I have to admit—I got a little lazy with my summer reading. To make up for my time off, I kicked it back into high gear this fall. This month alone I enjoyed so many amazing books. Here are five of the best I read.
It's not yet the end of the year, but THE CAREGIVER has already earned a secure spot in my list of 2018's best books. I loved every minute I spent reading this emotionally rich and wise tale about a young girl growing up in 1970s Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles, desperately trying to understand her enigmatic mother.
I don't know if you all have heard about this incredible book... Kidding! My fellow Off the Shelf writers talk about it all the time. And I'm so mad at them for not making me read this book sooner! By the beloved author of A MAN CALLED OVE, BEARTOWN explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. If you haven't read it yet, drop everything and do so immediately.
An incredibly timely book, HOME FIRE is the beautiful and dramatic story of an immigrant family driven to pit love against loyalty, with devastating consequences. It's about a young woman who moves to America to pursue her dreams, but can't stop worrying about the headstrong sister and missing jihadist brother she left behind. Then the son of a powerful political figure enters the picture, pushing both families to a breaking point.
I had so much fun reading this book! FRENCH EXIT is a wickedly funny novel about a wealthy, controlling widow and her adult son who flee scandal and financial ruin by moving form New York to Paris. But they can't quite escape the past they tried to leave behind.
I decided to (finally) read HEADS OF THE COLORED PEOPLE after it was longlisted for the National Book Award (some of you may remember how much I love this award). And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. This stories in this collection are exquisitely rendered and engage in the ongoing conversations about race and identity politics.
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction and Kirkus Prize Finalist
Calling to mind the best works of Paul Beatty and Junot Díaz, this collection of moving, timely, and darkly funny stories examines the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era.
A stunning new talent in literary fiction, Nafissa Thompson-Spires grapples with black identity and the contemporary middle class in these compelling, boundary-pushing vignettes.
Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of new, utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorous—from two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids’ backpacks, to the young girl contemplating how best to notify her Facebook friends of her impending suicide—while others are devastatingly poignant—a new mother and funeral singer who is driven to madness with grief for the young black boys who have fallen victim to gun violence, or the teen who struggles between her upper middle class upbringing and her desire to fully connect with black culture.
Thompson-Spires fearlessly shines a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of black citizenship. Her stories are exquisitely rendered, satirical, and captivating in turn, engaging in the ongoing conversations about race and identity politics, as well as the vulnerability of the black body. Boldly resisting categorization and easy answers, Nafissa Thompson-Spires is an original and necessary voice in contemporary fiction.