Ya’ll, I’m sorry. This was supposed to be finished back in July….and it’s September. But Covid and school started and a bunch of other things happened and here we are! 🤷🏻♀️
Based off one of my fave book podcast’s recent episodes, I wanted to go over my favorite books of the year so far.
I have read
28 36 books so far, which Goodreads likes to tell me is 4 books short of my scheduled 60 goal. But I digress.
My first favorite is Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin- a modern day Pride and Prejudice with Muslim characters. I love how it gives me, a white, Christian, a window into the Muslim community and faith through a book that many people have read multiple times. I recommend it as a Pride and Prejudice alternative here.
My second book is Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson- grief, family disappointment, a mystery all rolled into one. The characters could be someone you know in real life-so real- it was hard for me to like them. The story moves from an island in the Caribbean, to the UK, to California. Among the characters, you meet is a determined swimmer who has to leave her home because of being accused of murder. You meet Benny who hasn’t seen her family since one fateful Thanksgiving that changed everything. You meet Byron, Benny’s brother, who wonders if he is the token black man in his field and will ever get to do what he wants to do. Such rich story telling with this one.
My third book is The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak. Another look into another country and culture I had no clue about. I thought Cyprus was just this beautiful island. I didn’t realize it had this history of invasion and war. This book has everything-war, star crossed romance, and a tree that tell it’s point of view.
My next book is The Bodyguard by Katherine Center. Flipping what you think it’s about- Hannah Brooks is a big time Executive Protective Agent for very rich, very powerful people and her next client is superstar actor Jack Stapleton. This one is just fun. Take this to the lake or the beach. It does have a character grieving her mom, which can be triggering for some.
Finally, my favorite book of the year so far has been Vacationland by Meg Mitchell Moore. If you know me at all, you know I love a family drama. This one has it in spades. Coming to her parents’ house on the coast of Main should be a respite but instead is filled with anger at her husband who has stayed behind for his start up podcasting job and worry over her dad who has Alzheimer’s. Not to mention that she *should* be writing her book. There is also someone new in town that comes with her own secrets. Forget your fight with your mom or your weirdo uncle and settle into this family drama for awhile.
Because of everything going on, I feel like I haven’t read a ton. I want the back half of my reading year to be more nonfiction. It’s always nice to have a plan. Do you plan out what you read or do you just go for it?
My name is Laura. I am a librarian and review books on The Alabama Take. You can follow me at bamareads on Instagram where I also talk about books. I really like talking about books. It’s nice to be here. 🙂