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AL DÍA's best books of 2015

Crime, fantasy, literary fiction and everything in between.

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White Light, by Vanessa Garcia

Fathers, daughters, art,  the nature of creative impulse. Vanessa García's debut novel is imbued with a sense of place — Miami — and heritage — Cuban American — which make it a compelling read.

— Sabrina Vourvoulias

Canary, by Duane Swierczynski

A fast-paced crime novel about a college girl who becomes a confidential informant for Philadelphia Police. She's tasked by the narcotics division to help bust up major drug gangs in the city, and things get complicated.​

— Martín Martinez

 

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Coates deserves both the praise and the awards. End of story. Unrelated to its content, it is remarkable that a book of this genre — a longform literary essay a la James Baldwin, equal parts memoir and social argument — has found a mainstream audience in 2015.

— Max Marin

Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert

While writing honestly and practically about the creative process, Gilbert encourages all of her readers to make art, music and words for the sake of self-expression, happiness and nothing else. Enlightening, funny and inspirational - I can't recommend it enough.

— Roció Castañeda

 

Half-Resurrection Blues and Midnight Taxi Tango, by Daniel José Older

José Older's books from his Bone Street Rumba series, redefine the urban fantasy genre. Brooklyn is as much a character in Older's novels as his satisfyingly manifold protagonists. Older is a musician as well as a writer, and in many ways the shapeshifting clave rhythms drive his prose. Well, that, and also good storytelling.

— Sabrina Vourvoulias

 

Signs Preceding the End of the World, by Yuri Herrera

A Kafkaesque prose poem, a mini-epic of a novella about the U.S. Mexico border. Few borderlands books dig so deep — culturally, linguistically and spiritually — into the meaning of “el otro lado,” and what is lost in crossing from one side to the other.

— Max Marin

 

The Complete Stories, by Clarice Lispector

With a new translation from the Portuguese in this sleek new volume, Clarice Lispector's stories are like Shakespearean soliloquies in their range and beauty. She writes about the anxieties of human relationships like no one else.

— Max Marin

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