Happy World Book Day. To mark the occasion I want to share 5 books for 2018 with you. I nicked the summaries from Goodreads but did add a few personal words for each book as well. What’s on your reading list for 2018?
1. Exit West by Moshin Hamid
This was of the first books I read this year and it was quite heartbreaking. I found the device of the doors as escape ways quite brilliant. It’s one of the books that everyone should be reading right now and definitely one of those novels that underlines the theory that reading literature makes us more empathic.
“In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through.“
Find Exit West on Amazon or buy it at your favourite bookstore.
2. Call My Be Your Name by André Achiman
After seeing (and loving) Call Me By Your Name, I knew I had to read the novel it was based on. I picked it up at the bookstore yesterday and started reading the first two pages on the tram back home. I was immediately hooked. As I am currently finishing another book, I had to resist my urge to keep reading. Instead, I put it back on my to-read pile. But, I cannot wait to read it and revisit the story of Elio and Oliver.
“Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera. Unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, at first each feigns indifference. But during the restless summer weeks that follow, unrelenting buried currents of obsession and fear, fascination and desire, intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them. What grows from the depths of their spirits is a romance of scarcely six weeks’ duration and an experience that marks them for a lifetime. For what the two discover on the Riviera and during a sultry evening in Rome is the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.”
Find Call Me By Your Name on Amazon or buy it at your favourite bookstore.
3. Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides
This selection of short stories by Jeffrey Eugenides was the perfect book to ease into my 2018 reading list. I fell in love with the authors writing many, many years ago when I read his first novel The Virgin Suicides. His second book Middlesex is still one of my all-time favourite books. I hope he will publish another novel soon, but Fresh Complaint really helps to bridge the gap until then.
“Jeffrey Eugenides’s bestselling novels have shown him to be an astute observer of the crises of adolescence, self-discovery, family love, […]. The stories in Fresh Complaint explore equally rich—and intriguing—territory. Ranging from the bitingly reproductive antics of “Baster” to the dreamy, moving account of a young traveler’s search for enlightenment in “Air Mail”, this collection presents characters in the midst of personal and national emergencies. We meet a failed poet who, envious of other people’s wealth during the real-estate bubble, becomes an embezzler; a clavichordist whose dreams of art founder under the obligations of marriage and fatherhood; and, in “Fresh Complaint,” a high school student whose wish to escape the strictures of her immigrant family lead her to a drastic decision that upends the life of a middle-aged British physicist.”
Find Fresh Complaint on Amazon or buy it at your favourite bookstore.
4. Too Much And Not The Mood by Durga Chew-Bose
This collection of essays was featured on so many “Best Books of 2017” lists, I had to look into it. After reading a preview on the kindle-App in which Durga Chew-Bose muses on that obscure emoji that apparently shows a Japanese Love Hotel, I was even more intrigued and ordered the book. I am really looking forward to reading it and I am pretty confident that we will hear a lot more about the author in the future.
“On April 11, 1931, Virginia Woolf ended her entry in A Writer’s Diary with the words “too much and not the mood.” She was describing how tired she was of correcting her own writing, of the “cramming in and the cutting out” to please other readers, wondering if she had anything at all that was truly worth saying.
The character of that sentiment, the attitude of it, inspired Durga Chew-Bose to write and collect her own work. The result is a lyrical and piercingly insightful collection of essays, letters (to her grandmother, to the basketball star Michael Jordan, to Death), and her own brand of essay-meets-prose poetry about identity and culture.”
Find Too Much and Not The Mood on Amazon or buy it at your favourite bookstore.
5. Sourdough by Robin Sloan
This novel was probably the most entertaining book I read in 2017 so I had to add it to this list. If you are looking for a delightful and funny story, this is the perfect novel for you!
Lois Clary, a software engineer at a San Francisco robotics company, codes all day and collapses at night. When her favourite sandwich shop closes up, the owners leave her with the starter for their mouthwatering sourdough bread. Lois becomes the unlikely hero tasked to care for it, bake with it and keep this needy colony of microorganisms alive. Soon she is baking loaves daily and taking them to the farmer’s market, where an exclusive close-knit club runs the show.
When Lois discovers another, more secret market, aiming to fuse food and technology, a whole other world opens up. But who are these people, exactly?
Find Sourdough on Amazon or buy it at your favourite bookstore.