BostonPublic Library
LATINO LIFE 2009:
BOOKS ABOUT THE HISPANIC EXPERIENCE
Booklists for Adults
spacer graphic
Latino Life Cover ‘Latino Life’ is a list of recent books concerning the Latino experience, and is published as part of the Boston Public Library's observance of Hispanic Heritage Month each year.

* appropriate for Teens
+ available in Spanish or bilingual

 

BIOGRAPHY

The Accountant’s Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellin Cartel
by Roberto Escobar with David Fisher
A sordid, tell-all account by the brother of Pablo Escobar, the mastermind behind this staggeringly successful criminal enterprise. HV5805.E82E828 2008

A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez
by Selena Roberts GV865.R62R634 2009x
Becoming Manny: Inside the Life of Baseball's Most Enigmatic Slugger
by Jean Rhodes and Shawn Boburg GV865.R38R46 2009
These biographies trace the career ups and downs, the fame and the foibles, of two major league baseball icons who hail originally from the Dominican Republic.

The Black Hand: the Bloody Rise and Redemption of “Boxer” Enriquez, a Mexican Mob Killer
by Chris Blatchford
Through first-rate investigative reporting the author delivers a gripping expose of the once-devoted leader of the most-feared and ruthless California prison gang known as the Mexican Mafia. HV6248.E585B55 2008

Crazy Loco Love
by Victor Villaseñor
The best-selling author of Burro Genius and Rain of Gold treats the reader to his own honest and poignant coming-of-age story in Mexican-American culture. PS3572.I384Z465 2008

Dream in Color: How the Sánchez Sisters are Making History in Congress
by Loretta and Linda Sánchez with Richard Buskin
With warmth and wit, these daughters of Mexican immigrants share their compelling story and the strength of the values and traditions that inspired their success. E901.1.S26S26 2008

Gabriel García Márquez: A Life
by Gerald Martin
This masterfully crafted, engaging biography is a tribute to the remarkable life of one of the most popular international novelists of the last fifty years. PQ8180.17.A73Z718 2009

Next Stop: Growing Up Wild-Style in the Bronx
by Ivan Sanchez
Brutal tales of drugs, crime, and neighborhood rivalries come to life on the pages of this raw, honest memoir of life in 1980s/90s New York. F128.68.B8S265 2008

A Sense of Belonging: From Castro’s Cuba to the U.S. Senate, One Man’s Pursuit of the American Dream
by Mel Martinez with Ed Breslin
A unique and inspirational account of Martinez’s transformative journey, exiled alone from his beloved homeland and embracing his adopted country with faith and determination. E901.1.M37A3 2008

Take Me with You: A Memoir
by Carlos Frías
This award-winning journalist and son of Cuban exiles relays a poignant personal vision of the mysterious, modern-day Cuba rich in detail, peppered by family anecdotes. F1765.3.F75 2008

Tango: An Argentine Love Story
by Camille Cusumano
The author’s vacation to Buenos Aires becomes an indefinite stay when she discovers inner peace through the intensity and passion of the tango. GV1796.T3C87 2008

* + Young Che: Memories of Che Guevara by His Father
by Ernesto Guevara Lynch
An intimate look at the people and events that shaped the development of this revolutionary icon’s worldview. Che’s 1950 travel diary is included. F2849.22.G85G8313 2008

 

EXPRESSIONS

The Buried Sea: New and Selected Poems
by Rane Arroyo
The influences of Neruda, Lorca, and Whitman echo throughout this collection of old and new autobiographical verse by the proudly gay and Puerto Rican Arroyo. PS3551.R722B87 2008

Capoeira Beyond Brazil: From a Slave Tradition to an International Way of Life
by Aniefre Essien
A survey of the techniques and lineages of the martial art/dance form first popularized in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. GV1796.C145E77 2008

Che’s Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image
by Michael Casey
A history of the 1960 snapshot of Che Guevara that has evolved into an icon of diverse political, sociological, and economic causes around the world. F2849.22.G85C28128 2009

* Crafty Chica’s Guide to Artful Sewing: Fabu-Low-Sew Projects for the Everyday Crafter
by Kathy Cano-Murillo
A colorful collection of simple sewing projects, from accessories to clothes to house wares, many inspired by Mexican folk art. TT750.C256 2009

Cuisine à Latina: Fresh Tastes and a World of Flavors from Michy’s Miami Kitchen
by Michelle Bernstein & Andrew Friedman
The chef of one of Miami’s acclaimed restaurants shares her unique take on classic Latin recipes, from appetizers to desserts, in this generously illustrated cookbook. TX716.A1B47 2008

Havana Before Castro: When Cuba Was a Tropical Playground
by Peter Moruzzi
A vast and colorful array of evocative vintage photographs, brochures, and artifacts illustrate one of America’s most popular travel destinations in the mid 20th century. F1799.H34M67 2008

Latin American Graphic Design
edited by Felipe Taborda and Julius Wiedemann
A generously illustrated collection of the best in visual communication that represents the unique Latin American design identity from the 20th century to today. NC998.6.L29L38 2008x

Pluriverse: New and Selected Poems
by Ernesto Cardenal
An extensive compilation by Nicaragua’s preeminent poet, following his literary development through six decades. PQ7519.C34A2 2009

Simply Mexican
by Lourdes Castro
Flavorful, authentic Mexican dishes are served up with no-fuss, step-by-step instructions. TX716.M4C3978 2009

 

HISTORY AND CONTEMPORARY ISSUES

Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause
by Tom Gjelten
Since forming the rum dynasty in 1862, five generations of the Bacardi family have been entangled in Cuban politics and their story is inseparable from its history. HD9394.C94B334 2008

Beyond Bogotá: Diary of a Drug War Journalist in Colombia
by Garry M. Leech
Leech learns the truth about the effects of the U.S. war on drugs on ordinary citizens as a captive of Colombia's largest leftist guerrilla group. HV5840.C7L43 2009

Brothers in Arms: The Kennedys, the Castros, and the Politics of Murder
by Gus Russo and Stephen Molton
This exploration of the animosity between the Kennedys and Castros poses a new theory about the JFK assassination, and suggests it averted a major war. E842.9.R873 2008

The Cuba Wars: Fidel Castro, the United States, and the Next Revolution
by Daniel P. Erikson
With power handed over to Fidel Castro’s brother Raul, the world wonders: will Cuba continue following the ideals of its most iconic leader? F1788.E65 2008

The Dictator's Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet
by Heraldo Muñoz
The author was an official in the Chilean government preceding Pinochet. As an exile he observed from the sidelines, returning to government service after the fall of Pinochet. F3100.M863 2008

The Mexican Wars for Independence
by Timothy J. Henderson
Mexicans united to fight and won independence from Spain in 1821, but cultural and ideological differences did not provide a good start for the nation. F1232.H45 2009

Midnight on the Line: The Secret Life of the U.S.-Mexico Border
by Tim Gaynor
The work of various border patrol agencies is examined in this exposé of the daily struggles and frequent changes occurring in the world of illegal immigration. F787.G39 2009

That Infernal Little Cuban Republic: The United States and the Cuban Revolution
by Lars Schoultz
This in depth examination of long-term ineffective foreign policy offers insight into the possibility of creating a more positive dynamic between the United States and Cuba. E183.8.C9S375 2009

The Threat Closer to Home: Hugo Chávez and the War Against America
by Douglas Schoen and Michael Rowan
Exploration of the ‘shadow war’ against the United States being conducted by Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Allegations include authorizing civilian massacres, drug running, and terrorist training. F2329.22.C54S36 2009

 

FICTION

+ 2666
by Roberto Bolaño
Lives intersect in the border city of Santa Teresa, a fictional Juárez, where hundreds of women have disappeared.

The Accidental Santera
by Irete Lazo
Unhappy in her marriage and career, scientist Gabrielle Segovia discovers Santeria, which leads to an unexpected spiritual journey.

B as in Beauty
by Alberto Ferreras
Beauty María Zavala hates her name, her weight, and her boss until a modern-day fairy godmother changes everything.

The Bride of Casa Dracula
by Marta Acosta
Prewedding jitters, paranoia, or sabotage by a hidden enemy? Marrying into a vampire family can be tough, as Milagro de los Santos learns.

Buried Strangers
by Leighton Gage
Mass murders and secret cemeteries! Brazilian Chief Inspector Mario Silva and his team must solve this case despite police corruption and a ‘suspect’ travel agency.

Fidel’s Last Days
by Roland Merullo
A member of Miami’s underground organization The White Orchid and the current Cuban minister of Health share the same goal: to assassinate Fidel Castro.

Frida’s Bed: A Novel
by Slavenka Drakulić
This imaginative look at the final days of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo examines how her chronic pain influenced her creativity.

+ Ghost Radio
by Leopoldo Gout
Joaquin, the host of a Mexican radio call-in show about the supernatural, starts to hear voices from the ‘other side’, including that of his deceased childhood friend.

The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters
by Lorraine López
Was Fermina a fairy godmother or a witch? Four sisters search for the truth behind a long-buried family secret.

+ Havana Gold
by Leonardo Padura
Cuban detective Mario Conde returns to his old high school to investigate the murder of a young female teacher. Part of the Havana Quartet series.

* Houston, We Have a Problema
by Gwendolyn Zepeda
Confused about her career, her love life, and her parents’ possible divorce, 20-something Jessica relies on psychic Madame Hortensia for advice.

+ Into the Beautiful North: A Novel
by Luis Alberto Urrea
All the men—including her father—have left Nayeli’s Mexican town for work in the U.S. She decides to venture north and bring a few back.

Jailbait Zombie
by Mario Acevedo
Vampire detective Felix Gomez, hunting down an army of zombies, is sidetracked when a teenager bribes him into turning her into a vampire, too.

Lima Nights: A Novel
by Marie Arana
Enjoying the good life in Lima, Carlos Bluhm becomes obsessed with 16-year-old tango dancer Maria Fernandez, risking life-changing consequences.

Living the Vida Lola: A Lola Cruz Mystery
by Misa Ramirez
The sassy P.I. tackles her first case: a mother of a young boy has disappeared. A local reporter—her old high school crush—provides information and infatuation.

* Lucky Chica
by Berta Platas
Cuban-American Rosie’s life changes after she wins $600 million in the lottery. Shopping sprees! Parties! Celebrity boyfriends! But who can she really trust?

Miami Manhunt
by Johnny Diaz
During one wild year in South Beach, three friends look for love at Score, Miami’s hottest gay bar.

Ruins
by Achy Obejas
When a man living a sparse life in Cuba inherits a Tiffany-like stained glass lamp, he searches for its origins and uncovers a secret family history.

The Seamstress: A Novel
by Frances de Pontes Peebles
1920s Brazil: Two poor seamstress sisters are torn apart when one of them is kidnapped by bandits and joins their life of crime.

+ Valfierno: The Man Who Stole the Mona Lisa: A Novel
by Martín Caparrós
A dying man divulges to an American journalist the truth about his secret identities and his infamous crime.

A Week in October: A Novel
by Elizabeth Subercaseaux
A terminally ill Chilean woman begins writing a journal that shocks her husband when he reads it on the sly.

The World in Half
by Cristina Henríquez
In Panama, Miraflores searches for the father she never knew, a man her dying mother doesn’t want her to meet.

Compiled by Boston Public Library staff:

Mary Cabral, Honan-Allston Branch
Denise de Boer, Fields Corner Branch
Francie Francis, South Boston Branch
Amy Manson, Chairperson, Connolly Branch
Cordelia Sullivan, Lower Mills Branch