Share ¡Wepa!: 10 Books That Celebrate Puerto Rico’s Rich Culture

¡Wepa!: 10 Books That Celebrate Puerto Rico’s Rich Culture

Kerry Fiallo is a New York native and copywriter at Simon & Schuster. A lifelong voracious reader, she has a particular fondness for ghost stories, history, and anything to do with Mary Shelley, Ada Lovelace, and the Brontë sisters. The only thing she may love more than books is black tea, but they do often go well together. You can find her as she navigates through literature and history on Twitter @ReadingInNYC and on Tumblr.

For me, Puerto Rico isn’t just a vacation spot or the subject of usually depressing news stories. Instead, Puerto Rico has always meant family, since many of my cousins, aunts, and uncles call the island home. My dad taught my sister and me to be proud of our heritage and its rich cultural history, particularly the arts and literature, so enjoy these several fabulous books that are either written by Puerto Rican authors or are about the gorgeous island itself. ¡Wepa!


Conquistadora
by Esmeralda Santiago

A lush and epic novel that travels from nineteenth-century Spain to Puerto Rico, CONQUISTADORA follows a young woman as she and her husband inherit a sugar plantation on the island. But with the threat of the American Civil War on the horizon, how she can reconcile her livelihood with her family’s cruel use of slaves? With vivid prose and unforgettable characters, this is a moving and lyrical saga.

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Conquistadora
Esmeralda Santiago

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MENTIONED IN:

¡Wepa!: 10 Books That Celebrate Puerto Rico’s Rich Culture

By Kerry Fiallo | January 4, 2019

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We Fed an Island
by Jose Andres

In this celebration of hope, resilience, and the best of humanity, chef José Andrés writes about his work in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. A firsthand account of how he and others managed to serve more than 100,000 meals a day while also witnessing the waste of some of the biggest charities and NGOs that were stationed on the island, this is a passionate reminder to always help those in need.

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We Fed an Island
Jose Andres

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¡Wepa!: 10 Books That Celebrate Puerto Rico’s Rich Culture

By Kerry Fiallo | January 4, 2019

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Puerto Rico
by José Trías Monge

The authoritative text for anyone who wishes to understand the complex relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico, this masterwork starts with Spain’s rule over the island and continues through to modern times. With clear language, José Trías Monge effortlessly explores the ins and outs of Puerto Rico’s status as a commonwealth and the various debates over its future.

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Puerto Rico
José Trías Monge

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¡Wepa!: 10 Books That Celebrate Puerto Rico’s Rich Culture

By Kerry Fiallo | January 4, 2019

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My Beloved World
by Sonia Sotomayor

As the first Latina to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor’s story is an unforgettable and thoroughly inspiring one. In this gripping memoir, Sotomayor reveals how—with fierce determination—she rose to become high school valedictorian and achieve the highest honors at Princeton University, Yale Law School, and finally the Supreme Court. This is a masterful celebration of hard work and perseverance.

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My Beloved World
Sonia Sotomayor

The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor traces her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench. MY BELOVED WORLD offers an inspiring testament to Sotomayor’s own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself.

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MENTIONED IN:

¡Wepa!: 10 Books That Celebrate Puerto Rico’s Rich Culture

By Kerry Fiallo | January 4, 2019

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The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico
by Sarah McCoy

This moving and relatable coming-of-age story follows young Verdita as she enters her teenage years in rural Puerto Rico in 1961. This turbulent time in the island’s history provides the backdrop to the complicated rites of womanhood as she struggles to stay true to her roots and also embrace her own unique dreams and goals. An evocative and poignant novel.

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The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico
Sarah McCoy

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MENTIONED IN:

¡Wepa!: 10 Books That Celebrate Puerto Rico’s Rich Culture

By Kerry Fiallo | January 4, 2019

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Gmorning, Gnight!
by Lin-Manuel Miranda

The creator of Hamilton and one of today’s most prominent Puerto Rican celebrities collects some of his most inspiring and charming poetry and prose in this beautifully executed book of daily affirmations. Perfect for longtime and new Miranda fans, GMORNING, GNIGHT! is an enchanting gift of a book that reminds us of our own profound talents.

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Gmorning, Gnight!
Lin-Manuel Miranda

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¡Wepa!: 10 Books That Celebrate Puerto Rico’s Rich Culture

By Kerry Fiallo | January 4, 2019

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The Battle For Paradise
by Naomi Klein

From the bestselling author and journalist, this eye-opening and in-depth book explores how longtime colonialism and disaster capitalism have adversely affected the economy and citizens of Puerto Rico. With accessible writing and fascinating research, THE BATTLE FOR PARADISE is an unforgettable and rousing call to action.

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The Battle For Paradise
Naomi Klein

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¡Wepa!: 10 Books That Celebrate Puerto Rico’s Rich Culture

By Kerry Fiallo | January 4, 2019

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Clemente
by David Maraniss

The great baseball player Roberto Clemente—who died in a plane crash en route to deliver supplies to Nicaragua after an earthquake—is one of Puerto Rico’s favorite and most beloved sons. In this expansive biography, the legendary hero is brought to vivid life. Whether you’re a sports fan or not, you will find this book to be a compelling read on a truly inspirational life.

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Clemente
David Maraniss

David Maraniss brilliantly brings one of the greatest Latino players in the major leagues back to life in this classic biography. Using his narrative sweep and meticulous detail, Maraniss captures the myth and a real man.

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MENTIONED IN:

¡Wepa!: 10 Books That Celebrate Puerto Rico’s Rich Culture

By Kerry Fiallo | January 4, 2019

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Simone
by Eduardo Lalo

When a struggling writer in San Juan is confronted with mysterious and creepy messages, it soon becomes clear that he has a fanatical stalker. With thrilling twists and turns, this suspenseful novel takes you on a breathless journey exploring the thin line between admiration and obsession.

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Simone
Eduardo Lalo

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MENTIONED IN:

¡Wepa!: 10 Books That Celebrate Puerto Rico’s Rich Culture

By Kerry Fiallo | January 4, 2019

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Puerto Rico Strong
by Vita Ayala

This gorgeously wrought anthology explores what it means to be Puerto Rican in today’s world, directly from some of the best Puerto Rican comics creators. With beautiful art and heartfelt prose, this collection effortlessly illustrates the profound diversity of the Puerto Rican population, and proceeds go directly to the island’s recovery from Hurricane Maria.

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Puerto Rico Strong
Vita Ayala

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MENTIONED IN:

¡Wepa!: 10 Books That Celebrate Puerto Rico’s Rich Culture

By Kerry Fiallo | January 4, 2019

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