A Latinx Heritage Month Reading List

Celebrate Latinx Heritage Month by reading along with us! All the books here are published in the U.S. within the last three years, and this list includes something for every type of reader: poetry, young adult, literary fiction, and nonfiction. We’ve asked some of our staff at Lighthouse for their reading recommendations by Hispanic and Latinx authors, organized by genre. This list includes Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s, Sabrina & Corina: Stories and Julia Alvarez’s, Afterlife, both beloved Latina authors who have passed through Lighthouse recently. Below, find a list of some of the most praised books by Latinx authors and who knows your reading list may just thank you.

In support of a local independent bookstore, we're linking all the books in our list to BookBar. You can find all 33 books on Bookshop, too.

Fiction

  • Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine—An achingly beautiful collection of eleven stories that meditates on the lives of Latina women of Indigenous descent trying to survive abuse, poverty, racism, addiction, and violence.

  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia—A timely gothic horric novel set in 1950s Mexico of a young woman enthralled in the doom of her cousin's demise in a creepy, isolated house.

  • Afterlife by Julia Alvarez—A stunning, sharp, and poignant novel grounded in the intricacies of immigration and life after losing a loved one.

  • Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera, trans. Lisa Dillman—This short, lyrical migrant's tale plunges readers into the metaphysical, yet all too real, horror of the U.S./Mexico borderlands.

  • Lost Children Archive: A Novel  by Valeria Luiselli—An eloquent, playful, and attentive novel about a family's road trip that weaves together prose and narrative to explore the complexity of family and society and the nature of justice and equality.

  • Dominicana: A Novel by Angie Cruz—A portrait of the immigrant experience as told through a coming-of-age story of a young woman who leaves the Dominican Republic in search of a new life in 1960s New York City.

  • The Lost Book of Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata—The mesmerizing story of a Latin American science fiction writer and the lives her lost manuscript unites decades later in post-Katrina.

Nonfiction

  • On Lighthouses by Jazmina Barrera, trans. Christina MacSweeney—A heady mix of memoir and history that delves into the rich symbolism of lighthouses (real and imagined), loneliness, and place.

  • The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio—Villavicencio draws on her background as an undocumented immigrant and Harvard University graduate to deliver a profoundly intimate portrayal of the undocumented immigrant experience in America

  • Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo—An unforgettable memoir reeling on trauma and displacement of what it means to be an undocumented immigrant in America.

  • Ordinary Girls: A Memoir by Jaquira Díaz—A fierce, lyrical portrait of a young woman's life as it unfolds along the borders of Puerto Rico and the challenges of girlhood, family, and poverty that are faced along the way.

  • How to Travel Without Seeing: Dispatches from the New Latin America by Andrés Neuman, trans. Jeffrey Lawrence—At turns thoughtful and playful, Neuman considers travel and philosophy and art across a whirlwind tour of Latin America.

  • The Interior Circuit: Chronicles of Mexico City by Francisco Goldman—Goldman weaves the story of his hardwon recovery after losing his wife in a tragic accident into an examination of his relationship with Mexico City and its charms as well as its challenges.

  • In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado—This radically captivating hybrid memoir borrows from genres as diverse as horror and choose-your-own-adventure to chronicle Machado's entrance into and escape from an abusive same-sex relationship.

Young Adult

  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo—A verse novel that tells the story of two sisters as they grapple with their father's death and uncover their family's past.

  • We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez—A perilous journey of three Guatemalan teenagers who flee their hometown and decide to travel through the deserts of Central America to Mexico in hopes of seeking safety in the United States.

  • Running by Natalia Sylvester—A timely novel of a Cuban American young woman who must make the difficult decision to stand up and speak out against her father as she learns of his political power and position.

  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez—A contemporary novel of a Mexican-American teenage girl who struggles to prove who she is not, and in doing so discovers who she is which is more than she ever imagined.

  • Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon—A funny, moving story of a first-generation American Latinx girl who tries relentlessly to fit in at her all-white school, until she decides she must speak out against racism and tell her truth.

  • Santiago’s Road Home by Alexandra Diaz—Diaz reveals the inhumane and uncaring U.S bureaucratic system through a harrowing story of a young boy that gets detained by ICE while crossing the border from Mexico to America.

  • Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez—A story set in Argentina of a young woman who lives between two worlds as a respectful, careful daughter in the home and an ambitious, passionate soccer star on the field.

  • Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez—Inspired by Bolivian poltiics, Ibañez weaves magic, romance, and revolution to tell the story of power and revenge.

  • Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro—A fantasy that details what it means to find home and fall in love within the bounds of a dangerous desert.

Poetry

  • Citizen Illegal by José Olivarez— A laugh-out-loud hilarious yet serious collection of poems on what it means to be a Chicanx from Chicago.

  • Body of Render by Felicia Zamora—A necessary, yet devastating rendering of what happens to the body politic of a nation when humanity's basic human rights are imperiled or stripped away.

  • Tertulia by Vincent Toro—A debut collection that celebrates and questions humanity through a rendering of the Puerto Rican experience.

  • The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext eds. Felicia Chavez, José Olivarez, and Willie Perdomo— The Breakbeat Poets Vol 4 celebrates the multitude of identities that exists within Latinidad.

  • Hermosa by Yesika Salgado—A thread of poetry on becoming in the midst of struggle, family, culture, and love.

  • While They Sleep (Under the Bed is Another Country) by Raquel Salas Rivera—Written in English, while they sleep points to an imperialist American identity: the dormant body of the text. Answering in Spanish, under the bed is another country is the footnote, the monster under the bed, the colony: Puerto Rico.

  • Guillotine: Poems by Eduardo C. Corral—Through the voices of undocumented immigrants, border patrol agents, and scorned lovers, Corral writes dramatic portraits of contradiction, survival, and a deeply human, relentless interiority. 

  • Heart Like a Window, Mouth Like a Cliff by Sara Borjas—As the title suggests, this collection is a confrontation on what it means to stay and what it means to flee through the struggle of assimilation.

  • A Sinking Ship is Still a Ship: Poems by Ariel Francisco, trans. Jose Nicolas Cabrera-Schneider–A melancholic collection of poems that navigates the emotional and physical landscapes that define our sense of place and belonging.

  • The Country of Planks by Raúl Zurita, trans. Daniel Borzutzky—A radical, unflinching movement towards healing after the brutalities of Chile's Pinochet dictatorship by one of Latin America's most celebrated poets.