The 20 Best Books by Latinx Authors You’ll Want to Read Right Now

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From memoirs to noir and YA to essays, these books feature fresh perspectives and diverse voices—and you won't be able to put them down!

Looking for some amazing new reading material? If the following books by Latinx authors aren’t on your radar, they should be—and not just during Hispanic Heritage Month. Some of them were written by famous Hispanic Americans who are known for crafting incredible stories for and about the Latinx community. Others are by newcomers with compelling voices and fascinating perspectives. Whether love drama, romance, horror, or self-help, there’s something on this list for you.

Trust us: Once you pick up these books, you won’t be able to put them down. You’ll also be supporting the community beyond simply eating Latin foods (though the cuisine is lovely and you should definitely enjoy it!), as well as learning more about the different cultures within it. To that end, you’ll also want to know the difference between the terms Hispanic, Latino, and Latinx and when to use them. That said, whether you are a member of the community, want to know more, or are just looking for a great new book, you’re in the right place. Happy reading!

Funeral for Flaca by Emilly Prado

Funeral For Flaca By Emilly Pradovia amazon.com

Released this past summer, Funeral for Flaca is a coming-of-age essay collection that offers a glimpse into the author’s life as a Chicana growing up during the late ’90s in the White ‘burbs of Portland and the Bay Area. Throughout the memoir, Prado shows how she constantly reinvented herself (from preppy to chola to punk) while experiencing and surviving rejection and relationships, assault and acceptance, accompanied by playlists and plenty of heart.

Highlights:

  • Audiophiles will appreciate Prado’s nods to music throughout the book
  • Perfect for memoir lovers

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Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican Gothic By Silvia Moreno Garciavia amazon.com

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Mexican Gothic yet, now is the time—you’ll definitely want to read it before Hulu releases its limited series based on the horror novel. Set in the 1950s, the New York Times best seller revolves around Noemí Taboada, a young debutante bent on saving her newlywed cousin from an unknown threat.

Highlights:

  • Fans of gothic horror will be especially hooked
  • Named one of the best books of 2020 by NPR, the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and more

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Mango, Mambo, and Murder by Raquel V. Reyes

Mango Mambo And Murder By Raquel V. Reyesvia amazon.com

Cuban-American author Raquel V. Reyes taps into her heritage and love of sleuthing in this delightful debut mystery novel set in Miami. When a food anthropologist and budding Cuban cooking show star witnesses a suspicious death at a luncheon, she’s pulled into figuring out just who was behind the murder—and her best friend ends up being a prime suspect.

Highlights:

  • Mystery fans will instantly be pulled into this one
  • You’ll learn more about Cuban food and culture

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For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts by Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez

For Brown Girls With Sharp Edges And Tender Hearts By Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguezvia amazon.com

Latina Rebels founder Prisca Dorcas Mojia Rodriguez invites women of color to challenge the status quo and find pride within themselves in this powerful new book. The Nicaraguan author and activist tackles racism, colorism, classism, the immigrant experience, and more in ways that are honest, relatable, refreshing, and inspiring.

Highlights:

  • A must-read for women and femmes of color who know they deserve more
  • Also a must-read for White allies

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Running by Natalia Sylvester

Running By Natalia Sylvestervia amazon.com

This YA novel by Peruvan-born Natalia Sylvester tells the story of a Cuban-American teen in Miami who begins to view her father in a different light when he begins the process of running for president—and it’s not a good look. It’s engaging and educating, with plenty of great lessons in civic duty and activism.

Highlights:

  • Geared toward 7th to 9th graders
  • Highly enjoyable for anyone who loves young adult novels

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Martita, I Remember You by Sandra Cisneros

Martita I Remember You By Sandra Cisnerosvia amazon.com

Best-selling Chicana author Sandra Cisneros is back with a brand-new gem about a young woman who sets off to start her life as a writer in Paris but ends up panhandling, partying, and making lifelong friends along the way. Booklist described it as “vivid, tender, funny, bittersweet, and haunting” while Publisher’s Weekly says that fans will treasure Cisneros’ latest novel.

Highlights:

  • It’s a dual-language book written in English and Spanish
  • A lovely pick for those who love reading about friendships

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Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Velvet Was The Night By Silvia Moreno Garciavia amazon.com

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s latest offering is a New York Times Editor’s Choice set in 1970s Mexico City. The novel follows Maite, a secretary with a penchant for reading romance stories whose life is rocked when her mysterious art student neighbor Leonora goes missing. As Maite begins searching for Leonora, she uncovers a secret life, without realizing she herself is being watched. Here are more of the best new fiction books to read this year.

Highlights:

  • Described as a “treat for lovers of noir”
  • Fans of Mexican Gothic will adore it

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Living Color: Angie Rubio Stories by Donna Miscolta

Living Color Angie Rubio Stories By Donna Miscoltavia amazon.com

In Living Color, we follow the trials and tribulations of Angie Rubio, an awkward, introverted Mexican-American girl growing up in California in the 1960s and ’70s. Filipino-Mexican-American author Donna Miscolta’s book spans girlhood for Brown girls in a White world, from training bras to high school proms, in a candid, heartfelt way.

Highlights:

  • Winner of a Next Generation Indie Award for Best Multicultural Fiction and finalist for the International Latino Book Award for Best Collection of Stories
  • A fun read for fans of historical fiction and coming-of-age stories

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Chica, Why Not? How to Live with Intention and Manifest a Life That Loves You Back by Sandra Hinojosa Ludwig

Chica Why Not How To Live With Intention And Manifest A Life That Loves You Back By Sandra Hinojosa Ludwigvia amazon.com

The self-help industry is full of White folks dispensing advice from a position of high privilege. It’s a genre that rarely sees books by Latinx authors, which is why Mexican-American author Sandra Hinojosa Ludwig’s new book is a welcome breath of fresh (and diverse) air. In this easy-to-read text, you’ll find lessons on how to live a more intentional life and how to make time and space for your goals, alongside relatable personal anecdotes about the unique challenges facing Latinas everywhere.

Highlights:

  • A must for self-help fans who don’t want another White cis-man’s advice
  • Plenty of exercises included to help you organize your thoughts and dreams

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Chola Salvation by Estella González

Chola Salvation By Estella Gonzalezvia amazon.com

This short story collection by Estella González perfectly portrays life growing up in East L.A. and the challenges faced by the marginalized folks who reside there. From bizarre but magical encounters with Frida Kahlo and La Virgen de Guadalupe to the struggles of figuring out one’s sexuality, to the internal battle of colorism and self-hate from teen girls, you’ll find something special in each story.

Highlights:

  • Excellent choice for anyone who digs a good short story
  • Currently has 4.75 out of 5 stars on Goodreads

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Speculative Fiction for Dreamers, Edited by Alex Hernandez, Sarah Rafael García, and Matthew David Goodwin

Speculative Fiction For Dreamers Edited By Alex Hernandez Sarah Rafael Garcia And Matthew David Goodwinvia amazon.com

In this fascinating soon-to-be-released anthology, dreamers and DREAMers bring to life Latinx-centered short stories that include everything from time travel to curanderas (healers) to chupacabras and everything in between. It features stories by Pedro Iniguez, Eliana Buenrostro, Grisel Y. Acosta, Roxanne Ocasio, Daniel Parada, and others. For a different type of compelling read, find out why it took one woman over 25 years to embrace her Latinx identity.

Highlights:

  • Stellar samplings from a variety of authors
  • Geared toward teens and adults

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Run, Little Chaski! An Inka Trail Adventure by Mariana Llanos

Run Little Chaski An Inka Trail Adventure By Mariana Llanosvia amazon.com

This adorable children’s picture book by Peruvian author Mariana Llanos follows a character named Little Chaski trying to get a message to the Inka king. Beautifully illustrated by Mariana Ruiz Johnson, this book is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection and can be purchased in English and Spanish.

Highlights:

  • Best for younger readers (ages 4 through 8)
  • A great way to introduce children to history and the Inka Empire

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The Crafty Chica Creates by Kathy Cano-Murillo

The Crafty Chica Creates By Kathy Cano Murillovia amazon.com

Popular Latina crafter Kathy Cano-Murillo (aka The Crafty Chica) is set to release a new book later this fall that includes tons of fun, sparkly, Latinx-centric crafts for readers to follow and enjoy. Learn to make a hanging sacred heart sculpture, a stamped clay dish, a hand-stitched journal, and more in this wonderful how-to book.

Highlights:

  • Fun for all ages (though young crafters may need help from adults)

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My Broken Language by Quiara Alegría Hudes

My Broken Language By Quiara Alegria Hudesvia amazon.com

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes makes magic once more by penning a brilliant and poetic memoir of growing up in Philadelphia, from her childhood days to her college days, while perfectly capturing the nuances of her Puerto Rican family. Her In The Heights co-writer Lin-Manuel Miranda has said of Hudes’ latest endeavor: “Her sentences will take your breath away.”

Highlights:

  • Was chosen as a Good Morning America Buzz Pick
  • “Every line of this book is poetry,” says journalist and author Maria Hinojosa of Hudes’ memoir

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Zonia’s Rain Forest by Juana Martinez-Neal

Zonias Rain Forest By Juana Martinez Nealvia amazon.com

Little Zonia (an Asháninka girl) lives in the Amazon, where she spends her days communing with the rain forest and its inhabitants—that is, until the day the rain forest calls to Zonia with a problem. Written and illustrated by Caldecott Honor and Robert F. Sibert Medal winner Juana Martinez-Neal, this special book will win over children and caregivers alike.

Highlights:

  • A charming read for young readers ages 4 through 8
  • Includes a translation of the story in Asháninka, as well as additional information about the Asháninka community and the Amazon rainforest

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Eat the Mouth That Feeds You by Carribean Fragoza

Eat The Mouth That Feeds You By Carribean Fragozavia amazon.com

Carribean Fragoza’s debut short story collection is one of the most highly anticipated books by Latinx authors this year. At times dark and twisted, at others dreamy and surreal, the book features stories from Latinx, Chicanx, and immigrant perspectives you won’t soon forget. It just may become one of the best short story collections of all time.

Highlights:

  • A starred review from Kirkus Reviews
  • Great for lovers of short stories and horror

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A Lot Like Adiós by Alexis Daria

A Lot Like Adios By Alexis Dariavia amazon.com

National best-selling author Alexis Daria is at it again with another sultry romance about Michelle, a graphic designer with major commitment issues, and the handsome best friend she thought she’d lost for good who’s finally back in town. A great new installment in the Puerto Rican author’s Primas of Power series.

Highlights:

  • Romance lovers will rejoice with this one
  • Currently has 4.2 out of 5 stars on Goodreads

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The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende

The Soul Of A Woman By Isabel Allendevia amazon.com

The queen of magical realism herself, Chilean author Isabel Allende has gifted us a gorgeous meditation on feminism and womanhood across ages in this latest release. It’s a truly captivating memoir slash guidebook that will give you plenty to talk about at your next book club meeting.

Highlights:

  • Fans of Allende won’t be disappointed
  • A feminist memoir packed with wit and wisdom

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Mother/Land by Ananda Lima

Mother Land By Ananda Limavia amazon.com

Brazilian-American Ananda Lima’s new poetry collection vividly explores the intersections and complexities of motherhood and immigration, two topics the poet understands firsthand. Combining English and Portuguese throughout her poems, Lima masterfully paints bilingual portraits of child-rearing, transformation, and place in this Hudson Prize-winning book.

Highlights:

  • Perfect for fans of poetry
  • Mothers (especially immigrant and first-generation Latinas) will appreciate this collection

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Courageous Camila by Naibe Reynoso and Giselle Carrillo

Courageous Camila By Naibe Reynoso And Giselle Carrillovia amazon.com

There’s always a need for more books by Latinx authors for children during Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond, and this newest release by co-authors Naibe Reynoso and Giselle Carrillo fills that need with a sweet tale about a young girl overcoming her fears and anxiety as she embarks on her quest to learn martial arts. It’s Reynoso’s sixth book published by her Latina-owned publishing company, Con Todo Press.

Highlights:

  • Geared toward younger readers
  • Positively portrays a young girl of color achieving her dreams

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Priscilla Blossom
Priscilla Blossom is a Denver-based freelance writer specializing in arts & culture, travel, parenting, health & wellness, and queer and Latinx matters. She is a contributor to USA Today's 10Best, Romper, Lonely Planet, Colorado Parent, and Business Insider. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Glamour, Oprah Magazine, Parents Magazine, Salon, Redbook, Huffington Post, Miami Herald, Where Traveler, Yahoo Lifestyle, The Points Guy, Chowhound, and others.