Maluma Reads Camus! How About You? Latin Artists Share Their Summer Reading Picks

Mauricio Santana/Getty Images
Maluma performs live on stage at Espaco das Americas on April 30, 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“Maluma already read Camus and you haven’t started your thesis.”

The tweet from Mexico’s Instituto de Bellas Artes showing the Colombian star holding a book by French philosopher Albert Camus was initially thought to be a photo montage and unleashed a flurry of reaction in social media as the image went viral.

But, as we soon found out from Maluma himself, yes, he does read Camus.

“I had begun to read it [the book] the day we took the photo,” Maluma told Billboard. “It was a gift from a friend. I haven’t finished it yet. I’m in the middle.” 

Inspired by Maluma’s literary prowess, we asked other Latin artists to provide us with their summer reading picks. Here are a few:

Elvis Crespo
Walt Disney: Personaje Inimitable
by Bob Thomas

Why: It’s a fascinating biography about this genius of entertainment who definitely inspired with his perseverance and shows us how adapting and reinventing oneself is necessary to acquire consistency in our lives.


iLe Cabra
Patas Arriba, La Escuela del Mundo Al Revés
by Eduardo Galeano

Why: This is a book I started reading a long time ago but I needed to come back to it. It speaks about the world around us and how the past still has to do so much with our upside-down present. Galeano was a wise writer and I admire his way of expressing things we feel afraid to accept about our own reality. The world we live in seems absurd and we need to deal with it up close to change it and make it better for us to understand each other. Questioning what surrounds us might be a good start.


La Vida Boheme
The Magic Mountain
By Thomas Mann

Why: I haven’t finished this one yet; it was a swap I made in exchange for Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse (also a great read) with my hermano, and plastic artist, Emilio Flores. But I can assure you it doesn’t spare a single word. Reading it is existing in it like a parallel world. Explaining plots won’t do justice to it. It’s a must have, trust me.


Carlos Arévalo of Chicano Batman
A People's History of the United States
By Howard Zinn

Why: This summer I'm re-reading Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. The book gives the historical account of the disenfranchised and their struggles to overcome the adversities imposed upon them by institutionalized structures and the elite. These are the same elite that have written much of the sugarcoated mainstream history we are all taught in grade school. This book is a source of knowledge and inspiration for getting through the challenging socio-political times we are living through today.


Simón Mejía of Bomba Estereo
Catching The Big Fish
By David Lynch

Why: Apart from being one of my favorite film directors, it’s always interesting to know how these artists think about topics as common nowadays as meditation, consciousness and creativity.


Alynda Segarra aka Hurray for the Riff Raff
Tell Me How it Ends
By Valeria Luiselli 

Why: A collection of writings by Luiselli on her experiences working as a translator for child refugees from Central America. A humanizing look into the harrowing journeys of these kids and their families. She educates us on the complexities of immigration that are often simplified. A must read.