Hey, happy new year! After a two-month hiatus, I’m ready to get back into blogging.
I have a couple of goals for the upcoming year. First, I plan to spotlight each country with strong Latin American populations on its independence day – similar to the author profiles I do for writers’ birthdays. I expect July and September to be busy months.
I also plan to do a similar reading challenge as I did last year, which covered classic books from Latinas – except that I haven’t published all of the reviews from that challenge yet. I will wrap up that project in January and February.
This year, I will read classic Latino novels. Here they are:
- Rudolfo Anaya – Bless Me Ultima
- Jorge Luis Borges – The Aleph
- Sandra Cisneros – The House on Mango Street
- Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist
- Junot Díaz – The Brief Wondrous Life Oscar Wao
- Carlos Fuentes – The Death of Artemio Cruz
- Gabriel Gárcia Márquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude
- Oscar Hijuelos – The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
- Manuel Puig – Kiss of the Spider Woman
- José Saramago – Blindness
- Mario Vargas Llosa – Death in the Andes
- Victor Villasenor – Rain of Gold
Some of these books (Ultima, Mango Street, Oscar Wao) will be rereads for me. A few of them will be challenging reads. (I’m a little intimidated by the Fuentes and Vargas Llosa books.) And some books (The Alchemist, Mambo Kings), I have been meaning to read and never gotten around to it.
I chose the books based on popularity and timelessness. These books are in the high school canon (Ultima, Mango Street), Pulitzer Prize winners (Oscar Wao, Mambo Kings), Nobel Prize winners (One Hundred Years of Solitude, Death in the Andes, Blindness), beloved best-sellers (The Alchemist) and pop culture favorites (Spider Woman).
Of course, there are some missing books. Where’s the most famous Latino novel of them all, Don Quixote? At 900 pages, I decided it would too challenging to read such a thick tome while trying to keep up with current books. Where’s Roberto Bolaño, Julio Cortázar, Juan Rulfo and Miguel Angel Asturias? Hey, I can’t read everything. The list is subjective.
Of course, the heart of the blog is spotlighting new books by Latino authors. I’m looking forward to The Miniature Wife and Other Stories by Manuel Gonzales, The Five Acts of Diego León by Alex Espinoza, Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda and King of Cuba by Cristina Gárcia. Unfortunately, many of the books won’t come out until March. So expect to see many of the classic books reviewed in January and February.
It’s easy to get burned out from blogging, especially with a full-time job and the other chores of life (which is why I took a long break). So my other resolution is chill out a little more. If I can only produce one post a week or I need to take some time off, I’m going to do it.
To those who read my blog and comment or retweet my tweets, thanks for your time and comments. I look forward to the new year.