May is Latino Book Month and since I love books so much this was the perfect chance for me to learn about new Latino Books in the market and re-learn from old Latino classics. I mean hey the words Latino and books make me think of reading while zipping on a cold margarita, I don’t know you… and no, I am not stereotyping because I am too, Latina.
But who doesn’t like reading and margaritas?
(If you don’t, you are reading the wrong post…)
Anyway as a young reader I remember embracing my passion for arts and literature reading books. Among my favourites Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Cien años de soledad (One Hundred years of Solitude) one of the best written novels of all time (Spanish) and Amor en tiempos de colera (Love in times of Cholera) an impossible love story in a deep colonial era, in which taboos and social clase where core elements of the daily life. Love in times of Cholera also has a movie starting Javier Bardem (2007) which is exquisitely made, keeping colonial South America intact and at its best; La Casa de los espiritus (The House of the Spirits) y Como agua para cholocate (Like Water for Chocolate) from Isabel Allende which also has a movie. My old time favourite and winner of the Alfaragua prize in 1999 A Son de Mar (Sound of the Sea) an erotic drama of an eternal and salty love by Chilean writer Manuel Vincent. For poets, Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet and his book Veinte Poemas de Amor y una cancion desesperada ( Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Dispair) is a must have. A classic of mesmerizing quality and detail.
Did you know? ** According to online sources: “The Italian film Il Postino, inspired by Antonio Skármeta‘s 1985 novel Ardiente Paciencia (Ardent Patience, later known as El cartero de Neruda, or Neruda’s Postman), centres on the story of Pablo Neruda (Philippe Noiret) living in exile on Salina Island near Sicily during the 1950s. While there, he befriends the local postman and inspires in him a love of poetry.” **
In later years I discovered writer Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Fair enough he is not Latino as he is from Spain, but since his books are written in Spanish it is worth a mention due to the astonishing quality of his work. He famously describes “old” Barcelona in amazing detail and warmth; a Barcelona of mysteries and dark passages that open a whole new world into the undiscovered. His books include El príncipe de la niebla (The Prince of Mist, 1993), earned the Edebé literary prize for young adult fiction. El palacio de la medianoche (1994), Las luces de septiembre (1995) and Marina (1999) all Young Adult (YA) genre. Maquiavelic and dark Carlos transports you into his inner darkest thoughts with these books.
La sombra del viento (The Shadow of the Wind), his first “adult” novel, established him as a serious author winning many international awards and breaking record sales in the UK and placing him as one of the most successful contemporary Spanish writers. El juego del angel (The Angel’s Game)2008. It is a prequel to The Shadow of the Wind, also set in Barcelona, but during the 1920s and 1930s.
Last but not least I recommend La catedral del mar 2006 by Spanish writer Ildefonso Falcones. Also concentrates on the Barcelona from the XIV Century in which aristocracy and poverty mix with history and story.
So next time you are at the book store of just browsing around your Nook© why not give Latino Books a chance. Latino’s eternal fire and passion are the staple not only of our culture by our way of living. These books have that essence from beginning to end.
Come on! Get that margarita and read. It’s Latino Book’s Month.
http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/latino for more books and reviews