The Latinidad List: Best Latino Books of 2011

This year's best books, each of which would make a great gift for someone you love

By Marcela Landres
Published on LatinoLA: December 9, 2011

The Latinidad List: Best Latino Books of 2011

As the official book nerd in my family, I use the holidays as an excuse to buy books. Even though I am presented with wish lists for my nieces and nephews crammed with video games and toys, I tend to buy them books. (Thankfully, many video games have companion manuals.) I may not be the coolest aunt, but I have the satisfaction of expanding young minds while creating abundance for a few authors. I encourage you to do the same.

Below is the Latinidad List of the year's best books, each of which would make a great gift for someone you love. Shop online at La Casa Azul Bookstore,
http://www.lacasaazulbookstore.com/ and save 10 percent.

To nominate a book for next year's list, please e-mail me at
marcelalandres@yahoo.com. Note that I'm seeking nominations only
for books to be published in 2012.

The Latinidad List

Debut Novel -
Outside the Bones by Lyn Di Iorio
If a novel were like a Latina, it would be Outside the Bones: alluring, with deep roots in the earth but permeable boundaries to the supernatural.

Literary Fiction
Adios, Happy Homeland! By Ana Menendez
Menendez writes like the audacious love child of Jonathan Swift and Junot Diaz, weaving a tale with the intricate logic of a brilliant madwoman.

Human Cargo by Des Zamorano
A page-turner featuring a protagonist who could be your BFF--one who happens to be a PI with a black belt in Krav Maga.

Short Story Collection
Orientation and Other Stories by Daniel Orozco
Meticulously crafted stories populated with characters you will recognize around (and, perhaps, within) you.

Poetry Collection
Me No Habla With Acento edited by Emanuel Xavier
Pulsating rhymes and piercing images unite this spirited compendium of contemporary Latino poets.

Memoir -
Sempre Susan by Sigrid Nunez
Devastating honesty combined with deceptively spare, poetic language creates an unforgettable narrative.

Pink Boots and a Machete: My Journey from NFL Cheerleader to National Geographic Explorer by Mireya Mayor
With grit, glamour, and sagacity, a true adventuress grabs readers and takes them on an exhilarating trip from Little Havana to Madagascar.

The New Southern-Latino Table by Sandra A. Gutierrez
These mouthwatering recipes concoct a harmonious fusion of two beloved cuisines.

Young Adult
Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Only a true talent like Garcia McCall can make a story both heartrending and enchanting.

Children's Picture Book
What Are You Doing? By Elisa Amado and Manuel Monroy
A timeless tribute to the joys of reading.

Excerpted from Latinidad? ? 2003 by Marcela Landres

Editor's Note: What's on YOUR Top Ten List? Add your comment below...

About Marcela Landres:
Marcela Landres is the author of the e-book How Editors Think. She is an Editorial Consultant who specializes in helping Latinos get published and was formerly an editor at Simon & Schuster.
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