Entertainment

Get On It: 13 Books By Latino Authors You Should Have Read By Now

Summer is around the corner, and it’s time to come up with a reading list.  Don’t forget to include these incredible books from your favorite — and soon-to-be favorite — Latino authors.

Brida

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Credit: Harper Perennial/Amazon

You expected The Alchemist to be first on the list, didn’t you? We’ll get to that later, worry not. In true Coelho style, this story tells of a mystical pilgrimage. The titular, Brida, struggles to find the balance between her destiny of becoming a witch (relatable) and her modern relationships, offering a powerful exploration of choice versus destiny in the form of a fable.

Labyrinths

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Credit: New Directions/Amazon

This collection offers 23 of Jorge Luis Borges’ stories, literary essays and short parables. Of particular note is “The Library of Babel,” one of his most famous works, which imagines the universe as a massive library that contains every book imaginable — written and yet to be written — and the madness it all inspires. Who doesn’t want a little madness mixed in with their summer reading?

The Sound of Things Falling

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Credit: Riverhead Books/Amazon

In this novel, Juan Gabriel Vásquez tells a tale set in both ’90s Bogotá (the novel’s present day) and at the height of the nation’s drug boom. True events are woven through the narrative, in an amazing mix of magical realism and heart-pounding action.

The Dreamer

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Credit: Scholastic/Amazon

Pam Muñoz Ryan presents a fictionalized, poetic biography of poet Pablo Neruda as a child, dreaming of becoming a poet despite his strict, unyielding father. The beautifully written tale is heartfelt and inspires young readers (and slightly older ones, too) to embrace one’s gifts fully.

Inés of My Soul

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Credit: Harper/Amazon

Isabel Allende tells the story of Inés de Suárez, the real-life mistress of Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia, weaving real historical events into a compelling love story you will not be able to put down. The events are framed as the memories an aging Inés, from her early years as an impoverished seamstress in Spain to her lover’s horrific, ruthless struggle to establish Santiago.

The Darling

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Credit: University of Arizona Press/Amazon

Lorraine M. Lopez writes the story of Caridad, a bibliophile obsessed with Russian literature.  The protagonist educates herself on matters of romance through reading and refuses to believe in the all-too realistic loves and losses she witnesses her mother and sisters experience.

The Alchemist (of course)

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Credit: HarperOne/Amazon

Paulo Coelho’s book The Alchemist should be re-read once a year because of all the rich life lessons it imparts. It’s the ultimate guide to navigating the universe, folded into the story of a shepherd quite literally following a dream in order to pursue his Personal Legend.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

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Credit: Simon & Schuster/Amazon

Benjamin Alire Sáenz writes the beautiful story of two very different Mexican-American teens, Aristotle and Dante, who form a deep bond despite their different personalities. It’s a must-read for anyone who has 1) been a teenager and who has 2) been overjoyed/saddened/deeply perplexed by matters of love and identity. (So, all of us.)

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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Credit: Vintage/Amazon

Here, Gabriel Garcia Márquez presents a captivating metaphysical murder mystery truly unlike any other. In a small South American village, a young bride is found to have lost her virginity before her wedding night. Her brothers decide they must kill the man responsible. And, as if the story itself wasn’t fascinating enough, there’s the matter of the lawsuit surrounding its origin.

The People of Paper

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Credit: Mariner/Amazon

Salvador Plascencia’s work of experimental fiction centers around the idea of an author’s relationship to his creations. Plascencia places himself into his characters’ world, even going to war with them, and utilizes the literal page in innovative ways, playing with text, spacing and literally cutting a specific name completely out of the book. You won’t just read this book; you’ll experience it.

Ways of Going Home

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Credit: Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Amazon

In Ways of Going HomeChilean author Alejandro Zambra blurs the lines between the author and narrator to tell the story of a breakup, Chile’s history and two highly metaphorical earthquakes.

This Is How You Lose Her

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Credit: Riverhead Books/Amazon

Junot Diaz writes a fantastically twisted tale of love, love lost and the weakness of the human heart when it comes to loving.  In this collection of short stories, the Pulitzer Prize winner uses Spanglish and colloquial language to help create a fully believable world and characters. We’re insist you read all of his books, but definitely start with this one.

READ: These Latino Authors Will Help Get You Through a Breakup

Think we missed a book by your favorite Latino author?  Share your favorite, below.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Netflix’s ‘The Baby-Sitters Club’ Reboot Is A Millennial Fan Girl’s Dream

Entertainment

Netflix’s ‘The Baby-Sitters Club’ Reboot Is A Millennial Fan Girl’s Dream

Netflix

Get ready, mi gente! The Netflix version of “The Baby-Sitters Club” is about to totally shake up your views on reboots.

That’s right, Netflix has given the beloved series, based on the books of the 80s, a new makeover and it has all of the updates you have been begging for. Slightly edgier and loads more diverse, the new series features the same characters written by Ann M. Martin decades ago. This time however the series comes with twists that make the babysitters’ little fictional town of Stony Brook, Connecticut all the more exciting.

From Kristy and Mary Anne to Claudia, Stacey, and even Dawn the gang’s all here!

Check them out below!

Dawn Schafer

“The Baby-Sitters Club”/ Netflix

Played by Xochitl Gomez (“Gentefied,” “You’re the Worst,” and “Raven’s Home”), Dawn is featured in the new series as Mary Anne’s new Latina friend who recently moved to Stoneybrook from Los Angeles. Dawn is the club’s alternate officer and an eco-conscious Latina who joins in a few episodes into the season. Speaking about her role as a character who had initially been blonde and blue-eyed in the books, Gomez told The Los Angeles Times that “it’s really important that there is representation for girls that look like me. When I was younger, I didn’t see many characters on TV shows that I could see myself in. And it really matters that TV reflects the world.”

Claudia Kishi

“The Baby-Sitters Club”/ Netflix

Momona Tamada plays the series’ beloved character, Claudia. As one of the only characters of color in the OG series, Claudia became a fan favorite for readers due to her many talents, beauty and smarts. In this series, not much has changed. She’s still the style-conscious vice president with a passion for art who loves her Japanese-American roots despite never having learned to speak Japanese.

Stacey McGill

“The Baby-Sitters Club”/ Netflix

Stacey is still the treasurer of club. She comes from the Upper West Side of Manhattan and has quite the thumb for style. In the Netflix series she is played by Shay Rudolph. One of the most exciting changes in this new series is that Stacey (who in the books struggled with hiding her diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes) is open and proud of her disorder. “I knew I had a lot of responsibility playing Stacey,” Rudolph told LA Times in an interview before explaining that she herself interviewed teens with diabetes to prepare for her role. “I asked the people I talked to what it feels like when blood sugar is dropping and what they can and can’t do without an insulin pump. I want it to be empowering to younger kids when they see Stacey is still so loved and accepted by her friends even though she has this thing she is self-conscious about.”

Mary Anne Spier

“The Baby-Sitters Club”/ Netflix

For her role as Mary Anne, Malia Baker does a pretty spot-on job as the shy club secretary of the OG series who is also Kristy’s best friend. “I haven’t read a lot of books about shy girls,” Baker told the LA Times. “I know that’s kind of weird to say, but I connected with Mary Anne the most because deep down I am a shy person. But I also connected with all of the characters in different ways. And that’s one of the great things about ‘The Baby-Sitters Club’; you can connect with at least one of the characters.”

In this new series, Mary Anne’s character eventually proves to be just one example of the show’s effort to push for diversity. In one of her most defining moments in the new series, Mary Anne babysits for and stands up for a young transgender kid when they’re misgendered.

Kristy Thomas

“The Baby-Sitters Club”/ Netflix

And finally, there’s the club’s leader: Kristy. Played by Sophie Grace, Kristy in this series remains the president of the club. In this series, she’s quick to call out social injustices and loves her gals more than ever. “I’m so honored to be a part of a series like this that gives kids someone to relate to,” Sophie Grace explained. “Kristy has her family struggles. Her parents are divorced. That’s really hard for kids, and we see how she’s finding her way through that.”

Check out the show’s trailer below!

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Afro-Latinas Inspiring Us To Live Out The Dream With Their Poetry

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Afro-Latinas Inspiring Us To Live Out The Dream With Their Poetry

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When you’re a Latina who’s walked through life receiving a slew of comments, like “you’re pretty for a morena” or “you could be cute if you fixed that pelo malo,” you know that it isn’t always easy finding women in media who look like you. Let alone in the fields of academia and literature. With our world seemingly turned upside down, FIERCE is paying homage to Latinas who have worked to empower Black women through their words and thoughts on Afro-Latinidad.

Check out some of our favorite powerful Latinas celebrating our roots below.

Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo is an Afro-Dominican spoken word poet and author who hails from New York City. With each line that she delivers, Acevedo does members of the Latino community a favor by highlighting and praising its African ancestry. Her work lovingly celebrates the influence her Blackness has impressed upon her own cultural traditions. “My first language I spoke was Spanish/ Learned from lullabies whispered in my ear/ My parents’ tongue was a gift which I quickly forgot after realizing my peers did not understand it./ They did not understand me,” she says in her poem “Afro-Latina.” Besides holding an impressive presence on Instagram, Acevedo has addressed TEDTalk stages, appeared on BET and Mun2, and authored books like “The Poet X” and “Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths.”

Follow her on Instagram here.

Sharee Yveliz

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The “I Mean, I Guess” author has an African-American father and a mother who hails from the Dominican Republic. She has spoken openly about feeling isolated from both cultures. Her poem “Negra Bella” is about empowerment and finding your own way.

Follow her on Instagram here.

Danyeli Rodriguez Del Orbe

Del Orbe is a formerly undocumented immigrant from the Dominican Republic who writes and performs spoken word poetry. Her Instagram page features a collection of her poems, thoughts presented as a stream of consciousness, photos, and memes. Her poetry works to shed light on issues facing the Afro-Dominican community, including the immigrant experience. Braiding her desires to promote resistance and visibility for low-income immigration, Del Orbe’s work is definitely one for any poetry enthusiast to watch.

Follow her on Instagram here.

Ariana Brown

Ariana Brown is an African-American-Mexican-American poet whose experience of being raised in San Antonio, Texas largely inspired her to create the Afro-Latina representation that she often missed out on while growing up. Brown’s poetry takes on so many of the issues Latinas are forced to deal with, including race, ethnicity, culture, and sexual orientation. In poems like “Inhale: The Ceremony,” the Black writer addresses the ways in which African ancestry is often erased and discredited in history as well as in modern cultures.

Follow her on Instagram here.

Yazmerlin Rodriguez

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Through her numerous posts on Instagram, Rodriguez’s use of the social platform proves that as an artist she prefers to dabble in more than just one art form. She models, opens up about her long-term pursuit of education via physical therapy, and writes epic poems that will excite the heart of any Latina who has ever doubted the beauty and power of her rizos. The Afro-Dominicana from the Bronx, New York uses her poetic verses to remind readers that Black Latinos are “proof of survival and resilience” and that “‘Black don’t crack’ is more than just skin deep.”

Follow her on Instagram here.

Venessa Marco

If you have yet to be blessed with the words and observations of this Cuban-Puerto Rican, prepare for an earthquake of emotion that her words will undoubtedly bring out in you. Back in 2014, the Afro-Latina made waves across the Internet when she performed her spoken word poem “Patriarchy.” The piece speaks to the constant sexualization from men and media that so many women often endure. These days, Marco is still stomping down the patriarchy and fighting against colorism, racism, sexism, and other systems of oppression.

Follow her on Instagram here.

Aja Monet

Monet is a Cuban-Jamaican poet, writer, and lyricist from Brooklyn, New York. Back in 2007, when she was 19, she became the youngest poet to ever become the Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam Champion. For any Latina finding herself enraged, disheartened, or infuriated by today’s post-2016 election, Monet’s politically driven poems will give you something to lean on. Her work speaks to the everyday struggles of being a Black woman, racism, Trump, sisterhood, solidarity, and displacement. She has two published books, including “The Black Unicorn Sings” and “My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter.”

Follow her on Instagram here.

Tonya Ingram

Ingram became a New York Knicks Poetry Slam Champion back in 2011 and was a member of the 2013 Nuyorican Grand Slam team. The Bronx-born poet has published her work for two books: “Growl and Snare” as well as “Another Black Girl Miracle.” Each and every one of her words is steeped with intention and speaks to the Black girl’s experience with a strong sense of wisdom and self-love.

Follow her on Instagram here.

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