The Latino Author is pleased to announce the top ten best fiction book list for 2013. As many wonderful books came across our desk, it was a difficult process to choose only ten; however, each of the books listed provided great writing, great stories, and great plots. Due to the many talented Latino writers around the globe, this year we created a separate “Top Ten List” for non-fiction Books as well. Thank you authors for making this an exciting and wonderful reading year.
1) Manuel A. Meléndez – When Angels Fall.
This is a splendidly written supernatural thriller that will haunt you long after you finish reading it. If you love reading about suspense, action, murder and the supernatural, then this novel has it all. You will not be disappointed.
2) Isabel Allende – Maya’s Notebook.
This is a story about a troubled 19-year-old girl named Maya. It involves a girl who gets mixed up with thugs, drugs, prostitution and assassins on the streets of Las Vegas and eventually ends up in a remote island off the coast of Chile to make a transformation. A totally different novel from Ms. Allende’s usual literary works; nonetheless, it is exciting and a book worth reading.
3) Rudolfo Anaya – The Old Man’s Love Story.
This story is a tale of a man who loses his wife, his lifelong love. The love story extends through life and transcends into death. The story captures a man’s life in old age and how he copes with his grief, loss, and also how he connects to the other world after the death of his love. Again, Anaya captures the heart and soul of men. Masterfully written.
4) Héctor Tobar – The Barbarian Nurseries.
A well to-do couple, Scott and Maureen struggle with financial ruin, argue, and separately leave for a couple of days without telling each other or Araceli, the Mexican housekeeper, as to when they’ll return. When Araceli can’t reach the parents, she takes the children to central Los Angeles in the hopes of finding Scott’s Mexican father. The parents return and can’t locate their children, or Araceli, and call the police. Several misadventures occur, which creates a story filled with intrigue, several twists, and an electrifying plot.
5) Luis Alberto Urrea – Queen of America.
This is a coming of age story of Teresita Urrea, the beloved healer and “Saint of Cabora.” The story takes place in Arizona in 1892. It begins where the author’s first book “The Hummingbird’s Daughter” left off. It is filled with uplifting moments, romance, heartbreak, and humor. In this new story, Teresita embarks on a journey to St. Louis, New York, and San Francisco. In the interim she encounters various characters such as European royalty and tycoons. This is where Teresita is forced to ask herself the biggest question of all, “Is a saint allowed to fall in love?” A wonderful story.
This is a superior novel about Evelyn Serrano, a young Boricua growing up in Spanish Harlem during the 1960’s and is loosely based on the author’s own life. This book is filled with passion, acculturation, and one that you won’t be able to put down. Definitely one to have on your shelf this year. Powerful!
7) Pam Muñoz Ryan – Esperanza Rising.
The story showcases a young woman raised in upper class Mexico who is then forced to migrate to the United States during the Great Depression. In the United States, Esperanza finds herself working as a farm worker. The plot takes the reader through the character’s struggles and various twists as she looks for a better life in this new country.
8) Michael Nava – Rag and Bone.
This is the seventh book in the Henry Rios mystery series and was completed several years ago. It is, however, just as great today as it was then. It is the story of a gay Latino lawyer facing some personal and daunting challenges as he comes to terms with his past. It is filled with family secrets and wonderful plot twists and intrigue. Once you read this, you will be sure to want to read the other books in the series.
9) Kathleen de Azevedo – Samba Dreamers.
This is the story of two tortured souls whose paths intertwine, which leads them on a path of destruction and unchecked opportunity. It involves Rosea, a celebrity’s daughter, and Jose Francisco Verguerio Silva who is fleeing the brutal dictatorship in Brazil and lands in Los Angeles, California. It is a magnificent story of two individuals as they chase the American dream.
10) Alex Espinoza – The Five Acts of Diego León.
The story is centered around a young man who leaves Mexico to follow his dreams in Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1927. Diego, the protagonist, loves singing, dancing, and the stories of his ancestors. When disaster strikes, he goes to live with his aristocratic grandparents in Mexico. This story then begins to unfold as Diego struggles to live in this new rich world and is forced into running the family business. This is where Diego decides to leave Mexico and follow his dream to the United States. He quickly finds that everything is not as easy as he thought. It is a wonderful story that includes all the elements of a classic Hollywood story: glamour, romance, and treachery.
Be sure to check out our previous year’s top 10 lists by clicking here.