At long last, the time is upon us! And I’ll admit I have been
wildly mildly excited about doing these wrap up posts because:
- This has been a GREAT year for reading (thank you Lockdown!), and,
- I’d very much like to see 2020 out the front door, thank you very much!
With over 40 books read this year, it was a monstrous task to compile a list of my top reads, so I have done the next best thing – Two Posts – one to list down the top new authors I discovered this year and one to list down the books I loved, which flew under the radar but really need to be talked about more.
Disclaimer: Some of the authors below are not really new or first time, but rather it was me reading their works for the first time.
So without further ado, here we go:
- The Nickel Boys – Colson Whitehead
We read The Nickel Boys as part of our Book Club at work and it was one of the few books that had such a huge impact on me that by the time, I read the final page, I had to take a moment to steady myself.
Based on real story, this Pulitzer prize winning book by Colson Whitehead is set in the America of 1960’s, starting in segregated Tallahassee, where the civil rights movement is just beginning to take a firm hold, and is a book that really needs to be part of every book club and book discussion.
Earlier this year, I also featured this book on my list of books to read if you need a little perspective, and following up from The Nickel Boys, I have now lined up ‘The Underground Railroad’ for my 2021 TBR
2. The Beekeper of Aleppo – Christy Lefteri
The Beekeeper tackles the topic of the humanitarian crisis that followed the Syrian war, and is a heart wrenching look at families torn apart by a senseless war. It follows Nuri and Afra as they make their way from Aleppo to the United Kingdom, escaping the terrors of war and dealing with the loss of their only child.
Christy Lefteri writes in an almost lyrical style, and has the unique talent of exposing the raw brutality of war with compassion and sensitivity. I’ll certainly be looking forward to more of her works.
3. Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng
I am at loss as to where to start with this book? Should it be the powerful characters that Celeste Ng has etched out, or shall I touch upon her flawless narration and the ability to weave together two timelines to create a seamless, compelling story.
This thought provoking read delves into themes of family, unrealistic societal norms, the power of discretion and the importance of defining and living by your own rules.
I’m dying to pick up her ‘Everything I never told you’ and I am hoping it won’t disappoint, as I’d very much like Celeste Ng to be on my Auto Buy list 🙂
4. The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
Okay, I’ll be the first one to admit here that I picked up The Haunting only because I was
forced pressured asked very nicely to watch the Haunting of Hill House on Netflix.
Horror and I, we don’t really go hand in hand, unless it is that kind of horror that will chill you to the bone without actually showing or depicting anything gory (ahem, The Exorcist).
And then I read The Haunting of Hill House and I instantly regretted not having read Shirley Jackson earlier. Because if there is an undisputed queen of horror, it is her! If I could, I would take a highlighter to the entire book, especially the opening paragraph, which was in fact copied verbatim in the Netflix series (much to my delight, and my husband’s mild amusement since I was reciting it as we go)
I know somehow already that I will be reading this book come Halloween every year, even though I know what happens, even though I know who dies and even though I already know that whatever walked there, walked alone.