The number of fiction books I’ve read since the beginning of the pandemic says a lot about my need to escape all the things. I’ve had no problem surpassing my Goodreads goal for the past two years. Before my list of books you won’t be able to put down gets any longer I had to share them with you. Plus we’re all going to have SO much extra reading time with the upcoming holiday breaks (italics= sarcasm font).
So here’s my latest must read list, let me know what you’ve read, what you’re planning to read and please, please, please tell me what I need to read too.
Nothing to see here
This is the book to read if you need to get to your Goodreads goal quickly. It’s a quick read with a sometimes-funny story that had so much more meaning than I expected. A young adult finds herself caring for two very unique children and what follows is a lesson in accepting people as they are and giving them what they truly need, not what the world thinks they need. My only complaint is that it ended too quickly, I didn’t want to let these characters go.
I like books that are different. Books that don’t follow the normal storyline or go where I expect them to go always end up on my favorites list. Good Neighbors is all of the above. When I found out that Sarah Langan normally writes horror books I was not surprised. Dark twists without many tears or heart-tugging emotions are all over this book. Good Neighbors hands you the knowledge at the beginning of the book that a sink hole opens up in the middle of a neighborhood and someone will be falling in and that’s just the beginnning of this unique page turner.
The Paper Palace
The Paper Palace starts out steamy but doesn’t stay that way for long. Miranda Cowley Heller’s writing style is perfection and, though some of the story was tough to work through (trigger warning: this book deals with several forms of abuse) it so intricately lays out how history repeats itself in many different forms. You will be deeply engrossed in the characters of The Paper Palace as you add this to your list of books you can’t put down because you will NEED to know what happens at the end by about a quarter of the way through this page-turner.
The Four Winds
I love so many Kristin Hannah books but this one seals the deal on her writing for me. The Four Winds takes place in the Great Plains during the many dust storms of the depression, something I’ve never read about, let alone found fiction to depict. You guys Hannah so perfectly takes you to this time that I found myself relieved when our current weather forecast called for rain. As I continued this book I had to remind myself daily that I was, in fact, not facing dust storms. I was just completely enveloped by a book, my favorite way to be.
Although Concrete Rose was written after The Hate U Give (if you haven’t read this you must) the story is actually a prequel to the later. Following the childhood of the father of the main character in The Hate U Give, Concrete Rose is a story I needed to read. It has every reminder of WHY the black men in America have to struggle to defy so many odds in order to succeed. I found myself saying “See? See?! This is why. This is why we need to do MORE.” I was rooting for Maverick page after page and you will too.
The House in the Cerulean Sea
If I had put this list in order of my most favorite this one might have to be at the top, although I would have to think about that for too long– it’s like choosing a favorite child. The House in the Cerulean Sea is like nothing I’ve ever read before. When I began the story of a quirky character working for a government agency that looks after children who dangerously magical I wasn’t sure if it was going to dip too far into a fantasy world for me. It did the opposite though, it straddled fantasy and reality so perfectly while weaving in the best of lessons. I rarely read books more than once but I will read this again and might need to switch over to paperback from my Kindle so I can underline and book mark all the things.
The Book of Longings
Another book that was like no other. The Book of Longings is told from the viewpoint of the wife of Jesus and tested my Catholic school memory while scrambling all of my thoughts around. Sue Monk Kidd managed to write a book that seems like a must-read classic in current times. There is so much more girl power in this book than I had thought there would be. Almost makes me want to send my kids to Catholic school so that they can read this when they are through and we can compare notes. Almost.
This is my America
Did I say a recommendation a few books above was my favorite on the list? It might actually be this one. My indecision is exactly why this list is in no particular order. The moment I finished this book about black teens in American I told my teens that they were reading it immediately. From it’s beginning, This is my America is full of situations that it’s characters must endure, escape or work through solely because they are black. My children will not experience the hardships of the characters in this book. They need to understand this as it as Kim Johnson so thoughtfully illustrates throughout this un-put-down-able story. This is my America is excellent. I read it every minute I could and then sat with the story when it was over, unable to pick up anything else, knowing nothing else could do justice to what I had just read.
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
A completely different genre than anything else on my list, it’s probably the lightest read you’ll find in this post. Yes, you will root for this two to date the entire book but it’s not predictable in the way you assume it will be. I loved it. I want it in paperback rather than Kindle so I can smile at the cover and give it a hug. It’s the perfect light read. You need it in your life.
I am all about a good play on words and the title of this book made me love the story even more. This book explores motherhood and mental health in the gritty way it should be explored. And if you’re like me, you will wonder over and over again which “push” the title is referring to. I listened to this audiobook and gasped outloud so many times that my kids quit asking what was wrong and just said “it’s her book again.”
The Story of Arthur Truluv
Oh I love Arthur. I miss him. I’m pretty sure Arthur and his quirky group of unlikely friends were real people out there somewhere while I read this book. If you’re like me you will be so grateful Berg wrote several books after this one because I could not quit these people!
The Stationery Shop
Oh this book. If everyone made a list of books you won’t be able to put down they would all include The Stationery Shop. Two children meet in a stationery shop in Tehran and their worlds collide again and again. I’m not the best at book summaries and this is one that I can’t explain in a way that would do it justice. Gorgeous storytelling and a plot that will keep you turning the pages.
More books you won’t be able to put down
- 12 Books you must read in the new year
- 8 Books you need to read
- What books to read next
- My favorite books of the year
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