Editor’s post-note: This year’s groups had one of the most diverse lists we ever put together. It’s nearly impossible to beat a memoir by the first Latinx Supreme Court Justice, but this list has everything from thrillers to lyrical poetry.
1) This author needs no introduction. In her memoir, My Beloved World, the ever-inspirational Supreme Court Justice provides readers with powerful insight on the role that hard work and determination played in the early parts of her life as she forged a path to law school from housing projects in the Bronx to Princeton University, Yale Law School, and to the highest court in the nation.
2) If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, there is no doubt that you will absolutely love Amy Tintera’s Reboot. Not surprisingly, the film rights to this thrilling sci-fi novel have already been sold. This is an author who knows how to push the limits of imagination and write young adult works that will leave everyone begging for sequels.
3) In Flowers in the Dust, Myriam Alvarez tells an intriguing tale based on her grandmother’s life. This work of historical fiction paints a poignant picture of South America around the mid-1900s, and is a touching portrait of a woman whose devotion to family is inspirational.
4) Mario Alberto Zambrano brilliantly weaves together a plot that that flows smoothly as it unravels like the popular game and novel’s namesake, Loteria: A Novel (P.S.) And just like the game, the story is unpredictable and full of twists.
5) Sonia Manzano, author of The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, has shown us that she has acting talent, having played Maria on Sesame Street since 1971. And now through this novel, she shows off her writing skills. Set in the 1960s East Harlem, this story is both gritty and witty as it revisits a time of the Young Lords, rebellion, and youth.
6) In Speaking Wiri Wirii, winner of the inaugural edition of the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize, Dan Vera shows us why he is earning a reputation as a talented, sophisticated poet who is a master at playing with words. This collection, his second book of poetry, is a dazzling display of language and emotion.
7) In the short story collection, The Bolero of Andi Rowe: Stories, Toni Margarita Plummer reminds us that this genre is alive and well. She is a master of subtle suspense—the kind that creates tension waiting to explode until the final twist.
8) Sandra Ramos O’Briant’s The Sandoval Sisters’ Secret of Old Blood (Sandoval Legacy Book 1) is a page-turning work of historical fiction with drama that multiplies over and over, in a style that will make it difficult to put this novel down.
9) Winner of the prestigious Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, Laurie Ann Guerrero’s A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying (Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize) is a poetry collection with images that are both haunting and fascinating. Guerrero illustrates that she is part poet and part storyteller.
10) Agustin D. Martinez, author of The Mares of Lenin Park, created quite the buzz in 2013. His debut novel is part of an impressive line of works that tell the sometimes complex but compelling stories of Cubans during the revolution.