Books are at the heart of sharing experiences, and as we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we asked booklovers from Latinos at Amazon to share what they love to read. Learn more about each employee and their favorite book below as we celebrate the distinctive tastes and interests that make up Cultúra.
Anna Hernandez, UX researcher, Accessibility within Alexa
My name is Anna Hernandez, and I am a UX researcher working on Accessibility within Alexa for Everyone, a team that builds experiences to help people with disabilities live more independent lives and stay connected with their loved ones. When it comes to books, I like a bit of everything—from magical realism and poetry to speculative thrillers and essays. At this time of year, I’m getting ready to start my spooky reading list, which means lots of horror novels. One of my favorites is Mexican Gothic, a weird, interesting, and spooky period thriller. This one has a special place in my heart, because it’s hard to find books in this genre that are both set in Latin America and feature a strong Latina as the main character. A non-spooky book that I go back to time and time again is a collection of poems called Citizen Illegal by José Olivarez, a poet from Chicago. He describes what life is like for a first-generation Mexican American, and the result is a collection that is honest, powerful, and easy to resonate with.
Carlos Marciano, software development engineer, Amazon Ads
Olá! I am Carlos Marciano, a software development engineer at Amazon Ads based in Toronto. Brazilian fiction is one of my favorite genres of books, especially when it allows me to reflect on our reality. For instance, The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas is a masterpiece written by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis depicting the aristocratic society of the 19th century, while Captains of the Sands by Jorge Amado boldly tells the escapades and dreams of 100 marginalized teenagers living in the slums of Salvador, Bahia. Although these two books are works of fiction, they constantly remind us of the thin line between fiction and reality.
Karla Guadron, software development engineer, Amazon Publishing
My name is Karla Guadron, and I'm a software development engineer at Amazon Publishing. I mostly read nonfiction books about social identity and justice, self-growth, psychology, and science. I occasionally dabble in fiction for some levity or to escape into a different world. One of my favorite fiction books is The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, because Nguyen illuminates the complexities and legacy of war in a way that was missing from the existing literature on the Vietnam War. My favorite nonfiction book at the moment is For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts: A Love Letter to Women of Color by Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez, because it spoke to my experiences like no other book I've read before.
María José Soto, content program manager, Alexa International
¡Hola! My name is María José Soto, or Majo as my colleagues at Amazon call me. I’m a content program manager for Alexa International, based in Seattle. I’m originally from Chile, and I love books that go deep in our Latin-American culture or explain diverse historical facts from different perspectives. My favorite books are Cien Años de Soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and La Tregua (The Truce) by Mario Benedetti. I also love the work from Gabriela Mistral, my favorite poet. Her poetry book Desolación (Desolation) is a masterpiece. I think all of these authors give us the opportunity to look at their hearts and minds, allowing us to see the world through their point of view.
Rubi Romero, representative, Selling Partner Success
¡Hola! My name is Rubi Romero. I am currently a representative supporting sellers for Amazon Canada. In my free time, I love reading books that help me to grow as a person and as an Amazonian. One book that I can read over and over again is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, based on ancient Toltec wisdom. I love reading Spanish literature as well. One of my favorites is La Casa de los Secretos (House of Secrets) by María de Lourdes Victoria, set in two fascinating historical moments, the U.S. intervention and the Revolution. It’s a novel full of passion, ambition, and mysteries that immerses us in the most exquisite Oaxacan traditions, its exotic festivities, the unmistakable smell of chocolate, and the sweet taste of ancestral dishes.
Alex Chavez, program manager, AWS
My name is Alex Chavez, and I’m a program manager for AWS. I enjoy reading a variety of books, but the bulk are historical accounts of world events, bibliographies, and other literature that provides insights on human struggles in recent times. Some of my favorite authors currently are Erika L. Sánchez, Maria Hinojosa, and Gloria Anzaldúa. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s important to remember the history of our communities and the struggles they’ve endured in their fight for inclusion and equality.
If you’re looking for more titles, you can check the Amazon Book Review article, “Must-read books recommended by the employees of Latinos at Amazon” and discover Hispanic and Latino storytellers on our Hispanic Heritage Month book page.
Learn more about how Amazon is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.