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The 12 Days of Xicana-Friendly Reading 

Holiday music is playing on the radio, so it's officially time to give you the Second Annual 12 Days of Xicana-Friendly Reading list. Last year, I recommended a few classics, with a splash of poetry and a couple of contemporary Xicana/o authors. All of the voices on 2010's list continue to influence my work, life, and spirit in one way or another. And I hope at least one of the books on that list spoke to you in some way, too.

Recently, I've taken some time to go back and re-read different books just to see what new emotions the second or third reading will bring. That's usually the best part of reading something again - that moment when you start to see the difference between who you were then and who you are now. So, my dear readers, here's my holiday gift to the person you were, the person you are, and the person you hope to become.


Day 1: Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing edited by Rigoberto Gonzalez (At only a year old, this anthology presents work by both well-established authors and fresh Latina/o voices.)

Day 2: The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

Day 3: The Awakening by Kate Chopin (Okay, so it's not necessarily going to keep you in a cheery mood this holiday season, but it's still an essential read if you tend to think in a feminist context.)

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Day 4: Empanada: A Lesbiana Story en Probaditas by Anel Flores (My favorite of the bunch, this one can be purchased in digital copy on Amazon, but I'm hoping to pick one up in print when it's available. Also, be sure to stop by the release party tomorrow night at One9Zero6 Gallery!)

Day 5: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (The master of economic writing continues to amaze me.)

Day 6: HisPanic: Why Americans Fear Hispanics in the U.S. by Geraldo Rivera

Day 7: Anthropology of an American Girl by Hilary Thayer Hamann

Day 8: Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry edited by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan

Day 9: 100 Places Every Woman Should Go by Stephanie Elizondo Griest (You can't really know who you are until you've gone somewhere you've never been.)

Day 10: Angela Davis: An Autobiography by Angela Davis (I can't say it any better: "Of the turbulent sixties, Angela Davis is the last and, perhaps, the only triumphant figure.")

Day 11: The Revolt of the Cockroach People by Oscar Zeta Acosta

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Day 12: The Theory of Light and Matter by Andrew Porter (Months ago, I did a review of this short story collection and still can't get over how delicious it is. It'll be your quickest but most thought-provoking read this season.)

There you have it. Let me know what you loved, hated, or didn't bother reading.

As always, feel free to send your thoughts, literary suggestions, and any other ideas to me at [email protected] or follow @chrissygarza on Twitter.



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