The Powerful Reads by Latinx Authors That Changed This Bookstagrammer's Life

Lupita Aquino
Lupita Aquino
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Five years after starting her Bookstagram, bookworm Lupita Aquino (known on Instagram as @lupita.reads) has made a name for herself as a book enthusiast with honest and unique recommendations, especially by Latinx and BIPOC authors. We asked about her absolute favorites, from classic authors to the books that made her cry or taught her a valuable lesson about race and identity, and these are her picks.

A Book That Changed Her Perspective on Something
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A Book That Changed Her Perspective on Something

"Unforgetting ($25, originally $27) by Roberto Lovato. I wouldn't say it changed my perspective or point of view so much as it gave me a new perspective and purpose to investigate the ways the history of the country I was born in (Mexico) are part of my own story. Lovato's powerful memoir felt like a wake-up call to me to seek out more knowledge."

A Book She Wished She'd Read When She Was a Kid
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A Book She Wished She'd Read When She Was a Kid

"There are so many books I wish I had read as a teenager. However, the one that comes to mind the most is The Poet X ($12, originally $13) by Elizabeth Acevedo. I deeply connected with the way the main character, Xiomara, questioned the religion she was raised in. Growing up in a household/culture that is deeply rooted in Catholicism, I often had questions but was too afraid to be vocal about them, let alone ask them. It was so empowering and affirmative to my inner child to have a character like Xiomara."

A Good Book That Touches On Latinx Identity
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A Good Book That Touches On Latinx Identity

"Finding Latinx ($16, originally $17) by Paola Ramos explores Latinx identity and makes a case for why it is important that we as a community find a term that evolves with us as a community. She believes and demonstrates in her book how the term 'Latinx' might be the best term that captures our wide spectrum of stories and histories."

A Book That Made Her Mad
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A Book That Made Her Mad

"The last book that made me mad was The Undocumented Americans ($24, originally $26) by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio. It helped make space for a rage I felt that I didn't think I was allowed to feel as someone that grew up undocumented. It also gave me the language for the fear, shame, and trauma I see in myself and my family because of how little we were and are acknowledged in this country, even now that we are 'citizens.'"

The Last Book That Made Her Cry
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The Last Book That Made Her Cry

"The last book that made me cry was Finding Latinx ($16, originally $17) by Paola Ramos. She writes about the vast spectrum of the Latinx community living throughout the nation that she has gotten to know through interviews. Towards the end of the book, Ramos writes about an undocumented drag queen's talent performance for the Gay America pageant. The way she described the performance (which I won't spoil because you should read the book) brought tears to my eyes. I deeply saw myself in that performance and saw my community. I saw all the ways in which we just want to be seen and acknowledged."

A Book to Read More Than Once (or Twice)
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A Book to Read More Than Once (or Twice)

"So Far From God ($15, originally $16) by Ana Castillo is a book I return to often. It's one of the first books I read in which I felt I caught a glimpse of myself within the pages."

Her Favorite Classic Latinx Author and Book
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Her Favorite Classic Latinx Author and Book

"Admittedly, I haven't read as many classic Latinx authors as I wish I could because I have it in my head that they should be read in Spanish. That said, it takes me a bit longer to read in Spanish, and it's a slower process. It took me six months to read Cien Años de Soledad ($23, originally $25) by Gabriel García Márquez, and it was probably the best six months of reading and engaging with literature in Spanish."

Her Absolute Favorites
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Her Absolute Favorites

"There are too many favorites to select only one. I would say it's a hard tie between these three because I see so much of myself in the text: The Undocumented Americans; Cantoras ($16, originally $17) by Carolina De Robertis; and In the Dream House ($24, originally $26) by Carmen Maria Machado."

Where She Finds the Best Book Recommendations

Where She Finds the Best Book Recommendations

"I have a series of friends on Instagram that I trust for book recommendations. Many I was able to connect with through launching the #LatinxBookstagramTour, [a project] that runs during Latinx Heritage Month [and] was born from a personal need to see and connect with other readers like me after coming across an article published by the Pew Research Center that concluded Latinx adults were less likely to have read a book in a year. At that moment, I understood the importance of Latinx readership visibility, not only for others but for ourselves and our future generations. A few are Jessica from @armyofwords, Jesse from @bowtiesandbooks, and Oscar from @booksteahenny."