Wide-ranging books penned by Latin musicians such as Carlos Vives, Mala Rodriguez and Chiquis were released over the past few months, just in time for the holiday season.
As you get ready to shop for that perfect gift, Billboard compiled a list of eight books that are worth gifting this year. The list includes Vives’ Cumbiana, which takes the reader on a journey to discover the origin of cumbia, and Mala Rodriguez’s memoir, Cómo Ser Mala, in which she narrates her humble beginnings as a rap/hip-hop artist in Spain.
See our 2021 Latin book gift guide below:
Carlos Vives, Cumbiana: Relatos de Un Mundo Perdido
Released along with his album Cumbiana, the book — penned by Vives and Guillermo Barreto — will take readers on a magical journey to discover the origin of cumbia. The text is “the portal to the reconstruction of an amazing amphibian nation that united its destiny in America with European culture and with the African culture to leave a musical legacy that has marked history,” according to the book’s description. You can purchase Cumbiana here. Publisher: Planeta
La Mala Rodriguez, Cómo Ser Mala
Released in June, the Spanish artist’s 110-page book is a memoir where she narrates her humble beginnings in Spain’s rap and hip-hop scene to taking a leap into the global stage. Purchase the book on Amazon. Publisher: Planeta
Os presento la portada de mi libro CÓMO SER MALA que sale el 30 de junio en @temasdehoy. Llevo meses preparándolo con muchísima ilusión ✨✨✨Un sueño hecho realidad 🙏🏼🙏🏼 @planetadelibros pic.twitter.com/eX8gkVyyI4
— MALA (@malarodriguez) May 11, 2021
Joe Bonilla, Joe Quiero Ser Artista
PR and manager Joe Bonilla released his new book titled Joe Quiero Ser Artista over the summer. Breaking down the show business and how to best thrive in it, he reveals 14 “truths” to make it in the industry. Buy Joe Quiero Ser Artista here. Publisher: Página Azul
Repartiendo besos, abrazos y verdades en @LatinGRAMMYs #joequieroserarista pic.twitter.com/ChiLlVOpG0
— Joe Bonilla (@JOEBONILLA) November 19, 2021
Beatriz Luengo, El Despertar de las Musas
Sharing her own truth as a woman and an artist, Beatriz Luengo honors twelve creative muses who were never properly recognized or credited by the industry. Weaving history, fiction, poetry and an introspective analysis, the feminist book is an effort to recognize women and their contributions to the arts. Buy it here. Publisher: Sassy Cat Publishing
Chiquis, Chiquis Keto
If you’re looking to eat healthier but unwilling to sacrifice fun and flavor, Chiquis has the book for you. The 21-day starter kit features more than sixty meals, snacks, and drinks. From huevos rancheros to Mexican hot chocolate pudding and her version of a low-carb margarita, Chiquis Keto is packed with recipes, workouts and motivational stories. Purchase the book here. Publisher: Atria Books
Ally Brooke, Finding Your Harmony
In her memoir, the former Fifth Harmony member opens up about the experiences that led her to the spotlight and shares personal stories about her “tight-knit” Mexican-American family who “helped her live fearlessly since she was first catapulted into stardom,” according to the book’s description. Brooke also candidly touches on the challenges she’s faced throughout her career and how she’s navigated the industry by staying true to herself. Buy the book here. Publisher: Dey Street Books
Antonio Cardiel, Héroes de Leyenda
Released in April, the book takes a deep dive into the story of one of Spain’s most iconic pop-rock bands, Héroes del Silencio. The biography is penned by the base player’s brother, Antonio Cardiel, who interviewed band members to tell the story of group behind anthems such as “Entre Dos Tierras” and “Maldito Duende.” Purchase Héroes de Leyenda here. Publisher: Plaza & Janes
Leila Cobo, Decoding “Despacito”: An Oral History of Latin Music
Decoding Despacito tracks the stories behind some of the biggest Latin songs of the past 50 years that have stood the test of time – from José Feliciano‘s 1970 “Feliz Navidad” to Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee‘s 2017 smash “Despacito.” The collection gives behind-the-scenes looks at 19 anthemic songs that “defined movements and moments,” as Leila Cobo, Billboard‘s vp of Latin music, writes in her book. “None of them sounded like anything [else] at the time and I think that was key to their success.” Buy it here. Publisher: Penguin Random House
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