This year, The Latino Author is pleased to announce the top ten best non-fiction book list for 2013. Thank you authors for making this an exhilarating and electrifying reading year.
1) Victor E. Villaseñor – The Key to Living.
Godelution – ShapeShifting – 13 Senses – Hollow bone, and many other terms? What is the significance of these words and what do they mean? These are words passed on to the author through his indigenous heritage and he “sprinkles” them throughout his books to tell the story of his family and his ancestors. In his upcoming book, “Revenge of a Catholic Schoolboy,” he uses them more extensively. The “Key to Living” is an important tool to bridging our original indigenous knowledge with our modern day mentality. It will help the reader navigate through the various new terms strewn throughout the various literary works created by Victor E. Villaseñor. It is a term enlightenment beyond imagination, and almost guaranteed to change the way you view the world!
2) Rita Moreno – Rita Moreno: A Memoir.
Moreno candidly tells her story in this unforgettable memoir. She discusses how she made her Broadway debut by the age of thirteen, and later worked alongside stars such as Gary Cooper and Yul Brynner. She even discloses her love affair with Elvis Presley. A striking book that details how she navigated and also helped pave the road for other Latinos in the world of Hollywood.
3) Rick Najera – Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood.
The author is an award-winning writer, actor, director, comedian, playwright, and producer. He writes this book and discloses what it’s like to be a successful Latino in the Hollywood arena. He has been recognized by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics” and has worked with many of the greats such as Cheech Marin, Jimmy Smits, Mario Lopez, and Sofia Vergara. His book is funny but candid; however, he tells of the struggles involved to being successful and always being typecast in the Hollywood world.
4) Marta Moreno Vega – The Altar of My Soul.
This is the true story of the author’s spiritual awakening and details her journey as she becomes a Santeria priestess. It also dismisses the myths that encompass this ancient African religion, which came to us via the slave ships. It is a book filled with the rich history of Puerto Rico and New York City circa 1950. Extremely enlightening.
5) Carlos B. Vega, Ph.D – Our Hispanic Roots: What History Failed to Tell Us.
A brilliantly written book that covers the huge Hispanic contribution to the formation of the United States and which has largely been ignored by history books in the education system. Only minor contributions by Hispanics are ever noted in most history books and it’s time that this contribution of a people makes it into the mainstream. The author did extensive research for over five years and relied on many scholarly works from well-respected historians to gather this information. It is a book that includes many never-before known facts and should be read by all history teachers and students, and of course the Hispanic community.
6) Jim Estrada – The ABCs and Ñ of America’s Cultural Evolution.
This book is written in a journalistic style and narrates the contribution that Hispanics have made to the growth and development of our nation. It is a textbook that should be required in schools and colleges across the United States. This book provides a concise and wide-ranging view of the influence and positive impact the Hispanic community has had on this country. It is an invaluable guide for now and in the future as we move forward in giving recognition to the many people that helped shape and form this country.
7) Alvaro Huerta – Reframing the Latino Immigration Debate: Towards a Humanistic Paradigm.
The author gives insight into one of the most pressing issues facing our nation today; The Latino Immigration Debate. In addition, he puts a human face to issues that have taken on a sinister tone due to heated rhetoric with groups that have special interests and self imposed agendas. The author asks the reader to reassess the critical cultural and political issues pounding at our doorstep; specifically those unfolding at the U.S./Mexico border. It is a book
for everyone concerned about immigration; students, citizens, government policy makers, and all those entering our borders legally and illegally. The author does not take sides politically, but rather focuses on the problem at hand and how to best approach this issue for a better solution.
8) John Rechy – About My Life and the Kept Woman: A Memoir.
This is the personal life story recollection at a time when Latinos were routinely and openly discriminated against along with the author’s fascination with a notoriously kept woman. He discusses how he worked diligently and performed roles that were expected of him by others (military service, etc.); however, he didn’t let those roles define who he was. It is a story that involves self discovery and identity. The themes of family and home are powerful.
9) Luis Gutierrez – Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill.
This is a candid and inspiring memoir by a congressman who has championed the rights of citizens and immigrants alike. The author discusses his life role living in two worlds, that of a Puerto Rican in America and not being totally accepted, and yet being ridiculed by Puerto Ricans because he didn’t speak Spanish. He has twice been arrested fighting for immigrant rights; although, he has strongly supported Barack Obama in two elections. An enlightening book on the journey of Luis Gutierrez.
10) Sonia Sotomayor – My Beloved World.
A wonderful book written by the first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Sotomayor discusses her life in the Bronx to becoming a Supreme Judge. She talks about her extraordinary determination to succeed and to believe in oneself. She candidly discusses her upbringing and life with an alcoholic father. It is a book that is an inspiration to everyone, but especially to Latinos and Hispanics who constantly hit that glass ceiling. A great self discovery and inspirational book.
Be sure to check out our previous year’s top 10 lists by clicking here.