1) Daniel Alarcón – Lost City Radio
The story takes place in an unnamed South American country, which closely parallels the civil war that took place in Peru, or in any other country for that matter. It depicts people, the haves and have-nots, ten years after the crush of a rebellion. Mr. Alarcón does a great job of showing what happens when the government is masterfully in control of any political violence taking place within its borders. The ‘lost city radio’ (government controlled) is a way whereby Norma, one of the characters, fields calls from anyone who is looking for their loved family members.
2) Mushroom Montoya – Vietnam Body Count
This a somewhat fictionalized version of what servicemen encountered during the Vietnam War. This book takes the reader into the author’s mind and reveals the scars, the emotional turmoil, and the horrors of human actions that took place during this time. The book is enlightening and will keep you reading till the very end. This is a highly recommended book to read.
3) King of Cuba – Christina Garcia
This is a fictionalized story of two old men; one is supposedly Fidel Castro and the other is a Cuban exile who does not like the dictator and has a personal grudge towards him. The author captures a great view of Cuba and its political turmoil bringing satire and humor all together to tell a great story.
4) Sergio Troncoso- The Nature of Truth
An excellent book that shows a Nazi war criminal who has managed to hide in plain view, and a young man with the dilemma of disclosing this man’s background. The author brings to light many human frailties scattered within a campus setting and also the subconscious.
5) Irene Blea – Suzanna
This story captures the feeling and life of a young girl who is married off to an older man. It details her abusive marriage and how she copes with having two children born early on in her life. It provides many details about the Hispanic culture and is a great read. The author does an excellent job of detailing Suzanna’s pain and love of her family.
6) Rudy Ruiz – Seven for the Revolution
Mr. Ruiz uses seven stories to open a window into the plight of U.S. Latinos of yesteryear, of today, and of the future. He is a fantastic writer and storyteller and does a wonderful job of capturing the lives of people searching after an impossible American dream.
7) Anjanette Delgado – The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho
This is a wonderful story that captures the life of a woman who has failed in marriage and becomes disillusioned with men in general. She then begins an affair with a married man (Hector) because she feels it’s safer and she won’t become attached. The storyline has many twists and turns and Hector ends up dead. Who killed him? The author does a great job of making the plot exciting and it keeps you guessing all through the story.
8) The Schwarzschild Radius – Gustavo Florentin
This book captures the horrors of humanity and brings child pornography, pedophiles and their dark world to the forefront. It is the story of a sister in her quest to find her adopted sister where a predator sells his victim’s death and torture to the highest bidder. It’s not a book for the faint of heart, but the author does a good job of investing in the characters, the twists, and the plot. You won’t be able to put it down.
9) Meg Medina – Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
This book captures a slice of life that many of us can identify with as it captures a young girl beginning a new school year and not being part of the ‘in’ crowd. In addition to this new venture, Piddy Sanchez (the intended victim), has to deal with a kid who wants to ‘Kick her Ass’ and she does not understand why. This is a good formula for a great story as it sheds light on the bullying issue within our school grounds today. The author does a good job of capturing the inner feelings of a young girl going through adolescence and all that comes with this age.
10) Alejandro Morales – Little Nation & Other Stories
The author does a fantastic job of capturing the human element in all his stories. Although they are written around a Latino theme, they could be about any culture. The book is greatly written and the author has a wonderful way of building scene after scene and keeping you reading through each story. A great short story book.