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Best Books About Mexico

Explore the rich culture, history, and spirit of Mexico through these top-rated books, curated from respected blogs and publications, and ranked by their prominence in literary discussions.

Recommendations from 38 articles, Oprah Winfrey, Anthony Bourdain, Joe Hill and 11 others.
100 books on the list
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The Labyrinth of Solitude book cover
The Labyrinth of Solitude
The Other Mexico, Return to the Labyrinth of Solitude, Mexico and the United States, the Philanthropic Ogre
Octavio Paz - 1994-01-12 (first published in 1950)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the complex themes of Mexican identity and culture through one of the most enduring and powerful works ever created on the subject. Written by acclaimed Mexican writer and critic Octavio Paz, this international classic contains his famous essay "The Labyrinth of Solitude," which delves into Mexico's quest for identity beneath its mask. Also included in the collection are essays on the United States and Latin America, providing a deep and penetrating commentary on the region.
Pedro Paramo book cover
Pedro Paramo
Juan Rulfo - 1994-03-10 (first published in 1955)
Goodreads Rating
This Mexican classic takes readers on a mesmerizing journey through a haunted village, where time shifts between dreams and memories. Dominated by the enigmatic figure of Pedro Páramo - a lover, overlord, and murderer - the novel explores violent passions and unfathomable mysteries through a mix of sensory images. A profound influence on Latin American literature, this book remains as overwhelming today as it did upon its 1955 publication.
Like Water for Chocolate book cover
Like Water for Chocolate
A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies
Laura Esquivel - 1993-09-16 (first published in 1989)
Goodreads Rating
Transport yourself to turn-of-the-century Mexico in this enchanting and poetic story of family life. Like Water for Chocolate is a captivating tale of forbidden love, family traditions, and the healing power of food. With moments of magic, gritty realism, and richly described recipes, this bestselling novel will leave you fully satiated.
Recommended by
Kurt Busiek
The Hummingbird's Daughter book cover
The Hummingbird's Daughter
Luis Alberto Urrea - 2006-04-03 (first published in 2005)
Goodreads Rating
"Experience the epic and mystical drama of a young woman's sudden sainthood in 19th-century Mexico. Follow sixteen-year-old Teresita, the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy rancher, on her journey of faith as she awakens from a dream with the power to heal the sick. But as civil war brews and trials await, Teresita must use all her strength and resilience to endure. This award-winning book by Luis Alberto Urrea is a masterpiece of love, loss, joy, and pain, twenty years in the making."
The Murmur of Bees book cover
The Murmur of Bees
Sofía Segovia - 2019-04-16 (first published in 2015)
Goodreads Rating
In this astonishing novel set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution, a mysterious child with the power to see the future changes the fate of one family forever. Adopted by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, little Simonopio is a cause of wonder to his family because of his uncanny gift. Followed by a protective swarm of bees, he uses his abilities to protect his adoptive family from both human and natural threats. With themes of love, faith, and destiny, this book captures the fate of a country in flux and one family striving for the unbelievable.
Mexican Gothic book cover
Mexican Gothic
Silvia Moreno-Garcia - 2020-06-30
Goodreads Rating
Step into the eerie world of glamorous 1950s Mexico, where a socialite receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin, begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom. Against all odds, the courageous Noemí Taboada ventures to High Place, an isolated mansion in the Mexican countryside, to uncover the family's treacherous secrets. But as she delves deeper, she unearths stories of violence and madness, and finds herself mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place. Will she ever be able to leave this mysterious house behind?
The Savage Detectives book cover
The Savage Detectives
A Novel
Roberto Bolano - 2007-04-03 (first published in 1998)
Goodreads Rating
"A literary adventure across continents and cultures, The Savage Detectives transports readers into the world of the visceral realist movement. Follow founders Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima on their twenty-year quest to find a vanished poet, while encountering an eclectic mix of characters along the way. Written by acclaimed author Roberto Bolaño, this novel weaves together themes of literature and violence, exploring the fluid boundaries of nationality and the avant-garde. A polyphonic masterpiece and a must-read for any lover of modern Latin American literature."
Under the Volcano book cover
Under the Volcano
A Novel (P.S.)
Malcolm Lowry - 2000-04-26 (first published in 1947)
Goodreads Rating
Set in Quauhnahuac, Mexico, this novel follows the story of the former British consul, Geoffrey Firmin, and his struggle with alcoholism. His marriage with Yvonne is at the brink of collapse when she arrives, determined to rescue Firmin and their relationship. However, her mission becomes even more complicated with the presence of Firmin's half-brother and childhood friend. Against the backdrop of magical and diabolical Mexico, the events of a fateful Day of the Dead unfold. Experience this powerful and lyrical masterpiece that delves into the human condition and one man's constant struggle against the forces that threaten to destroy him.
Recommended by
Anthony Bourdain
Caramelo book cover
Sandra Cisneros - 2003-09-09 (first published in 2002)
Goodreads Rating
A multigenerational family narrative that explores identity, storytelling, and love. Every summer, Ceyala "Lala" Reyes and her large family travels from Chicago to Mexico City to visit family. While struggling to find her place in the family and on either side of the border, Lala becomes a shrewd observer of family life. When she starts telling her Awful Grandmother's life story, seeking clues to her awfulness, a whirlwind exploration of stories and the meaning of truth unfolds. Caramelo is a vibrant and heartfelt exploration of history, family, and love, passed down through generations like a cherished rebozo.
The Death of Artemio Cruz book cover
The Death of Artemio Cruz
A Novel (FSG Classics)
Carlos Fuentes - 1991-05-01 (first published in 1962)
Goodreads Rating
This poignant novel follows the life of Artemio Cruz, a newspaper magnate and land baron who reflects on the pivotal episodes of his life while confined to his deathbed. Carlos Fuentes employs inventive storytelling, taking readers on a journey through Cruz's heroic campaigns during the Mexican Revolution, his ascent from poverty to wealth, and his eventual demise. The Death of Artemio Cruz is a haunting exploration of modern Mexico's soul and a masterpiece by Fuentes.
Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos
The Power and the Glory by Dennis Cannan
The Underdogs by Mariano Azuela
The Devil's Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Quesadillas by Juan Pablo Villalobos
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The Conquest of Mexico by Hugh Thomas
The Mexico Reader by Gilbert M. Joseph
I'll Sell You a Dog by Juan Pablo Villalobos
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
The Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes
Sea Monsters by Chloe Aridjis
Mornings in Mexico by D H Lawrence
What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau
Mexico by Enrique Krauze
Frida by Hayden Herrera
Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
First Stop in the New World by David Lida
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo by F. G. Haghenbeck
The Ruins by Scott Smith
The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli
Battles in the Desert and Other Stories by Jose Emilio Pacheco
Fifth Sun by Camilla Townsend
The Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Diaz del Castillo
The Princess and the Warrior by Duncan Tonatiuh
The Broken Spears by Miguel Leon-Portilla
Terra Nostra by Carlos Fuentes
The Book of Lamentations by Rosario Castellanos
Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring by Angela Cervantes
BAD KARMA by Paul Wilson
The Fire and the Word by Gloria Muñoz Ramírez
My Art, My Life by Diego Rivera, Gladys March
The Maya by Michael D. Coe, Stephen Houston
Mexico by Jo Tuckman
Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera
Solimar by Pam Munoz Ryan
Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales
A Ballad of Love and Glory by Reyna Grande
The Years with Laura Díaz by Carlos Fuentes
Mexico by James A. Michener
The Lawless Roads by Graham Greene
Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Loteria by Mario Alberto Zambrano
Easy Spanish Step-By-Step by Barbara Bregstein
Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor
Conquistador by Buddy Levy
Noticias del Imperio by Fernando del Paso, Alfonso Gonzalez, Stella T Clark
Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera
Día de los Muertos by Hannah Eliot, Jorge Gutierrez
El Narco by Ioan Grillo
Just a Minute! by Yuyi Morales
Massacre in Mexico by Elena Poniatowska
Instrucciones para Vivir en Mexico by Jorge Ibargüengoitia
Funny Bones by Duncan Tonatiuh
La noche boca arriba y otros relatos by Julio Cortázar
Oaxaca by Bricia Lopez
Cuauhtemoc by Patty Rodriguez, Ariana Stein
Easy Spanish Phrase Book by Lingo Mastery
Bad Mexicans by Kelly Lytle Hernández
VÁMONOS by Patty Rodriguez, Ariana Stein, Ana Godinez
The Dope by Benjamin T. Smith
Lonely Planet Mexican Spanish Phrasebook Dictionary 5 by Cecilia Carmona, Rafael Carmona
Grieving by Cristina Rivera Garza, Sarah Booker
'68 by Paco Ignacio Taibo II
The Irish Soldiers of Mexico by Michael Hogan
This Strange Way of Dying by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
A Wicked War by Amy S. Greenberg
Let's Learn About MEXICO by Yuko Green
Mexico by Dinobibi Publishing, Belinda Briggs
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez
Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
A Forest of Kings by Linda Schele, David Freidel
God's Middle Finger by Richard Grant
The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Frida in America by Celia Stahr
Off We Go to Mexico! by Laurie Krebs
Villa and Zapata by Frank McLynn
Lotería by Karla Arenas Valenti
Popol Vuh by Anonymous
Vampires of El Norte by Isabel Cañas
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck
Aura by Carlos Fuentes
¡Ay, Mija! by Christine Suggs