Most people have a book or two that have greatly impacted their lives. For me, it has always been books written by Latinas with experiences similar to those I grew up with. There is something special about picking up a book written by a Latina that understands your background, your struggles, and your cultura. If you’re looking for more diversity and representation on your bookshelf, look no further.
This list includes some recommendations from our Luz team, as well as some picks made by YOU, our reader.
I Am Diosa: A Journey to Healing Deep, Loving Yourself, and Coming Back Home to Soul by Christine Gutierrez
Psychotherapist Christine Gutierrez guides us through the ins and outs of empowering yourself in a variety of ways. “I Am Diosa” teaches you how to reclaim your inner goddess, invoking her ability to heal piece by piece. Implementing radical self-love and self-care are the name of the game, while also teaching you to overcome trauma to reclaim your own self worth in this mandatory read for anyone being a little hard on themselves lately.
What Would Frida Do? by Arianna Davis
Frida Kahlo remains one of the most powerful figures of feminine power, and author Arianna Davis uses her novel to teach you how to harness that energy into success while exploring the memory of the famed artist. Diving deep into the life of Kahlo, Davis explores not only her vibrant style but her role in politics and art to build what her legacy is today. Learn to live fearlessly and create passionately with this truly inspiring read.
Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera
19-year-old Juliet Palante takes a vacation from her life after getting an internship with her favorite feminist author in Portland, Oregon. After writing an emotional “coming out” letter to her Puerto Rican family in the Bronx, Gabby Rivera’s novel is sure to inspire queer Latinas to be themselves no matter the environment.
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
A favorite by our followers, “Clap When You Land” is the sophomore effort of author Elizabeth Acevedo. Centered around the meeting of worlds when Camino Rios and Yahaira Rios’ father dies in a plane accident on his way to the Dominican Republic to visit Camino over the summer, secrets unfold in this page-turner of a book.
Thriving In The Fight: A Survival Manual for Latinas on the Front Lines of Change by Denise Collazo
A must-read by activist Denise Collazo, you’ll want to pre-order this book if you’re looking for a go-to guide on social justice activism. “Thriving in The Fight” explains the life and advice of Chingona social activist Collazo and the adversity she faced while building a coalition of community organizers with Faith In Action – and how you can follow in her footsteps to not only do the work but thrive while in it!
Once Upon A Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira
Monica Gomez-Hira spins her own telenovela tale set in Miami, featuring Carmen Aguilar as our protagonist. Carmen is just trying to find love while working at an unpaid internship over the summer, performing as a party princess in a stuffy ball gown. From trying to prevent her cousin from ruining her own quince to fending off her ex, Carmen is in for anything but a boring summer. A fun, lighthearted read for all fans of everything both novelas and romcoms, Gomez-Hira’s debut novel is a must-read.
Thirty Talks Weird Love by Alessandra Narváez Varela
A debut book from a Latina author featuring a 13-year-old girl in Mexico meeting her 30-year-old future self? Sign us up! Alessandra Narváez Varela wows us with her upcoming novel based in ‘90s Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, where young Anamaria battles what seems like depression and the mystery of stolen girls in her city. Teaching us about self-care and those around us, “Thiry Talks Weird Love” is a highly anticipated read in 2021.
We asked YOU what books made the biggest difference in your life and here’s what you said:
"With the Fire on High" by Elizabeth Acevedo
"The Affairs of The Falcóns" by Melissa Rivero
"Finding Latinx" by Paola Ramos
"Mommy Tell Me Why Im Radiant: Mami, dime porque soy radiante?" by Sandra Gonzales
"The Undocumented Americans" by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
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