter

In a similar vein, “The Daughter’s Tale” tells the story of two French sisters who must escape occupied France during World War II and flee to Cuba. Correa has received many awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publications and the Society of Professional Journalism.

“The Other Woman” by Daniel Silva

CREDIT: “The Other Woman (Gabriel Allon Series #18)” Digital Image. Barnes and Noble. 24 April 2019.

Daniel Silva places us in the south of Spain, circa the end of WWII, with an international mystery to unravel. Spies from both Russia, Israel and the U.S. all come together for a suspenseful plot twist on the Potomac River outside Washington state.

“The Wind That Lays Waste” by Selva Almada

CREDIT: @kglyder / Twitter

Selva Almada takes us to the Argentinian countryside to meet a father-daughter missionary duo traveling Argentina right before their car breaks down. As they spend the day with two strangers, Almada gives us the nuanced tensions and intimacies that evolve between four stranded people throughout the day.

“Lima :: Limón” by Natalie Scenters-Zapico

CREDIT: @Poetry_Daily / Twitter

Scenters-Zapico bears it all in this collection of stories that depict life between borders. We meet Mexican women living in the U.S. and Mexican women living in Mexico. We become intimate with the realities of domestic violence and machísmo; of the double standard in pain tolerance women are expected to bare. Her stories are urgent, grounding and chilling.

“Sabrina and Corina” by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

CREDIT: @mariposachula8 / Twitter

Fajardo-Anstine’s experience as an Indigenous Latina raised in white-washed Denver, Colorado is giving us the short stories we need. You’ll have to read “Sabrina and Corina” to find out their stories.

“Tell Me How It Ends” by Valeria Luiselli

CREDIT: @litinquiry / Twitter

Luiselli has expanded on her 2016 edition of “Tell Me How It Ends” because the obstacles facing undocumented Latino youth in America have significantly expanded. Luiselli humanizes these young people and the choice between violence charged with racism in America and gang violence back home.

READ: 24 Children’s Books You Should Read To Your Child Now

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Lil Nas X’s Next Big Drop Is A Children’s Book Called ‘C Is For Country’

Entertainment

Lil Nas X’s Next Big Drop Is A Children’s Book Called ‘C Is For Country’

Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty

Turns out Lil Nas X has more than just country rap up his sleeve. The 21-year-old “Old Town Road” rapper has a penchant for literature too.

On Tuesday, the rapper revealed that he’s written a children’s book called C Is for Country.

“I’m dropping the best kids’ book of all time soon!” the rapper shared in a Tweet earlier this week before adding that he couldn’t “wait to share it” with his fans and young readers.

Nas’s children’s book is being published under Random House Kids, a division of Penguin Random House. It is currently available for preorder on their site.

According to the Random House Kids’ website, the book is a story about Lil Nas X and Panini the pony.

“Join superstar Lil Nas X—who boasts the longest-running #1 song in history—and Panini the pony on a joyous journey through the alphabet from sunup to sundown. Experience wide-open pastures, farm animals, guitar music, cowboy hats, and all things country in this debut picture book that’s perfect for music lovers learning their ABCs and for anyone who loves Nas’s signature genre-blending style,” Random House describes in its explanation.

The book is illustrated by Theodore Taylor III and promises “plenty of hidden surprises for Nas’ biggest fans.”

C Is for County comes out Jan. 5.

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Netflix’s Newest Musical Teen Hit Series Stars a 16-Year-Old Afro-Latina Newcomer

Entertainment

Netflix’s Newest Musical Teen Hit Series Stars a 16-Year-Old Afro-Latina Newcomer

A new teen series has dropped on Netflix that the internet can’t stop talking about. The newest cultural phenomenon that has hit the juggernaut streaming service is a musical series called Julie and the Phantoms, based on the 2011 Brazilian show of the same name.

The series follows a 16-year-old insecure girl named Julie who has lost her love of music after the tragic death of her mother. But with the help of a (stay with us here) band of musical ghosts she stumbles across in her garage, she soon re-discovers her love of singing and performing. Backed by her band of “phantoms”, Julie confidently takes the stage again, blowing everyone away in the process. ,

But the wacky, heartfelt story-line isn’t the only reason people are excited about the show. The buzz around the show is building because its star, 16-year-old newcomer Madison Reyes, is an Afro-Latina singer-actress of Puerto Rican descent.

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Before landing the role of Julie, Reyes was just a regular shmegular Nuyorican girl going to high school in Brooklyn. Needless to say, the process of auditioning for Julie and the Phantoms was both a whirlwind and a game-changer.

“I found out about Julie and the Phantoms through my school. At first I was nervous to send my video in, but after talking to some friends, I sent it in and got a call back,” Reyes told Refinery 29. “From there it was just figuring out when I could fly to L.A. When I finally made it out there, the audition process lasted two days.”

Reyes, for one, understands the burden of her load. “[Julie] is Latin American, she’s got textured hair, she’s a strong and independent female character,” Reyes recently told the LA Times. “As a person of color who wants more diversity [on-screen], I’m kind of scared about the hate comments that I’ve seen other people have to go through, especially women.”

As if having an Afro-Latina actress at the center of a popular Netflix show wasn’t exciting enough, the series is also being helmed by Mexican-American director and all-around legend Kenny Ortega. For those of you unfamiliar with Ortega, he is the creative genius who directed bonafide classics like High School Musical and Hocus Pocus.

Ortega has been publicly effusive in his praise of Reyes. “She has this raw talent that can take on any genre of music, and this promise of greatness that excited everybody,” he told the LA Times. “And yet she’s so relatable and grounded.”

Fans are already calling for a second season after watching the cliffhanger season finale. Reyes, herself, can’t wait to get back in the shoes of Julie. When asked in an interview about where we’ll see her next, she responded: “Hopefully in the next season of Julie and the Phantoms!”. We second that wish.

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