Book Club: Latina's 2015 Reading List

This year, make it your resolution to read more: more novels, more female authors, more newspapers, more magazines, and most importantly, more Latino authors.

In 2015, strive to read more books by diverse authors — with a little help from the 2015 Latina Reading List, which features works from Junot Diaz, Julia Alvarez, Cristina Henriquez, Jose Martí and more. Check it out: 

MORE: 12 Latino young adult authors to know.

1. January: A Book By A Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz$11.10, Amazon

Junot Diaz's Pulitzer Prize winning The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao has become required reading at many colleges and high schools throughout the country. In This Is How You Lose Her, Diaz focuses his attention upon a supporting character from the first novel, a womanizing Dominican man named Yunior. The work, a series of short stories from Yunior's life, turns attention to love in all its glorious, heartbreaking, and haunting manifestations. 

Thoughts Without Cigarettes by Oscar Hijuelos$7.20, Amazon

The first Latino to win a Pulitzer Prize, Oscar Hijuelos (1951 - 2013) earned critical acclaim for his 1989 novel, The Mambo Kings Play Songs Of Love. In 2011, he penned his final work: a memoir, which sheds light on his colorful upbringing in New York City, his brush with death as a young child, and the exuberant characters who impacted his life and work. 

2. February: A Book About Love

Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, $12.34, Amazon

Like Water For Chocolate ranks among the best known works of Latino fiction — for good reason. Esquivel weaves a quirky, magical tale about love, tradition, and comida. A must-read for Valentine's Day.

Adultery by Paulo Coelho, $14.97, Amazon

Although not a 'romance' in the traditional sense, Adultery offers a thought-provoking commentary on the nature of human emotions — including boredom, happiness, love and passion. Originally published in Portuguese, Paulo Coelho's sixteenth novel has been recently translated into English. 

3. March: A Book Originally Written In A Foreign Language

Ficciones (English translation) by Jorge Luis Borges$11.57, Amazon

The most popular collection of short stories by acclaimed Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones contains seventeen pieces which delve into the world of philosophy, mythology, and more. Borges influenced countless authors through his work, and his Ficciones should be a must-read for serious writers and readers.

...Y No Se Lo Tragó La Tierra (English translation) by Tomás Rivera, $7.95, Amazon

Tomás Rivera's 1971 work consists of fourteen short stories about Mexican-American migrant farm workers in a South Texan town. The novel, a fragmented, disjointed, inconsistent, series of tales comes together in the final short story — a powerful ending you won't be able to forget. 

4. April: A Book With A Main Character Opposite Of Your Own Gender

From a female perspectiveGeographies Of Home by Loida Maritza Perez, $14.83, Amazon

When Iliana — a first-generation Dominican American woman — returns home to Brooklyn from college, she finds her family on the brink of collapse. The book, written by Dominican-American author Loida Maritza Perez, offers a haunting commentary on the intricacies of Latino family, culture and traditions. 

From a male perspectiveThe Time Of The Hero (La Cuidad y Los Perros) by Mario Vargas Llosa, $11.93, Amazon

The Time of the Hero offers several different shifting perspectives from a group of army cadets in Lima, Peru at a military boarding school for adolescent boys. The book deals with the transition from boyhood to adulthood — all while dealing with brutal outside influences. 

5. May: A Book About The Immigrant Experience

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez, $15.78, Amazon

When Alma and Arturo's daughter, Maribel, suffers a tragic accident, the family uproots their middle-class Mexican existence and moves to Delaware to seek special education for the teenager. Their heartbreaking tale will lead you to think twice about the immigrant experience in America.

How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez, $12.75, Amazon

Julia Alvarez's beloved novel follows four sisters as they struggle to find their identities as both Dominicans and Americans.  

6. June: A Book With An LGBTQ Main Character

Before Night FallsA Memoir by Reinaldo Arenas$11.01, Amazon

In Before Night Falls, Reinaldo Arenas tells the story of his early life in Cuba, his days as one of Castro's rebel fighters, his imprisonment for homosexuality, and his migrant journey to the United States.  

A Cup Of Water Under My Bed by Daisy Hernandez, $18.60,  Amazon

In her memoir, Daisy Hernandez tells of her experiences growing up to a Cuban-Colombian family, discusses sexual awakening, and tells of her struggles to coalesce her Latino identity with her bisexuality. 

7. July: A Book Set In Latin America By A Non-Latino Author

The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway, $6.78, Amazon

The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Nobel Prize in Literature, The Old Man and the Sea follows a destitute Cuban fisherman, Santiago, who has not caught a fish in 84 days. Hemingway resided in Cuba for large portions of his life, and he felt a strong kinship to the people of the island. His love affair with the nation inspired some of his best known works, including Old Man and the Sea and For Whom The Bell Tolls, which he partially penned while living in Cuba. 

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, $10.00, Amazon

Set in the Amazonian rainforest of Brazil, State of Wonder follows Dr. Marina Singh on a trip to discover what happened to a colleague who died in the development of a new fertility drug. The title certainly implied that miracles can happen, and the novel delivers on that promise while painting a lush, vivid picture of the jungles of South America. 

8. August: A Book Of Poetry, Short Stories, Or Essays

Selected Writings of Jose Martí, $12.31, Amazon

Cuban poet Jose Martí contributed some of the most important works of Latino literature during his short life. The Selected Writings includes his accounts of his political imprisonment, several works of his journalism, and his musings on government and history.  

Love Poems by Pablo Neruda, $10.50, Amazon

Pablo Neruda could be considered the world's greatest love poet  — with good reason. The Chilean poet penned some of the most sensual, erotically-charged poetry of all time, and in 1971, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his works. 

9. September: A Book Which Was Made Into A Movie

Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig, $12.50, Amazon

If you enjoyed the 1985 Hector Babenco movie, try the original novel by Manuel Puig, a unique novel written almost entirely in dialogue. 

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, $9.39, Amazon

The movie — which bizarrely starred Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons — didn't do justice to the brilliant debut novel by Isabel Allende. 

10. October: A Book About A Mystery or Crime

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez, $11.08, Amazon

Writing only as he can, Gabriel García Márquez opens his novel with a murder — then, slowly, unravels the details surrounding the mysterious death. 

Bodega Dreams by Ernesto Quinonez, $12.37, Amazon

Set in El Barrio (Spanish Harlem) of New York City, Bodega Dreams follows the adventures of a young man named Chino who finds himself living paycheck to paycheck. His big dreams push him into a dirty underworld of hot tempers and murder.

11. November: A Book Set In Your Hometown

For books set in your own hometown, visit Good Reads. We've included suggestions from the author's hometown and college town. 

Set in El Paso, Texas: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, $5.95, Amazon

This book follows two 15-year-old boys, Aristotle and Dante, as they grapple with their identity as Mexican-American boys and their homosexuality.

Set in Chicago, Illinois: The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, $7.17,  Amazon

Sandra Cisneros' beloved novel tells the story of a young Mexican-American girl, Esperanza, growing up in a Latino neighborhood in Chicago. In vivid detail, Cisneros paints a picture of the neighborhood — showing us the good and the bad. The things Esperanza loves, and the things she hopes to one day leave behind. 

12. December: A Book Set Somewhere You've Always Wanted To Visit

Set In Paris: It's Not Love, It's Just Paris by Patricia Engel, $12.26, Amazon

Engel tells the story of a Colombian-American student, Lita del Cielo, who travels abroad in gorgeous Paris and falls in love with a complicated French boy. Torn between her lover and her Colombian family in America, Lita must decide how she wants to lead her life.

Set In New York CityDown These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas$12.82, Amazon

This is no Breakfast at Tiffany's. Thomas tells the tale of a harsh New York City — one riddled with violence, drugs, poverty and racism. Thomas' city might be a thing of the past, but the story is still an important read for all those who love — and truly hope to understand — New York City.