As 2022 winds down, I’m looking back at what I enjoyed during the year, what stood out and left an impression – particularly when it comes to books. It’s fun to glance back and see what we read, and which became favorites. I am happy and grateful that so many fabulous Latinx novels came out this year. They shared our narratives, introduced us to important people, and made their mark among la gente AND “mainstream publishing.” The following five Latinx novels have popped up on numerous best-of lists for 2022 and deserve every accolade.
Trust by Hernan Diaz
Hernan Diaz’s novel Trust landed on The New York Times’ list of the best books of the year. The novel, set in New York during the 1920s, centers around Benjamin and Helen Rask, a married couple at the height of New York society. A 1937 book, called Bonds, offers one explanation of how they reached the top, and the reader is invited to discover the truth, page by page. I wrote about Trust in June as one of the year’s must-read books.
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez
Another Latinx novel that made its mark in 2022 is Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez. The best-selling book takes place in present-day New York. There, we meet Olga Acevedo, a wedding planner with a successful career, and her brother Pedro, a Brooklyn-based congressman. When their radical activist mother, Blanca decides to re-enter their lives, their lives threaten to implode with family secrets. Olga Dies Dreaming is currently being developed into a Hulu film.
How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz
We already know Angie Cruz from her book Dominicana. And you should definitely know about her latest, How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water (which was on our fall list of must-read books). In it, main character Cara Romero finds herself unemployed in her mid-50s and goes to a job counselor for assistance. Over twelve sessions, Cara shares the various pains and struggles of her life, including her sometimes difficult relationships with her estranged son Fernando, her sister Angela, and her neighbor Lulu.
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
Our number-one standout in the creepy, dark, and scary books category is Isabel Cañas’ The Hacienda, which left readers uneasy in the best way possible. It is set during the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution, right after Beatriz marries Don Rodolfo Solórzano and moves into Hacienda San Isidro. Beatriz thinks she is getting security, status, and a happy new life with this major life change, but life y la hacienda have different plans.
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Silvia Moreno-Garcia has built a reputation as a go-to author for gothic, creepy, can’t-put-down novels (check out Mexican Gothic, Gods of Jade and Shadow, and Velvet Was the Night). Her latest release, The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, is another must-read book, named a New York Times bestseller and one of TIME’s “100 Must-Read Books of 2022.” It is a “historical drama reimagining” of the science fiction novel The Island of Doctor Moreau, set in 19th century Mexico.