17 Books by Latinx Authors Everyone Should Read


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Let’s be real. Whether it’s for work or play, we’re online 24/7. And sometimes—far more often than we probably admit—we need a break from tech. That’s why reading is so nice. It lets us step away from our crazy, hectic lives and, most importantly, our screens. The problem, then, is figuring out what to read. That’s where we come in.

While Latinx Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) is a time to celebrate Latinx Americans, these Latinx authors and their amazing books deserve support year-round. Whether you’re looking for a more lighthearted read, something inspirational, or something that sheds light on the struggles faced by the Latinx community, these books should be at the top of your to-read list. 

These books are highly recommended by readers on Goodreads, one of the most popular websites for book lovers everywhere. Read on for some new books by Latinx authors to add to your bookshelf ASAP. 

Elizabeth Acevedo
Family Lore

Flor is gifted with the ability to know, down to the minute, when someone will die. Her sisters and nieces know this, so when Flor asks for a living wake, they wonder whether she has foreseen her death, or someone else's in the family. Flor remains tight-lipped, and in the three days before the wake, Family Lore traces the lives of each of the Marte women, from Santo Domingo to New York City. As they await a gathering that will change their lives, the members of the Marte family reflect on their shared history.

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Isabel Allende
The Wind Knows My Name

The Wind Knows My Name tells the story of two unforgettable characters, both fleeing on trains away from danger at two different points in history. In Vienna in 1938, Samuel Adler boards a Kindertransport train out of Nazi-occupied Austria to England. Eight decades later, Anita Díaz and her mother board a train attempting to escape El Salvador for the United States, only to be separated due to the new family separation policy. This book is a testament to the sacrifices that parents make for their children as they brave the most unfathomable dangers.

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Guadalupe Nettel
Still Born

Still Born tells the story of Alina and Laura, two independent, career-driven women in their 30s who have sacrificed traditional family structure in favor of pursuing their passions. When Laura announces her decision to get her tubes tied to Alina, she is shocked to learn that her friend has made the opposite decision: to have a child on her own. Alina's pregnancy and birth shake the two women's relationship to its core, causing them both to reckon with their emotions, the ambivalence of mothering, and the contradictions that make up their experiences.

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Chanel Cleeton
The Cuban Heiress

On a round-trip voyage from New York to Havana, two women's pasts collide as they both seek to see justice served. New York heiress Catherine Dohan seemingly has it all, but as soon as she boards the Morro Castle, her glamorous life is threatened by her past secrets, and she must join forces with a charismatic jewel thief in order to preserve her life. Elena Palacio is on the run after facing the blows of a devastating betrayal, and this trip to Havana is her chance to right the wrongs she has experienced.

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Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Based on a true story, Retrospective is told from the perspective of Sergio Cabrera, the most celebrated film director in Colombian history. Sergio grew up privileged as the son of famous actors in Colombia, until his parents became disillusioned with fame and moved the entire family to China in the midst of Mao's Cultural Revolution. By the time Sergio and his family returned to Colombia to support the revolution there, they were trained as guerilla fighters. However, after his family was nearly killed in warfare, Sergio escaped the movement, and eventually rose to fame in cinema once again.

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Alejandro Varela
The People Who Report More Stress: Stories

The People Who Report More Stress is a collection of interconnected short stories, all of which explore the stresses of marginalized individuals in the face of modern everyday strain. From the story of Manny, a childcare worker who teaches the children he nannies Spanish through Selena's music catalog, to the tale of Álvaro, a restaurant worker who begins selling high-end clothing in anticipation of moving to the suburbs, each tale illuminates the distress of knowing the problems with society yet being unable to do anything about them.

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Isabel Cañas
Vampires of El Norte

Nena is the daughter of a rancher in 1840s Mexico, and she is no stranger to monsters: not only has her home been threatened by Anglo settlers, but there is also a bloodthirsty, sinister force that once attacked Nena, years ago. Believing her to be dead, Néstor has been on the run from grief ever since, until the two are abruptly brought together when the United States invades Mexico in 1846. The shock of their reunion, including Nena's grudge against Néstor for abandoning her all those years ago, is quickly overshadowed by the nightmarish vampire.

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Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Silver Nitrate

Montserrat is a talented sound editor, frequently overlooked by the boys' club film industry in '90s Mexico City and in love with her blissfully unaware childhood best friend, Tristán. When Tristán discovers that his new neighbor is a former cult horror director, the man promises that he can change Montserrat and Tristán's lives. He requests that they help him film the missing scene from his final unfinished film—but once they agree, Montserrat notices a dark presence following her, and Tristán begins to see the ghost of his ex-girlfriend.

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Gerardo Sámano Córdova

Monstrilio is a literary horror about a mother who acts on fierce maternal instinct in a desperate attempt to save her dying son. In his final moments, she cuts a piece of his lung, nurturing it until it gains sentience and eventually begins to resemble the boy it once was. However, Monstrilio's innate impulses threaten to destroy his chances at a second life with his loving family. Gerardo Sámano Córdova's book is a reflection on grief and acceptance.

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Mariana Enriquez
Our Share of Night

Crushed by the death of the wife and mother they both loved so much, a father and son set out on a road trip to travel to her ancestral home. There, they encounter the family she left behind, a cult called the Order that seeks immortality and commits terrible acts in order to achieve longer lives. As the Order tries to pull the son, Gaspar, into their evil ways, the pair must fight against this powerful clan that will do anything to continue their legacy. Our Share of Night is a ghost story, a family story, a story of the occult, and much more.

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Héctor Tobar
Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of "Latino"

Our Migrant Souls unpacks the misconceptions behind the word "Latino," the most open-ended and loosely defined of the major race categories in the United States. The book compiles Pulitzer Prize winner Hector Tobar's personal experiences as the son of Guatemalan immigrants with the stories told to him by his Latinx students in order to decode the meaning of the racial and ethnic identity that is "Latino." It gives voice to the anger of young Latinx people who have faced exploitation and harassment based on white insecurities.

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Isabel Zapata
In Vitro: On Longing and Transformation

In Vitro is a meditation on the strangeness and complexities of conception in the modern world. Through candid prose, author Isabel Zapata recounts the misogyny she experienced while going through fertility treatments, as well as the grief she went through while imagining possible futures during IVF and the societal pressures of maternity. Drawing on both diary and essay forms, this book opens up space for nuanced conversations about pregnancy and childbirth.

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Matt Mendez
The Broke Hearts

The Broke Hearts is Matt Mendez's follow-up to Barely Missing Everything. Gutted by the death of their best friend at the hands of police gunfire, JD and Danny are still brokenhearted. JD is in the Air Force, yearning for earlier times and Danny has pivoted to enroll in community college. When he realizes that he is on the verge of flunking out just as JD is notified of his imminent deployment, the two confront the shared grief that has led them down these unexpected, difficult paths.

Publishing October 3rd

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Isabel Ibañez
What the River Knows

Inez Olivera belongs to the glittering upper crust of nineteenth century Buenos Aires, yearning for the one thing she cannot have—her parents, who frequently travel and leave her behind. When Inez learns of her parents' tragic death, she inherits a fortune and a mysterious new guardian. Searching for answers, she travels to Cairo, where old world magic pulls her down an unexpected path to uncovering the truth about her parents' disappearance. What The River Knows is the first book in Isabel Ibañez's Secrets of the Nile duology.

Publishing October 31st

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Nikki Vargas
Call You When I Land

When Nikki Vargas was twenty-six years old, her life was picture-perfect: She was settled in New York City with a great advertising job, poised to marry her college sweetheart. However, a deep sense of impostor syndrome caused her to ditch her day job in favor of purchasing flights to Cartagena, Panama, and Iguazú. As she traveled, she uncovered shocking truths about her family, met new love interests, and ultimately turned her travel blog into the first major female-focused travel publication. Call You When I Land is a memoir that turns the common story of a woman finding herself abroad on its head.

Publishing November 7th

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Melissa Rivero
Flores and Miss Paula

Thirtysomething Flores and her mother, Paula, are living under the same roof in their Brooklyn apartment, but feel worlds apart. Paula thinks Flores should spend her evenings attempting to meet a future husband; Flores thinks Paula should ask for a raise at her retail job; both are grieving the loss of husband and father Martin. When Flores discovers a note written in her mother's handwriting beneath her father's urn, both women must reckon with their complicated past, and decide whether they share the same dreams for the future.

Publishing December 5th

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Martín Solares
How to Draw a Novel

This collection of essays examines the various approaches to the novel, from the objects and characters that make up the world to the prose itself. Within this, Solares uses line drawings to depict how the novel has changed, breaking out of the Anglo-American dominated canon to explore the craft of the book. As a love letter to the act of writing itself, this book considers how writers invent and encounter the stories they create, ultimately deconstructing the novel in a way that is both profound and accessible.

Publishing December 12th

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