With a new year and a new decade on the horizon, this is the best time to start making reading resolutions that will get you out of the habit of reading the same types of books year after year. We’re sharing ten books that will help you achieve your goal to read a greater variety of books.
Resolution: Read historical fiction set somewhere other than Europe. It’s no secret that lot of our favorite historical fiction books tend to be set in Europe, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great historical novels out there taking place on other continents. In Come from Away, a young couple navigates loves and hardships in Canada during WWII.
From the bestselling author of Tides of Honour and Promises to Keep comes a poignant novel about a young couple caught on opposite sides of the Second World War.
In the fall of 1939, Grace Baker’s three brothers, sharp and proud in their uniforms, board Canadian ships headed for a faraway war. Grace stays behind, tending to the homefront and the general store that helps keep her small Nova Scotian community running. The war, everyone says, will be over before it starts. But three years later, the fighting rages on and rumours swirl about “wolf packs” of German U-Boats lurking in the deep waters along the shores of East Jeddore, a stone’s throw from Grace’s window. As the harsh realities of war come closer to home, Grace buries herself in her work at the store.
Then, one day, a handsome stranger ventures into the store. He claims to be a trapper come from away, and as Grace gets to know him, she becomes enamoured by his gentle smile and thoughtful ways. But after several weeks, she discovers that Rudi, her mysterious visitor, is not the lonely outsider he appears to be. He is someone else entirely—someone not to be trusted. When a shocking truth about her family forces Grace to question everything she has so strongly believed, she realizes that she and Rudi have more in common than she had thought. And if Grace is to have a chance at love, she must not only choose a side, but take a stand.
Come from Away is a mesmerizing story of love, shifting allegiances, and second chances, set against the tumultuous years of the Second World War.
Resolution: Read more Stephen King books. One thing is for certain: you can never get too much Stephen King. The writing legend’s ability to consistently create amazing new works means that there’s always something to read from King. Start off 2020 right by checking out The Outsider before it becomes a limited series on HBO.
Resolution: Read a book by a trans author If one of your reading goals for 2020 is to support underrepresented people, make sure you put Sorted at the top of your TBR pile. In his memoir, author Jackson Bird explores what it was like growing up feeling like he should have been born a boy and reveals how he’s found his place as an adult.
An unflinching and endearing memoir from LGBTQ+ advocate Jackson Bird about how, through a childhood of gender mishaps and an awkward adolescence, he finally sorted things out and came out as a transgender man in his mid-twenties.
When Jackson Bird was twenty-five, he came out as transgender to his friends, family, and anyone in the world with an internet connection. Assigned female at birth and having been raised a girl, he often wondered if he should have been born a boy. Jackson didn’t share this thought with anyone because he didn’t think he could share it with anyone. Growing up in Texas in the 1990s, he had no transgender role models. He barely remembers meeting anyone who was openly gay, let alone being taught that transgender people existed outside of punchlines.
Today, Jackson is a writer, YouTuber, and LGBTQ+ advocate living openly and happily as a transgender man. So how did he get here? In this remarkable, educational, and uplifting memoir, Jackson chronicles the ups and downs of growing up gender confused. Illuminated by journal entries spanning childhood to adolescence to today, he candidly recalls the challenges he faced while trying to sort out his gender and sexuality, and worrying about how to interact with the world. With warmth and wit, Jackson also recounts how he navigated the many obstacles and quirks of his transition––like figuring out how to have a chest binder delivered to his NYU dorm room and having an emotional breakdown at a Harry Potter fan convention. From his first shot of testosterone to his eventual top surgery, Jackson lets you in on every part of his journey—taking the time to explain trans terminology and little-known facts about gender and identity along the way. Through his captivating prose, Bird not only sheds light on the many facets of a transgender life, but also demonstrates the power and beauty in being yourself, even when you’re not sure who “yourself” is.
Part memoir, part educational guide, Sorted is a frank, humorous narrative of growing up with some unintended baggage.
Resolution: Read a translated book Looking to broaden your reading pursuits with books from different countries but don’t speak the language? Try reading a translation of one of the best-selling books in France: Lie with Me. The novel explores a relationship between two teenage boys in France in the 1980s. As an extra fun tidbit, it was translated by Molly Ringwald!
THE #1 FRENCH BESTSELLER
“Stunning and heart-gripping.” —André Aciman, author of Call Me By Your Name
The award-winning, bestselling French novel by Philippe Besson—“the French Brokeback Mountain” (Elle)—about an affair between two teenage boys in 1984 France, translated with subtle beauty and haunting lyricism by the iconic and internationally acclaimed actress/writer Molly Ringwald.
We drive at high speed along back roads, through woods, vineyards, and oat fields. The bike smells like gasoline and makes a lot of noise, and sometimes I’m frightened when the wheels slip on the gravel on the dirt road, but the only thing that matters is that I’m holding on to him, that I’m holding on to him outside.
Just outside a hotel in Bordeaux, Philippe chances upon a young man who bears a striking resemblance to his first love. What follows is a look back at the relationship he’s never forgotten, a hidden affair with a gorgeous boy named Thomas during their last year of high school. Without ever acknowledging they know each other in the halls, they steal time to meet in secret, carrying on a passionate, world-altering affair.
Dazzlingly rendered in English by Ringwald in her first-ever translation, Besson’s powerfully moving coming-of-age story captures the eroticism and tenderness of first love—and the heartbreaking passage of time.
Resolution: Read a book by a native/indigenous author Don’t stop at just reading one book by underrepresented groups! Add reading books by native or indigenous authors to your resolution, and make sure to check out There, Thereby Tommy Orange. The novel explores what it’s like for 12 unique characters, all Urban Indians, when they come together at the Big Oakland Powwow.
Resolution: Read a graphic novel Graphic novels can sometimes be glossed over as a must-read on your list. Get your feet wet with Stumptown by Greg Rucka. The graphic novel explores the life of a female P.I. who’s recently had a string of bad luck. Then if you like the graphic novel, you can check out the TV show version starring Cobie Smulders!
Soon to be a TV show on ABC this fall starring Cobie Smulders!
Join the investigation on Dex Parios's first case for just $10! Dex is the proprietor of Stumptown Investigations, and a fairly talented P.I. Unfortunately, she's less adept at throwing dice than solving cases. Her recent streak has left her beyond broke―she's into the Confederated Tribes of the Wind Coast for 18 large. But maybe Dex's luck is about to change. Sue-Lynne, head of the Wind Coast's casino operation, will clear Dex' debt if she can locate Sue-Lynne's missing granddaughter. Is this job Dex's way out of the hole or a shove down one much much deeper?
Resolution: Read climate fiction (cli-fi) Are you fascinated by the climate fiction genre but have yet to find a book to get you started? Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins is the perfect first book to get familiar with cli-fi. In the novel, Watkins explores how love can blossom even among an arid and surreal Southern California climate.
An unrelenting drought transformed Southern California into a barren and depleted landscape and forced most residents to evacuate into internment camps. But Luz and Ray stay behind, squatting in an abandoned mansion, until they encounter a mysterious child and start a perilous journey east in hopes of a better future.
Resolution: Read a book narrated by a child Sometimes nothing can beat the honesty of a child, especially when it’s in the form a novel narrator. In the new year, take a delightful trip through the mind of seven-year-old Elsa as she fulfills her crazy departed grandmother’s final wishes in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry.
This warmhearted love letter between a granddaughter and her grandmother explores big emotions with wisdom and charm.
Resolution: Read a book by a neurodiverse author Support both authors and characters with neurodiverse backgrounds by checking out The Kiss Quotient. Author Helen Hoang uses her personal experience to create a heartwarming love story about a mathematical-genius heroine with Asperger’s trying to find love with the help of a handsome escort.
Resolution: Read a book written from a unique perspective Tired of reading about books from people’s points of view? Why not try having rabbits as your protagonists and narrators instead? In Watership Down, you’ll learn the story of wild English rabbits as they face off with human destroying their homes.
A phenomenal worldwide bestseller for more than forty years, Richard Adams's Watership Down is a timeless classic and one of the most beloved novels of all time. Set in England's Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage, and survival follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of brothers, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society. Suggested by Jim Fusco