From the bookseller’s perspective, Hispanic Heritage Month, like all cultural observances, is a reminder to read and recommend beyond the limits of our individual experiences and knowledge. One of the reasons we love reading, have committed to it professionally, is because books offer a virtual invitation into someone else’s heart, history, and mind. And while there’s no shortage of hearts, histories, or minds on display in 2018 America, the emphases tend to be on exhibitionism and voyeurism, rather than on the kind of empathy engendered by walking in someone else’s shoes, if only in your imagination.
For this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve chosen to focus on narratives, fiction and nonfiction, that speak to the tense present moment in Hispanic and Latinx American history. These are some of the books we’ve turned to in recent months for a better understanding of how, collectively, we’ve gotten to this point, and what our nation stands to lose when it overlooks, at best, and negates, at worst, the rich heritage, accomplishments, and contributions of our Hispanic and Latinx communities.