I am a reader, a big reader. I used to believe that if you started a book you had to finish it no matter what. I don’t stand by that edict anymore. If a book doesn’t ‘speak’ to you after you have given it a decent chance, then it is ok to set it aside. Life is too short to sit through movies you don’t like and read books you don’t enjoy. So be kind to yourself and let reading be a joy and not a chore.
Travel is out, seeing family is nixed, for many the dark days of winter are here so I have decided to let books be my comfort. When I am struggling to find something to look forward to there are always books, glorious books. Little worlds to roll into and sigh.
The End of Where we Begin by Rosalind Russell
(It is incredible and a must read. It’s a non-fiction story about resilience, hope and humanity told with grace and heart. What a fantastic read to start 2021.)
These are the books I am excited to read in 2021:
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam. This has had rave reviews from multiple sources I trust. I hear it is the kind of book that you absolutely need to talk about once it is done. Sounds perfect for the heart of February.
The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel. From what I hear this one is captivating.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. Am I the last one to read this book? I feel everyone I know has read it and loved it so maybe it is time.
Lustre a novel. By Raven Leilani. It has been on a lot of ‘best of 2020’ lists and Kate Baer ( the poet and brilliant reader) said that it made her gasp.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. I hear so many good things about this book. It also has Obama’s stamp of approval. So there is that.
Jonathon Franzen, Elizabeth Strout and Sebastian Faulks all have new books coming out in 2021. Something to look forward to for sure.
Books I have recently read and loved:
(I read so much in 2020, especially when we were housebound during lock down. This is just a short list of books that are hard to put down. Just what we need.)
What Kind of Woman by the aforementioned Kate Baer. She writes poetry about the mundane and sublime, making profound the little moments of marriage and motherhood.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evasisto. It won the booker in 2019, deservedly so. Written in the different voices of complex women and girls, it time travels, takes risks, celebrates womanhood and life and is brilliant page after page.
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. This is fresh, clever and much deeper than it appears. While it is an easy read it tackles the subject of bias, racism and identity through the relationship between a white family and their black babysitter. Excellent.
Writers and Lovers by Lily King. Digested this in a matter of days. A coming-of-age story about a writer, a lover, a grieving young woman.
Find Me by Andre Aciman. I absolutely loved Call me by your name and also really enjoyed returning to this world in this sequel.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Lived up to the hype. Utterly engrossing story that takes place in the wild marshes of North Carolina. It has love, beauty, nature and a touch of mystery.
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Rock and Roll! Great rollicking fun. I hear there is a 13-episode mini-series coming and I am here for it.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. People have been telling me for 5 years to read this and I was always put off by the length. Well. I digested in big gulps over 10 days. Just read it. Wow.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. I taught this for the 2nd time and decided to re-read it. Loved it even more than I had before. It is a graphic novel about a childhood spent during the Iranian Revolution. Warm., funny, human and heartbreaking. Just fantastic.
Howards End by E. M. Forster. The only classic on this list and also probably the best book of all. Adored it.
Nonfiction books I have recently enjoyed:
These books have fed both my soul and brain. I read them all with a pencil in hand, underlining sentences and then writing about them. I have learnt so much and feel enormous gratitude to these authors for their brilliance and their ability to put that brilliance on paper.
The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathon Haight
Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine
This too shall pass by Julia Samuel
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Maybe you should talk to someone by Lori Gottlieb
Dare to Lead by Brene Brown
Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty
The Choice by Dr, Edith Eger
Happy reading, everyone!