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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.

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Instagram’s Beloved Summer Read Mexican Gothic To Become Limited Hulu Series Produced By Kelly Ripa

Fierce

Instagram’s Beloved Summer Read Mexican Gothic To Become Limited Hulu Series Produced By Kelly Ripa

Penguin Random House

During these times, Noemí Taboada is more than just the heroine of the novel Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. She’s also become the hero come to rescue us from our pandemic boredom. The story of the 1950s Mexican socialite summoned to save her vulnerable cousin has entranced summer readers stuck at home during the pandemic and without much new material to thrive on. Sales for the horror novel soared just as soon as the book hit shelves this past June and now fortunately for fans, news about the novel gets better.

Hulu has picked up Mexican Gothic and given it the greenlight a drama series!

The series comes from Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ Milojo Productions and ABC Signature.

According to Deadline, Moreno-Garcia is set executive produce the series alongside Milojo’s Ripa, Consuelos, and Albert Bianchini.

Moreno-Garcia is a Mexican-born author currently living in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is the best-selling author of Gods of Jade and Shadow, Certain Dark Things and Untamed Shore. Speaking to Deadline, the author explained that she is “excited to see the novel come to life and to meet the talented, diverse crew and cast members that will take us on this journey.”

“We feel like we hit the literary jackpot, and cannot wait to bring Silvia’s gorgeous writing to life, together with Hulu,” Ripa also commented in a statement.

Mexican Gothic was published this past June and welcomed with critical acclaim.

The book follows Noemí Taboada, a young socialite living in 1950s Mexico City who takes to the Mexican countryside and the mountains of Hidalgo after being summoned by her cousin who is worried that her new husband, a rich and enigmatic Englishman, might be attempting to kill her.

But it’s not just the mystery and intrigue of the story that will captivate readers. For those interested in rich histories and exploring their own roots, this book will bring so much intrigue if you haven’t already read it.

At the heart of Moreno-Garcia’s story is an examination of the effects of eugenicism and colonization in Mexico. 

Speaking to NPR about her novel, Moreno-Garcia explained that the inspiration for it came from a real town in Mexico that had been mined by the Spanish and overtaken in the 1800s by British forces.

“It has an English cemetery, just like in my book. And that is what inspired the novel. I went there one time and I was walking around the cemetery and it was misty. And it’s kind of chilly and rainy there, especially certain times of the year. And I looked around and I thought, this is something out of a Hammer film. So it never really quite left me,” she revealed. “But the other reason to set it there is because, I think when people think about Mexico, sometimes they do know that it was conquered by the Spanish. And they think the Spanish left and that was it. That was the only case of colonialism that existed. But obviously, many other forces came into Mexico throughout the years and engaged in explicit warfare or more subtle types of control… Americans came and all sorts of foreign interventions have taken place throughout the history of Mexico. And I just thought it was an interesting bit of the colonial legacy, to look at the British legacy, and to set it in Mexico to examine some of those forces colliding.”

Readers of the hit book have been quick to comment on its new status as an upcoming television series. “I will say my favorite was the atmosphere and gothic suspense. I enjoy horror, but I’m quite picky with my horror and that aspect of this book was the least appealing part to me. It was tame for most of the book, but there are some really twisted scenarios towards the end that were really unsettling… and not in the spine-tingling way I generally enjoy. Prepare to be disturbed.⁣ And maybe even a little grossed out.,” one user wrote about the book in a post to Instagram.

“I love how the writer uses most of the key elements of the gothic genre, but at the same time subverts it in order to discuss racism, feminism, and colonialism,” another commented.

Fans who loved the characters and plot of Mexican Gothic will likely fall in love with Hulu’s new take and we, for one, can’t wait!

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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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