Great Reads for Hispanic Heritage Month
by Cathy Cooney
In order to include the celebrations of as many Central American, South American and Caribbean independence days as possible, Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15. Celebrate this year by picking up a great book by a Hispanic or Latinx author!
For the horror fans among us, try Mexican-American author Isabel Cañas. Her debut novel, “The Hacienda,” blends Gothic suspense and horror. After her father’s execution during the Mexican War of Independence, Beatriz chooses to marry for safety and convenience. She ends up at her husband’s neglected, remote estate and realizes unfriendly servants are the least of her worries, turning to a local church to help rid the estate of its malevolent supernatural residents.
If you’d prefer something less terrifying with hints of magic, pick up Ecuadorian-American author Zoraida Córdova’s new novel, “The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina.” In the novel, the titular family matriarch summons her extended family home as she lays dying. Her family members gather at her ranch, and four inherit her rumored magical powers. While it would be simple to say it’s a dark mystery with magical realism, really this novel revolves around meditations on grief, family, and both literal and metaphorical inheritance. It sounds like a story about death but ultimately becomes a tale of hope.
Looking for historical fiction? Try Cuban-American author Chanel Cleeton’s “The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba.” This novel follows two fictional women (a Cuban revolutionary and a New York journalist) and historical figure Evangelina Cisneros, who was briefly the most famous woman in New York after her rescue from an infamous Cuban prison on the eve of the Spanish-American War.
My favorites are romance novels, and I can’t wait to pick up “After Hours on Milagro Street” by Mexican-American author Angelina Lopez. Alex moves home to Kansas to revamp her grandmother’s bar, but clashes with Jeremiah, a professor aiming to turn it into a museum. Partially a history of Mexican immigrants on the Great Plains, partially a steamy rivals-to-lovers romance, it stirs together all the ingredients for a fantastic read.
Ames Public Library has all of these titles, and so many more! If you’re not sure where to start, ask one of our staff members for a recommendation or use our Personalized Picks form for a customized list of options just for you. Happy reading!