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

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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.

If Super Heroes Were Mesoamerican or South American Gods

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If Super Heroes Were Mesoamerican or South American Gods

@Hulk/Twitter/ @TylerValleGGWP/Twitter

In Bryan Singer’s upcoming “X-Men: Apocalypse,” the powerful mutant Apocalypse (played by the Internet’s boyfriend, Oscar Isaac) casually mentions that he’s also the Egyptian sun god Ra, The Hindu deity Krishna and Yahweh, the Israelite god. It’s certainly an interesting premise — the gods of past civilizations being a mutant superhero or, in this case a, supervillain — but why stop there? Why not tap into the diety-rich cultures of Mesoamerica and South America to find more Gods that could actually double as superheroes or vice versa? Well, true believer, we did just that.

Loki is Huehuecoyotl

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Credit: @Katekcne/Twitter/ Ptcamn~commonswiki/Wikimedia

Marvel’s Loki is inspired by the Norse god of the same name. Loki is known as for being a mischief, deception, and being a general troublemaker. That sounds an awful lot like Huehuecoyotl, the Aztec god whose name literally means “old coyote.” Much like Loki, Huehuecoyotl is kind of a d*ck.

The Incredible Hulk is Cabrakan

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Credit: @Hulk/Twitter/ @TylerValleGGWP/Twitter

Not that he needs any introduction, but The Incredible Hulk is the Mr. Hyde to mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner’s Dr. Jekyll. The Hulk is basically a green wrecking ball with torn pants and anger issues. That sounds a lot like Cabrakan, the Mayan mountain god with a penchant for destruction.

Storm is Tlaloc

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Credit: @David.K.C./Instagram/ Giggette/Wikimedia

We almost went with Thor for Tlaloc, but Storm from X-Men was a much better fit. Like Storm, the Aztec god Tlaloc controls the wind and the rains. Tlaloc is also a god of fertility, an attribute Storm was given by her followers.

Professor Charles Xavier is Bochica

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Credit: @Comics420/Instagram/ Colombia.com

Professor Charles Xavier is the mentor and moral compass of the X-Men, guiding the team of mutants to fight for the forces of good. Bochica serves the same purpose for the Muisca (a pre-Hispanic tribe found in Colombia’s mountain). Like Professor X, Bochica stressed the importance of serving good over evil. And like Professor X (born and raised in New York City), Bochica came from the East.

Aquaman is Ngueruvilu

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Credit: @AquamanShrine/Twitter/ Myth-lord/Tumblr

In the DC Universe, Aquaman is the King of the Seven Seas and ruler of Atlantis. In the mythology of the Mapuche (indigenous group from Chile), Ngueruvilu is the master of all things water-related. The difference is that Ngueuvilu, a serpent-like fox whose tail is a claw (sorta like a trident, tbh), is actually a bad dude who loves to create whirlpools to kill people.

Angel/Archangel is Quetzalcoatl

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Credit: @xmenfanbase/Instagram/ Giggette/Wikimedia

Quetzalcoatl is one of the most important and most recognized gods in Aztec mythology. He was a feathered serpent with the ability to fly. Quetzalcoatl was also said to have blonde hair and blue eyes, which many believe is one of the main reasons why Hernan Cortes was welcomed by the Aztecs. These traits are also shared by X-Men member Warren Worthington III, whose super hero moniker is Angel (and later on, Archangel).

Batman is Piquete-Ziña

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Credit: @detective.bruce/Instagram/ Gwendal Uguen/ Flickr

You best believe that we weren’t going to exclude Bruce Wayne — a.k.a. the Dark Knight, a.k.a. the Caped Crusader, a.k.a. the best super hero of all time (I will fight you on this) — from this list. Piquete–Ziña is a the bat god for the Zapoteca, indigenous tribe found in the southern portion of Mexico (mainly Oaxaca). Piquete-Ziña is often characterized as a violent and vengeful deity. Batman is certainly vengeful (like seriously, his origin story is that he’s seeking revenge for the murder of his parents) and he’s most definitely violent (though he tries not to be the murderous type of violent.

READ: Here Are 7 Latino Superheroes (Or Villains) You Should Know

Did we forget anyone? Which one is your favorite? Make sure you hit that share button below and hit us up in the comments!

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