I love to read and usually by this time of the year I’ve acquired quite the bedside table stack. This year I haven’t gone through as many books, I blame pregnancy and falling asleep halfway through paragraphs or not being able to focus my attention on too many heady topics. So here we are halfway through the year and I don’t have much in the way of books to recommend but I did look through my book reviews so far on Goodreads and wanted to share some the books I rated 4 stars or higher. I have a couple more waiting for me at the library so I’m hoping I can get some good reading mojo in during these next few months when I’m trying to stay cool and off my feet. You can always follow me on Goodreads to see what book related things I’m up to!
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid I loved how this book took a very current topic, refugees, and mixed in a bit of science fiction. Not exactly light reading, but hopeful at the end and beautifully written, I loved the concept of this book.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng This one took me a little while to get into, but once I got a feel for the characters I really fell in love with it. Many different angles and opinions are shared, different kind of relationships are examined with the varying voices, and nothing is clearly black and white. I loved it.
Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman Backman has turned into my comfort food novelist. (In fact, I think it’s his latest that’s on hold for me at the library!) I have read all of his books and enjoy them all. There is a definite formula to his books, but it’s one I like and I appreciate the hopeful message that humans are good and want to do good deep down inside.
The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh Ok so I actually only gave this one three stars, but I think it would be a great summer read. Part western, part sci fi, I loved the twists and turns of the town made up of people who have chosen to have their memories erased for very interesting reasons. I thought it kind of lost its edge near the end, but I still really enjoyed it.
News of the World by Paulette Jiles Another western, this time set in Texas just after the end of the Civil War. An old veteran is given the task to take a girl captured and raised by an Indian tribe back to her people in San Antonio. I loved the look at Texas and its history, the relationship between the man and the girl, and the interesting history behind people captured by native tribes and how it changed them forever. A bit of a slow burn, but a beautiful book.
The Chillbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan I listened to this one on Audible and absolutely loved it. Set just at the beginning World War II, a small village grapples with what the war means for them and those they love. The back bone of the community is the choir at the local church and I found the mix of characters’ voices as well as the Anglican music dispersed throughout a beautiful take on historical fiction.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones My favorite book so far this year, I read it in 24 hours. A completely honest and authentic look at marriage, race, growing up and moving away, and how we deal with the blows life gives us. It doesn’t seem like it would be uplifting, but I found some of the passages truly inspiring and though it broke my heart, I would read it again in an instant!
Well when I write them out like that, maybe I have had some good luck with reading this year! Anything you’ve read lately that had you completely in another world? I’ve read some good non fiction too, but maybe I’ll save that for another day. Now I’m off to start my next book, I’ll let you know how it goes!