Four Books To Read During Latinx Heritage Month with Lupita Aquino

By Lupita Aquino on September 29, 2020
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As a Latinx Reader, Latinx Heritage Month comes with a stark reminder that books by our community aren’t spotlighted year-round in the same manner as they are during this month. So, don’t view this as another “Books To Read for Latinx Heritage Month” list and instead view it as books by fierce Latinas stepping into their power. Three of them will inspire you to tell your own story, and one will move you to take an in-depth look at how technology impacts our society. 

ONCE I WAS YOU: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America by Maria Hinojosa

In her newest memoir, Emmy award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa intimately details the struggles she encountered as a Latinx journalist striving to cover the untold stories of Americans often left out of mainstream media. By weaving in the history of immigrant discourse in America through the decades, she carefully reveals how impactful language and the media truly is. This book will make you wonder in the same breath: How can I remain hopeful when so much is broken? Yet, the book’s true power is that it shows you the best you can do is remain hopeful to continue la lucha and speak out! It’s an empowering book that should be read by everyone. Maria Hinojosa is the Founder, President and CEO of Futuro Media Group. She is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has reported for media outlets such as NPR, PBS, WNBC, CNN, CBS, and WGBH. She is also the anchor and executive producer for the Peabody Award-winning show “Latino USA” and a co-host for a Webby-nominated politics podcast called: “In The Thick.”

ORDINARY GIRLS: A Memoir by Jaquira Díaz

“Ordinary Girls” is an ode to girlhood and women. In this coming-of-age memoir that spans from Puerto Rico to Miami, Jaquira Díaz writes about the friends who were always there for her—a group of ordinary girls. Girls who have helped her through the difficult moments she faced with her turbulent family growing up in poverty and violence. Díaz’s words will have you reckoning with community and hope that helps define who we are. How often our chosen family saves us, replenishes us, and helps us keep going. Pick up this book if you miss your girls. Jaquira Díaz was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Miami. Her work has been published in The Guardian, The Fader, Conde Nast Traveler, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and The Best American Essays 2016, among other publications.

THE UNDOCUMENTED AMERICANS by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

With the utmost care and brilliance, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio uses the power of storytelling to unveil the struggles and perseverance of undocumented Americans throughout major crises across the nation, all while adding in snapshots of her own story. “The Undocumented Americans” reads like a pixelate of voices demanding to be heard and recognized. This book exists as a megaphone and reminder of the toll the “American Dream” takes on the immigrant mind, body and soul. Karla Cornejo Villavicencio is an Ecuadorian immigrant from Brooklyn and Queens, Harvard graduate, Yale Ph.D. student and writer who has contributed to The New York Times, The New Republic, Vogue, Elle, Glamour, n+1, This American Life and more. She lives in New Haven with her partner, her dog and boundaries.

LITTLE EYES: A Novel by Samanta Schweblin

Kentuki’s—animal-like toy robots operated by humans—referred to as “dwellers,” are at the center of the world in Samanta Schweblin’s newest book, “Little Eyes.” Told through varying characters, some that are “dwellers” and others that are “keepers” of these new gadgets, different storylines unfold in slow disturbing ways. These storylines provoke the reader to think about how technology can mold or expose us to who we truly are. Samanta Schweblin is an Argentinian author whose work has been translated into 20 languages. She was chosen as one of the 22 best Spanish writers under the age of 35 by Granta Magazine.

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Lupita Aquino—better known as Lupita Reads—is a passionate reader active in both the local and online book community through her Instagram account- @Lupita.Reads. She is the creator of the #LatinxBookstagramTour, a columnist for the Washington Independent Review of Books, a contributor for the Reading Women podcast, and the co-founder and current moderator/curator for LIT on H St. Book Club.

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