The last 365 days or so I’ve made a big effort to read more in a variety of genres. The result is that I’ve read some amazing books that I would never have read before! So I thought I would take some time to share with you all my favorite book from each genre.
Literary Fiction: Bel Canto
If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’re probably tired of hearing about Bel Canto. But I’m going to tell you again anyway. In an unnamed South American Country, a group of rich industrialists get together for a birthday dinner/concert. A group of guerrilla terrorists show up to kidnap the president of the country, who isn’t there. Their indecision leads them to being stuck with a hundred hostages when the military shows up. The terrorists and the businessmen get to know each other, form friendships, and even fall in love. It’s beautiful, it’s heartbreaking, it’s just wonderful.
Popular Fiction: Where’d You Go Bernadette
If you like funny books and you’ve never read Where’d You Go Bernadette, you are MISSING OUT. Bernadette Fox is a once beloved architect who disappeared after a controversy concerning her favorite project. She now lives in the suburbs of Seattle hating the rich life. Her daughter Bee narrates a series of increasingly outrageous events leading up to her disappearance, and then the trip to Antarctica to find her. I have never laughed as hard in my life as I did reading this book.
Classics: Pride and Prejudice
Another one you’re probably tired of hearing about. I don’t feel like I need to say much here. 🙂
Historical Fiction: Wolf Hall
Really the entire Thomas Cromwell trilogy, because the books just keep getting better as you read. Thomas Cromwell, a poor man who rises to become the Lord Privy Seal, narrates the story of Henry VIII’s divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and subsequent marriages to Anne Bolyn and Jane Seymour. Cromwell’s quiet wit and unique voice make this series delightful, while history makes it juicy and dramatic. If you like historical fiction and a slow burn, you’ve got to read it.
Mystery: And Then There Were None
Agatha Christie is the queen of the mystery genre for a reason. Touted as “the perfect mystery”, And Then There Were None will keep you guessing to the very last word. A group of thirteen vacationers arrive on a secluded island, where someone begins picking them off one by one. Will anyone survive? I couldn’t put this book down and ended up finishing it in like, three days. (Which at the time was SOMETHING.) It’s a great concept, fun to play along with, but impossible to solve. And the characters are complicated a dark. GREAT book.
Thriller: My Sister, the Serial Killer
Would we call this a thriller? It’s more like a satire of the thriller genre. Whatever, I loved it. Korde’s sister, Ayoola, keeps killing her boyfriends, and Korde always has to clean up the mess. Literally. Braithwaite’s dark voice and fascinating characters make this a book that Thriller lovers can’t miss.
Fantasy: The Lord of the Rings
Again, obviously. Sorry I don’t have something more interesting to say!
Science Fiction: The Psychology of Time Travel
I don’t know that I can say this is definitively my favorite Sci-Fi novel, it kind of depends on my mood. But this is certainly a favorite. I LOVE time travel, and this is easily the best time travel novel I’ve ever read. I honestly don’t even know how to describe it in a short bite because there’s so much going on. It covers the invention of time travel, there’s a murder mystery, it goes into the psychology unique to time traveling agents (hence the name), and there’s a bit of a romance. It’s a character-driven novel that gets into the nitty gritty of time travel, which is just so my jam.
YA Contemporary: The Sun is Also a Star
Again, I don’t know that I can say this is my all-time favorite, I also love Eleanor & Park and With the Fire on High. But this book kind of checked all the YA boxes for me. Immigration themes, heart-fluttery romance, teens figuring life out, a bittersweet ending. Yes yes yes. Natasha’s family is being deported. Tomorrow. Daniel has a college interview that he doesn’t really want to go to. When a chance meeting throws them together, their lives will never be the same. I adored Yoon’s writing style, the characters, the STORY. She had so much to say about life and what it means to be a teen, an immigrant, a person. I love this book.
YA SF/F: Children of Blood and Bone
Um, HELLO, if you haven’t read Children of Blood and Bone yet what are you waiting for??? Zelie is a magi, but the magic has been gone since she was a child. Now the king and his soldiers dominate the magi children, marked by their white hair, with force and taxes. But when Zelie runs into the king’s daughter carrying a magical item in the market, she might just have the chance to bring magic back and save her people. This book has world building coming out of its EARS and absolutely brilliant characters. It’s dark and gritty, but also full of hope. After having written off YA SF/F for many years, this book made me fall in love with the genre again.