The Beatdown

20 Gifts for the Person in Your Life Who Can’t Function Without Their Cafecito

If you’re like me, or like the majority of the human population (I’m dramatically assuming), then you know you can’t start the day without CAFFEINE. I mean, what’s the point of waking up in the morning if it’s not to drink some cafecito within the hour? You guessed it: there is no point.

So this holiday season, if you have that one friend in your life who just can’t function without their cafecito, then here are 20 cute things to help them express their love for all things caffeine.

1. A Cafe Bustelo T-Shirt 

CREDIT: PERALTAPROJECT.COM

Cafe Bustelo or BUST. This is the perfect t-shirt for your friend who needs to make it known that they love coffee.

Buy here.

2. A zodiac and coffee phone case

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/Macrografiks

This case is cute AF so it’s written in the stars that you should just order it, ASAP. Your friend will thank you, and your friend will love you.

Buy here.

3. A coffee bean necklace 

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/YunheeStudio

A cute and whimsical coffee bean necklace that your friend who can’t function with caffeine will keep close to their fast-beating heart.

Buy here.

4. A coffee scrub for ya body 

CREDIT: www.frankbody.com

Your caffeine-obsessed friend never likes feeling dull or tired OR looking it either, so here’s the perfect body scrub to make their skin feel revitalized and awake.

Buy here.

5. A sweatshirt to show the world they love coffee 

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/andMorgan

If you love coffee but don’t own a piece of clothing to prove it, then do you even really love coffee? Help your BFF stay cozy in this.

Buy here.

6. Dark chocolate covered espresso beans

CREDIT: Amazon.com

Sometimes you gotta take a break from sippin’ that coffee but still want the taste so these chocolate covered espresso beans should do the trick. Get these at Trader Joes!

Buy here.

7. A coffee mug with your zodiac sign on it

CREDIT: Target.com

It’s the perfect kind of coffee mug, really.

Buy here.

8. Emergency coffee beans 

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/BubblesAndHugs

In case of an emergency, gift your friend this. Hammer not included.

Buy here.

9. More Cafe Bustelo T-Shirts 

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/GlimeCandy

One can never have too much coffee. Or shirts about coffee.

Buy here.

10. Frappucino scented candle 

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/doublebrush

For the basic friend in your life who loves Starbucks coffee loud and proud. 

Buy here.

11. Another coffee t-shirt 

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/SneakyBaconTees

The perfect t-shirt for the friend who can’t be bothered without having their daily dose of coffee first.

Buy here.

12. The most accurate coffee mug ever

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/MostToastyGoods

This mug tells no lies.

Buy here.

13. Coffee necklace 

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/Solistar

Another cute necklace your cafecito loving friend will love.

Buy here.

14. A HydroFlask 

CREDIT: Amazon.com

For your friend who’s always on the go but needs to stay WOKE.

Buy here.

15. A planner 

CREDIT: Amazon.com

For your hardworking homegirl, who loves planning and who loves coffee.

Buy here.

16. A Cafe Bustelo keychain 

CREDIT: peraltaproject.com

A little reminder that coffee is life. 

Buy here.

17. A coffee mug with Guacardo 

CREDIT: INSTAGRAM.COM/BARRIO.SHOP

Stuargacs for life, my dude.

Buy here.

18. A coffee mug that speaks volumes

CREDIT: cafecitopins.bigcartel.com

If you drink decaf, don’t talk to me.

Buy here.

19. Coffee pajamas 

CREDIT: Amazon.com

These PJ’s for when your coffee-obsessed friend finally decides to cut back on the caffeine and go mimis.

Buy here.

20. A coffee bean candle

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/NaturalsByNana

And if there’s anything better than the taste of coffee, it’s the smell.

Buy here.


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

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

Fantasy literature by Latinx authors is it’s own kind of genre with commentary on the Latinx experience and culture imbued in the magical elements. From Young Adult lit to classic sci-fi tomes, this list features a variety of authors who’ve created their own unique fantasy worlds that’ll captivate you. While science fiction is rooted in the make-believe, most of the Latinx writers are woke and using their words to comment on the very real state of Latinos in the U.S. and the immigrant experience. But, like in any good fantasy lit list, there’s plenty of adventure and romance for a great escapist read. Here are 13 of the best fantasy books by Latinx writers that’ll make you want to believe in the supernatural

 The Centenal Cycle by Malka Older

Malka Older’s series The Centenal Cycle has been described as a cyberpunk political thriller with three books receiving acclaim. The fast-paced thrillers center around an omnipotent search engine that has completely revolutionized politics taking warring nations and turning them into global micro-democracies. But, like in any other government, there are those seeking to take down the powers that be and people on both sides of the conflict battle it out. The series kicks off with “Infomocracy” followed by “Null States” and concluding with “State Tectonics”.

Buy it here.

“Her Body and Other Parties” by Carmen Maria Machado

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In this award-winning genre-bending debut Carmen Maria Machado blends psychological realism and science fiction with both humor and horror. The collection of short stories are unsettling and outlandish features madwomen and even “Law and Order: SVU”doppelgänger along with ghosts and urban legends. Remember the story of the girl with a ribbon around her neck that haunted you as a child? You’ll revisit her here. The narratives reshape the realities of women’s lives and the violence they experience in stories like “The Husband Stitch”. The book is so spooky and otherworldly that FX will adapt it into a series next year.

Buy it here.

“Spirits of the Ordinary” by Kathleen Alcala

Kathleen Alcala’s debut novel follows the journey of the Carabajal family and melding of Mexican-Jewish and American culture. Father and husband Zacarças leaves his family behind on a journey for gold in North Mexico setting off a series of events that affects the whole family. Alcala was likened to magical realism writers  Isabel Allende and Laura Esquivel after this magical tale of faith and family.

Buy it here.

“So Far from God” by Ana Castillo

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I meant to post something earlier, but hey, it's #HispanicHeritageMonth ! I usually like to focus on Latinx authors from September 15th-October 15th, but I haven't actually read anything for fun since this semester started ???? Either way, here's a book rec: SO FAR FROM GOD by Ana Castillo discusses feminism, environmental racism, sexual violence, war, and a LOT more by following the lives of four daughters in New Mexico. It's an amazing book (with magical realism!!) by an amazing Chicana author, and I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to get into some Chicana literature for Hispanic Heritage Month! . . Who are your favorite Latinx authors? ???? . . #bookstagram #books #bookphoto #bookphotography #chicanaliterature #diversebooks #booksrecs #bookrecommendations #bookrecommendation #sofarfromgod #anacastillo

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In Ana Castillo’s “So Far from God” we’re introduced to Sofia and her daughters , Fe, Esperanza, Caridad, and la Loca in Tome, New Mexico. The story is replete with supernatural elements as they combat very real issues including racism, poverty, exploitation, pollution, and war. It spans two decades unfolding in flashbacks that can be humorous but also provide biting commentary on society.

Buy it here.

“The Island of Eternal Love” by Daína Chaviano

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《La belleza es el comienzo del terror que somos capaces de soportar》 Cecilia se refugia en un bar cada noche para huir de su soledad en Miami; ahí conoce a una misteriosa anciana quien le narra 3 historias que han comenzado más de un siglo atrás en ciertos lugares del mundo; un suicidio en China, una extraña maldición a ciertas mujeres en un pueblo español y una joven arrancada de su hogar en la costa africana. Las vidas de estos personajes se irán entrelazando conforme la historia avanza, desde una Cuba bajo el dominio español hasta nuestros días. Hoy terminé este libro y sin duda está en mi lista de favoritos. #laisladelosamoresinfinitos #dainachaviano #Miami #cuba #lahabana #destino #amor #amalia #Pablo #mercedes #caridad #cecilia #amorespredestinados #pasado #masalla #books #bookstagram #instabook #instaread #lecturaterminada

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This is Daína Chaviano’s first English translation and it follows Miami-based Cuban journalist Cecilia and her relationship with the elderly Cubana Amalia. While investigating a “phantom house” she meets Amalia in a bar in Little Havana whose family saga spans Africa (Kingdom of Ifé), China (Canton) and Spain (Cuenca) and converges in Cuba in the mid-19th century. The book was so popular and beloved that it’s become the most translated Cuban novel of all time.

Buy it here.

“Kalpa Imperial: The Greatest Empire That Never Was ” by Angélica Gorodischer

Celebrated Argentinian fantasy writer Angélica Gorodischer’s first English book was translated by none other celebrated American sci-fi writer Ursula Le Guin. Together these iconic sci-fi escritoras create this fantastical world featuring an unnamed empire and its numerous rise and falls.

Buy it here.

“The Goldsmith’s Secret” by Elia Barceló

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En esta bellísima pieza literaria su autora nos recuerda que somos palabras. En la búsqueda nostálgica de algo que puede estar o no estar allí, esta novela corta tan breve como intensa presenta una historia de amor e identidad que desafía los hilos del tiempo, de la soledad y de la memoria, en aquel espacio en el que el deseo tiene su propia dimensión y la pasión sus propias leyes. Una novela llena de lírica y sentimientos, una historia de amor imposible. Una pieza de orfebrería, una joya literaria que nos lleva a sumergirnos en lo más recóndito de nosotros mismos. Porque también estamos hechos de la materia con la que se construyen los recuerdos. • • •¡???????? ???????? ???????????????????????? ???????????? ???????? ????????????????! • • #EliaBarceló #ElSecretoDeOrfebre #Entrelibros #Librería #TiendaDeLibros #Manta #Manabí #Ecuador #Libros #AmorPorLosLibros #BookManía #InstaBook #InstaPhoto #BookInstagram #Bookstagrammer #Readers #Leer #BookLove #Read #InstaLibro #Instabooks #BooksLover #BookAddict #Lectora

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Fans of time travel and romance will be enthralled with Elia Barceló’s novel about a goldsmith with an unrequited love. In “the goldsmith’s secret” a lonely  New Yorker returns to his hometown hoofing to encounter Celia aka the Black widow and his former paramour. Instead he, meets a young woman who introduces him to different eras in Spain as they travel through time. They discover a love trapped in two different periods in time and culminating in a magical twist.

Buy it here.

“United States of Banana” by Giannina Braschi

In her first book written in English, Giannina Braschi takes on displacement and imprisonment of Latinos in post-9/11 NYC. She brings in historical literary characters Hamlet and Zarathustra (Zoroaster) to join forces with her alter-ego Giannina on a quest to liberate Puerto Rican prisoner Segismundo from the dungeon of the Statue of Liberty. In the midst of this rescue, the king makes Puerto Rico the 51st state and grants American passports to citizens of Latin America causing a shift in power. The book is a commentary on Puerto Rico’s position as an American territory, and Braschi’s struggle for liberty after her own displacement from her home in New York.

Buy it here.

 “Certain Dark Things” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican-Canadian writer Silvia Moreno-Garcia is known for her sci-fi works including her acclaimed second book “Certain Dark Things” about narco vampires in Mexico City. In true fantasy fashion, it features a love affair between a mortal (Domingo) and Atl, a descendant of Aztec blood drinkers. As their attraction grows so does the danger as they find themselves in the midst of rival vampire gangs and a cop on their trail. The novel was selected as one of NPR’s best books of 2016.

Buy it here.

“Kingdom of Women” by Rosalie Morales Kearns

In an alternative universe, as imagined by author Rosalie Morales Kearns, women have come together seeking vengeance on rapists, murderers, and child abusers in her nove “Kingdom of Women.”. Through female Catholic priest Averil Parnell we see the moral dilemma she faces as a child of God who also understands the need for vengeance as the lone survivor of a massacre of female seminarians. The book explores themes of forgiveness and justice, revenge and mercy through the evolution of Parnell as she embarks on this journey as a key figure in the societal changes taking place.

Buy it here.

“Ink” by Sabrina Vourvoulias

In this immigration dystopian work by Sabrina Vourvoulias, there’s eerie similarities to modern day that may be unsettling as well as thought provoking. Vourvoulias is known for her intelligent and and biting commentary on race and immigration evident in this futuristic novel.  The book opens with a biometric tattoo being approved for immigrants, otherwise known as ink,s as a form of control. The novel spans 10 years and features four narrators who struggle with their definitions of home and community and the feeling of “otherness.”

Buy it here.

“Dealing in Dreams” by Lilliam Rivera

In this forthcoming dystopian novel about sisterhood, Lilliam Rivera explores the meaning of home and family. Sixteen-year old Nalah is the protagonist who leads an all-female crew in Mega City and aspires to get off the streets and live in the exclusive Mega Towers. To achieve that goal she needs to her prove her loyalty to the city’s founder and cross the border to find a mysterious gang. In this journey, she battles with where her loyalties lie and understanding what (and who) actually makes a home.

Buy it here.

Brooklyn Brujas by Zoraida Cordova

Zoraida Córdova is the award-winning author of the Brooklyn Brujas series featuring a Brooklynite teenage witch named Alex Mortiz and her family. The first book “Labyrinth Lost” is a type of Alice in Wonderland re-imagining where she needs to travel between lands to find her family who disappeared when a spell backfired. Meanwhile book two, “Bruja Born”, deals with darker magic when her sister brings her boyfriend back from the dead and there are consequences to face. The books rely heavily on Latinx culture with Alex’s ancestors coming from Ecuador, Spain, Africa, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Buy it here.

Read: The Good, the Bad and the Evil: Supernatural and Spooky Works by Latinx Writers

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13 Poetry Books To Sneak Into Your Families Stockings This Christmas

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13 Poetry Books To Sneak Into Your Families Stockings This Christmas

Latinx poetry is passionate, proud, and provocative and for the holiday season, it’s also the perfect gift. The beauty of poetry is that there’s something for everyone and this list is a mix of the best Latinx poems for a multitude of experiences. From folklore to love to family and roots, there’s a poet out there that’s covered it. Here are 13 of the best collections of poems by some of the most acclaimed and empowered poets in the game.

“Loose Woman” by Sandra Cisneros

Instagram @officialsandracisneros

Beloved Mexican writer/poet Sandra Cisneros released this collection in 1995 and it still holds up today. She doesn’t shy away from the erotic or the downright graphic writing in a candid and reflective style. You can expect explicit language and an all-around IDGAF attitude in these poems from one of the fiercest Chicana writers.

Buy it here.

“Virgin” by Analicia Sotelo

Instagram @analiciasotelo

“Virgin” is Analicia Sotelo’s award-winning imaginative debut that fuses autobiography with mythology while tackling aspects of femininity. From the young girl who is hopelessly in love to a modern-day Ariadne with a diverse mix in between, the stories illustrate a multitude of sentiments that women experience at different stages of life and love. Throughout the collection, she refers to folklore, history and even cuisine to deliver her insights on the ways of women.

Buy it here.

“Corazon” by Yesika Salgado

Instagram @yesikastarr

Beloved poet and social media queen Yesika Salgado is known for her raw honesty and “Corazon” exhibits that vulnerability in relation to love. From deep love to heartbreak, Salgado feels it all and lets her heart spill over onto the pages so that you feel the truth in her words. She released a follow up to “Corazon” called “Tesoro” that revolves around similar themes on love particularly the idea of surviving heartbreak. Learn more about “Tesoro” by reading FIERCE’s interview with Salgado.

Buy it here.

“Migrare Mutare” by Rossy Evelin Lima

Instagram @gladytas

Rossy Evelin Lima is an international award-winning Mexican poet and “Migrare Mutare” is her third poetry book published in 2017. She grew up in Veracruz and at the age of 13 emigrated to the U.S. and this collection chronicles her evolution and acclimation as an immigrant. The bilingual collection has been praised for its depiction of the modern-day immigrant.

Buy it here.

“Nostalgia And Borders” by Sonia Guiñansaca

Instagram @thesoniag

“Nostgalgia & Borders” is a chapbook by queer migrant poet Sonia Guiñansaca that paints a vivid image of the migrant experience. Born in Ecuador, she discusses the shift from undocumented to documented and migrant rights.  This is the third reprint of the book and it includes 18 poems.

Buy it here.

“peluda” by Melissa Lozada-Oliva

Instagram @ellomelissa

Melissa Lozada-Oliva went viral with her spoken word poems like “My Spanish” and her poetry collection “peluda” is just as captivating. The book is an exploration of femininity specifically regarding body hair while also touching on family, immigration, Latinidad and class. She’s funny, self-deprecating, blunt, and unapologetically confident, drawing the reader in with her powerful words just as well as she does during her performances on stage. Learn more about her and other talented Guatemalan writers by checking out our roundup.

Buy it here.

“Love, and you” by Gretchen Gomez

Instagram @chicnerdreads

Anyone who has ever been in a toxic relationship will appreciate this achingly honest collection by Boricua poet Gretchen Gomez. In 142 pages she takes you through the devastating lows in the midst of the turmoil of getting out of an unhealthy relationship to the highs of finding self-love. Learn more about her follow-up “Welcome to Ghost Town” by reading Fierce’s interview with Gomez.

Buy it here.

“The Verging Cities” by Natalie Scenters-Zapico

Twitter @nascenters

This debut collection from Natalie Scenter-Zapico straddles the border between sister cities El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. The poems revolve around the drug war violence, border patrol agents, undocumented immigrants, and the trauma of the residents.  Published in 2015, the book has won several awards and her second publication “Lima :: Limón” is set to be released in 2019.

Buy it here.

“Bright Dead Things” by Ada Limón

Twitter @adalimon

In “Bright Dead Things”, Ada Limón examines the formative  moments in life that bring both happiness and heartbreak.  Limón delves into the identity-building experiences as she moves from New York to rural Kentucky including falling in love and losing a beloved parent. Released in 2015, the book was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Buy it here.

“Karankawa” by Iliana Rocha

Twitter @la_ilianarocha

Iliana Rocha’s debut collection “Karankawa” delves into personal histories and the ways in which we can sometimes fill in the blanks to reconstruct memories. The title is inspired by the now-extinct Karankawa Indians whose history worked in omissions. Taking this concept of mythologizing memories, Rocha writes about the burdens and desires  in life. The book won an AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and a Society of Midland Authors Award.

Buy it here.

“The Pink Box” by Yesenia Montilla

Instagram @jessiepoet144

Afro-Caribbean poet Yesenia Montilla’s collection alludes to “the pink box” throughout which is meant to guide the reader through the sensitive subject matter. As the poems progress, it becomes apparent the box is meant to be a vessel through which to discuss the commodification of art made by women and the myths surrounding female artists. The topics she discusses include food, family, race, NYC city life, addiction, and pop culture.

Buy it here.

“Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths” by Elizabeth Acevedo

Instagram @indigonerdFollow

Dominican poet Elizabeth Acevedo’s first poetry collection brings together folklore poetry centering around mythological, historical, gendered, and geographic experiences of a first generation American woman. Alluding to how some exist as “beastly” beings, Acevedo’s characters travel from the Dominican Republic to New York City. This 32-page chapbook is full of homages to Acevedo’s roots, family, and body positivity all in her characteristic passionate and eloquent style.

Buy it here.

“Landscape with Headless Mama” by Jennifer Givhan

Instagram @springeralexis

Mexican-American poet Jennifer Givhan’s award-winning collection, “Landscape with Headless Mama” illustrates what it’s like being a mother battling mental illness. Givhan describes the book as a “surreal survival guide” and incorporates folklore  and Latin American fine art. It views motherhood through the lens of cultural and familial myths incorporating surrealism and magical realism to weave together an achingly honest depiction of motherhood.

Buy it here.

Read: These 13 Books On Self-Care Will Help You Start the New Year Right

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