Latinx Fall Reads 2019 (or, #ReadandLatinx6)

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[id: chalkboard in background with Latinx Fall Reads 2019 in cursive font, @boricuareads underneath the 2019, #ReadLatinx 101 under that in chalk font; a blue backpack with colorful notebooks lays splayed on a dark wooden desk and next to it four books laying sideways: Strange Birds by Celia C. Pérez, The Fire Keeper by J.C. Cervantes, Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika and Maritza Moulite, and the tenth girl by Sara Faring]
Zip up your hoodies, put away the flip flops (for the love of God don’t even think of even wearing them with socks on) if you live somewhere cold, because the summer’s over and that means it’s now AUTUMN. Fall. Otoño.

School’s coming back into session if you do semesters, and perhaps you’ll have less time to read, but that doesn’t mean books go to sleep while you’re elsewhere. In fact, they come out stronger, tempting you to look away from your work so you can relish their words and escape into their world for a while. 

Last year, I had 40+ books to list out and I thought that was a lot. This time around, with more resources and knowledge, I was able to compile a list of ~90 books written or illustrated by Latinx. And they’re arriving just in time for Latinx Heritage Month (09/15-10/15) as well! 

If you’re interested in reading the past #ReadLatinx posts, scroll to the end for a list of them. I dub this list #ReadandLatinx6.

This list is comprised of books written and/or illustrated by Latinx that are being released between September 1st and November 28th. As always, it will be divided by age category (Picture Books, MG, YA, or Adult) as well as genre (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Anthology) and subgenres in certain cases (Literary, Contemporary, Fantasy, etc.). Each of the books listed will have the title, the name of the author/illustrator, its release date, and a short description written by yours truly. Compare to other lists, the descriptions for books written from Early Middle Grade onward (with the exception of non-fiction and poetry) on this list will be sort-of in the style of AO3 tags, as an experiment (a huge thank you to Gabi @gabi_morataya on twitter for suggesting the change; they really allowed me to have fun with these lists rather than spelling out the specifics of it). Each category is sorted by release date. Books marked by an asterisk (*) are ones I don’t know their official release date or don’t have enough information about.

Disclaimer: This compilation is by no means exhaustive or comprehensive; it only contains titles I’ve been able to find through extensive research. If you know of a book I didn’t list, or have a correction to make, don’t hesitate to let me know! I also add books at my own discretion, as I have no intention of boosting sexual harassers, racists, homophobes or transphobes, but if you noticed I slipped and added a book by someone who’s been accused of harassment of any kind, let me know so I can take them out of the list. This list is in no way an endorsement of the contents of each book, as I don’t have the knowledge of what is in each and every book. 

Continue reading “Latinx Fall Reads 2019 (or, #ReadandLatinx6)”

Author Interview with Dahlia Adler – His Hideous Heart Blog Tour

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[id: text reads “boricuareads interviews: Dahlia Adler for the His Hideous Heart Blog Tour. the background is grey and the book’s cover is in the middle of the banner]
Hi everyone! As a part of the His Hideous Heart blog tour, I agreed to do a post on my blog. Before I talk about the post, here’s a description of the anthology:

Thirteen of YA’s most celebrated names reimagine Edgar Allan Poe’s most surprising, unsettling, and popular tales for a new generation

Guilt.
Regret.
Love.
Loss.
Self-loathing.
Terror.
Vengeance.

Edgar Allan Poe may be a hundred and fifty years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in thirteen unique and unforgettable ways.

Contributors include Dahlia Adler (reimagining “Ligeia”), Kendare Blake (“Metzengerstein”), Rin Chupeco (“The Murders in the Rue Morgue”), Lamar Giles (“The Oval Portrait”), Tessa Gratton (“Annabel Lee”), Tiffany D. Jackson (“The Cask of Amontillado”), Stephanie Kuehn (“The Tell-Tale Heart”), amanda lovelace ( “The Raven”), Emily Lloyd-Jones (“The Purloined Letter”), Hillary Monahan (“The Masque of the Red Death”), Marieke Nijkamp (“Hop-Frog”), Caleb Roehrig (“The Pit and the Pendulum”), and Fran Wilde (“The Fall of the House of Usher”).

I agreed to do an interview with Dahlia Adler, the editor of the anthology as well as co-contributor. She wrote a sapphic retelling of Poe’s Ligeia, retitled Lygia in this collection. I’m still not over the story, and I rushed to talk to Dahlia about the process of writing for and editing this anthology as well as how it compared to contributing to other YA anthologies.

Here’s the result of this interview:

Continue reading “Author Interview with Dahlia Adler – His Hideous Heart Blog Tour”

Mid-Year Check-In 2019

It’s mid-2019, which means we need to take stock of how we’ve been doing in terms of reading (I know that it’s already August, let me live). I’d challenged myself to read 50 books this year, same as last year, and I’ve been doing pretty well so far with a total of 45 books read (by the time this was drafted; I’m glad to say I’ve surpassed my goal by now!)

I wanted to take this moment to shout-out some noteworthy ones so far:

Picture Books

Middle Grade

Young Adult

Romance

Poetry

Comics

Misc:

What did y’all think? I thought about writing what I thought about each of them but honestly I don’t have time for that! Go to my Goodreads account to see my Thoughts on the books. Or, y’know, ask me! I love talking about my books!

I’ll give you all stats at the end of the year of what genres I ended up reading most (it’s probably picture books but we’ll see).

 

Boricua Reads’ Song Shuffle Book Tag

Welcome to Boricua Reads’ Song Shuffle Book Tag!

I’m breaking my brief book blogging hiatus to bring you a cool (?) new book tag.

This is not to be confused with (Over)Analyzing Literature’s Shuffle Book Tag, this is a different tag with similar-ish intentions. 

Here are the rules to the book tag:

  1. Put your playlist or music library on shuffle. 
  2. You must build a book list (can be read or in your TBR) out of the words in the title of the song that comes up. 
  3. Song must have more than two words in the title. 
  4. You can use more than one song if you so want. 
  5. If you can’t find a book in your shelves with one of the song title’s words, you can choose a book that has a letter starting with that word or the word can sound similar/be part of the one in the song title. 
  6. Then, proceed to talk about the books in the list, your thoughts or opinions on it and whether it’s on your TBR or you’ve already read it. 

Seems simple, no?

Here’s a random example:

Song: I Wanna Dance with Somebody

Books:

I- I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Wanna – I Wanna Be Where You Are

Dance – Dance All Night

With – With the Fire on High

Somebody – Somewhere Only We Know

For my own take on it, I went on Apple Music and clicked on one of the ready-made playlists and kept scrolling with my eyes closed until I got to a song with more than two words in its title. I got Better Luck Next Time by Kelsea Ballerini, which is a song I hadn’t heard of! Upon listening to it, I actually really liked it. 

Here are my choices:

  • BetterBlood Water Paint
  • Luck – Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune
  • NextNext Year in Havana
  • TimeTimekeeper by Tara Sim

Thoughts:

  • Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough – I read this over a weekend away from my house and it was truly a work of greatness. I followed it up with The Poet X, and I couldn’t have made a better decision. Both works deal with bodily autonomy in different ways and eras and races, and I loved them. TWs: abuse, sexual assault, and torture
  • Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim –  I adore books that have a hint of magical realism, especially if they’re written by WoC. Add food to the equation and questions of identity and family, and you make a perfect book. I’ve been so stoked to read thi and by the end of the year I’d like to get this. I’ve had this in my TBR since it was announced and now it’s out so I have a moral obligation to support this wonderful book.
  • Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton – Everyone and their mother has recommended this book to me and I finally got a chance to buy the ebook on sale recently. I’m looking forward to delving into Elisa and Marisol’s stories.
  • Timekeeper by Tara Sim – I absolutely loved Timekeeper by Tara Sim! I sort of abandoned Chainbreaker midway through my reading of it, but I have to finish it so I can know what happens! I’m so bad at reading series *crying emojis*

What did you think? Will you try it? I’m tagging the Latinx Squad if they’re interested in trying out the book tag, you can tag whomever you want or just do it if you want to; no one’s policing your ability to do this. This is for fun! Just make sure to credit me, Boricua Reads or @boricuareads on Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr.

Enjoy!

An Open Letter to Latinx in Publishing

7/23/2019

Open Letter to Latinx in Publishing:

My name is Adriana M. Martínez Figueroa, also known as boricuareads on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. On May 27th last year, the first of my posts promoting upcoming book releases from Latinx authors was uploaded to my tumblr page. Even though it still didn’t have the #ReadLatinx tag in it, it was the beginning of my advocacy online to see more books by Latinx authors be actively promoted. I began these posts because I was tired of seeing book lists and recommendation posts that didn’t even mention a single book by a Latinx author. As a recent college graduate, I wanted to apply my knowledge of Latinx Studies as well as Women and Gender Studies into something that I wanted to give freely to others: the opportunity for Latinx readers to find themselves in literature made by people like them. 

On June 1st, 2018, I started using the #readlatinx tag on a post promoting my own designs on Redbubble, wherein one of the designs told people to Read Latinx books. From that point forward, I started using the #ReadLatinx hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to promote new releases from Latinx authors. I used the hashtag to promote book announcements from Latinx authors, to congratulate authors, because indeed people needed to Read Latinx authors and books. I welcomed others to use it, and after months of promoting the hashtag and creating graphics and lists, librarians, authors, and booksellers began using the hashtag as well. It’s been more than a year, and I’m proud of the work I’ve done. Indeed, the hashtag was a community effort, because the more people use it, the more books by Latinx we get to see and read. 

During this time I’ve also been searching for a job. It could be part-time or full-time, but I needed a job, especially as my grace period to be able to find a job in order to pay off my loans was looming around the corner. One of the jobs I applied to during this time was for Latinx in Publishing’s Internship position for Summer/Fall of 2018. I didn’t get the job, but I didn’t hold it against you all. In fact, the rejection made me want to continue promoting books by Latinx even harder, because I still respect your organization and what it does for Latinx working in the publishing industry. 

In March of this year, I had to stop doing the weekly announcements of Latinx releases because making the graphics and then posting them on my social media accounts was getting to be too much, especially since it was all being done for free. This was exacerbated by the fact that Latinx in Publishing had used my hashtag in their own account without even crediting me (see Twitter screenshot from 3/26/2019 attached in image gallery at the end). 

That same day I decided to stop posting new releases weekly, and just focused on my seasonal masterposts. Latinx in Publishing had been using my free labor and posting it on their own account, so I cut off the weekly posts as to not facilitate that from happening anymore. Around the same time I stopped posting my weekly announcements, Latinx in Pub began making their own graphics to announce new releases from Latinx authors and illustrators (Latinx in Publishing’s first post with a graphic wishing congrats on a book release was on 3/19/2019 for The Universal Laws of Marco, also the first time Latinx in Publishing used the #ReadLatinx).

This week, Latinx in Publishing announced they were going to be launching a pre-order campaign for tote bags in their website, I assume to raise money for the non-profit organization which I support. However, one of the designs said “Keep Calm and Read Latinx” (see image attached in gallery, taken from Latinx in Publishing’s Facebook account). 

Latinx in Publishing purposefully used the hashtag I created and still use online without even trying to contact its creator that they were going to use it to raise funds for the organization. It’s incredibly hurtful for an organization I respect as much as I do to not even verify if its creator would permit the usage of a phrase/slogan in their own merchandise. This move especially hurts when I’ve been unemployed for almost two years all while giving free labor online. I would’ve said yes to using it if Latinx in Publishing even once credited me for my labor, which they’ve not done.

I know what my work is worth. I do not wish for my labor to be erased. I wish for my work to be respected in the same way I’ve respected your organization and its efforts. 

 

Best regards,

Adriana M. Martínez Figueroa