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Latinx Books For People You May Have Forgotten to Buy Gifts For

Shopping for gifts for people you don’t regularly spend time with can be a little overwhelming and stressful. Yes, it’s the season of giving but chances are you’ve gone to the store with the intention of buying the gifts you know your nearest and dearest will love and not a clue as what to give to your catsitter watching your little baby while you’re away for the holidays.. This book gift guide is filled with ideas for those people including your hairdresser, neighbor and your significant other’s little sobrina that they’ll surely love. This mix of contemporary novels and classics is for everybody so beware cause (let’s be real) you may just find some books for yourself here too.

For la jefa who knows all about the hustle

The revised edition of the beloved “The New Latina’s Bible: The Modern Latina’s Guide to Love, Spirituality, Family, and La Vida” by Sandra Guzmán comes nearly a decade after the initial book release that became a must-have guide for Latinas. Emmy award-winning journalist Sandra Guzman knows all about what it takes to be a jefa and the work-life balance having also worked as the editor-in-chief of Latina magazine. Your boss will appreciate the range of topics from family to sex to career, all written in Guzman’s characteristic humor and warmth with a healthy dose of personal wisdom. The updated edition includes chapters on timely topics like abuse, interracial love, and gender identity making it as relevant as it is essential.

Buy it here.

For the office manager who gets sh*t done

Managing money is an issue everyone would appreciate help with and “A Latina’s Guide to Money” by Eva Macias is a lesson on how to get it right. Office managers are obviously familiar with budgets and just how much they can use for those office parties that tend to be the best part of the day. “A Latina’s Guide to Money” by financial expert Eva Macias is specifically written to guide Latinas through the hurdles that are specific to the cultura and the immigrant experience.

Buy it here.

 For the neighborhood pal who is always on the lookout

For the pal who knows all the houses in the neighborhood but really needs to check out la casa on Mango Street. This 1984 classic is a coming of age story about Esperanza Cordero, a teenage Latina, who struggles with her life in a Chicano and Puerto Rican neighborhood of Chicago. The story is about the future she sees for herself and is broken up in vignettes that will make you feel all the feels.

Buy it here.

To your prima  who is always there for a good talk

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Sofia, thank you for you're beautiful words and for reminding me that sharing my life in this way is worth it. It's hard to stay positive in a world that is so troubled, things sometimes seem so bleak. This letter says otherwise. This letter tells me we must continue to fight for love. We must continue to fight for our communities and continue sharing our stories no matter who they make uncomfortable. We belong. We are enough. We are beautiful. #Repost @sofiahaze_ ・・・ Wow, i can honestly say i've never been more devastated after finishing a book, not because of the book itself, but due to the fact that i never wanted it to end. I've read this book in three days and i regret it but at the same time it was impossible for me to stop. I bought it thinking ''Of course i'll like it, it's Diane's book. It'll be good, right?'' Well, i was wrong. This book was not only good, but one of the most eye opening and amazing experiences of my life. Never in my life had i felt my heart beating so fast with every sentence of a book. It was interesting, honest, emotional, funny but the most important thing is that i felt connected and i felt identified with Diane in so many ways. I read this book at a time of my life where i have to choose a path. Where everything is so confusing. Where i don't understand people around me. And worst of all when i'm living a life that i feel as if it didn't fit me. Thanks to this book i've also been able to connect more with my roots and being more understanding with what's happening in the world. My dad was once an undocumented immigrant and was deported. Although i hadn't been born yet, my mom and him were separated and he was back to a latino-american country that wasn't safe for him where he could hear bombs exploding in streets next to his. So, i want to thank the author for changing my life in such a huge way and giving me passion again for what i love (and teaching me not to take anyone's shit anymore). But above all things i want to thank @dianeguerrero_ for making me feel free. I'll forever be grateful ❤ #InTheCountryWeLove

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Actress and immigration activist Diane Guerrero’s heartbreaking story “In The Country We Love: My Family Divided” is about the deportation of her undocumented parents when she was a young girl, is a worthwhile and educational read. Guerrero, whose family is from Colombia, is best known for her roles on Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin and she’s now using her platform to advocate for immigration reform. This one will make whoever you gift it to want to discuss the very important issues in the book.

Buy it here.

Your significant other’s young sobrina/sobrino

Alma and How She Got Her Name” by Juana Martinez-Neal is an endearing children’s book follows Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela’s journey to discovery about her history through the stories behind all six of her names. The message is focused on learning about and loving your roots and familia and even adults can appreciate that message. This is Peruvian Juana Martinez-Neal’s author-illustrator debut with autobiographical elements because let’s be real, most Latinx can relate to Alma.

Buy it here.

For your co-worker who makes the day tolerable

Today’s Inspired Latina Volume III: Life Stories of Success in the Face of Adversity by Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz a  book that is worthwhile for two reasons: 1. It’s full of inspiring stories 2. It’s Volume Three so if they love it (and why wouldn’t they?) there’s more volumes to enjoy. It’s basically the gift that keeps on giving. The anthology features stories about overcoming language barriers, self-doubt and other barriers that may keep you from happiness. Anyone, Latina or otherwise, can appreciate stories of perseverance and success.

La peluquera who knows all about good hair and good gossip

Peinate: Hair Battles Between Latina Mothers & Daughters” edited by Raquel I. Penzo peers into the concept of “pelo malo” permeates Afro-Latinx culture and this book is all about embracing the curls instead of resenting them. Hairdressers with Latinx customers are all too familiar with our varying textures and will appreciate the message and truth behind this collection put together by Dominicana Raquel Penzo. This anthology includes stories, poems, and essays about the battles, insecurities, identity issues, and acceptance revolving around pelo and how it affects family bonds.

Buy it here.

 For the babysitter that’s not your mamá or hermana

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Life-sized. #alamidwinter

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For her debut Young Adult novel, Dominicana Elizabeth Acevedo unleashes her passion for poetry and the healing effects its had through her protagonist, 16-year-old Xiomara Batista. Xiomara struggles with religion and exploring love and freedom of expression. It’s a captivating read written in verse with the same passion she uses to deliver her poems on stage. Learn more about her and other Afro-Latinx writers.

Buy it here.

Your dog walker who deserves a good read

The award-winning “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” by Erika L. Sanchez is already being made into a movie so yeah, it’s that good. The story revolves around Julia as she copes with the death of her sister Olga and her family’s treatment of her and she battles their perceptions of how she should behave to be the “perfect daughter”. It’s a story of discovery filled with poignant humor and revelations that explores the stereotype and pressures of growing up in a Mexican-American home. Learn more about Sanchez and other Mexican-American writers.

Buy it here.

Your significant other’s best friend who loves to cook

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[⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️] Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel . Let’s talk troupes we gravitate toward…Like a moth to a flame I love Love Triangles and I love difficult mother daughter relationships. What does that say about me ???? I have no idea and I don’t really want to know. ???? . LWFC is a family saga set during the Mexican Revolution. It has 2 of my favorite troupes and man oh man is Mamá Elena mean. Though there are serious themes to dissect I find this to be a lighter and fun romance novel. It could be the magical realism paired with the hyperbolic prose, or the focus on food, or the high drama…. . If you are interested in: • classic #latinxlit • challenging family dynamics, focused on women • women who challenge early 20th century convention • an ode to food . . What are some of your favorite troupes? . Have you seen the movie adaption? . . . . . . #reading #read #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #readallthebooks #readwomen #fiction #literature #paperback #womenintranslation #browngirlsread #latinasread #tbr #mustread #booklover #currentlyreading #books #booksintomovies #bookshelf #diversereads #wellreadmujer #bookreview #likewaterforchocolate #mexicanliterature #latinolit #magicalrealism

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In Laura Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate” magical realism classic infuses two things everybody enjoys: food and love. It tells the story of Tita who is pining for her beloved Pedro but is confined to taking care of her mother till she passes. Her passions and feelings are transferred into her food, the only way she’s able to express herself. The book has spawned a movie and series but they pale in comparison to the original which (literally) leaves you hungry for more.  Bonus: it comes with recipes for the meals featured in the book so it’s kinda like two gifts in one!

Buy it here.

For your Lit professor who loves a good read

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"I write, she wrote, that memory is fragile and the space of a single life is brief, passing so quickly that we never get a chance to see the relationship between events; we cannot gauge the consequences of our acts, and we believe in the fiction of past, present, and future, but it may also be true that everything happens simultaneously . . . And now I seek my hatred and cannot seem to find it. I feel its flame going out as I come to understand [its] existence . . . It would be difficult for me to avenge all those who should be avenged, because my revenge would be just another part of the same inexorable rite. I have to break that terrible chain. I want to think that my task is life and that my mission is not to prolong hatred but simply fill these pages " . ~ The house of spirits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .#insta_quotes#writingcommunity #writingcenter #quotes_n_much_more #bookshelves #booksphotography #thehouseofspirits #darkflowers #igflowers #igflower #igflowershot #bookphotographer #booksgeek #bookoftheday#lebanonbooks#insta_lebanon #ourclickdays #clickdynamic #tvstilllife #vscogirl #vscomood #imaginativeuniverse #global_ladies #heart_imprint #ig_shotz_sep18 #flowerz #bookread #bookreaders #كتب#قراءات

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In “The House of Spirits” Isabel Allende creates an epic family saga which has long been considered one of the greatest novels of all time so it’s a no-fail gift to give. It spans generations in the Trueba family exploring love, pain, familial conflict, and obviously, the spirit world. Yes, there’s also a movie the three of you could sit down to enjoy together after he/she finishes the book so it’s a win-win.

Buy it here.

 Your significant other’s mom who will appreciate this ode to la fuerza de mamas

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i have a book. (???? @caban_ichiban) #nycpoetryfestival

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Aja Monet is a Cuban-Jamaican poet and writer based in Brooklyn who released “My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter” in 2017 as an ode to all mothers.  These powerful poems take on racism, sexism, genocide, displacement, heartbreak, and grief, but also love, motherhood, spirituality, and Black joy. It speaks to women who know the struggles and the joys of motherhood and also the greater issues beyond family bonds that enrich and sometimes complicate life. Any mom would appreciate the words that drip with honesty and passion. Learn more about her and other Afro-Latinx poets.

Buy it here.

Read: Gift Guide for the Concha-Lovers in Your Life

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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: Puerto Rican Author Lilliam Rivera Discusses Upcoming YA Latinx Feminist Novel


Latina Reads: Puerto Rican Author Lilliam Rivera Discusses Upcoming YA Latinx Feminist Novel

Lilliam Rivera has written two novels featuring strong Latinx female characters including her latest Dealing in Dreams. The Puerto Rican YA author released The Education of Margot Sanchez in 2017, a romantic coming of age story set in South Bronx that explored family dysfunction and the importance of being true to yourself. Born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, Rivera penned the ode to her hometown after relocating to Los Angeles. The book was nominated for the 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adult Fiction by the Young Adult Library Services Association and Rivera has also been awarded fellowships from PEN Center USA, A Room Of Her Own Foundation, and received a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation and the Speculative Literature Foundation.

In Dealing in Dreams, Rivera takes readers on the kind of fantasy adventure she imagines her teenage self would’ve wanted to read. The feminist dystopic novel is clearly influenced by Latinx culture following the adventures of sixteen-year-old Nalah and her all-girl crew Las Mal Criadas and her dreams of escaping Mega City to the exclusive Mega Towers. Read on to learn about the strong Latinx women in the book, why she chose to portray toxic femininity, and how immigration came into play. The book will be out March 5 and she’ll be talking at bookstores throughout the U.S.

The story focuses on an all-girl crew, can you tell me more about Las Mal Criadas and how you developed these characters?

Nalah is the sixteen-year-old leader of Las Mal Criadas, an all-girl crew who patrol the streets of Mega City. They are notoriously fierce but Nalah is wary of the violent life. She believes the way off the streets is securing a home in the exclusive Mega Towers where her leader Déesse lives. She’ll do anything to reach that goal. I wrote a draft of Dealing In Dreams six years ago and Nalah came to me first. I had just given birth to my second daughter and there were people, mostly women, who remarked how my dream of being a published author would have to be placed on hold. Rage can be a great incentive for generating art. I refuse to be pigeonholed. I wrote this draft while taking care of a newborn and I put it away for six years, workshopping a chapter here and there, until a year ago when I returned to the manuscript and still felt its relevance.

Can you describe Mega City and the Mega Towers and their significance in the story?

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I based the concept of the Mega Towers on the housing projects I grew up in the South Bronx. The Twin Park West Housing Projects is a U-shaped structure connected by three buildings. With the Bronx slowly being gentrified I could just imagine how these buildings will soon be so desirable for those in power. In Dealing In Dreams, the towers are the only structure that survived the Big Shake, a man-made disaster caused by drilling. The Mega Towers is where the elite live and it’s where Nalah believes she can secure a home for her crew if she plays by this society’s rules. There are a couple of hints that Mega City is the Bronx but only a person from there would discover those Easter eggs.

The book is being described as a feminist Latinx dystopia and The Outsiders meets Mad Max so suffice it to say it’s a fierce book, how would you describe it to someone who is unfamiliar with the genre? 

I would describe Dealing In Dreams as a young adult book about a girl who grew up in a violent world and must decide if that path is truly her only salvation to a better life.

There is a very clear Latinx influence in the city and characters, why was that important to you?

@lilliamr / Instagram

I grew up reading so many science fiction and fantasy novels (Ray Bradbury, George Orwell…) and didn’t see any of my people in them. Where were the Puerto Rican girls from the Bronx crushing monsters? The same holds true of current films. I love Star Wars and have watched it hundreds of times but how amazing is it that my kids get to see Oscar Isaac being a part of the Star Wars canon? The future I envision in my novels is very brown and very black, just like my upbringing. I want to write Latinx characters that are flawed and heroic, who fall in love and discover their voice.

This is your second time writing a teenage Latinx protagonist, why is it important to you to tell these stories through the lens of a Latina?

These are the type of stories I craved for when I was young, desperately trying to connect with protagonists in novels. I think there’s more than enough room in bookstores and libraries for different Latina stories.

You take toxic masculinity and flip it to women instead, what was your intent in doing this?

There’s this great image of activist Angela Peoples taken during the Women’s March. Angela holds up a sign that reads “Don’t Forget: White Women Voted for Trump.” I thought of that image when I was rewriting the novel. I also kept thinking of how our own people will gladly throw us under the bus in order to secure a place beside someone in power. Sometimes our own family are quick to lead us to destruction. I wanted to explore those two realities in Dealing In Dreams.

What are some of the main concepts you wanted to tackle when you wrote this book and why?

I was thinking of books I’ve read that inspired me as a young person such as Anthony Burgess A Clockwork Orange and S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. I was drawn to their violence and also to the idea of formed families. I wanted to explore this idea of blood family versus the family you create but I wanted to come from the point of view of a Latina.

The idea of finding a better home is a concept that’s all too real for many Latinx in the US, was it a conscious decision to have Nalah’s journey mirror the immigrant experience in a sense?

@lilliamr / Instagram

The quest for home is so rooted in my family’s history. My parents left Puerto Rico to find a better home in New York. Each decision they made, however hard, was made with the intention of providing us with the tools to succeed. Almost everyone who wants to enter the United States come with that hope. There’s an amazing painting by the artist Judithe Hernández titled “La Muerte De Los Inocentes” and it is of a child who clutches a ribbon that states: “We come but to dream.” I feel that painting really captures Nalah’s journey and the journey of so many who come to the U.S. searching for a better life.

There’s a lot of action in this book, what was it like writing those scenes featuring all women?

I had the best time writing those scenes! I think it’s so rare to see young women owning their strength on the page and not being afraid to use it. I love that my characters are unapologetic about it. I also didn’t want to give the reader a chance to rest, to think of putting the book down, so I tried to inject as much action as I could.

What do you want readers to take away from Dealing in Dreams?

I want readers to be transported to a place that looks at times familiar and completely new. I want Nalah, Truck, Nena and the rest of Las Mal Criadas to leave an imprint on the readers long after they read the last page.

Read: YA Writer Tehlor Kay Mejia’s Debut Fantasy Book is a Feminist Story of Forbidden Love and Oppression

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