Apparently books are my coping mechanism for all the things. I have read my way through the last few years like a negative on my COVID tests depends on it. Adding in audiobooks has probably tripled my book reading speed as well. I can’t stop you guys, someone take my Kindle. Actually don’t. My mental health depends on reading the books– all the books.
Rather than fill this entire post with my ramblings on my love for books (which I absolutely could do) I’ll share with you my latest Must Read books. Here are my favorites of the favorites from the past months. Add them to your lists, reserve them at your library, buy them, whatever works for you.
And please, tell me what’s on your Must Read list. I need more, I always need more!
Books you must read
My latest favorite read– so good. Black Cake follows a brother and sister’s journey to understand who their Carribean mother truly was. I love books that teach me something new about a culture while wrapping it all in a great story and this book does just that.
Monday’s Not Coming
This book killed my heart. I’ve heard Tiffany Jackson’s other books do the same but even moreso– how is this possible? As hard as it is to read I’m so glad I did. There is so much brutal honesty in the inequities that occur when a minority child goes missing in a poor neighborhood vs a child missing from a family with influence. As heartwrenching as it was eye-opening, such an important read.
I had a book hangover after this one and my writing-self cannot BELIEVE this is the author’s debut novel. Rich in Native American culture, Firekeeper’s Daughter follows the realities of life as a Native American teen and the troubles that plague the community of 18 year-old Daunis as she struggles with staying loyal to her community and breaking dangerous cycles.
Writers & Lovers
If you are a writer read this. I could not get enough of the story and identified so much with the main character. Her love of writing reminded me of my love of writing and I was just lost in the story.
The Black Kids
If you spent your 90s as a teen, read this. Centered around so many fundamental racial issues in the 90s this book follows a black family in a prominent neighborhood around the time of the Rodney King beatings. So powerful while also taking me for a walk down memory lane, reminding me of so many 90s things I’ve forgotten.
I have mixed feelings about this one but they still err on the side of loving it because it made me think and I could not stop turning the pages. Essentially Pretty Things is about a woman who takes advantage of others based on what she is able to pull from the lives they share on social media but as the story unfolds, it’s so much deeper than that.
I love a title that has several different meanings as it pertains to the book and The Sentence is exactly that. This book explores so many different societal issues such as women in the prison system and cultural inequities while telling an excellent story and making me think. I’m not doing the actual story justice… just read this one, so good.
Under the Whispering Door
Added to my list of all time favorites about half way through the book. I never read books twice but I’ll be reading this one again. Klune explores grief through this entire book while not depressing the reader on every page. He illustrates, perfectly, what it means to hold space for someone through a fictional world and rich characters. I read a quote from Klune where he said he hoped he did the topic of grief justice and all I could think was WHAT DO YOU MEAN? YOU COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT BETTER.
It Ends With Us
Colleen Hoover became a new, must read author for me after I read Verity and this one quickly became my second favorite. It begins with us is coming out soon and I can’t wait. I’m not a big fan of romance books but Hoover does it so well that she has turned me into a fan.
So…. if you were to check my Goodreads account you would see that I didn’t not give this book five starts BUT I read it almost a year ago and am still thinking about it so that has to mean it’s worth sharing with all of you right? I have never read a story that so perfectly describes the mental load that mothers carry when managing their household. I listened to this as an audiobook and I was shaking my head yes while listening for the first half of the book. If you need some validation as to why you’re mentally exhausted and have to tune out often to maintain sanity, The Husbands is it.
Just seeing the title of this book again makes me happy. Following the story of a gay uncle and his niece and nephew, Rowley creates my favorite kind of book– light and funny but with moments of the perfect words that make you stop and think and then go back and read them again. Can’t say enough about this one… read it!
The Dream Daughter
This was my first Diane Chamberlain book and since then I’ve read at least five more. The Dream Daughter remains my favorite. There is a magical tone to this book where time bends and a mother has to choose between her happiness and what is best for her daughter.
The People We Keep
Oh this book. I read it on Kindle and I may need to buy it so I can hug it a few million times. The People We Keep is now on my list of all time favorites. With memorable characters and the best kind of salvation story, you will love it, I promise.
The Night She Disappeared
Need a page turner that will keep you engrossed from the first page. This would be it! Lisa Jewell at her finest.
Out of My Mind
I read this one with my kids and am so glad we read it together. A great peek inside the mind of a young girl who is non-verbal. So much insight from this main character but also an invaluable reminder that lack of communication does not mean a lack of intelligence.
Past book lists:
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