Books: KIOS Blog-A-Thon, Day 23


Today’s KIOS Blog-A-Thon prompt is: Let’s talk about books we love!

Well, I’m not a well read person (as you will soon see). I don’t know my Russian or English authors, and I am not familiar with the American classics. So, I like what I like and the following is a list of books that made a huge impact on me. I can’t say these are my absolute favorites as I’m sure I have missed a few, but these are a few that came to mind when I saw the prompt.

839806The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski

I was in a sophomore in high school when I read this book and it completely captured and mesmerized me. I haven’t read it since then (1988), and all I can remember is a lot of violence, sadness, and sex. I had never felt so emotionally charged by a book before, so this by far is on my list of favorite books.

philosophyofandyThe Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) by Andy Warhol

I lived in a (small to me) agricultural town and Andy was a portal into another world for me. I remember this book being so funny and witty and as a sophomore in high school, I turned to it frequently. It stretched my brain and creativity in ways that my teenage brain craved.

82871Love & Rockets Vol. 7: The Death of Speedy by Los Bros. Hernandez

Although  a graphic novel, I am including this in my list as it is like my best friend to me. This volume by Los Bros. Hernandez has remained on my bookshelf, throughout many moves, since it was released in 1989. I have often said that if you want to know me, ready The Death of Speedy. Jaime Hernandez so beautifully captures what it’s like to grow up with one foot in the alternative/punk scene, and the other foot in a Chicano neighborhood. I was in high school when I stumbled across the Love and Rockets series, and for the first time, I felt visible. I owe so much to Jaime and Los Bros. Hernandez.

9780060911270Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera

I first learned about Frida Kahlo in my senior year of high school. A guest artist gave a presentation on her in my art class and since then I have been smitten. Like so many, I was taken by her bold art and lifestyle. This book truly captures the independent spirit of Frida and her sensual and sensitive heart. I picked it up shortly after graduating high school and it has remained with me ever since.

9780780743984_p0_v1_s260x420Woman Hollering Creek by Sandra Cisneros

This author was recommended to me by a good friend after I moved out-of-state. There were few Latinos where I lived, so this book offered a much-needed connection to my community. I had never realized how important my community was to me until after I left, and this book made me both happy and homesick. Nonetheless Sandra Cisneros’ writing captivated me and seemed to open my heart and soul. My 1992 copy still remains with me throughout all my moves.

51Gf7C6NzlLAztec by Gary Jennings

This book was recommended to me by my sister, and it remains one of my hardest books to put down. Although fictional, it is written with good helping of historical findings and a dash of mythology. The author does an amazing job at bringing this story to life and there are so many cliffhangers that it’s hard to put down. Although I no longer have my copy, it remains one of my favorite books.

Rain-of-Gold-9780385311779Rain of Gold by Víctor E. Villaseñor

I was in my early 20’s when I read this book and it completely captured my heart. As I read this story, I read my family’s story in it. So many experiences and stories were familiar, yet the author’s telling of his family’s history is unique unto itself. Like Woman Hollering Creek, this book helped me stay connected to my community, and made me homesick.

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