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Summer Reads

If you’re looking to learn a little more about Mexico for a good summer read, here we recommend a few of our favorites.

Like Water for Chocolate

Published in 1989 by Mexican novelist and screenwriter Laura Esquivel. This is the story of the De La Garza family in turn-of-the-century Mexico, romance, cooking, societal compromises, and bizarre twists of fate.

Instructions for Living in Mexico 

By Jorge Ibarguengoitia, is a collection of essays for anyone who really wants to understand Mexican political and social life a little better. Written in the 70s but still quite relevant, the book is historical but often funny.
 

News from the Empire

by Fernando del Paso, an endearing work of art for all history lovers, this book details the arrival of Ferdinand Maximilian of Habsbourg and Charlotte to Mexico to be installed as the Emperors. History is mixed with imagination recreating the ambiance of the 1860s in Mexico.

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Mexico

by James Michener, 1992. Pulitzer prize winner, James Michener, invents this historical fiction work weaving a story from Mexican history, culture and people. The story unfolds around Mexican bull fighting. 

100 Years of Solitude

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Although Garcia Marquez was born in Columbia, he lived most of his life in Mexico. His writing strongly reflects undercurrents of many Latin American cultures. In this book, the village, Macondo, is a fictional village modeled after the author’s hometown. However, the village, its characters and the drama that takes place is a testament to Latin American history and personality. 

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House of Spirits

by Isabel Allende, 1982. Allende who is Argentinian, also explores the commonalities of Latina and South American personalities and histories in her works. The House of Spirits is a family saga and an effortless, poetic read. If you have only seen the movie, it does not come anywhere close to doing this book justice.

Labyrinth of Solitude

by Octavio Paz, 1950, for anyone interested in Mexican history and literature, this work analyzes Mexican identity.

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Mornings in Mexico,

D.H. Lawrence.

This collection of travel essays mostly from around 1924 somehow still reflects much of the Zapotec psyche, life in the countryside and events around traditional Mexican patios. In D.H. Lawrence style, a tiny bit pompous, but surprisingly still right on most of the time.

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