Dear reader, can you believe that it will be August in less than two weeks? This strange, strange year has really flown by — those early months of lockdown trickled right away and summer is at its height. To celebrate the downhill direction this year is (finally) taking, I’m wrapping up my top reads this year so far. For part one, we’re going to cover Fiction!
5. The Inhabited Woman by Giaconda Belli: I read this Nicaraguan novel for the Own Voices Global Reading Challenge in March. I fell in love with Lavinia and Itza, their independence, hopefulness, and emotional depth. I loved the magical realism and getting to learn more about indigenous life before and during the conquest of Latin America in the 1500s. I enjoyed it so much that I hunted down my own copy after borrowing it from the library!
4. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: A classic of Black American literature, this novel was perfection. It was entirely unexpected, surprisingly relatable, and infused with so much femininity. I enjoyed every second with Janie and she’s now one of my favorite heroines of all time.
3. Claire of the Sea-Light by Edwidge Danticat: I read this book back in April for the Own Voices Global Reading Challenge for the Caribbean, and I deeply enjoyed it. I loved the way that Danticat presented seemingly unrelated characters and slowly stitched them together a chapter at a time until they were a tapestry of life in Haiti. The novel ended on such a lovely, hopeful note, that it’s lingered with me through these tough times.
2. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie: This has been the year of Agatha Christie for me! I’d read her most popular works in the past, but this year I’ve been methodically (though casually) working through her immense catalogue of books. Though Christie is controversial figure, she is nonetheless a pillar of the mystery genre, and I’ve deeply enjoyed going through her works. Roger Ackroyd is by far my favorite — even though I knew the ending, I still had so much fun uncovering the clues as I read.
1. Beloved by Toni Morrison: Another new life-long favorite! This one was recommended to me by Dr. Sethi, and as always, she did not disappoint me with this one. I was completely immersed from the first page. I love haunted house novels and the gothic infusion in this story rocketed it to the top of my favorites this year. It remains the best book I’ve read this year, and might be a contender for my top 3 favorite books of all time!
It’s only been six months and I’ve already found life-long favorites! There is still a lot of ground to cover with the Own Voices Global Reading Challenge (see my mid-year check in here!) and there are so many novels that I’m excited about reading on my TBR, so check back at the end of the year to see what else makes the list!