As I scanned my Goodreads reading challenge to make a list of the books I loved this year, I realised that I had read a lot of amazing books. God knows how I am going to narrow this list down. But that is a good problem to have. Also I am happily surprised to see the range of genres I read this past year.
Little Fires Everywhere
If you are on Bookstagram, you have probably heard about this one. I loved, loved this book. It’s a very different book despite the fact that it is not as twisted as you would believe. I love open endings and the ending sealed the deal for me. The story revolves around two very different families and their interaction with each other.
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Picoult is one of my favourite authors. I read one of her other books at the start of last year and hated it. It was a shock to my brain because I am a lifetime fan of hers. Then I read this one and everything fell back into place. It discusses racism in a brilliant, nitty gritty manner by taking you inside the characters mind. If you have read Jodi, you know that she has a specific writing style and she nails it in this one too.
All The Light We Cannot See
One of my favourite genres is historical fiction. I read this for Doha Bookworms, which is our book club. I am always interested in reading books that explore a different format. And this one was unique in that aspect. It is quiet a dry book and it takes quiet awhile to get into it. However the payoff is amazing. Like I said, it’s very unique in its writing and format. It’s also a Pulitzer Prize winner, if that sways your vote.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Full disclaimer. This is 800 pages long. And I read over a course of a month with a 2 week break in between. I enjoyed it immensely because I savored this book. It’s not dry but it is slow. However the writer sort of immerses you in the book so much that you love even the tiniest detail. Normally I don’t like books with a lot of detail but boy, was I surprised.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
I read a classic this year. And loved it. Woohoo! *does a virtual bhangra* This one is slow, dramatic with few characters but an intriguing storyline and a powerful ending.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
I read this at the start of the year. Physics was one of my favourite subjects in school. While reading this book, I felt like I was going back to that subject. It is science fiction but not your usual make believe thing. The way he incorporates science fiction into the story makes it real.
Sophia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik
This was the first book I read that I could relate to as a South Asian Muslim. I haven’t read an author who has done justice to a modern millennial Muslim. It was a pleasure to read this because I had given up on ever being represented right.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
As I am writing this, I am realising how many books took me by surprise. In the beginning, it was meh. But I was reading it for the bookclub so I had to finish it. Boy! Am I glad that I stuck by it. The author has managed to do humour and tragedy side by side, which is an unusual combination but it’s so damn good.
Another book based on race. I hadn’t read any African literature before diving into this. I realised that I want to explore more country based literature in the future. This book is worth all the praise.
This was what my 2018 looked like, in terms of reading. What did you read and loved? Or hated? Or tolerated?