Libros to Read

FICTION

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

This was the first book I read by a Mexican female writer and I instantly fell in love. It is one of my favorite books, if not my favorite. It is a beautiful love story about a young girl who is blessed with amazing culinary talent but cursed with being the youngest daughter. In old Mexico the youngest daughter is the one who is responsible for the caring of her mother until her death and as such, she is not allowed to marry. But of course the young girl falls in love and suffers

La Hija de la Fortuna by Isabel Allende

Aside from the Spanish books I used to read with my mom when I was little, I hadn’t ever read a full Spanish book. Mostly because I don’t like Spanish translations and “book Spanish” is so unreal; and then I found Isabel Allende and La Hija de la Fortuna. I was instantly in love. I love learning about history through fiction books and this one did a great job. The back drop is the Gold Rush of 1849 (love that era) and it’s about a girl who leaves her little town to look for the love of her life who has gone off to find fortune in Northern California. Does she find him? You have to read the book to find out . . .

We are Called to Rise by Laura McBride

Esperanza’s Box of Saints by Maria Amparo Escandon

Originally I only picked up this book because my name was written in the title. Thinking I might not even like it, I picked it up anyway. But the book took me in right away. It was so colorful and I could relate to it so easily because Esperanza was my mom, the believer of saints. Esperanza loses her daughter in strange circumstances in which she is unable to verify the body, the hospital where the daughter dies makes sure the coffin is locked and immediately buried. The circumstances around her daughter’s death are all strange and Esperanza begins to doubt everything the doctors tell her so she takes off on a search for her. The search takes her on a road trip through the country and the US until she finally finds the truth about her daughter.

La Casa de los Espiritus by Isabel Allende

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

I just finished reading this one. It’s about a kid who loves to comics and video games and spends his time writing sci-fi stories he hopes to publish. He’s also fat and is having a hard time getting a girl to like him. Eventually he leaves college still a virgin. He suffers from depression and tries to commit suicide but fails. Nobody gets him but he never stops writing and never stops trying to get a girl. He learns about his past and decides it’s all the fault of the fukú, a curse that has been in his family for a very long time.

Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

This one’s about a girl named Celaya who takes road trips to Mexico with her big family. They always stay with the Horrible Grandmother who ironically ends up living with them in the United States. When the Horrible Grandmother dies, she follows Celaya around trying to get her to clear up a few things she was able to do herself when she was alive. Love this book!

NON-FICTION

Hand to Mouth by Linda Tirado

SELF-HELP

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

I Thought It Was Just Me by Brené Brown

Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

I loved the essays in this book. Glennon writes honestly about her feelings about everyday life. Reading it, I felt like I wasn’t alone in the way I felt a lot of the time while trying to live through everyday’s up and downs. There are essays about parenting and relationships and spirituality and religion, I enjoyed reading every single one of them. This is a great book that I think all women, especially married women, should read.

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

SPIRITUAL

Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, M.D.

This was the first book I read about NDE’s (Near Death Experiences) and it was really fascinating. I thought it would be too fantastical and sci-fi-ish (I don’t know if that’s a word but oh well) but it definitely wasn’t. It was very inspiring and the message it leaves you with is beautiful message about love and forgiveness.

Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor

When I picked this book it was because I was (or am, as of this writing) having issues with my religious upbringing and my trying to believe in Jesus. Barbara is a former priest so of course she had lots to say about the topic. All of which was so enriching and eyeopening. I’ve decided to open up my mind a little on the topic of Jesus.

An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor

If you want to start noticing the small amazing moments in your life, this is the book. Knowing that a woman without children who has all the time in the world also gets bored is kind of assuring because a lot of times I envy those people who don’t have to worry about cooking and cleaning and all the stuff that comes with having a family.

MEMOIR

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande

A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

Push by Sapphire

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

ON WRITING

Still Writing by Dani Shapiro

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

On Writing by Stephen King

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

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