Of the 36 books I managed to finish this year, in print and audio, these are the 8 that have stuck with me, in no particular order.
Sing, Unburied, Sing – Jesmyn Ward
Winner of the National Book Award, the novel follows a young boy and his family in Mississippi. It is a suspenseful, coming of age story that highlights cycles of poverty and incarceration.
The Search for Wondla (trilogy) – Tony Diterizzi
This trilogy was recommended to me after I told a friend I enjoyed the Netflix movie, Mother. The story follows a teenage girl on her adventure outside of her home and through the lands of Orbona.
The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
Whitehead won a Pulitzer and the National Book Award for his work on this novel. It follows the escape of two slaves, Cora and Cesar, from a Georgia plantation. The story is deeply moving and often uncomfortable to read. It should be required reading.
All This Could Be Yours – Jami Attenberg
A family comes together around the death of their father, who is not much liked. Organized crime, domestic violence, and adultery are major themes throughout this family drama.
Walking to the End of the World – Beth Jusino
My mother walked part of the Camino this year, and she lent me this book to know more about her walk. I’m beyond proud of her. This book inspired me to think about planning my own walk.
The Book of Unknown Americans – Cristina Henriquez
I read this book as an audio book and it remains the best audio book I’ve read. Each of the many characters are voiced by a different actor. This story follows a family immigrating to America for educational opportunities for their disabled daughter. It is heartbreaking on many levels and filled with love between a mother, father, and daughter.
The Far Field – Madhuri Vijay
I did not know much about the conflicts in Kashmir. This book examines class, privilege, and life in Bangalore and a remote village in Kashmir.
Search Engine Society – Alexander Halavais
This book outlines much of my dissertation and I’m teaching a graduate seminar titled the same this spring.
Images via Goodreads