Latinx Books on My Shelf


Hey y’all! My name is Priscilla and
welcome back to my channel! Today I’m going to be doing a
Latinx books on my shelf video. So this is a sort of a TBR.
Sort of a haul. It’s a video that I am just going
to be talking to you about books that I’m excited about that I actually
own on my shelves. Latinx Heritage Month is actually
coming to an end but of course you can read these
books any time of the year. And I guess this is
sort of a video where I’m going to be real with you and also trying
to hold myself accountable and actually getting to some of
these books this next year. This video was inspired by a
video I saw over on Roxanne’s channel called The Novel Sanctuary
where she talked about the fantasy books on her shelves. So let’s go ahead
and get into it. 🎶 Intro Instrumental 🎶 So the first book is a book that
was actually gifted to me by Penguin and that was like
the first time a publisher reached out to me.
And I was really excited to get it. So I got Cantoras
by Carolina De Robertis. This is a historical fiction novel
and it has five queer women. It follows five women in
Uruguay, I believe. This is already where I’m
gonna be failing about this book. Yes in Uruguay.
And this is an author that I have read other historical fiction
by so I’m really excited to get to this story.
It’s also been very well received. I know that in particular
Perpetual Pages Adriana and Lupita over at Lupita.reads
on Instagram have been really hyping this book up. And I’m really excited
to get to it. Next up I have The Cuban Affair
by Nelson DeMille. This is a Cuban story.
That’s really all I know about it. This was gifted to me by
Yvette a year ago in a video that I still haven’t read
many books from. So I should probably get to it. I believe this is a story about
a uh Cuban immigrant that is now residing in Florida.
And it’s sort of looking back and discussing the Cuban
American experience of his life. About the Castro political thing
that is happening there and I think Yvette
picked it out mostly for the cover. Which is also kind of why
I want to read it. It’s got some really interesting
maps in it so there’s that. And yeah. It’s one of
those hefty books that’s been sitting on my shelves
and I’ve been ignoring. The next thing I have is
The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz from 1957 to 1987. This is a very um
well-known Mexican poet. I’ve actually started some of
these- and also apparently Nobel laureate- but I’ve
actually started some of these. I haven’t worked my way
through all of them and this looks like a much chunkier
book that I think it really is because it’s one of those
books that has the dual language. The English and Spanish
translations or the Spanish and English translations.
I really love his work. He’s one of the best known
poets from the 20th century in Latin America.
Most well renowned and I should read more of
his work more often. But I’ve done- I’ve dipped in and
out of this but I want to actually finish it.
So the next book that I have to talk about is Everyone
Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester.
This is a Mexican-American author writing about the
Mexican-American experience. This book starts on her
wedding day, the main character’s wedding day, when
the ghost of her father shows up. And I think it’s a story of
redemption and forgiveness. And about how those things,
if not resolved, can eat away at the love and
connection of a family. And it takes place in a Texas
town so… so many reasons why I should definitely get
to this pretty soon. Next up I have Lotería a
middle-grade novel, I believe, by Mario Alberto Zambrano. And it’s a story that
was- I was drawn to obviously because of the cover, right?
Um lotería is such a cornerstone to, I think, Mexican culture.
To family gatherings and that’s why I really want to read this. I think I was turned off by this
by some of the negative reviews that I actually read on Goodreads.
So I really wanted to separate myself from those reviews.
I really love this because uh dispersed throughout they
include stories that have all the different Lotería cards.
So that’s super unique. Super special to me, obviously.
And yeah another book I should read. Next up I have The Iliac Crest and
this is written by Cristina Rivera Garza. It’s a translated work from
spanish to english translated by Sarah Booker.
I believe this is an author that is a Mexican author.
I haven’t actually read her work but I’ve definitely hauled
their-their work in a many video. And it’s supposed to be a
very lyrical sort of um haunting story. So in this it says it’s a
dark stormy night and the unnamed narrator is visited by two
very strange women and it kind of takes off from there. That’s really all I want
to know about it. It’s the kind of book that I
think is more of an experience than a uh plot driven-y kind of book. So yeah I should definitely read
some more of her books- her works because I definitely
um slack when it comes to reading translated fiction.
So this is one that I should read uh that’s translated. Next up let’s talk about
some more poetry. So I got to this book which I
still didn’t look up how to pronounce. So there’s the title and it is
uh poems by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo. This is a work of poetry from
a Mexican immigrant. It is stories that are all about
the Mexican immigrant experience. And I think in this particularly
this is stories that are about the experience of
crossing the border and what it was like before and
after that journey. And I read the first poem in
this when I bought it at a bookstore in Denver
and completely fell in love. But then went on my bookshelf
and I never picked it up again. But I think that my uh heart has
felt very heavy with a lot of the stories of immigration lately. Especially some revolving
Mexicans in Texas and things like that that have just really
made it hard for me to pick this up. But once I have more of a clear
head I definitely want to read this. Next up I have Pocho by José
and I always have trouble saying that last name.
But this is apparently a classic in Mexican literature
that I found in a used bookstore. There goes the receipt. And it’s a story about a young
boy that is called “Pocho” which is a derogatory
term to refer to, I believe, it’s Mexicans, specifically but it might be Latinx
folks that live in the US and that go back to Mexico
and are sort of like grin-gringo like Americanized?
So it’s kind of an aged term. I don’t hear it as much really.
Um at least I don’t hear it as much here but that might be my
bias living in the United States. And that’s why I really wanted
to read this. It’s about um this young boy’s
life whose parents come from Mexico. It takes place during the
Depression era [in] California. Yeah it just sounds like it’s a very
influential classic in literature that I should at least give a
try one day and read. Next up I have Dangerous
Speech: A History- A Social History of Blasphemy in Colonial Mexico
this is written by Javier Villa-Flores. I’ve always been interested
in history of Mexicans of Latin America from that perspective
and not from the white perspective. Which is the perspective that I’ve
gained mostly through college through schooling and my education. Definitely a gap in my
education that I want to fill on my own time but um that
I struggle to fill in my own time because nonfiction history is
some of the hardest nonfiction for me to really grasp onto
and to really work my way through mostly because it’s so disheartening
because it’s horrible to read about the tragedy that has
been inflicted by colonizers on my people. So uh something
that I should read at some point. But- so I think that this is
really about the uh Spanish Inquisition and the specific religious overtones
and um blasphemy that was taught on the indigenous
peoples of Mexico. It speaks a lot about the sin and
the shame that was perpetuated through language
and through missionaries. A really tough horrifying story
about the Catholic Church and of the Spanish Inquisition.
So something that I should get to at some point.
Next up another history book. In that same vein, I have
The Broken Spears which is the Aztec Account of the
Mexican Conquest by Miguel León-Portilla.
And this is- also edited and I think translated even though the
translators are never put on the front. Oh yeah translated by Lysander Kemp
huh. Guadalajara, Mexico? Cool. So this is a story that takes the
Aztec uh written work and includes it all together to
weave a history of the Spanish Inquisition and um conquest of
these peoples in Mexico. And again I think that that history
of uh conquistadors and the- Um it’s very centered on the
white men that actually did all these horrible crimes on
indigenous peoples. A lot of that focus and lens of
history is from the conquistadors because they are the ones writing
the books and um that’s the history books that we have today.
So uh this was a book that I was really interested in reading but
haven’t found the right headspace to get to.
I think that this is gonna be a common theme. So I think this
is an important book on passing on oral traditions and
written traditions focusing the indigenous peoples in this history. So let’s shift gears and talk
a little bit about some poetry. I have Virgin by Analicia Sotelo. She is a poet
from Houston, Texas. So I remember Jaclyn over at
Six minutes for me actually spoke about her first
and that’s when I went and bought her work.
And I don’t know exactly what these poems were about.
That was really enough for me to pick this up.
I’m pretty sure these have a lot of feminist themes.
And I hope that it will examine the machismo in that culture.
And of the importance of self-preservation and not falling
in to a lot of the stereotypical constraints that are placed on
women in Latinx culture. I read the first book- um poem
in this it was about a wedding day and how the traditions are
set in that and how those play on virginity and
on subjugating women. So uh I know that I’m gonna like
this once I actually pick it up. Next step I have Tesoro by
Yesika Salgado. This is another poetry collection.
This time from a Salvadorian American poet.
I read the first in this I think, uh trilogy of poetry
that she is putting out called Corazón. This is the next one in that trilogy.
So obviously want to continue on and read the others.
Another beautiful cover! The third one is called Hermosa
that just recently came out. That one also has a beautiful
cover so once I finished this- moving on to that naturally.
And according to the back this is a story of family survival
and the formative power of the women in Salgado’s life.
So gotta read this at some point. Ok we’re coming up on the end! Next up I have Poso Wells.
This is by Gabriela Alemán and it’s translated from the
Spanish by Dick Clo-Cluster? Cluster?? Cluster!
This is a book that I picked up purely on the
recommendation by Rio de la Luz. Rios de la Luz wrote Itzá
which was the Latinxathon group b-book from last year.
And during her Q&A she recommended one of-
this is one of the books that she recommended.
It says in the back that this is a somewhat political thriller,
somewhat absurdist literary mixture. So this is a story
about some women that are disappearing in the midst of
a presidential electoral campaign. And one day these officials go
to the small town where these people are disappearing.
These women are disappearing and they are electrocuted.
The next person in line for the presidency also disappears and
then a journalist takes up this story and is found in the ravish
underworld of the mystery that is involved in all these
disappearing people. Um if this is anything like
the style of Itzá it’s probably a very lyrical, very atmospheric
sort of story and I’m interested in reading more stories like that. Especially if Rios de la Luz
is recommending it. Okay so next up I have my first
owned version of a[n] Isabel Allende. Isabel Allende is a very well-known
Latinx historical fiction writer. She has so many books and I
have The House of the Spirits. All that I know about this is
that it is a story that follows three generations of a single family
through all of the tragedies in that family. And I’ve read some
of Allende’s work. I started another story and I
can’t member the title of it, but I’ll put it here. I love the way she writes historical
fiction and I need to read more of it.
So I picked up this one because it seems to be
a very well liked one that I will probably want to keep
on my shelves after I finish reading it. This is a story that I think
is going to be spanning decades that follows a girl that has a
forbiddnen love story. There’s a lot of really high
praise for it so I’m looking forward to diving in. So next up I have a
historical romance. This is the last book in this
and this is called Shame the Stars by Guadalupe Garcia McCall.
This is another book that Yvette gifted me because Yvette
is the best sister in the world. And this is a story that follows a
Latinx women in Texas during the
Mexican Revolution, I believe. Yes. So it takes place in the early
1900s and it’s in a small town in Texas during the Mexican Revolution. So that’s all I really know about it. That’s all I really need to know
about it but I’m excited to read this one as well.
Okay, so that’s is all that I have to talk about
in this video. That’s quite a few books and it’s
gonna take me some time to work through them all.
But I just wanted to share that with you in case I hadn’t talked
about some of these books and this may be your
first time hearing about them. If you saw any books in
this video that you are maybe more interested in or
interested in before, please let me know in the comments down below.
I would love to hear from you about Latinx books and
talk more about them. But that’s all I have
for this video. So thank you so much
for watching and I hope to catch you in
the next one. Bye! 🎶 Outro Instrumental 🎶

4 thoughts on “Latinx Books on My Shelf

  1. Everyone Knows You Go Home has such a stunning cover and sounds so good!
    The Broken Spears also sounds really interesting. Yeah there's some nonfiction I keep meaning to get to but never seem to be in the right headspace for!
    I read a middle grade/YA series by Isabel Allende a long time ago and really enjoyed it and I keep meaning to try some of her other work! I really want to try the one Taylor recommended as part of your Latinx recommendations video!

  2. Wow that’s a big collection. I read The House of Spirits a while ago but remember really enjoying it. The covers of Tesoro, Corazón and Hermosa are gorgeous!! Over here we use “pocho” to make fun of ourselves when we speak in Spanish and English in the same sentence.

  3. What a wonderful stack of books. I had not heard about some of these and it makes me whant to know what Latinx books everyone else has on their shelves.

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