Every Latina Should Have These Books On Their Reading List This Year

Every new year brings us 365 more days to sit back, relax and devour another book. And while 2018 is just at a start, it’s already providing us with several literary goodies.

From YA novels with leading Latina characters to biographies about forgotten women of color to brown girl feminist and body positive readers, these are the new books all Latinas need to make sure are on their reading lists this year.

1. “The Poet X,” by Elizabeth Acevedo

In the young adult fiction “The Poet X,” renown slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo tells the story of a young Afro-Latina girl growing up in Harlem and using slam poetry to understand the world around her. The dominicana’s debut novel debuts on March 6.

2. “You Have the Right to Remain Fat,” by Virgie Tovar

Long-time body positive writer, speaker and activist Virgie Tovar is gifting brown round girls the book we’ve been hungry for. In “You Have the Right to Remain Fat,” publishing in August, the mexicana discusses how to unlearn fatphobia, dismantle sexist fashion and reject diet culture so that people of size can start living their best lives.

3. “The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary,” by NoNieqa Ramos

In NoNieqa Ramos’ debut YA, “The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary,” the Puerto Rican writer follows Macy, a Bronx girl whose school has classified her as “disturbed” but who is really just juggling way too much real shit for a young woman: a father who is incarcerated, a brother who was kidnapped by Child Protective Services, a cheating mother and a bff who isn’t talking to her anymore.

4. “Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical,” by Jacqueline Jones

In “Goddess of Anarchy,” prize-winning historian Jacqueline Jones tells the little-known story of one of Texas’ most mysterious activists: Lucy Parsons, a complicated changemaker of African American, Native American and Mexican ancestry who organized for labor, women’s, racial and prison movements.

5. “Bruja Born,” by Zoraida Cordova

“Bruja Born” is the second installment in Zoraida Córdova’s magical “Brooklyn Brujas” YA series. Unlike the first book, “Labryinth Lost,” which follows the story of bruja Alex Mortiz, in this one, releasing on June 5, the Ecuadorian author focuses on Mortiz’s sister, Lula, a teen witch who tries to resurrect her dead boyfriend.

6. “Latinas: Struggles & Protests in 21st Century,” by Iris Morales

Latinas: Struggles & Protests in 21st Century USA” is an anthology of poetry and prose of modern-day Latina experiences and efforts toward social change. Edited by Puerto Rican activist Iris Morales, the text includes pieces by today’s leading Latina voices, including Aurora Levins Morales, Jennicet Gutíerrez, Amanda Alcantara, Ariana Brown and, somehow, even me.

7. “Blanca & Roja,” By Anna-Marie McLemore

Blanca & Roja,” out October 9, is the dark Latina retelling of the classic fairytale Swan Lake that you never knew you needed. Mexican-American award-winning author Anna-Marie McLemore shares the story of rivaling sisters who are haunted by a childhood curse that will force one of them to live their life as a swan if they don’t find a way to break the hex.

8. “Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard Around the World,” The Women’s March Organizers and Condé Nast

In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March on Washington, organizers, including chicana Carmen Perez and colombiana Paola Mendoza, teamed up with Condé Nast to publish “Together We Rise.” The beautifully designed full-color hardcover book includes never-before-seen images of the largest protest in U.S. history and essays from activists like America Ferrera, Yara Shahidi, Roxane Gay and more.

9. “Broken Beautiful Hearts,” by Kami Garcia

In “Broken Beautiful Hearts,” New York Times-bestselling author Kami Garcia’s latest romance mystery novel, she introduces readers to Peyton Rios, a high school senior athlete whose heart and dreams to go pro shatter when she realizes her boyfriend’s dark secret and falls down a flight of stairs, injuring her knees, and leading to a burning question: who pushed her?

10. “Just Sit: A Meditation Guidebook for People Who Know They Should But Don’t,” by Sukey Novogratz and Elizabeth Novogratz

For those looking for some zen in their 2018, Boricua Sukey Novogratz and sister-in-law Elizabeth Novogratz have put together “Just Sit,” a book providing a combination of information and instruction on all things mediation.

11. “Honor Among Thieves,” by Ann Aguirre and Rachel Caine

New York Times-bestselling authors Rachel Caine and Mexico-living Ann Aguirre came together to write “Honor Among Thieves.” The mysterious sci-fi YA, out February 13, is about Zara Cole, a petty criminal selected by aliens to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passenger.

12. “The Friend,” Sigrid Nunez

In “The Friend,” panameña Sigrid Nunez writes a touching story about a woman who takes in the dog of her late friend and mentor and finds healing in the friendship of a canine.

Read: This Book Will Remind All Of Us That Our Love For Non Traditional Culture Doesn’t Mean We’re Abandoning Our Heritage

Let us know of other Latina-authored or -centered books you are excited about this year.

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Netflix Is Turning Gabriel García Márquez’s Classic ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ Into A Series


Netflix Is Turning Gabriel García Márquez’s Classic ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ Into A Series

Fans of magical realism rejoice. On Wednesday, Netflix announced it acquired the rights to Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and will be turning the literary masterpiece into a Spanish-language series.

This is the first time the 1967 novel, considered “one of the most significant works of the 20th Century,” will be adapted for screen. For years, the author, who died in 2014, refused to sell the film rights, believing the story could not be done justice through a two-hour project, according to Deadline.

Rodrigo Garcia and Gonzalo García Barcha, García Márquez’s sons, who are serving as executive producers on the show, believe a series is an appropriate approach to the book.

“For decades, our father was reluctant to sell the film rights to Cien Años de Soledad. He believed that it could not be made under the time constraints of a feature film, or that producing it in a language other than Spanish would not do it justice,” Rodrigo Garcia told BuzzFeed News, adding that the “current golden age of series,” with “the level of talented writing and directing, the cinematic quality of content,” changed the family’s mind.

“The time could not be better to bring an adaptation to the extraordinary global viewership that Netflix provides,” he continued.

The series will be filmed in Colombia.

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” tells the story of the multi-generational Buendia family, whose patriarch Jose Arcadio Buendia founded Macondo, a fictional town in the South American country.

The book has sold more than 50 million copies and has been translated into 46 languages.

In a statement, Francisco Ramos, Netflix’s vice president of Spanish-language content, said, “We know our members around the world love watching Spanish-language films and series and we feel this will be a perfect match of project and our platform.”

He’s right. Since announcing the adaptation, fans of the magical realism novel have been celebrating the news.

There’s no word yet on when the series will debut and who will star in it.

Read: This Film About Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is At The Center Of The Most Expensive Sundance Documentary Deal Of All Time

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Latina Reads: ‘Pride’ Is The Afro-Latinx YA Novel You Wish You Read As A Teen


Latina Reads: ‘Pride’ Is The Afro-Latinx YA Novel You Wish You Read As A Teen

It’s no secret that Latinx representation is severely missing in media, especially for Afro-Latinos. Although the numbers are slowly getting better on television, movies and in music, the literary space is still lagging behind. But all of that is slowly changing in particular thanks to critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi, whose first novel, American Street, told the tale of young Haitian immigrant Fabiola Toussaint navigating the dangerous streets of Detroit on her own after her mother is detained by U.S. immigration.

Now, Zoboi brings us a timely update on the classic novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin — but this time told through the perspectives of Zuri Benitez (a.k.a. Elizabeth Bennet) and Darius Darcy (a.k.a. Mr. Darcy).

Zoboi’s latest masterpiece is titled Pride.

In Pride, we first meet Zuri, an Afro-Latina teen who has plenty of pride. She has pride in her roots, pride in her family and, most of all, pride in Brooklyn. But when the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri isn’t sure that her pride is enough to change the gentrification that is quickly happening in her beloved neighborhood. Even worse, her older sister Janae starts to fall for charming Ainsley at the same time as Zuri is thrown together with the arrogant Darius, who she can’t stand and wants nothing to do with.

It’s an unexpected joy to be drawn into the world of Pride, where so many changes are happening all at once. As Bushwick changes and families that used to live there for ages are priced out and Zuri begins to fight to keep her home, we readers are drawn into her battle quickly.

She is just the kind of Latina that we rarely read about before: She is smart, quick-witted and not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. She is passionate, cares deeply about her family and is, in a sense, even a little fearless. But she’s also still a teenager, which is part of what makes this novel so irresistible.

Zuri has all the hope and fears that we all had as kids about to turn into adults.

She sees the world changing and she doesn’t know what she can do about it but she wants to do something. It’s that passion and drive which makes her both a captivating character and someone we can relate to.

And perhaps because Zuri is a teenager or because this is a remix of Pride and Prejudice, there is the predictable romantic chaos. Soon enough, Zuri finds herself being pulled in different directions by her growing attraction to Darius, who she still kind of hates, and the oh-so-cute Warren (a.k.a George Wickham), who Darius kind of hates.

One of the most surprising and enchanting things about the novel, however, is the way the characters speak. Zoboi doesn’t try to dumb down or change their language. She doesn’t try to make them sound high-brow or proper, which some reviewers had a problem with, but she does make them sound like exactly who they are: An Afro-Latino family growing up in today’s Brooklyn. Zuri is unapologetically herself and the way she speaks is beautiful, complicated and not even remotely make-belief.

One of the big wins of Pride is that Zuri and the other characters sound like themselves with no pretense and just the right amount of class and a dash of sass.

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Repost from @owlcrate We were so thrilled to include Pride by @ibizoboi in our October box! It’s a modern day Pride and Prejudice remix set in Brooklyn, NY. It deals with many complex issues but is also totally swoon-worthy. And Ibi’s writing is absolutely stunning! ???? The edition we included featured an exclusive cover, exclusive end papers, exclusive color hardback, and it was SIGNED! The publisher truly put a lot of love into the design of this book! ???? Want to get your hands on a copy? We have some extras available for purchase at while supplies last. ???? Have you read Pride yet? What did you think?? ???? Photos tagged with the original creators! ???? OwlCrate Photo Challenge: Pride & Hot Pink. #ocbookstore ???? #owlcrate #subscriptionbox #bookstagram #pride #ibizoboi #exclusiveedition #bookmail #happyreading #currentlyreading #epicreads

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Without revealing too much about how the novel ends (you’ll have to actually read all of Pride for that), it’s safe to say that Zoboi deserves all of the praise that she has received for her work. But what really matters in a book like this isn’t how she “skillfully balances cultural identity, class and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic” (from the book’s back cover), though these things are all great too, but rather what it represents and means for future generation of Latinx kids picking up this young adult novel at their library, local bookstore or online.

A book like this can mean so much to those of us who grew up without seeing ourselves in the pages of the books we were taught in school or the books we found at the library. It’s why today, even as adults, we still pick up YA novels with the hopes of seeing our younger selves in their pages. A book like Pride reminds us of that. It reminds us of what it’s like to be a teen and it reinforces the importance of seeing yourself in literature.

The Haitian author, who recently took down an “insulting review” of Pride that made us all wish we had her clap-back game, touched on something special in the story of Zuri the Afro-Latina in Brooklyn. Here’s hoping Zoboi continues to write her black and Latinx representative novels for a long, long time.

Read: 13 Latina Fantasy Books For the Sci-Fi Lover in Your Life

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