I consider myself a voracious reader, which can be attested by the many nights that I stay up way too late just because I have to read another chapter. For me, there is nothing better than curling up with a good book that transports me to another place, increases my knowledge, or helps me see life from another point of view (ideal if it does all three). This year I have been reading a wider array of books than ever before, and I finally feel like I am back into my reading groove after having it slightly curbed during university. I often write about the books that I am reading in my Weekly Edit posts, but I wanted to do a round-up of the books that have stood out to me the most so far this year, as well as those that I have lined-up to read next. Let me know in the comments what you are currently reading!
What I’m Reading Now
Usually, I have two to three books on the go at the same time. One fiction, one non-fiction, and then one for book club! The three books I am currently reading are:
Beloved by Toni Morrison (book club)
The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier (non-fiction)
Celestial Bodies by Jokha al-Harthi (fiction)
Favorite Way To Read
There is nothing better than reading a real book, and that will always be my preferred mode; but, because I travel so much, I find myself mostly reading on my Kindle. This also works well for my Libby obsession, which I have written about multiple times on this site. I always have e-books rented from the library, which I can control through the iPhone app and then immediately send my next read to my Kindle. The convenience of this is unbeatable. As with anything important to you, it is essential to schedule time to read; otherwise, it doesn’t happen. Generally, I read every night for 30mins to an hour while lying in bed with a cup of tea. But really, I take any chance I can get, especially if I am enthralled in a book. On Sundays, when we don’t have any plans, there is nothing dreamier than lounging around with R, slow jazz playing, and our latest reads.
Top 5 Books I’ve Loved This Year (So Far)
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones – A stirring love story that is the opposite of a light and fluffy read, An American Marriage depicts some of the very real social injustices that are present in the United States. Roy and Celeste are newlyweds and excited about building their lives together until Roy is convicted of a crime that he didn’t commit. For five years, he is locked-up, and the book tells the story of the three people who are trying to figure out their lives in the interim. It’s an eye-opening, relevant, and compelling novel that has stayed with me since I read it at the beginning of this year.
We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin – The debut novel of Maurice Carols Ruffin is set in a Southern US city plagued by fenced-in ghettos and police violence. The book tells the struggle of a father whose obsessed with protecting his biracial son from the awful world outside, which means turning him white through an expensive clinical treatment. Despite the horrifying subject matter (surviving racism in America), the writing had me both laughing out loud and feeling torn about my feelings for each character. The first chapter is one of the best openers I have read in recent memory, but the whole book is a fantastic read!
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne – This sweeping novel tracks the culture and society of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one man. While the Catholic church (and its hypocrisy and control of people) is one of the key themes, a whole array of social issues are tackled. Even with the serious topics and the many tragic events that occur, the story is actually hilarious, which is only possible due to Boyne’s immense skill in storytelling.
An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma – Shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize, it tells the story of Chinonso, a young poultry farmer who embarks on an epic quest to prove himself worthy of the woman he loves. Narrated by his chi, or guardian spirit, who has lived for hundreds of years, the novel is written in the mythic style of the Igbo literary tradition. A contemporary twist of Homer’s Odyssey, this heart-wrenching epic spans continents and cosmic spaces. Oh, and the writing/vocabulary is exquisite. It is so good; please read it.
Educated by Tara Westover – As a book club book, Educated was a perfect choice because the content provides plenty of food for thought. This memoir, about Tara’s challenging (to say the least) upbringing with survivalist parents, is profoundly touching and eye-opening. Throughout her life, she experienced horrific abuse and out-of-the-ordinary parenting strategies that are unimaginable to the vast majority of us. Her education gave her a way out, and it demonstrates the importance of learning – both for personal and professional reasons.
What I’m Planning On Reading Next
Here is what is coming up next from my Libby account: