A week or two ago, I promised a post with pictures from my Christmas book haul, and now the time is here! Now, admittedly, only one person got me books this year–my dad–and he had to ask someone at the bookstore to help him pick them out, so they’re four titles that I literally hadn’t even heard of before. To that end, I caved and included the Goodreads blurbs for each of them in this post, because…well, might as well know what they’re about, right?
These books are, in order: a historical mystery, a historical rom-com (think Pride and Prejudice type story, from what I’ve heard), a YA contemporary/historical, and a fantasy. Yeah, apparently this lady thought I was super into historical books? I don’t really get why–she literally looked at my Goodreads account and I know historical fiction is one of my least-read genres–but whatever works, I guess. At the very least, my horizons will be broadened quite a lot! And hopefully, dear reader, by perusing this post, yours will too.
Author: George Saunders Publication date: February 14, 2017 Genre: historical fiction, literary fiction My rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
Witty, wise, weird, and wrenching, Lincoln in the Bardo is a literary tour-de-force that brims with brilliance and takes a little-known historical event as a lens to examine truths about the human condition. It is quite unlike anything I have read in a long time, and it makes the writer’s intelligence and skill apparent almost immediately. And, somehow, it manages to do this while still being an accessible read that passes far faster than you would expect–though you wish it could last just a tiny bit longer.
Usually, I would do a Top Ten Tuesday post since, you know, it’s a Tuesday. But this week’s theme is “Favorite Books I Read in 2019,” and I’ll let you in on a secret (which isn’t really a secret): I’m not very good at choosing favorites. I agonize over making selections of which books were the “best” I read each year, especially once I try to account for things like literary merit vs my own personal enjoyment, different criteria for books of different genres, new books vs classics, what to do about multiple good books in a series, and so on. Plus, with 105 books under my belt from this year alone, there’s just such a high chance that a generic “top ten” would leave out books that deserve more love. So instead, this is a little clustered “list” of my thoughts from the year, across different categories, genres, and more, with both favorites and least-favorites galore. (Hey, that rhymed.)
Author: Alice Hoffman Publication Date: September 24, 2019 Genre: historical fiction, magical realism, fantasy My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
This is a book that I’m sure many people will love. It’s a WWII story, an era which is always popular with the historical fiction crowd. The writing is quite lovely in its simplicity. The main characters are predominantly strong women, and one of the novel’s biggest themes is the strength of a mother’s love. And of course, it has a slight fantasy twist, drawing from Jewish mythology to further explore ideas about family, loyalty, and promises. But for me, the elements didn’t gel together quite as nicely as I would have liked.
Trying out something new today! WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words, and I’ve seen a lot of fellow bloggers doing it, so I figured I would take a stab at it as well. There are three W questions to answer, so here they are along with my answers!
What are you currently reading?
I’m actually doing two books right now: listening to the audiobook for Patron Saints of Nothing, by Randy Ribay (I love it so much so far!!), and reading my eARC forThe Water Dancerby Ta-Nehisi Coates (which I can already tell will be a powerful read once I get into the real meat of the story).
What did you recently finish reading?
Just two days ago I finished “Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell,” a Cosmere novella by Brandon Sanderson. It was exactly what I would expect from Brando Sando: creative, a little dark, full of badass characters, and with stellar worldbuilding. I really hope he writes a full novel in this particular world at some point!
In terms of full books, The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow was a beautiful and magical read. Would recommend; check out my review here.
What do you think you’ll read next?
The next two books I’m looking forward to reading are Crier’s War by Nina Varela and The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman. Just yesterday, I read a glowing review of the latter that has me even more excited about it. And the former just sounds right up my alley.
So what about you? What are you reading now? Read any of these? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments. And if you have your own WWW, feel free to share that link as well!
“Doors are many things: fissures and cracks, ways between, mysteries and borders. But more than anything else, doors are change.“
Author: Alix E. Harrow Publication Date: September 10, 2019 Genre: Portal fantasy, historical fiction, young adult Rating: 5/5 stars
Reading this book is like walking through a capital-D Door, out of this world and into an adjacent one filled with so much heart, magic, and mystery.The Ten Thousand Doors of January is the sort of book that you finish and say, “I can’t believe this is the author’s first novel.” It’s a lyrical, lovely fusion of historical fiction and portal fantasy—a combination that, frankly, has no right to work as well as it does.