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Booklists for Adults
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“Latino Life" is a list of recent books, movies, and music concerning the Latino experience, and is published as part of the Boston Public Library's observance of Hispanic Heritage Month.
* appropriate for Teens
+ available in Spanish or bilingual
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Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing and

by Stephanie Elizondo Griest.
This travelogue takes the author on a four-year tour of communist countries and finally leads back to her own roots. PN4874.G747A3 2004

Borges: A Life
by Edwin Williamson.
This chronicle of the Argentinean writer explores his tumultuous private life, connecting it with his country’s history and his writings. PQ7797.B635Z953 2004
Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban

by Mirta A. Ojito.
This is the personal and political story of a 16-year-old Cuban girl who came to the United States in 1980 during the Mariel boatlift. E184.C97O45 2005

New World of Martin Cortes

by Anna Lanyon.
History, biography and travel are combined in this tale of conquistador Hernan Cortes’ illegitimate son, one of Mexico ’s first mestizos, or people of mixed raced ancestry. F1231.C825L36 2004

Pablo Neruda: A Passion for

by Adam Feinstein.
The first English language biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet, this volume covers a remarkable life, literary and otherwise. PQ8097.N4Z6174 2004

+This I Believe: An A to Z of a Life

by Carlos Fuentes.
Fuentes takes the reader on an alphabetical journey, reflecting on a variety of topics including Latin American culture, politics and life. PQ7297.F793E5413 2005

The Turkish Lover

by Esmeralda Santiago.
This memoir explores the path the Puerto Rican author took at age 21, leaving her family in Brooklyn to live with an older man. F128.9.P85S269 2004

When the Spirits Dance Mambo: Growing up Nuyorican in El Barrio
by Marta Moreno Vega.
An Afro-Puerto Rican girl in 1950s Spanish Harlem becomes a priestess of the Santeria/Lucumi religion. F128.9.P85V438 2004


Cocinando: Fifty Years of Latin Album Cover Art
by Pablo Ellicott Yglesias.
The Golden Age of Latin music is represented in this colorful collection that includes mambo, salsa, Cubop, Bossa Nova, and Latin Soul. NC1883.U6Y49 2005

Classics: A Celebration of Vintage American Automobiles

by Christopher P. Baker.
The author traces the love affair that Cubans have with old American cars, from Model Ts to Edsels, that are still a common sight on the island. TL33.C83B34 2004

In a Mexican Garden: Courtyards, Pools, and Open-Air Living Rooms
by Melba Levick.
This lushly illustrated tour lures the reader into the enchanting and tranquil outdoor living spaces of private homes and luxury resorts of Mexico . NA8375.L48 2005

: Architecture, Interiors, Design

by Mark Luscombe-Whyte.
Full color photographs of simple adobe pueblos, ornate churches, exotic beach houses, and sleek skyscrapers illustrate the rich diversity of Mexican architecture. NA7244.L87 2004

*+Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States
ed. by Lori M. Carlson.
This follow-up to 1994’sCool Salsa captures the diversity of the Latino experience and the emotions of being an adolescent, through poems on language, identity, and love.
PS591.H58R43 2005

The Tex-Mex Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos

by Robb Walsh.
The Texas food-writer presents the history of Tex-Mex from the 16th century to today in over 100 recipes and photos.
TX715.2.S69W36 2004

Three Guys from
Miami Cook Cuban

by Glenn Lindgren, Raúl Musibay, and Jorge Castillo.
One hundred Cuban recipes are interpreted by the creators of the website, who add their own unique touches in this generously illustrated cookbook. TX716.C8L56 2004


+Chango’s Fire: A Novel
by Ernesto Quiñonez.
Twenty-nine-year-old Julio Santana, tired of burning down houses for insurance money in his Spanish Harlem neighborhood, strives for a better life.

The Cigar Roller

by Pablo Medina.
Paralyzed by a massive stroke, Amadeo reflects on his Cuban past: his job as a master cigar roller and his tempestuous marriage.

*Finding Miracles

by Julia Alvarez.
After befriending a Latin American exchange student, an adopted Vermont teenager travels to her homeland to learn about the circumstances of her adoption.

+González and Daughter Trucking Co.: A Road Novel with Literary License

by María Amparo Escandón.
A prisoner in the Mexicali Penal Institute for Women starts a library club, and each month members read aloud the continuing story of a fugitive trucker and his daughter.

Havana Red
by Leonardo Padura.
A Havana police detective investigates case of a transvestite found dead in a park in a beautiful red evening dress.

The Hummingbird’s Daughter
by Luis Alberto Urrea.
In late 1800s Mexico , sixteen-year-old Teresita discovers she has the power to heal.

Let it Rain Coffee: A Novel
by Angie Cruz.
A multi-generational immigrant family from the Dominican Republic struggles to improve the circumstances of their new life in New York .

Mambo Peligroso: A Novel
by Patricia Chao.
After mambo dance lessons in New York help a young Cuban-Japanese immigrant connect with her Latin roots, she becomes involved with scheming Cuban exiles.

Most Wanted

by Michele Martinez.
When Puerto Rican federal prosecutor Melanie Vargas investigates the murder of a former colleague, she finds herself attracted to the FBI agent assigned to the case.

Music of the Mill: A Novel
by Luis J. Rodriguez.
A Los Angeles steel mill binds together three generations of a Mexican-American family. It is there they confront racism and fight for workers’ rights.

+Playing with Boys

by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez.
Three Latinas—an entertainment manager, a former Spanish soap opera star, and a stay-at-home mom who writes screenplays—become fast friends in Los Angeles.

Tequila Blue
by Rolo Diez.
In this homage to noir, a Mexico City police detective tries to find the killer of a gringo with a taste for blue movies.

A Venom Beneath the Skin: A Romilia Chacón Novel
by Marcos McPeek Villatoro.
Now an FBI agent in Los Angeles , Romilia hunts down a Guatemalan drug lord in the third installment of this thriller series.

Violations: Stories of Love by Latin American Women

ed. by Psiche Hughes.
Elena Poniatowska, Angeles Mastretta, and Luisa Valenzuela are three of the authors included in this compilation.

War by Candlelight: Stories
by Daniel Alarcón.
These stories, some set in Peru , some in New York , feature such characters as a would-be immigrant, a remorseless terrorist, and a reporter turned street clown.
A Window in Copacabana: An Inspector Espinosa Mystery

by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza.
Three Rio de Janeiro cops have been assassinated, and an investigative task force appointed by the precinct chief points to corruption and a cover-up.

+Zorro: A Novel

by Isabel Allende.
A re-telling of the story of a late-18th century Californian Robin Hood, the son of an aristocratic landlord and his part Native American wife.

And the Money Kept Rolling In (and Out): Wall Street, the IMF, and the Bankrupting of

by PaulBlustein.
In 2001 Argentina suffered one of the most spectacular financial market crashes in history, and with it came social and political chaos. HC175.B665 2005

The Castro Obsession:
U.S. Covert Operations against Cuba , 1959-1965

by Don Bohning.
The Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations made removing Fidel Castro a high foreign policy priority, one which was both expensive and futile.
E183.8.C9B55 2005

+Dying to Cross: The Worst Immigrant Tragedy in American History

by JorgeRamos.
Of 73 Mexicans smuggled into the United States in a trailer truck in 2003, nineteen died of asphyxiation and dehydration. JV6475.R3613 2005

Last Dance in
Havana: The Final Days of Fidel and the Start of the New Cuban Revolution

by EugeneRobinson.
An American journalist tours Cuba and uses its musicians as a window into its present and future. F1765.3.R63 2004

Liberty for Latin America: How to Undo Five Hundred Years of State Oppression
by Alvaro Vargas Llosa.
This examination of economic hardship and social unrest in South America offers solutions to help the region prosper. HC125.V2827 2005x

The Life and Times of

by EarlShorris.
Structured around the Aztec concepts of head, heart, and liver, this book covers 3,000 years of history. F1210.S543 2004

Migra Mouse:
Political Cartoons on Immigration
by LaloLópez.
This cartoon collection combines popular icons, social issues and immigration politics.
E184.M5L597 2004

Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identity in the Spanish-Speaking
United States

by Héctor Tobar.
Spanish-speaking Latinos are the largest minority group in the
United States. This book chronicles this growing population. E184.S75T63 2005


Voy a Olvidarte

Aurora, the daughter of an Ecuadorian politician, attempts to reveal his corruption; she ultimately falls in love with the popular singer Segundo Rosero.

Maria Full of Grace

Pregnant and in need of money, Colombian teenager Maria swallows drugs in order to transport them to New York City .

The Motorcycle Diaries = Diarios de Motocicleta

This film dramatizes Che Guevara’s travels across South America in the early 1950s with his best friend Alberto Granado.

A Pl
Called Chiapas
This documentary examines the
Zapatista National Liberation Army and its leader, Subcomandante Marcos, in the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico .


Flor and her teenage daughter Cristina, recent immigrants from Mexico , move in with the wealthy Claskys in Los Angleles when Flor takes a job as their housekeeper.

MUSIC Afro-Latin Party
by Putumayo Presents.
This album offers a compilation of various artists and combines sounds from the Congo to Cuba. Mis Canciones…My Songs
by Simon Diaz.
This album carries a full array of rustic traditional Latin folk guitar music from
Venezuela. MTV Unplugged
by Café Tacuba.
This first live album by the Mexican alternative rock band was recorded in 1995 but just released in 2005.
Parece que Fue Ayer
by Los Tri-O.
Traditional bolero music is performed by the Colombian trio.
Son Cubano NYC: Cuban Roots New York Spices
by Various Artists.
The album is along the lines of the Buena Vista Social Club.
It carries a nostalgic smooth sound of the Cuban son.
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This booklist was compiled by Boston Public Library staff:

Joanne Bogart
Reader & Information Services, Central Library
Francie Francis
South Boston Branch
Amy Manson, Chairperson
Connolly Branch
Sarah Markell
Honan-Allston Branch
Rubi Simon
Egleston Square Branch
Cordelia Sullivan
East Boston Branch

Latino Life artwork by Colleen Simon