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Celebrate Lantix Hertiage Month by reading one of these hand-selected books. Learn more about this celebration here. For kids books, go here.

 

The Lost Book of Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata

The story of a Latin American science fiction writer and the lives her lost manuscript unites decades later in post-Katrina New Orleans. In 1929 in New Orleans, a Dominican immigrant named Adana Moreau writes a science fiction novel. The novel earns rave reviews, and Adana begins a sequel. Then she falls gravely ill. Just before she dies, she destroys the only copy of the manuscript. Decades later in Chicago, Saul Drower is cleaning out his dead grandfather’s home when he discovers a mysterious manuscript written by none other than Adana Moreau. With the help of his friend Javier, Saul tracks down an address for Adana’s son in New Orleans, but as Hurricane Katrina strikes they must head to the storm-ravaged city for answers.

Citizen Illegal by Jose Olivarez

“In this stunning debut, poet José Olivarez explores the story, contradictions, joys, and sorrows that embody life in the spaces between Mexico and America. He paints vivid portraits of good kids, bad kids, families clinging to hope, life after the steel mills, and gentrifying barrios. Drawing on the rich traditions of Latinx and Chicago writers like Sandra Cisneros and Gwendolyn Brooks, Olivarez creates a home out of life in the in-between.”– Provided by publisher.

 

 

 

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemi Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find–her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemi knows little about the region. Noemi is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemi; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom. Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemi, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemi digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano

A polymathic descendant of Borges and Pynchon, Roberto Bolano traces the hidden connection between literature and violence in a world where national boundaries are fluid and death lurks in the shadow of the avant-garde. The Savage Detectives is a dazzling original, the first great Latin American novel of the twenty-first century.

 

 

 

 

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

“In the late 1930s, civil war gripped Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life irreversibly intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them wants, and together are sponsored by poet Pablo Neruda to embark on the SS Winnipeg along with 2,200 other refugees in search of a new life. As unlikely partners, they embrace exile and emigrate to Chile as the rest of Europe erupts in World War. Starting over on a new continent, their trials are just beginning. Over the course of their lives, they will face test after test. But they will also find joy as they wait patiently for a day when they are exiles no more, and will find friends in the most unlikely of places. Through it all, it is that hope of being reunited with their home that keeps them going. And in the end, they will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along”– Provided by publisher.

The Crystal Frontier by Carlos Fuentes

“ From Mexico’s preeminent man of letters, “a Balzacian novel in nine masterly stories” (Vanity Fair) that explores the “uneven and painful meshing of two North american cultures” (Washington Post Book World). A New York Times Notable Book of the Year. A Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year.”

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester

The first time Isabel meets her father-in-law, Omar, he’s already dead–an apparition appearing uninvited on her wedding day. Her husband, Martin, still unforgiving for having been abandoned by his father years ago, confesses that he never knew the old man had died. So Omar asks Isabel for the impossible: persuade Omar’s family–especially his wife, Elda–to let him redeem himself. Isabel and Martin settle into married life in a Texas border town, and Omar returns each year on the celebratory Day of the Dead. Every year Isabel listens, but to the aggrieved Martin and Elda, Omar’s spirit remains invisible. Through his visits, Isabel gains insight into not just the truth about his disappearance and her husband’s childhood but also the ways grief can eat away at love. When Martin’s teenage nephew crosses the Mexican border and takes refuge in Isabel and Martin’s home, questions about past and future homes, borders, and belonging arise that may finally lead to forgiveness–and alter all their lives forever.

From Our Land to Our Land by Luis J. Rodriguez

“Luis J. Rodriguez writes about race, culture, identity, and belonging and what these all mean and should mean (but often fail to) in the volatile climate of our nation. Rodriguez has a distinctly inspiring passion and wisdom in his approach. Ultimately, the book carries the message that we must come together if we are to move forward. As he reminds us in the first essay, “The End of Belonging,” “I’m writing as a Native person. I’m writing as a poet. I’m writing as a revolutionary working class organizer and thinker who has traversed life journeys from which incredible experiences, missteps, plights, and victories have marked the way. . . . I belong anywhere.” The pieces in From Our Land to Our Land capture that same fantastic energy and wisdom and will spark conversation and inspiration”– Provided by publisher.

The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

“In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately called Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies, transforming the weekend into a farewell doubleheader. Among the guests is Big Angel’s half brother, known as Little Angel, who must reckon with the truth that although he shares a father with his siblings, he has not, as a half gringo, shared a life.” Provided by publisher.

 

 

 

Queen of America by Luis Alberto Urrea

“At turns heartbreaking, uplifting, fiercely romantic, and riotously funny, Queen of America tells the unforgettable story of a young woman coming of age and finding her place in a new world.

Beginning where Luis Alberto Urrea’s bestselling The Hummingbird’s Daughter left off, Queen of America finds young Teresita Urrea, beloved healer and “Saint of Cabora,” with her father in 1892 Arizona. But, besieged by pilgrims in desperate need of her healing powers, and pursued by assassins, she has no choice but to flee the borderlands and embark on an extraordinary journey into the heart of turn-of-the-century America.” Provided by publisher.

 

 

Cockfight by María Fernanda Ampuero

“Cockfight is the debut short story collection by Ecuadorian writer María Fernanda Ampuero. Over thirteen stories, Cockfight explores the brutality and everyday violence contained in the structures of home, family, gender, and class in twenty-first-century Latin America”– Provided by publisher.

 

 

 

 

 

Where We Come From by Oscar Casares

“From the acclaimed author Brownsville and Amigoland–a stunning and timely new novel about a Mexican-American family in a Texas border town who reluctantly become involved in smuggling immigrants into the United States. Brownsville, Texas, has a dangerous reputation: it sits on the U.S. side of the bridge into Matamoros, Mexico, a city controlled by notorious cartels. But that isn’t why 12-year-old Orly doesn’t want to visit. Though he’s still grieving the death of his mother, his father, Victor, is making him spend the summer in Brownsville with his godmother, Nina. Now a successful ad executive in Houston, Victor was raised in Brownsville and thinks it will do Orly good to know about his less-privileged roots. But Nina, distracted by having to care for her elderly mother, seems only to have rules for Orly. In particular: Don’t go near the back house. . . Nina has spent her own life following rules and sacrificing her own desires for others’ needs. But when a single act of kindness toward her desperate Mexican cleaning lady begins to spiral out of control, Nina risks exposure from all sides–not only from her curious godson and her controlling brother, but from ruthless human traffickers and the police. Now, Nina will have to face the secrets she’s long kept if she has any hope of helping the people suddenly under her care. Tackling the crisis of U.S. immigration policy from an unusual, deeply humane angle, Where We Come From explores the ways that family history shapes us, how secrets can burden us, and how finding compassion and understanding for others can ultimately set us free”– Provided by publisher.

Native Country of the Heart by Cherrie Moraga

Native Country of the Heart: A Memoir is, at its core, a mother-daughter story. The mother, Elvira, was hired out as a child, along with her siblings, by their own father to pick cotton in California’s Imperial Valley. The daughter, Cherríe Moraga, is a brilliant, pioneering, queer Latina feminist. The story of these two women, and of their people, is woven together in an intimate memoir of critical reflection and deep personal revelation. As a young woman, Elvira left California to work as a cigarette girl in glamorous late-1920s Tijuana, where an ambiguous relationship with a wealthy white man taught her life lessons about power, sex, and opportunity. As Moraga charts her mother’s journey-from impressionable young girl to battle-tested matriarch to, later on, an old woman suffering under the yoke of Alzheimer’s-she traces her own self-discovery of her gender-queer body and Lesbian identity, as well as her passion for activism and the history of her pueblo. As her mother’s memory fails, Moraga is driven to unearth forgotten remnants of a U.S. Mexican diaspora, its indigenous origins, and an American story of cultural loss. Poetically wrought and filled with insight into intergenerational trauma, Native Country of the Heart is a reckoning with white American history and a piercing love letter from a fearless daughter to the mother she will never lose.

Signs Preceding the End of the World by Uri Herrera

“Yuri Herrera does not simply write about the border between Mexico and the United States and those who cross it. He explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another, especially when there’s no going back. Traversing this lonely territory is Makina, a young woman who knows only too well how to survive in a violent, macho world. Leaving behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the US carrying a pair of secret messages–one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld”–Publisher’s description.

 

 

Afterlife by Julia Alvarez

Antonia Vega, the immigrant writer at the center of Afterlife, has had the rug pulled out from under her. She has just retired from the college where she taught English when her beloved husband, Sam, suddenly dies. And then more jolts: her bighearted but unstable sister disappears, and Antonia returns home one evening to find a pregnant, undocumented teenager on her doorstep. Antonia has always sought direction in the literature she loves–lines from her favorite authors play in her head like a soundtrack–but now she finds that the world demands more of her than words. Afterlife is a compact, nimble, and sharply droll novel. Set in this political moment of tribalism and distrust, it asks: What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including–maybe especially–members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost? — provided by publisher.

Caramelo or Puro Cuento by Sandra Cisneros

From the celebrated author of The House on Mango Street, a multigenerational story of a Mexican-American family whose voices create a dazzling weave of humor, passion, and poignancy–the very stuff of life. Lala Reyes’ grandmother is descended from a family of renowned rebozo, or shawl, makers. The striped caramelo rebozo is the most beautiful of all, and the one that makes its way, like the family history it has come to represent, into Lala’s possession. “With the ability to make listeners laugh out loud with her humor, get lumps in their throats with her poignancy and leave them thinking about her characters long after they’ve hit the stop button, Cisneros is a master storyteller and performer. Her sweeping tale of the Reyes family, with the charmingly innocent Lala Reyes at its center, moves from 1920s Mexico City and Acapulco to 1950s Chicago, all the while grounding the family’s whimsical events with “notes” to help readers understand the greater significance of, say, a nightclub singer who snagged Lala’s grandfather’s heart or the Mexican government’s initiative to build a network of highways throughout the country.” Publisher’s Weekly

Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor

“The Witch is dead. And the discovery of her corpse–by a group of children playing near the irrigation canals–propels the whole village into an investigation of how and why this murder occurred. Rumors and suspicions spread. As the novel unfolds in a dazzling linguistic torrent, with each unreliable narrator lingering on new details, new acts of depravity or brutality, Melchor extracts some tiny shred of humanity from these characters that most would write off as utterly irredeemable, forming a lasting portrait of a damned Mexican village.” Provided by Publisher.

 

 

 

Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz

In this searing memoir, Jaquira Díaz writes fiercely and eloquently of her challenging girlhood and triumphant coming of age.

Reminiscent of Tara Westover’s Educated, Kiese Laymon’s Heavy, Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club, and Terese Marie Mailhot’s Heart Berries, Jaquira Díaz’s memoir provides a vivid portrait of a life lived in (and beyond) the borders of Puerto Rico and its complicated history—and reads as electrically as a novel.

 

 

 

Children of the the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

“This unforgettable memoir from a prize-winning poet about growing up undocumented in the United States recounts the sorrows and joys of a family torn apart by draconian policies and chronicles one young man’s attempt to build a future in a nation that denies his existence. This novel aboards topics like generational trauma and toxic masculinity.” Publisher’s description.

 

 

 

 

 

A Wedding in Haiti by Julia Alvarez

“In a story that travels beyond borders and between families, acclaimed Dominican novelist and poet Julia Alvarez reflects on the joys and burdens of love-for her parents, for her husband, and for a young Haitian boy known as Piti. In this intimate true account of a promise kept, Alvarez takes us on a journey into experiences that challenge our way of thinking about history and how it can be reimagined when people from two countries-traditional enemies and strangers-become friends.” Publisher’s Description.