Novels and Mysteries to Read on a Trip to Mexico
August 2, 2018 6:49 AM   Subscribe

I am going to Mexico City and Cabo San Lucas (Baja Peninsula) for a couple weeks, and I would love to read books written and set in Mexico while I'm there! Please recommend some to me.

I like stories that are immersive, mysterious, suspenseful, that delve deeply into character (family epics included), and that are perhaps even a bit gothic. Genre isn't that important, although I tend to read a lot of mysteries, historical fiction, and literary fiction in my daily, non-vacation (!) life. Also, women authors and main characters preferred, if possible.

Since I will have to pack these books in my luggage, I can only take paperbacks. And since I leave very soon, the books need to be pretty widely available in English in the US.

Thank you!
posted by rue72 to Writing & Language (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
How about The Body Where I Was Born, by Guadelupe Nettel?
posted by Frowner at 7:03 AM on August 2, 2018

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
posted by elke_wood at 7:18 AM on August 2, 2018

If you can handle wildly problematic and really quite disturbingly inappropriate stuff, 'Aztec' by Gary Jennings is compelling. It's apparently very well researched. Don't go anywhere near the sequels.
posted by h00py at 7:33 AM on August 2, 2018

If you’re up for a bit of a challenge The Savage Detectives captures a lot of the feeling of Mexico City.
posted by chrchr at 7:37 AM on August 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

Under the Volcano?
posted by mareli at 8:07 AM on August 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

This doesn't exactly tick all your boxes, but the most popular English language book in Baja bookstores has to be Steinbeck's The Log from the Sea of Cortez. Steinbeck and a marine biologist friend chartered a sardine boat from Monterey and came down to spend several months in the Sea of Cortez, doing research and just generally adventuring. The second most popular is probably The Pearl, a novel, also by Steinbeck.
posted by bricoleur at 10:11 AM on August 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

Only one book by a Mexican so far. Here are a few more.
posted by TheRaven at 12:07 PM on August 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a young Mexican born author (currently living in Canada). She writes books with a speculative element. It’s a bit on the YA side, but I loved Signal to Noise, a coming-of-age book set in Mexico City.
posted by frumiousb at 3:08 PM on August 2, 2018

Another vote for Under the Volcano
posted by JohnC at 6:07 AM on August 3, 2018

I just read the Mongolian Conspiracy by Rafael Bernal (trans. Katherine Silver), from New Directions. Literary noir.
posted by ahundredjarsofsky at 6:57 PM on August 3, 2018

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