The 2014 Summer Book List

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

This isn’t your usual summer reads list. There aren’t any breezy, romance-driven beach reads, heavily budgeted blockbuster thrillers, or hipsterish darlings. This list is a list of diverse, underrepresented, multicultural narratives from voices near and far to expose, refresh, broaden, delight and nurture our minds:

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez

Some of the characters in The Book of Unknown Americans were born in the United States, others came as adults or were brought here from Central and South America. Their stories speak to us, involve us in their lives. They dream, meet challenges, and dare to live on hope. Sometimes they cry, but they also laugh, dance, make love. In this beautiful book, Cristina Henríquez introduces us to their vibrant lives, to heartbreaking choices, to the tender beginnings of love, and to the humanity in every individual. Unforgettable.” —Esmeralda Santiago, author of When I Was Puerto Rican and Conquistadora

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

Once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down. An Untamed State is a novel of hope intermingled with fear, a book about possibilities mixed with horror and despair. It is written at a pace that will match your racing heart, and while you find yourself shocked, amazed, devastated, you also dare to hope for the best, for all involved.”—Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory and The Dew Breaker

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

According to the Bookseller, the novel tells the story of Tsukuru Tazaki, “whose life changed when his relationships with his high school friends were severed.” As a 36-year-old adult, Tsukuru decides “to reconnect with all of those friends to discover the reason behind their decision to reject him.” His four best friends are known as Mr. Red, Mr. Blue, Miss White and Miss Black; but Tsukuru is “colorless” because, among his closest friends, he is the only one without a kanji symbol for color in his name. the Guardian said.” via LA Times.

The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour

Utterly original and compelling, Porochista Khakpour’s The Last Illusion weaves Iranian myth with very contemporary American neurosis to create a bittersweet poetry all its own. This ambitious, exciting literary adventure is at once grotesque, amusing, deeply sad—and wonderful, too.” —Claire Messud, author of The Woman Upstairs

Take This Man: A Memoir by Brando Skyhorse

A tale of family deceit, identity and self discovery.

Buck: A Memoir by M.K. Asante

“Remarkable . . . Asante’s prose is a fluid blend of vernacular swagger and tender poeticism. . . . [He] soaks up James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston and Walt Whitman like thirsty ground in a heavy rain. Buck grew from that, and it’s a bumper crop.”—Salon

Unexpected Stories by Octavia E. Butler

Two never-before-published stories from the archives of one of science fiction’s all-time masters.” — Open Road Media

The Closer: My Story by Mariano Rivera and Wayne Coffey

Even Babe Ruth as a slugger doesn’t have Rivera’s kind of consensual clout…. Rivera was known as perhaps baseball’s classiest act. He keeps up that reputation here…. Rivera emerges on these pages as a wordsmith…. It’s the kind of baseball odyssey that leaves readers with a sense of the Homerian that later extends to the stuff of clutch strikeouts, “Casey at the Bat”-style grandeur and fallen records.“—Colin Fleming, Los Angeles Times

Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera


By turns tender, beautiful, and devastating, Island of A Thousand Mirrors is a deeply resonant tale of an unraveling Sri Lanka. Incredibly moving, complex, and with prose you may want to eat, this debut is a triumph.”—NoViolet Bulawayo, award-winning author of We Need New Names

Adultery by Paulo Coelho

Bored thirty-something woman with a perfect life ignites affair with her H.S. love.

The Interior Circuit: A Mexico City Chronicle by Francisco Goldman

Goldman’s story of his emergence from grief five years after his wife’s death, symbolized by his attempt to overcome his fear of driving in the city.

Life by the Cup: Ingredients for a Purpose-Filled Life of Bottomless Happiness and Limitless Success by Zhena Muzyka

The founder of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Company tells her extraordinary story of struggle, hope, and audacity, inspiring women to overcome setbacks—no matter how daunting—and pursue their dreams. By combining her knowledge of aromatherapy and her gypsy grandmother’s teachings, Zhena started selling custom tea blends from a cart on California street corners—and with a lot of ingenuity and grit, her business took off.

Enjoy the summer!!!

Author

Spread the love

More Articles for You

Frida on Chestfeeding: A Study in Empathy and Deep Customer Understanding

Really well done Frida Mom! This is how you resonate with your audience. Author Literanista Spread the lovemore

Spread the love

La Brega: A Podcast About the Puerto Rican Experience

In the past several years, I’ve suffered a lot of loss, besides the turmoil of the pandemic, my mother, my …

Spread the love

We Are Legion: Social Media Protips from the founder of Beyoncé Legion

This: “Posting content on such a huge platform can’t be done randomly. You need to be highly organized and consistent. …

Spread the love

For Rosa: A Film About Forced Sterilization

HBO acquired, “For Rosa”, a fictional film inspired by the true story of 10 Latina women in Los Angeles who …

Spread the love

Healthy Shrimp Etouffee con Sofrito

As a way of decompressing and getting my mind off of a lot things, I’ve taken up a lot of …

Spread the love

The 2020 Mapa de las Lenguas Book List

The twelve titles selected for the 2020 Mapa de las Lenguas [Map of Languages] list represent 21 Spanish-speaking countries. The …

Spread the love