Read with CU Management’s editor and publisher.
This week starts Hispanic Heritage Month and that means it’s time to get our “To Be Read” shelves organized.
The Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15-Oct. 15 celebrates the contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
I’ll say it again: I love to read. Reading is my favorite. Would you like to read along with me this month? Here’s what’s on my list.
I just finished an excellent book in translation by Mexican author Sofía Segovia called The Murmur of Bees. It takes place against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish Flu and follows the Morales family, whose fate changes when they find an abandoned infant on their property. The baby is disfigured and covered by a blanket of bees, leading some locals to believe he is a sign of bad things to come. But the family takes him in and loves him as their own. The child has a special bond with the bees, who surround him his whole life and give him a sort of magic so he can foretell the future. At almost 500 pages, it’s not short but I devoured this one in the span of a week.
Next up is Family Lore by Dominican-American author and poet Elizabeth Acevedo. This is her first novel for adults, and I had to have it because I have adored her young adult novels, including The Poet X. Like The Murmur of Bees, this book has elements of magical realism. The story follows the women of the Marte family, including Flor, who can predict the day when someone will die. When she decides to throw herself a living-wake, her family questions whether she has foreseen her own death or someone else’s. I’m going to start reading it this week. Let me know if you are too!
But first I’m opening Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I love reading witchy and spooky books at this time of year, and this seems like it will be perfect. Montserrat is a horror-film-loving sound editor in 1990s Mexico City, where she’s not getting the work she needs because she doesn’t fit into the boys’ club of the film industry. The publisher promises “a dark thriller about the curse that haunts a legendary lost film—and awakens one woman’s hidden powers.”
I have absolutely loved Moreno-Garcia’s previous books, including Gods of Jade and Shadow, Mexican Gothic and the Daughter of Doctor Moreau. Gods of Jade and Shadow, which is part fairytale and part Mayan mythology, was one of my favorite reads of 2020.
One more in the fantasy/magical-realism genre: Lobizona by Argentinian-American Romina Garber. This young adult novel is the first in a series about a magical school for werewolves and witches.
If magical realism, fantasy and horror are not to your liking, try one of these instead:
- Solito: A Memoir by Javier Zamora is about his migration from El Salvador to the U.S. at the age of 9 so he could be reunited with his parents.
- A Caribbean Heiress in Paris by Adriana Herrera is the first in a romance series that follows a group of friends who travel to the Paris World Fair in 1889.
- Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity, which is by journalist Paola Ramos.
- Nuestra América: 30 Inspiring Latinas/Latinos Who Have Shaped the United States by Sabrina Vourvoulias is an anthology from the Smithsonian Latino Center.
- Gordo by Jaime Cortez is a collection of short stories set in a migrant workers camp near Watsonville, California, in the 1970s.
- Cantoras by Carolina de Robertis follows a group of female friends living in totalitarian Uruguay in the 1970s.
Find my previous book and resource lists:
- Celebrate Black History Month with These Recommendations from CUES Staff
- What We’re Reading for Women’s History Month
- Books to Read During AAPI Month
- Dive Into Pride Learning
Theresa Witham is VP/publications and publisher at CUES.