Recommending backlist books written over 10 years ago | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently hosted on That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week’s topic is  Books I Love That Were Written Over Ten Years Ago.

For this post, I didn’t take into account classics and most of the books I included are books that I read recently because the books I was reading 10 years ago are mostly YA books, I gave everything 5 or 4 stars back then, and I’m not sure if I would actually enjoy and recommend them if I read them now.

These are the 10 books I chose for this topic:

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews: As soon as I finished this book I knew I had discovered something special, this is the start of probably my favorite series. The world in this book is unique, complex and exciting, the main character is an amazing and captivating, she is flawed but easy to root for. The tension between the main characters is fantastic and it hints at the incredible romance that develops in later books.

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb: The main strength of this book is on its characters, Fitz is a lovable and captivating protagonist, who is easy to root for. The writing in this is great, the world-building is fascinating and the political intrigue aspect of this book is very cleverly done.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs: This is a fun, quick read. It has an amazing main character, strong, compassionate, and a bit too reckless, Mercy is captivating and easy to root for. The other characters and the dynamics between them are interesting and compelling as well. Also, the plot is entertaining and fast-paced, and the writing is good.

The Diviners by Libba Bray: This is the only YA book on the list and the thing I like the most about this book is how atmospheric it is and the really strong creepy vibe. It has great cast of main characters, each one has complicated backstories and brings something unique to the group. Also, the mystery is really intriguing and it’s very well-written.

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson: This book has a very interesting mystery plot and amazing characters who are intriguing, flawed and fascinating. Also, I appreciated that this book tackles discrimination, violence, and harassment against women that is perpetrated by men who disregarded them as nothing, in a powerful but sensitive way.

Paula by Isabel Allende: This nonfiction book is beautifully written, Isabel Allende wrote this book to her daughter while she was in a come, and her perspective and opinions about life, death, family, and history are so interesting, the way she crafts an emotional and captivating story while being insightful and educational in terms of Chile’s history is outstanding.

News of a Kidnapping by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: This is a fascinating and gripping account of a true story, the kidnapping of 10 journalists by Pablo Escobar, and it’s incredibly well written. Garcia Marquez had access to the testimonies of people who were involved one way or another so it’s interesting to get to an inside look at what happened. (also, there’s a Prime Video tv series based on this book coming out soon)

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan: This is the type of book that keeps you at the edge of your sit and makes it impossible to stop reading because you just want to know what was happening to Susannah. It’s such an engrossing, honest, and interesting nonfiction book. The first half is a mix between mystery and horror story because they couldn’t figure out what illness she had and then the book becomes slower and more profound during her recovery.

The Viscount who loved me by Julia Quinn: This is a really entertaining hate-to-love romance, with an amazing heroine that you can’t help but love. Also, the banter, chemistry, and the whole relationship between Kate and Antony are outstanding, they are a couple that’s easy to root for.

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella: this is the only book on this list that I read a long time ago but I remember loving the references to the twenties, the female friendship between the two main characters, and how many things it made me feel, I laughed and felt secondhand embarrassment by all the silly and ridiculous things that the main character had to do, but I also was near tears with the ending.

What backlist books would you recommend?

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Favorite Romance Books of 2021

Hi everyone! While I didn’t have the best reading year in 2021, I did find a few great books. So today I’m excited to share some amazing romance books that I read in 2021 and that I think you should read. I already shared a post with my favorite books of 2021, which includes all of the books that are not romances, so be sure to check out that post!

Without further ado, here are my favorite romance books of 2021:

Battle Royal by Lucy Parker

I LOVED both of the main characters in Battle Royal, this book included the sunshine/grumpy trope in all its glory, they had so much chemistry but also from very early on the deeper connection was evident. In this book, the main characters are co-judges of a baking show and they are competing for the contract to make the royal wedding cake, which ends up being the perfect set-up for a “dislike to friends to love” romance. I love how mature the relationships in Lucy Parker’s books are, even when they are competing against each other like in this book, and how she manages to write books that don’t have too much drama and angst, but that are still interesting.

The writing in this was really good and the book as a whole was funny and entertaining. Obviously, the whole plot with the royals was a bit unbelievable and unrealistic, but it was fun and I didn’t really care if it was something that would never happen in real life.

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Despite all the hype, I was not that excited to read this and I’m not sure why. But I’m really glad I decided to give it a chance because I LOVED it. I usually don’t find that many books funny, but this book actually made me laugh out loud a few times. I really liked both of the main characters, the romance was great, it was a slow burn (in that great way that has you screaming at the character to get together already) and the whole fake dating plotline put them in a bunch of slightly awkward but full of sexual tension situations. Also, it had some good steamy moments.

I also loved that it was set in the academic world, it address obstacles that women faced in academia, and, especially, the storyline about sexual harassment at the end was so frustrating and infuriating, but also so well handled.

To Have and To Hoax by Martha Waters

I read so many mixed reviews of this book, so I didn’t even have it on my tbr. But then I decided to pick it up on a whim and I’m so glad I did. This is the type of second chance romance that works for me, the main characters grew distant from each other because of a misunderstanding but they still love each other, it’s just their pride standing in the way until a prank war breaks loose between them and brings them back together.

I think this book worked so well for me because the pranks weren’t mean or hurtful and they didn’t go too far. The pranks were actually fun and entertaining and this book actually made me laugh out loud a couple of times. I really liked the main characters, their chemistry, and banter. I do think they were a little bit immature but also they grew throughout the book, so I was ok with that.

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle

This is such a sweet, wonderful slow burn, sunshine/grumpy romance with a good dose of forced proximity, between two strangers that inherited a house and that have to work together to clean it and renovate it. I had a brief moment of thinking I wasn’t going to like the main characters, but it was a false alarm, I ended up loving both of them. And the same happens to them, they have a bad impression of each other at first, but then slowly that changed and it was beautiful to see.

Wesley was so precious, once he got over his shyness and exaggerated grumpiness, he was still grumpy but also kind and sweet. And Maybell is such a genuinely nice, caring character. Wesley and Maybell were wonderful together and once they got together, they approached every situation and misunderstanding with so much compassion and care, which was very refreshing, because there wasn’t some dramatic conflict at any point, they faced obstacles together and got through them. This is not an angsty romance at all, it’s just sweet

Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

This book has a really fun premise, because the heroine’s dad rents the apartment next to hers to the hero because he wants her to marry him, and they end up becoming friends and fake dating to enter a baking competition and things get more complicated from there. I loved the romance in this, I liked seeing Reena and Nadim reluctantly become friends and then seeing that friendship evolve into something more. Nadim was really sweet and considerate, which I find so swoony.

Beyond that, this is really a story about Reena and her journey, she feels like a real person and I enjoyed seeing her work to improve different aspects of her life throughout this book. I always enjoy complicated family dynamics, so seeing her deal with and try to improve her relationship with different members of her family added an interesting layer to the book.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown

I have loved all the books in the Brown Sisters Series, so it was not a surprise that I loved this one as well, and the fact that it was a dislike to love romance, which I love, didn’t hurt either. The tension between Eve and Jacob gave me life, their chemistry was so evident and their bickering, especially at the beginning, was so entertaining. And once they get together, the way they both accepted and made space for the needs of the other person was incredibly sweet. Talia Hibbert has a talent for writing healthy relationships, which is something I appreciate a lot. Also, this book has some really steamy scenes, but that’s to be expected from a Talia Hibbert book. Beyond that, I loved reading about Eve and seeing her grow throughout the book and figure out what she wanted from life.

What are your favorite romance books of 2021? If you had to choose one romance book that you read in 2021 for me to read, which one would it be?

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My Favorite Books of 2021

Hi everyone! Today I’m really excited to share my list of favorite books of 2021. These are all books that I think are fantastic and that I hope you read. As I do every year, I will also be posting a list with my favorite romances of 2021, which is why there are no romances on this list. Usually, I also make a favorite YA books list but this year surprisingly I only read 4 YA books, so there won’t be a YA list.

2021 was not the best reading year for me, so it was easy to choose the books that I included on this list because there were not many contenders, which is so sad and something I’m hoping to change in 2022.

Now, for the fun part, here are my favorite books of 2021:

Eartheater by Dolores Reyes

This book has a fascinating concept revolving around a woman who can see how people died, where they are or what happened to them by eating earth connected to the person. It follows this woman as she uncovers the truth of what happened to people that are missing or are found dead, and in that sense, it’s a book about grief, pain, desperation, and it portraits all that in a visceral and honest way, which was very hard to read at times. It’s a masterpiece in my opinion.

This book has a compelling main character that feels like a real, complex, fully rounded person, and her bittersweet journey and relationships are also very captivating. The writing is absolutely beautiful, raw, and perfectly transmits the array of feelings that the main character goes through and that the story tries to capture: anger, frustration, fear, grief, passion, indifference, love.

The Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews

An Introduction to the World of Kate Daniels for New Readers | Den of Geek

I’m cheating a little bit by putting an entire series on this list, but I read all 10 books and 3 of the novellas in the space of 2 weeks, which makes the entire series feel like just one big story instead of individual books. This series is engaging and fun to read and it was exactly what I needed when I read it. It made me remember my love for urban fantasy after years of not reading the genre.

The series has an amazing main character, who is strong, smart, and compassionate but also very flawed, and it also has so many lovable side characters, I was so invested in all of their stories. The characters and the relationships between them are definitely the main reason I loved this story. The main romance was a slow burn, dislike to love romance and it was so good, and there were some incredible secondary ships that I couldn’t help but root for. Also, the world and magic system were unique and interesting, it included mythologies from all over the world, and it was really fast-paced, easy to read, full of action.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying a Vampire by Grady Hendrix

This book was so captivating, I was completely invested and it made me feel so many different emotions. I went into this book thinking the villain was the vampire, but the real villain in this story is the husband. I hated him with my entire soul, I was so frustrated and angry at the way he made the main character feel small and unimportant, the way he gaslighted her, made her doubt herself, and try to make her be seen as silly. Honestly, all the husbands in this book were shitty. I think this book did a great job of exploring the roles white women were confined to in the 90s, especially housewives living in the suburbs, and how everyone saw them as unimportant and silly. While at the same time showing the privileges they had and that marginalized communities and, in this case, especially Black women and Black communities didn’t have.

Also, this book has some truly disgusting scenes that made me feel gross-out, there are also infuriating scenes where the main character is gaslighted, there are so many sad and frustrating moments between the core friends that were part of the book club, this book truly made me feel so many things. The ending was bittersweet, realistic, and also satisfying.

Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez

If you told me before this year that a short story collection was going to make it into my list of favorite books of the year, I wouldn’t have believed you. Nonetheless, while there were stories that didn’t completely work for me, the other stories were so incredible that I couldn’t help but love the book.

This collection does a good job of commenting on subjects like poverty, addiction, feminicide, police brutality, and so much more, through a gothic lens and with a touch of paranormal elements (a lot of them related to Argentinian folklore). Most of the stories are disturbing and quietly eerie, some with grotesque moments, some transmitting very well the sense of dread and fear of the characters, and a lot of them with spooky and mysterious circumstances. The author leaves the resolution of a lot of the stories up to the reader’s imagination, so it feels like they end quite abruptly, which is a bit jarring but ends up working really well to maintain the sense of uneasiness that the stories create.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

It had been a while since I got really interested and invested in a story, but this book managed to suck me in. Even tho, I was so confused at the beginning because it’s that kind of book that throws you in the middle of the story, the world, the characters and doesn’t really hold your hand. But as the story progresses you start to understand more and more, and it becomes a rewarding experience of figuring it all out.

This book has incredible main characters, Gideon is likable, sassy, and entertaining, and Harrow is fierce and focused on getting what she wants, both of them are very damaged by their shared past. I loved the dynamic between them, their banter, and all the angst. It was my favorite part of the book. The side characters are really good too and by the end, I felt like they were very distinctive and I could differentiate them easily. The mystery about this abandoned palace and its previous inhabitants, as well as the whodunnit aspects, are very compelling.

What are your favorite books of 2021? If you had to choose one book that you read in 2021 for me to read, which one would it be?

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9 Must-Read Short Books Under 200 pages

Hi everyone! Recently I realized that I read a lot of short books in 2021 and I know that in December a lot of people are trying to reach their reading goals, so I thought I would help a little by recommending some amazing short books from a mix of genres.

Without further ado, let’s talk about the books:

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo: This is a story about the bonds women form with each other in the midst of the rise and fall of an empire. If you like an emotional fantasy novella with beautiful writing, set in a very interesting and whimsical world and full of captivating characters, this story is for you!

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor: This novella accomplishes a lot in terms of world-building and character development for such a short amount of pages. If a sci-fi story revolving around the daughter of the Angel of Death sounds interesting to you, check this one out!

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca: this is a very bizarre story from the very beginning and it escalates quickly to being gross, disturbing, and even more bizarre. It’s best to go into knowing nothing about it. If you are looking for a horror novella and you like weird books, this one is for you.

Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin: An atmospheric, disorienting, trippy book that comments on the use of pesticides in Argentina, but adding a paranormal element that it’s never quite explained but that adds to the weirdness and creepiness of the story.

Eartheater by Dolores Reyes:  A powerful book about the violence that women face, with an interesting concept revolving around a woman who can see how people died or where they are and what happened to them by eating earth connected to the person. If you like a magical realism story with feminist themes and beautiful writing, this one is for you!

Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez: This is a short story collection that deals with poverty, addiction, police brutality, and so much more,. It’s told through a gothic lens and with a touch of paranormal elements (a lot of them related to Argentinian folklore). If you like disturbing and quietly eerie stories, this collection would be perfect for you!

Blind Date with a Book Boyfriend by Lucy Eden: A quick, fun and, sweet romance novella. The characters were great, and their chemistry and connection were amazing. The guy was a hot cinnamon roll, who loved romance novels, it’s easy to see why the main character liked him so much.

Her Night with Santa by Adriana Herrera: This is smut and it’s great smut. For such a short novella, Adriana Herrera manages to give us compelling characters, an instant connection and tons of chemistry between the characters, and a lot of very steamy scenes. 

I Think I Might Love You by Christina C. Jones: This is a quick and entertaining romance novella. It has one of the funniest and most awkward first meetings between the main characters I have ever read. The protagonists have captivating and unique voices and great chemistry between them.

What short books would you recommend? Did you have a reading goal this year? How are you doing with your reading goal?

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Horror Books by Latinx Authors: recommendations and a tbr

Hi everyone! I have a very exciting post today as part of my celebration of Latinx Heritage Month. I have been trying to get into horror lately and obviously I have tried to pick up horror books by Latinx authors, which is why I wanted to recommend some of them to you. Since it’s almost spooky season, I thought it woulf be a great time for this post. I am also mentioning some books that are on my tbr since I’m so new to this genre.

Since getting interested in horror written by Latinx authors, I have learned that there has been a huge boom of horror books in Latin American countries in the last few years, especially horror books written by women. That’s why most of my recommendactions are translated books and most of the books on my tbr too. Also, simply because I want to read more books set in and written by people living in Latin American countries.

First, here are my recommendations:

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica

Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans —though no one calls them that anymore. Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Then governments initiated the “Transition.” Now, eating human meat—“special meat”—is legal. Then one day Marcos is given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. Though he’s aware that any form of personal contact is forbidden on pain of death, little by little he starts to treat her like a human being. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost—and what might still be saved.

This book is actually very disturbing because it makes cannibalism seem like something that could actually happen, the way the author executes the whole concept makes it seem so plausible. Bazterrica does a great job of thinking about all the things we do with animals (eat them, hunt them, use them for skins and to test drugs) and she incorporates all that to the story but changes the animals for humans. She also really goes into a lot of detail about the process of producing human meat from raising to slaughtering to processing to distribution. She explains how everything is done and it’s very unsettling because you can’t help but be repulsed and interested at teh same time.

Another thing that the author does very well is communicating the feeling of desperation, desolation, and loneliness that this society lives in even if they try to pretend they don’t. She creates the perfect atmosphere for the story, which reflects the decline of all the moral values in this society. Beyond the concept, setting, and atmosphere, the plot revolves around events of a smaller scale but it’s as disturbing as everything else

Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He’s not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family.

This is a short book that’s very atmospheric, the reading experience is disorienting and trippy since the story is told by a confused, feverish woman, and the author does a great job of transmiting the frustration and fear that the main character feels caused by this very intense and strange little kid who pushes her to talk and won’t answer her questions. Reading this book is a very inmersive experience because all of these elements.

Beyond that, Samanta Schweblin does a good job of commenting on the use of pesticides in Argentina and its effect on entire towns and the people who live in them, but adding a paranormal element that it’s never quite explained but that adds to the weirdness and creepiness of the story.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-García

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find. Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer but she is not afraid.

There are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

This is a creepy, atmospheric, and disturbing book that has beautiful and captivating writing. The story is so effective in being scary because even when it’s not clear if there are ghosts, magic, or other supernatural things going on, the real villains of the story are manipulative, abusive, disgusting men that you could find anywhere in the world and anytime in history. This book is creepy from very early on, Moreno-García made my skin crawl with the simplest scenes, sometimes nothing too scary was happening but with one perfectly crafted phrase, I was spooked. Also, this includes important commentary on sexism, colonialism, and eugenics that gives depth to the story.

Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez

Short story collection that brings contemporary Argentina to vibrant life as a place where shocking inequality, violence, and corruption are the law of the land, while military dictatorship and legions of desaparecidos loom large in the collective memory.

This book does a good job of commenting on subjects like poverty, addiction, feminicide, police brutality, and so much more, through a gothic lens and with a touch of paranormal elements (a lot of them related to Argentinian folklore). Most of the stories are disturbing and quietly eerie, some with grotesque moments, some transmitting very well the sense of dread and fear of the characters, and most of them revolving spooky and mysterious circumstances. The author leaves the resolution of a lot of the stories up to the reader’s imagination, so it feels like they end quite abruptly, which is a bit jarring but ends up working really well to maintain the sense of uneasiness that the stories create.

Category Five by Ann Dávila Cardinal

After the hurricane, some see destruction and some smell blood. The tiny island of Vieques, located just off the northeastern coast of the main island of Puerto Rico, is trying to recover after hurricane Maria, but the already battered island is now half empty. To make matters worse, developers have come in to buy up the land at a fraction of its worth, taking advantage of the island when it is down. Lupe, Javier, and Marisol are back to investigate a series of murders that follow in the wake of a hurricane and in the shadow of a new supernatural threat.

This is the only YA book on this list, and it’s a quick and entertaining read set in Puerto Rico about teenagers who get involved with a supernatural mystery. This is a ghost story and the really interesting thing about it is that the ghost element is deeply related to the history of Pueblo Rico, and particularly, the history of Pueblo Rico as a colonized land. There are a couple spooky ghost scenes, which was a fun element of the story. Also, the author does a great job of integrating what has happened in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria- especially the abandonment of Puerto Rico by the U.S. government – to the book

TBR

I definitely want to explore the horror genre more and specifically, horror written by Latinx authros, so here are some books that have caught my eye and that I’m hoping to read soon:

Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor: The story of a small town were the Witch turns up dead. And the discovery of her corpse propels the whole village into an investigation of how and why this murder occurred. Rumors and suspicions spread. As the novel unfolds new details, new acts of depravity or brutality are revealed.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado: A collection of short stories that that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

Weep, Woman, Weep by Maria DeBlassie: The story of La Llorona, who roams the waterways looking for the next generation of girls to baptize, filling them with more tears than any woman should have to hold. And there’s not much they can do about the Weeping Woman. Mercy knows this, probably better than anyone. She lost her best friend to La Llorona and almost found a watery grave herself. But she survived. Only she didn’t come back quite right and she knows La Llorona won’t be satisfied until she drags the one soul that got away back to the bottom of the river.”

The Children by Carolina Sanín: The story of a woman who discovers a mysterious young boy on the pavement outside her apartment building: Fidel, who is six years old, a child with seemingly no origins or meaning. With few clues to guide her as she tries to discover his real identity, Laura finds herself swept into a bureaucratic maelstrom of fantastical proportions.

Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin: The story of little mechanical stuffed animals called Kentukis, which have gone viral across the globe. They have cameras for eyes, wheels for feet, and are connected to an anonymous global server. Owners of kentukis have the eyes of a stranger in their home; or you can be the kentuki and voyeuristically spend time in someone else’s life, controlling the creature with a few keystrokes. These creatures can reveal the beauty of connection between farflung souls – but they also expose the ugly humanity of our increasingly linked world.

Have you read any horror books by Latinx authros? Do you have any recommendations?

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50+ book recommendations for the Latinx Book Bingo | Latinx Heritage Month 2021

Latinx Book Bingo banner photo

Hi everyone! Today, I’m bringing a super exciting post that it’s a bit late this year. In this post, I’m recommending books for the 2021 Latinx Book Bingo.

The three previous years I have written really long posts with 90 book recommendations, 100 book recommendations , and 170 book recommendations, but a lot of the books were books that I haven’t read yet, so this year I decided to do something a little bit different. I’m recommending 50+ books by Latinx authors that I have read, enjoyed and that I think you should read. I provide recs for each square in the bingo board, I share a short synopsis of the book and I added information like the genre of the books and the kind of rep they have, so you know if it works for more than one prompt in the bingo board. If you need more options or recommendations, you can always check out the lists from previous years.

If you would like to support me or compensate the work I put into running the Latinx Book Bingo each year and making recommendation lists that take a lot of work (it’s not necessary or expected, but if you want to), you could buy me a Ko-fi

Set in Latam

  • Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez:  A YA Contemporary about a girl who is fighting for her dream of being a soccer player despite having to deal with a lot of sexism even from her own family. It has Argentinian rep  and it’s set in Argentina
  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo: A YA Contemporary about two sisters that didn’t know theo ther existed until their father dies in a plane crash. Afrolatinx protagonists & author and it’s mostly set in Domican Republic.
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: an adult horror book about a young woman who has to go to a creepy house in the middle of nowhere that it’s inhabited by creepy people who are keeping dark secrets to save her cousin. It has Mexican rep and it’s set in Mexico
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno- Garcia: Adult Fantasy about a young woman who saves the Mayan god of death but ends up tying her fate to his by mistake and has to help him to save herself. It has Mexican rep and it’s set in Mexico.

Name in the Title

Non-fiction

Backlist title

  • Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Sosa: a YA Fantasy about a group of teens trying to pull off a quest that may cost them their lives. it has ace rep, bisexual rep, fat rep and anxiety rep.
  • Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera: A YA Contemporary about a queer Puerto Rican woman who spends a summer in Portland as an intern to a hippy white woman. It has Puerto Rican rep and lesbian rep.
  • Acting on Impulse by Mia Sosa:  Adult Romance about a physical trainer and a Hollywood star falling in love. It has Puerto Rican rep, and Afro-latinx main character and author.
  • Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova: YA Urban Fantasy about a teenage bruja who wants to get rid of her magic and ends up banishing her family to a magical land and has to rescue them. It has Ecuadorian rep, and an f/f romance

Afro-Latinx

  • By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery: a YA contemporary story abouy a young man who is trying to save the bee farm his beloved uncle left him after his death while trying to start a new life at college. It has Brazilian rep, and an Afro-latinx mc & author.
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo: a YA Contemporary about a girl who joind her school’s slam poetry club behind her mother’s back because in a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent. It has Dominican rep and it’s a backlist title.
  • Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel José Older: a Middle Grade Fantasy about a group of kids living in an alternative reality where there are Dinasours in New York during the Civil War. This has afrolatinx rep and it’s a backlist title.
  • Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson YA Paranormal about a girl who resurrects her best friend and 2 other girls from her school using witchcraft  to prove that they were murdered, but they only have 7 days to do it. it has Mexican rep, fat rep, Afro-Latinx mc & author and it’s a backlist title.

Intersectional MC

  • Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore: a YA story about a girl who enters a beauty pageant and asks her ex- best friend for help. To pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, they have to imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough. It as fat rep, pansexual rep and trans rep.
  • When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez: a YA Contemporary story abut two girls, who are classmates and who are dealing with depression in very different ways. It has depression rep and it’s a backlist title.
  • Analee, in Real Life by Janelle Milanes YA Contemporary about a girl dealing with the death of her mother and the popular boy who asks her to be his fake girlfriend and coax her out of her comfort zone. It has Cuban rep, social anxiety rep and it’s a backlist title.
  • More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera: a story about a teen who is struggling with family tragedy and with things about himself that he wants to forget, and a memory-alteration procedure that might be the solution. It has gay rep,, Puerto Rican rep, and it’s a backlist title.

Translated book

  • Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica: an adult horror book about an alternative reality where cannibalism is socially accepted and it explores the industry of human meat. It has Argentinian rep and it’s set in Argentina.
  • Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel: a classic about a woman who isn’t allowed to marry because she has to look after her mother until she dies, but she falls in love and her lover marries her sister to stay close to her. It has Mexican rep, it’s set in Mexico and it’s a backlist title.
  • The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende: a classic magical realism book about three generations of the Trueba family, a story that addresses the personal lives of this family and big political events in Chilean history.  It has Chilean rep, it’s set in Chile and it’s a backlist title.
  • City of Clowns by Daniel Alarcon: a graphic novel about a young Peruvian journalist fwho has to confront the idea of his father’s other family after his death while chronicling the life of street clowns in Lima. It has Peruvian rep, it’s set in Peru and it’s a backlist title.

Rec’d by a Latinx Reader (my recommendations!)

  • Lobizona by Romina Garber: A YA Fantasy about a girl who is an undocumented immigrant and she has a distinctive eye color, which ends up connecting her to a secret magical world of lobizones (werewolves) and witches. It has Argentinian Rep.
  • You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria: an adult romance about a soap opera star and a Telenovela star, who have to work together in a tv show for the biggest streaming service in the country and end up falling in love. It has Puerto Rican Rep.
  • Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar a middle grade contemporary about a little girl whose dad gets deported and, later on, her and her pregnant mom are also taken into a deportation facility. it has Mexican rep.
  • Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova: A YA fantasy about a girl who has a magical ability that makes her feared and that has to infiltrate the palace in her kingdom to help a group of rebels that wants to save her people from persecution.

Queer Rep

  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas: A YA fantasy about a trans boy and a ghost who are trying to solve a murder mystery and end up falling in love. It has latinx and trans rep and a m/m relationship.
  • When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore: A Magical Realism story about two best friends, a trans boy who loves the moon and a Latina who grows roses from her hands, and how they face their struggles while falling in love. It has latinx and trans rep and it’s a backlist title.
  • They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera: A YA Sci-fi story set in a world where people know when they are going to die and two teens decide to spend their last day together. It has gay rep, OCD & anxiety rep, Puerto Rican and Cuban American Rep. It has an intersectional mc and it’s a backlist title.
  • Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro: a YA Fantasy about a girl who has to listen and ,magically absorbe the stories of the people of her town that may produce bad feels because if she doesn’t the stories manifest themselves as monsters. It has a f/f relationship.

Song Title

For this prompt, you can chose a book with a title that has the word “song” in it, or a title that it’s the same as the name of a song or it’s the same as song lyrics.

  • Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera: A YA retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, it deals withe mental illness, toxic realtionships and trauma. It has Puerto Rican Rep.
  • Dance All Night by Alexis Daria: romance novella about a broadway start and a dancer who works for a tv dance competion falling in love.
  • We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay MejiaA YA Fantasy about a young woman forced to help a rebelious group to save herself, who learns to stand up for what she believes in. It has a f/f romance.
  • Pride by Ibi Zoboi: A YA retelling of Pride and Prejudice that focuses on gentrification. It has Haitian-Dominican Rep and it’s a backlist title.

Author’s debut

  • Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz: a YA Fantasy about a group of teens who are representing Puerto Rico in the Blazewrath games, which is an international sports tournament where teams of dragons and humans compete. It has Puerto Rican rep.  
  • Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega: A Middle Grade Fantasy about two girls who accidentally awaken malicious spirits and have to team up with a grandma and a cat to save their town. It has Dominican rep.
  • The Dream Weaver by Reina Luz Alegre: a Middle Grade Contemporary about a girl who has to go live with her grandfather and ends up joining a bowling team and trying to save here grandpa’s bowling alley. It has Cuban Rep.
  • American Dreamer by Adriana HerreraAdult Romance about the owner of a food truck and a nerdy librarian who fall in love. It has a Afro-Latinx main character and author, it has gay rep and it’s a backlist title.

Any book by a Latinx author

  • His Perfect Partner by Priscilla Oliveras: this is an adult romance about a single dad and his daughter’s dance teacher. It has Puerto Rican & Mexican Rep and it’s a backlist title.
  • Nocturna by Maya Motayne: A YA Fantasy about a thief and a prince who have to work together to save their kingdom after freeing an ancient evil power. This is Dominican inspired.
  • Category Five by Ann Davila Madrigal:  A YA Horror about about teenagers who get involved with a supernatural mystery involving ghosts. It has Puerto Rican Rep and it’s set in Puerto Rico.
  • With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo: A YA Contemporary about a teen mom fighting for her dream of becoming a chef while falling in love with a cute guy. It has Puerto Rican rep.

Indie Published

  • The Infamous Miss Rodriguez by Lydia San Andres: Adult Historical Romance about a rebellious Afrolatinx heroine and an Argentinian hero. It’s set in the Caribbean, it has a Afrolatinx protagonist and it’s a backlist title.
  • Peluda by Melissa Lozada-Olivia: a poetry collection about the link between femininity, body hair, the immigrant experience and Latina identity. The author is Guatemalan-Colombian.

2021 Release

This is the only category where I’m recommending books that I haven’t read, because the 2021 releases that I have read are either sequels or I didn’t love them enough to recommend them. So what I’m going to do is mention the 2021 releases that are not part of a series and that I can’t wait to read.

I hope this post is useful to everyone participating in the Latinx Book Bingo or to anyone who wants to read more books by Latinx authors!
Are you participating in the Latinx Book Bingo? Have you picked the books for your tbr?
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8 Amazing Nonfiction Books by Black Authors

Hi everyone! After an unexpected hiatus during february because work was kickin my ass, I’m back because I didn’t want to let Black History Month go by without posting at least one recommendation post highlighting some amazing books by Balck authors.

I was in a reading slump as well during february but a lot of the books that I did manage to read were nonfiction titles and that’s why I want to recommend some amazing nonficiton books by Black authors that I have read throughout the years.

Without futher ado, here are 8 amazing nonfiction book by Black authors:

Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

This book was thoughtful, clear, and concise. It’s told in a tone and style that it’s easy to read and understand, the amount of skill that Jason Reynolds shows with the way he wrote this book is outstanding. Stamped traces the history of racism and the many political, literary, and philosophical narratives that have been used to justify it. Framed through thoughts of segregationists, assimilationists, and antiracists throughout history.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

This is a powerful book that’s part essays and part memoir. It talks about the race issue in America in a way that it’s sobering and it does it through excellent writing. In the first essay, Balwin talks about the relationship between Black people and White people and racial oppression, but the second essays is the most powerful one in this book, for the way it talks about different religions and the link between religion, power, race and racism.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

This is a very hard book to read, but it is so powerful, honest and raw. This is a collection of essays but it’s also part memoir about Roxane Gay’s relationship with her body, her weight and with food. The essays go from criticism for tv shows about weight lost to very personal essays about the way rape affected Gay’s relationship with her body. One of the strongest parts of this book is the way it talks about her experience as a fat women in a world not built for her.

Bad Feminism by Roxane Gay

This collection of essays is thought-provoking, accesible and sincere. This is a book that highlights that just like no one is perfect, no movement is perfect either. Gay talks about culture, gender and politics, and while she offears thoughtful critisims of different aspects of society, she is also not afraid to recognize her own flaws and contradictions. At the end the message of this book is hopeful.

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identidy, Love and So Much More by Janet Mock

This memoir is incredibly thought-provoking, because Mock doesn’t hold back, she is achingly honest and that makes her story and what she has to say so compelling.  Mock talks about being multicultural, trans and poor, she talks about poverty and prostitution, about her priviliges for “passing” as a cis woman, about what’s consider to be the ‘right’ kind of trans women and why that needs to end.  This book is insighful and moving, as well as beautifully written

The Body is not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor

This is an incredibly thought-provoking book that proposes a criticism of the beauty standars and the hurtful ideas about bodies that society, the market and the media portrait and perpetute. It’s insigful, fascinating and eye opening. And what makes it truly special is that it talks about the body and body positivity not only thinking about weight, but taking into account race, disability, sexuality, gender and more intersecting types of bodies. 

White Rage by Carol Anderson

White rage is defenitely not an easy read, it’s frustrating, infuriating and disheartening, but it’s such an important book. Carol Anderson proposes that “White rage is not about visible violence, but rather it works its way through the courts, the legislatures, and a range of government bureaucracies.The trigger for white rage, inevitably, is black advancement.” and then she goes on to show how white rage has manifested throughout U.S. history.

So You want to Talk about Race by Ojeoma Oluo

This book is though-provoking, easy to understand and useful. Ijeoma Oluo explores the complex reality of today’s racial landscap and covers so many topics in a concise, straightforward and very smart way, from white privilege, police brutality, systemic discrimination to the Black Lives Matter movement. But more importantly she offers clear ways to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide.

Have you read any of these books? what nonfiction books by black authros would you recommend?

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Favorite Adult Books of 2020

Hi everyone! This is my last post of 2020 and that’s so wild! Blogging was such a refuge for me in 2020 and I fell even more in love with it, so I’m excited to keep sharing content with all of you in 2021.

In case you missed it, the last couple of days I posted my Favorite YA Books of 2020 and my Favorite Romance Books of 2020. Check them out if you want to see what other books I loved this year. Today, I want to talk about 10 adult books that I loved in 2020. These are all books that I read in 2020 even if they didn’t come out in 2020 and the only rule that I had was that I couldn’t have two books from the same series.

Without further ado, here are my top 10 adult books of 2020:

10. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

The world-building and magic system in this book are unique, captivating and devastating at the same time. The way the society in this book mirrors our society is smart and poignant. There are so many twists, some that I saw coming and some that I didn’t, but they all make sense to the story and make it more interesting. I loved Syenite and Alabaster and I’m heartbroken over everything they went through. What this book has to say and how it says it is so powerful and heartbreaking that it left me feeling hopeless and it took me a long time to recover but I think it was worth it.

9. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-García

The writing in this book makes it feel like reading a myth or fairytale, it is so engaging. The Mayan mythology is captivating and lush, and since it’s a mythology that it’s not often used in fantasy books, this book is full of gods and mythical creatures that feel unique. This book is set in 1920’s Mexico and the mix of the mythological elements and the ‘modernity’ of the Jazz Age works well and gives this story an even more unique touch. Finally, the main characters, Casiopea and Hun-Kamé, who is the Mayan god of death, are both very engaging characters and their journeys and character development were fascinating.

8. To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

This is a quick, fascinating, and thought-provoking read. It focuses a lot on the scientific and technical side of space travel but the truly interesting thing is that Becky Chambers doesn’t forget about the impact that the discoveries, the advancements, and the search for those things have on people and environments. Also, there are a lot of queer characters in this book, which I love.

7. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This book was so powerful. I was captivated the entire time while reading, I was amazed by the way the author takes all of these different elements (a pandemic, a cult, a theater group, some graphic novels) and different timelines and ties them all together in a way it makes sense and it’s interesting and meaningful. I found all the characters and storylines incredibly fascinating. This book made me really sad while reading it, but it also made me feel thankful and, in the end, it gave me hope. 

6. The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

This book is brilliant. I’m not the biggest fan of Military fantasy, but this series does it so well that I’m really invested in the story. The way this book talks about war and power is grim but fascinating. I think the main reason I enjoy this series and this book so much is that it has given me some characters that I adore. I still love Kitay as much as I did in book 1, this book made me fall in love with Venka and I love the angsty, complicated relationship between Rin and Nezha. Also, this book discusses colorism, colonialism, and the role of religion within colonialism in such a thought-provoking way.

5. Jade City by Fonda Lee

This book may have one of the coolest premises ever, it’s like the Godfather with martial arts and magic. It’s such a unique book! Fonda Lee does an amazing job of describing the action scenes in this book and the way she incorporates martial arts is incredible. The clan war element of the story is so interesting, this is a very intense book and I was completely invested in everything that was happening. I think I cared so much because I LOVED the main characters, who are siblings that are incredibly loyal to each other and they won my loyalty too. This book broke my heart at one point, I was devastated but it was SO GOOD.

4. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

This book is whimsical, nonsensical, and peculiar and the writing is absolutely beautiful. This book doesn’t have a defined plot; it’s full of metaphors and stories within stories, so it can be very confusing and, by the end, I felt like I only understood parts of it; and since it feels like you are reading a story, a myth, a fable, most of the characters feel like characters in that story and not like real people. But I didn’t dislike any of that. While I read this, I felt like I was lost in a strange and beautiful world. I loved and I was invested in all the stories within stories, I was intrigued by the mystery of this underground library, I was captivated by everything.

3. The Strange Case of The Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

I love the characters in this book, monstrous women are my favorite thing in the world, and I love their relationship with each other and the found family aspect of the book. The premise of this is so unique, the daughters of famous scientists from classic gothic literature work together to solve a mystery that it’s linked to their lives. Also, I love the funny and unique structure in which this book is told, the fact that the characters interrupt the narrative to give their commentary on what’s happening. Basically, I love everything about this.

2. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

This is a hopeful and heartwarming book that explores the idea that prejudice keeps growing and wins when people stay silent in the face of it and live comfortably in their bubbles. The concept of this book is fascinating, well-executed and it mirrors a lot of real-life situations, this book is set in a world where magical beings exist and there’s a lot of prejudice against them. The main character in this book is so endearing and the children are cute, funny, lovable and so compelling. The sweet, loving relationship between the main character and the kids is my favorite part of the book. Also, there’s a very sweet m/m romance in this!

1. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-García

This creepy, atmospheric, and disturbing book. The writing is beautiful and captivating while being simple and unpretentious, and the main character is three-dimensional and flawed, while being charming and bewitching. This story is so effective in being scary because even when it’s not clear if there are ghosts, magic, or other supernatural things going on, the real villains of the story are manipulative, abusive, disgusting men that you could find anywhere in the world and anytime in history. This book is creepy from very early on, Moreno-García made my skin crawl with the simplest scenes, sometimes nothing too scary was happening but with one perfectly crafted phrase, I was spooked. Also, this includes important commentary on sexism, colonialism, and eugenics that gives depth to the story.

What are your favorite Adult books that you read in 2020?

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Fantasy & Sci-fi Novellas to Help You Complete Your Goodreads Challenge | Blogmas Day 6

Hi everyone! it’s the last month of the year and a lot of us are trying to complete our Goodreads challenge so we are looking for shorter books to read, that’s why I decided to put together a list of short SFF novellas that you can probably read in one sitting if you want.

Before starting the post, I do want to have a little reminder that the Goodread challenge is a thing we do for fun, and the amount of books we read in a year has nothing to do with our value as people or our value as reviewers. It is completely ok not to complete the challenge.

Without futher ado, here are the SFF Novellas I would recommend:

The Deep by Rivers Solomon

The concept of the story, mer-people who are the descendants of slaves, is unique, weird and intriguing. This is a heavily thematic book, it talks about identity, community, history and memory and it explores individualism vs collectivism in a way that feels organic to the story.

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djeli Clark

This novella mixes alternative historical 1884 New Orleans with African Folklore, and the combination makes the story feel unique and interesting. This book has African Orishas, smuggler airships, a mysterious weapon and spy nuns, who are hilarious and badass at the same time. Clark manages to write a story that feels complete and satisfying in a short amount of pages.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

This is a quick and entertaining story about a self-aware security droid that hacked its government module to access the feed of entertainment channels because it gets bored while protecting humans. Murderbot is the most likable and engaging main character in Sci-fi, its an introvert that just wants to be left alone, but that will do anything to protect the people it is responsible for and not because it has to do it. This book has great humor, an interesting plot and it includes great discussion about what it means to be human.

To be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

This is such a quick, fascinating and thought-provoking read about a group of  explorers who leave earth to research different planets that sustain life and they have to transform themselves to do it (change their skins, their organs, their weight). There’s a lot about biology, chemistry and engineering in this book, because it focuses a lot on the scientific and technical side of space travel but the truly interesting thing is that Becky Chambers doesn’t forget about the impact that the discoveries, the advancements and the search for those things have on human beings. Also, there are so many queer people in this book!

The Test by Sylvain Neuvel

This was a quick, interesting and twisted novella about an Iranian immigrant who’s taking the British citizenship test so he and his family can stay in the UK, but it turns out nothing is what it seems. This novella discusses the choices we make and the choices we have to live with. It’s a pretty pessimistic but powerful story and the ending is messed up.

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

This book is a sapphic love story between two rival spies on different sides of a war fought through time and parallel worlds. The angsty romance, the yearning and love between the main characters, the lengths they are willing to go for each other make this novella captivating and brilliant. The writing in this is very flowery, lyrical and elaborate, which takes some getting used to, but by the end, the love letters are some of the most painfully beautiful things that you will ever read.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

This is such a short book but it packs a big punch. It’s the story of Binti, the first of her people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, and her journey to get there which is full of dangers and threats. This is a very introspective book and focuses a lot on character development, but it also includes an outstanding amount of worldbuilding for such a short book, and the overall message of acceptance of other cultures and being willing to communicate with others than are different from us is so powerful.

What SFF Novellas would you recommend?

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