The 30 Best Books by Hispanic Authors You’ll Want to Read Right Now

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From memoirs to Gothic horror novels, YA fiction to essay collections, these books by Hispanic authors 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 Hispanic authors aren’t on your radar, they should be—and not just during Hispanic Heritage Month (also often called Latinx Heritage Month). Some of them were written by famous Hispanic Americans known for crafting incredible stories for and about the Latinx community. Others are by newcomers with compelling voices and fascinating perspectives.

We carefully selected these books from bestseller lists and book reviewer recommendations, and all are highly rated and well praised. Some of these Latinx books have even been optioned for film and television, while others are simply incredible reads from Hispanic authors who seriously deserve your attention (many of whom are award-winning writers). Whether you love dramas or romance novels, comedies or horror books, self-help titles or novels for women, there’s something on this list for you.

Trust us: Once you pick up one of the best books by Latinx authors, you won’t be able to put it down. You’ll also be supporting the community beyond simply eating Latin foods (though the cuisine is lovely, and you should definitely enjoy it!) and 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!

1. Funeral for Flaca by Emilly Prado

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Released the summer of 2021, 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 suburbs of Portland and the Bay Area. Throughout the memoir, Emilly 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.
  • It’s perfect for memoir lovers.

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2. Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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On the heels of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s bestselling Mexican Gothic came a novel just as highly praised: Velvet Was the Night. This New York Times Editor’s Choice book is set in 1970s Mexico City and follows Maite, a secretary with a penchant for reading romance stories. The disappearance of her mysterious art student neighbor, Leonora, rocks her life. As Maite begins searching for Leonora, she uncovers a secret life without realizing she herself is being watched. It was lauded as one of the best new fiction books of 2021 and is worth a read before you dig into Moreno-Garcia’s latest, The Daughter of Doctor Moreau.

Highlights:

  • The book is described as a “treat for lovers of noir.”
  • Fans of Mexican Gothic will adore it.

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3. Violeta by Isabel Allende

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Follow Violeta Del Valle’s incredible life, from her birth in 1920 through the Spanish Flu, Great Depression and Women’s Rights Movement, in this engrossing saga from one of Latin America’s biggest authors. Fans of the historical fiction book genre will be swept away as Violeta encounters love, heartbreak and passion of all kinds. It wasn’t long after the book’s February 2022 release that it landed on the New York Times bestseller list—and for good reason.

Highlights:

  • Some critics say this is Allende’s best work yet.
  • It’s a great read for those who enjoy a bit of history with their fiction.

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

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Latina Rebels founder Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez invites women of color to challenge the status quo and find pride within themselves in this powerful book, which came out in 2021. The Nicaraguan author and activist tackles racism, colorism, classism, the immigrant experience and more in ways that are honest, relatable, refreshing and inspiring.

Highlights:

  • It’s required reading for female-identifying people of color who know they deserve more.
  • It’s a must-read for white allies.

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5. You Sound Like a White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation by Julissa Arce

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With a 4.8-star rating on Amazon and rave reviews from Elle, Bloomberg, Ms. and other publications, this indie bestseller, which was published in 2022, needs to get on your radar—stat. Tackling what it means to belong from the perspective of a Mexican immigrant, this raw text will have you looking at the Latin experience with new eyes.

Highlights:

  • Kirkus Reviews called this book an “essential read,” and we agree.
  • This is an excellent pick for anyone looking for books about race relations in America, as well as immigration, assimilation and systemic oppression.

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6. A Lot Like Adiós by Alexis Daria

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Bestselling author Alexis Daria is at it again with another sultry romance. This one, published in 2021, centers on Michelle, a graphic designer with major commitment issues, and the handsome best friend she thought she’d lost for good but who’s finally back in town. It’s a great new installment in the Puerto Rican author’s Primas of Power series.

Highlights:

  • Romance lovers will rejoice with this one.
  • It currently has 4.25 out of 5 stars on Audible (yep, there’s an audiobook).

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7. Speculative Fiction for Dreamers, edited by Alex Hernandez, Sarah Rafael García and Matthew David Goodwin

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This fascinating 2021 anthology brings to life Latinx-centered short stories that include time travel, curanderas (healers), 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 more than 25 years to embrace her Latinx identity.

Highlights:

  • There are stellar samplings from a variety of authors.
  • It’s geared toward both teens and adults.

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8. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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If you haven’t yet picked up a copy of Mexican Gothic, now is the time—you’ll definitely want to read it before Hulu releases a limited TV series based on the novel. Set in the 1950s, this New York Times bestseller from 2020 revolves around Noemí Taboada, a young debutante bent on saving her newlywed cousin from an unknown threat. Moreno-Garcia is quickly becoming one of the most talked-about Hispanic authors around, and you’ll want to read this horror story if you’re a fan of the classic novels Rebecca and Jane Eyre.

Highlights:

  • Fans of gothic horror will be especially hooked.
  • It was named one of the best books of 2020 by NPR, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and more.

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9. Mango, Mambo and Murder by Raquel V. Reyes

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Cuban American author Raquel V. Reyes taps into her heritage and love of sleuthing in Mango, Mambo and Murder, a delightful 2021 cozy 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:

  • Fans of mystery novels will be instantly pulled into this one.
  • You’ll learn more about Cuban food and culture.

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10. Clap When You Land from Elizabeth Acevedo

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National Book Award–winning author Elizabeth Acevedo’s 2020 book about two girls struggling with the aftermath of a plane crash remains one of her most-talked-about novels. Tackling topics of grief, connection and identity with unparalleled skill, it’s no wonder Clap When You Land became a New York Times Bestseller.

Highlights:

  • This YA novel-in-verse is a hit with teens and adults alike.
  • Fans of this book can gobble up more of Acevedo’s work, including her much-lauded The Poet X and her latest, a visual poem titled Inheritance.

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11. Martita, I Remember You by Sandra Cisneros

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Bestselling Chicana author Sandra Cisneros is one of the most famous Hispanic authors of all time, and she’s at it again with this gem about a young woman who sets off for Paris to start a new life as a writer but ends up panhandling, partying and making lifelong friends along the way. Booklist described Martita, I Remember You as “vivid, tender, funny, bittersweet and haunting,” while Publisher’s Weekly says that fans will treasure Cisneros’s latest novel, which was published in 2021. If you enjoy it, be sure to check out Woman Without Shame, her poetry collection, which releases on Sept. 13, 2022.

Highlights:

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

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

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The self-help industry is full of white folks dispensing advice from a position of privilege. It’s a genre that rarely sees books by Latinx authors, which is why Mexican American author Sandra Hinojosa Ludwig’s Chica, Why Not? is a welcome breath of fresh (and diverse) air. In this easy-to-read text, which came out in 2021, 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:

  • It’s a must-read for self-help fans who don’t want another cis white man’s advice.
  • The book includes plenty of exercises to help you organize your thoughts and dreams.

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13. Chola Salvation by Estella González

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This 2021 short story collection by Estella González perfectly portrays life growing up in East Los Angeles and the challenges that the marginalized folks who reside there face daily—sometimes with a wonderfully fantastical twist. 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:

  • This is an excellent choice for anyone who digs a good short story.
  • It currently has 4.2 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

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14. The Crafty Chica Creates by Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Popular Latina crafter Kathy Cano-Murillo (aka The Crafty Chica) released this colorful book in late 2021, and it includes tons of fun, sparkly, Latinx-centric crafts for readers to create 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. If you’ve had your nose stuck in fiction books by Latino authors and Latina authors for a while, pick up The Crafty Chica Creates for a creativity break.

Highlights:

  • It’s fun for all ages, though young crafters may need help from adults.
  • The book is a nice complement to Cano-Murillo’s TikTok and Instagram videos.

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15. My Broken Language by Quiara Alegría Hudes

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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 to her college days, while perfectly capturing the nuances of her Puerto Rican family. Her In The Heights co-writer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, said this of her 2021 memoir: “Her sentences will take your breath away.”

Highlights:

  • The book was chosen as a Good Morning America Buzz Pick.
  • “Every line of this book is poetry,” says journalist and author Maria Hinojosa.

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16. The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende

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The queen of magical realism herself, Chilean author Isabel Allende has gifted us a gorgeous meditation on feminism and womanhood across ages in this text from 2020. The Soul of a Woman is 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.
  • This feminist memoir is packed with wit and wisdom.

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17. Mother/Land by Ananda Lima

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Ananda Lima’s poetry collection from 2021 vividly explores the intersections and complexities of motherhood and immigration, two topics the Brazilian American 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:

  • It’s perfect for fans of poetry.
  • Mothers (especially immigrants and first-generation Latinas) will appreciate this collection.

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18. Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

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Named one of the best books of the year by countless publications—including Reader’s Digest—Xochitl Gonzalez’s Olga Dies Dreaming was collecting industry buzz long before its January 2022 publication. The story revolves around a Puerto Rican wedding planner whose life is disrupted after Hurricane Maria prompts her absent mother to return, and it explores politics, identity and family.

Highlights:

  • It’s currently an Amazon Editor’s Pick.
  • This International Latino Book Award Finalist is among the best mother-daughter books out now.

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19. The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes

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Sonora Reyes’s 2022 debut novel about a young, queer Mexican American high school girl doing everything she can to stay in the closet is both hilarious and heartfelt. A national bestseller and certainly one of the newer LGBTQ+ books you’ll want to pick up, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School is a fresh, fun novel both teens and adults can enjoy. We can’t wait to see what Reyes writes next.

Highlights:

  • Kirkus Reviews called it a “textured and gratifying novel.”
  • The audiobook currently has a 4.9 rating on Audible.

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20. Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

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Award-winning author Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s 2022 debut novel follows the life and struggles of Luz “Little Light” Lopez, an Indigenous Chicana living in Denver in the 1930s. An instant bestseller, it received high praise from Kirkus Reviews, Electric Literature, Shondaland and more, and it’d make the perfect read for your next book club.

Highlights:

  • It was both an Audacious Book Club pick as well as a Phenomenal Book Club pick.
  • The novel pairs well with the author’s award-winning short story collection, Sabrina & Corina.

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21. My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education by Jennine Capó Crucet

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This 2019 collection of essays explores Jennine Capó Crucet’s life, from her childhood in Miami all the way to a teaching position in Nebraska, and her encounters with politics, race and identity along the way. Author Alexander Chee called it a “triumph,” while actor and author Amber Tamblyn said it was a “funny, intimate, important and most necessary read.”

Highlights:

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22. Living Color: Angie Rubio Stories by Donna Miscolta

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In Living Color, we follow the trials and tribulations of Angie Rubio, an awkward, introverted Mexican American girl growing up in California in the ’60s and ’70s. Filipino Mexican American author Donna Miscolta’s 2020 book spans girlhood for Brown girls in a White world, from training bras to high school proms, in a candid, heartfelt way.

Highlights:

  • It won a Next Generation Indie Award for Best Multicultural Fiction and was a finalist for the International Latino Book Award for Best Collection of Stories.
  • It’s a fun read for fans of historical fiction and coming-of-age stories.

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23. Eat the Mouth That Feeds You by Carribean Fragoza

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Carribean Fragoza’s debut short story collection was one of the most highly anticipated books by Hispanic authors when it was published in 2021. 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:

  • It received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.
  • It’s great for lovers of short stories and horror.

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24. A Ballad of Love and Glory by Reyna Grande

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Set to the backdrop of the Mexican-American War, this turbulent love story between Ximena, a widowed healer turned Mexican army nurse, and John Riley, an Irish immigrant who leaves the Yankee army to fight alongside Mexico, is as epic as it sounds. Published in March 2022, Reyna Grande’s page-turning romantic saga highlights a part of history that deserves more attention.

Highlights:

  • Fans of war-torn romances like Cold Mountain and the Outlander series will want to put this at the top of their to-be-read pile.
  • Historical fiction rarely centers around the Mexican-American War, like this one does.

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25. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

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A National Book Award finalist, Erika L. Sánchez’s 2017 debut YA novel is the heartfelt story of a Mexican American teen’s life in the wake of her sister’s death. It’s already a must-read for adults and teens alike, but soon it may join the ranks of the best book-to-movie adaptations—the film will be directed by Superstore and Real Women Have Curves star America Ferrera.

Highlights:

  • This is Sánchez’s first novel, though she previously published a book of poems and has since published a memoir.
  • A New York Times bestseller, it received high praise from NPR, the Los Angeles Review of Books and other outlets.

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26. Half Outlaw by Alex Temblador

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When Raqi’s rich, white biker uncle suddenly passes away, she finally has the opportunity to connect with her grandfather—her only living Mexican relative—so long as she agrees to go on the motorcycle ride of her life. In Half Outlaw, award-winning author Alex Temblador gives us a truly unique and refreshing story about honoring personal heritage and bike culture.

Highlights:

  • It puts an interesting twist on a book about grief and struggling to find where you came from.
  • Temblador writes from experience: Like her character, she’s also mixed race.

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27. Running by Natalia Sylvester

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This young adult novel by Peruvian-born Natalia Sylvester tells the story of a Cuban American teen in Miami who starts to view her father in a different light when he begins the process of running for president—and it’s not a good look. Running, which came out in 2020, is engaging and educating, with plenty of great lessons in civic duty and activism.

Highlights:

  • The book is geared toward kids in grades seven to nine.
  • It’s highly enjoyable for anyone who loves YA fiction.

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28. How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz

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The author who brought us Dominicana is back with a new novel about an immigrant woman in her mid-50s who loses everything (or at least believes she does) and finally gets to tell her story in her own words. With humor and an easy-to-root-for protagonist, Angie Cruz’s upcoming release—How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water comes out on Sept. 13, 2022—has earned a spot on everyone’s fall reading list.

Highlights:

  • It’s a must-read for fans of second-chance stories.
  • It’s been named one of the most anticipated books of the year by the Today Show, The Washington Post and others.

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29. In the Shadow of the Mountain by Silvia Vasquez-Lavado

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How often do you read a true account of what it’s like to climb Mount Everest? This engrossing memoir follows Silvia Vasquez-Lavado as she battles alcoholism and childhood trauma, struggles to hide her sexuality and then gathers fellow survivors for the ascent of a lifetime. Selena Gomez calls Vasquez-Lavado a “warrior” and an “inspiration.”

Highlights:

  • The book is currently being turned into a film starring Gomez.
  • Author Elizabeth Gilbert calls Vasquez-Lavado a “woman possessed of uncommon strength, rare compassion and a ferocious stubbornness to not allow the trauma of her childhood to destroy her life.”

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30. Crying in the Bathroom by Erika L. Sánchez

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Among the many must-read books by Latinx authors of 2022 is this memoir-in-essays by New York Times bestselling author Erika L Sánchez. Diving into her childhood as the Mexican American daughter of immigrants in Chicago, the book covers mental health, sex, dating and so much more, all with plenty of funny moments to keep you engaged.

Highlights:

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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.