Growing up, I buried myself in book after book because it was how I came alive, how I escaped into other worlds, and how I learned about different kinds of people. As I grew older, however, I had less and less time to read for pleasure. During school, there were too many reading assignments for me to take on anything for myself except for during the summers. Then, as my career began, I was busy rockin’ it and advancing to really do much reading for fun — until I discovered audiobooks a year ago and became obsessed.
There are so many reasons to love audiobooks. For one, they can be there on Sundays while you’re doing chores, they are also a great way to learn something new am while running errands or heading to work.
If you’re looking to add a bit more literature to your life while you’re on the go, here are 12 audiobooks by Latina authors you’ll love.
1. Getting Off: One Woman’s Journey Through Sex and Porn Addiction by Erica Garza
I admit it: This book made me blush a LOT but it was an absolutely incredible, revealing read. Erica Garza’s tale of sex and porn addiction, read by Joy Osmanski, was definitely one to behold. The Mexican-American author recounts everything from her early trials into masturbation to meeting the man who eventually became her husband and everything in between. Maybe just don’t listen to this one with anyone else around…
2. American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures by America Ferrera
This essay collection, which was put together by none other than America Ferrera, is full of interesting and intense tales by Americans who have been raised with more than one background — such as Wilmer Valderrama (who is Venezuelan-American), Diane Guerrero (who is Colombian-American and whose own book appears on this list), Laurie Hernandez (who is Puerto Rican). The book is primarily read by America Ferrera with various guest-authors reading their own words.
3. Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction by Elizabeth Vargas
As someone who suffers from anxiety and is also an alcoholic, Elizabeth Vargas’ memoir touched me deeply. Reading about her slowly increasing alcohol intake, how she dealt with it while also having a successful career at ABC, and all of the steps she took to heal since was incredible. I especially loved reading them in her own voice, since her calm tone really adds an extra dimension to the piece.
4. In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burford
Diane Guerrero’s memoir is a touching story of her separation from her parents and one that has moved me deeply. It is especially heartbreaking to read it again, now, with stories of so many children being separated from their families today. Guerrero has been a champion for immigrant rights and, in this book read by her, it is especially poignant today.
5. Once Upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA by Julia Alvarez
If you had a quinceañera while living in the U.S., then you can probably relate to this wonderful non-fiction book by the well-known author Julia Alvarez. Although you might primarily know her from her fiction (like How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents), this book read by actress Daphne Rubin-Vega is definitely a must-read for any little Latina girl who grew up in America.
6. Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (with Great Hair) by Rosie Perez
Rosie Perez is hysterical and her memoir is hysterical in kind. It is a detailing of her life (and her obsession with her hair — which I admit is totally great). Thankfully, she reads this memoir herself, which definitely makes the book an A+ in my book. Her wisdom for having an “unpredictable life” is definitely something that you’ll love, too.
7. My (Underground) American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive by Julissa Arce
You may have heard of Julissa Arce back when this book came out a few years ago. If not, then you are hopefully hearing about her now, with the recent publication of her second memoir, Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought for Her American Dream. It’s a timely topic but, unfortunately, doesn’t have an audiobook yet. However, her first book, which is read by her, is just as great and definitely deserves a read in the meantime.
8. The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body by Cameron Diaz with Sandy Rustin
There is absolutely no denying that Cuban-American actress Cameron Diaz looks absolutely amazing for her age. If you’ve ever wanted to know her secrets, then look no further than this book. She has a sequel, too, but this is a great one to start with. Although the sequel speaks more to longevity (and how exactly she looks so amazing!), this one, read by Diaz and her co-author, is a fantastic primer in everything that you need to know about your body.
9. My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
You’ll see Moreno’s name here again, but for now, all you need to know is that she reads Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir — and that is just a powerhouse combo that you won’t be able to resist. If you’ve ever wanted to be inspired by someone’s story and rise in politics, then this is your next big read. It’s a bit difficult to read in the current political climate, but still an inspirational book that might have you crying once or twice.
10. A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoir by Daisy Hernandez
Daisy Hernandez reads her memoir in this thrilling audiobook version. Her coming-of-age tale as a queer Latina (she’s Colombian-Cuban) is definitely one that you will want to read. This lyrical memoir is absolutely wonderful and a bit different than a lot of the books on this list. This wonder is a book that I can wholeheartedly recommend for this list.
11. Rita Moreno: A Memoir by Rita Moreno
Do you know how absolutely amazing Rita Moreno is? This memoir written and read by the author is something that you should run out and get ASAP (or, you know, order online and download). It’s the story of her life, her rise in Hollywood, and what it is like to be a Latina in Hollywood. It’s a pretty intriguing read, honestly, and definitely, a fun look at the golden age of Hollywood.
12. Almost a Woman by Esmeralda Santiago
Esmeralda Santiago is no stranger to writing memoir. Most will know her best for her book When I Was Puerto Rican — but that doesn’t make our list since there’s no audiobook version if it (though it’s definitely still worth picking up). This is another of her memoirs and one about what it is like to become a woman. Her journey into womanhood is one that you will relate to and that will delight you for years to come. Because trust me, you’ll be rereading this one.