We. Love. Books. We love books at the beach. We love books on Fridays. We love them at parties. We love books at the dinner table. We love books in bed. Books anywhere, books anytime. We especially love books today on National Book Lovers Day. And we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the occasion than to tell you how much we love these eight books below.
I first read THE INCARNATIONS about two years ago, and ever since I’ve had to resist the temptation to reread it again, and again, and again. (My TBR list is too long to just keep rereading the same book!) In this stunning novel, a cab driver receives a series of letters describing his previous lives and his connection to a mysterious “soulmate.” The letters seem to appear out of thin air, but the cab driver feels as if he’s being watched, and with each day, the watcher grows closer. Told with a blend of Chinese history and folklore, this novel flips from details of the cab driver’s past lives to the mystery of the letters in the present, intertwining all of these stories. Years after reading, I seriously can’t stop thinking about this book. Maybe I’ll finally let myself reread it.
Read a Book Wherein All Point-of-View Characters Are People of Color
Taxi driver Wang begins to receive unusual letters from a mysterious “soul mate” that are filled with the stories of his previous lives—from escaping a marriage to a spirit bride, to being a slave on the run from Genghis Khan, to living as a fisherman during the Opium Wars. With each letter, Wang becomes more convinced that someone is watching him—someone who claims to have known him for more than 1,000 years.
I devoured this book a few months ago and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since! I started off listening to the audiobook and then found myself reading the ebook every second of my spare time, because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened. This harrowing story of a mother attempting to rescue her daughter from a cult sent me on a whole true-crime binge that I have yet to escape from. As mostly a fiction reader, this memoir inspired me to read more nonfiction, as I felt completely invested in the events, and the fact that it actually happened deepened my connection to the author. From beginning to end, you won’t be able to put this book down!
I read this graphic novel in one sitting and am now proceeding to force everyone I know to read it too. Mads is pretty happy with her life watching minor league baseball games with her dad, going to church, hanging out with her best friend, Cat, and avoiding Adam, her neighbor who has a crush on her. But then she finds out that her dad is keeping a huge secret that could change everything she thinks she knows about her life, and also starts to realize that part of the reason she doesn’t want to kiss Adam…is because she really wants to kiss Cat. For anyone who loved the wrenching portrayal of family and identity struggles in FUN HOME but is looking for something a bit lighter (though no less impactful), pick this one up!
Madden’s debut memoir is an immersive journey through her turbulent childhood in Boca Raton, Florida. I’m a frequent memoir reader, but this one stood out to me because of how fully it draws the reader into each scene. Madden’s writing recreates not only the visceral, sensory details of her memories but also their emotional landscape. I was completely swept up in the feeling of each essay as Madden wove together stories about growing up queer and biracial with an absent father. This book is full of quiet, honest moments and gorgeous prose that have lingered with me weeks after I finished reading.
I love thrillers that play with unexpected and new narrative styles, and this is easily one of the most original and compelling choices I’ve ever read. In a similar vein to THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, this tale is told through the perspective of 13-year old, Jasper, who is autistic and synesthetic, seeing the world in blasts of color where others only hear sound. After he sees the color of murder, he struggles to understand what really happened to his neighbor, Bee Larkham, and if he had more to do with it than he can remember. Utterly compelling and surprisingly very sweet, this is a near perfect thriller that takes a totally original approach to the murder mystery genre.
I can’t say enough about this book; I’m completely overwhelmed by the perfectly positioned sentences describing a world so known and yet so foreign, in awe of both Vuong as a writer and the complexity and resilience of his characters. In trying to explain to friends why they should read a man’s reflection on his life in letters to his mother written in a language she doesn’t speak, I realized Vuong’s best lines elicit an emotional response rather than a visual image, evoking a mood that, instead of sharpening the picture, floods it until suddenly you’re considering greater implications, reevaluating the states of mind and purpose you thought you understood.
The novel that inspired the beloved miniseries of the same name, this hilarious comedy about the end of the world is perfect for fans of the supernatural, aliens, witches, vintage cars, and Queen. If you are only familiar with demon Crowley and angel Aziraphale’s desperate and mildly incompetent quest to stop Armageddon from the recent (and nice and accurate) adaptation, please check out this classic cult novel by two of the funniest writers England has ever produced. And remember, don’t get discouraged if life seems ineffable—it does even to angels and demons.
According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . . Naughty, funny, wacky and irreverent, this is a wonderful new side of Gaiman.
Have you ever read a book so weird, smart, mind-bending, and original that it imprints itself into your psyche? Well, for me, that book is ANNIHILATION by Jeff VanderMeer. I’ve read it four times since its cover caught my eye at a bookstore five years ago, and I cannot imagine my life without it. Even though it is the first in a trilogy, it’s an engrossing story that works as a standalone (but honestly, you are going to want to read them all). Take a journey into Area X, a pristine ecosystem cut off from civilization for unknown reasons, with our narrator, The Biologist, and try to make sense of what is going on. Equal parts science fiction, horror, and speculative fiction, I promise it’s an entirely wild, out of this world ride.