I was always grateful that I had developed a love (hunger?) for books early on and that it stayed with me throughout my life, no matter where I was or what I was doing – never more so than during this past year, when books became my favorite blanket fort once more. Here are some highlights, if you’re interested.
Non-fiction appetizer: In Palaces for the People, Eric Klinenberg discusses social infrastructure, among other things my personal favorite: The public library. Learn how infrastructure can help fight inequality. I loved it. I found this via the excellent 99 Percent Invisible podcast.
Martha Wells’ Murderbot Diaries is a wild science fiction series that handles non-human personhood, capitalism, and, well, murder, but in a very nuanced and occasionally even funny way. I enjoyed it so much, I read it twice back-to-back.
Becky Chambers’ beautiful Wayfarers sci-fi series just ended. I am truly sad, but I respect an author’s decision to finish a marvelous work in a deliberate way, instead of drawing it out. And “The Galaxy and the Ground Within” is a fantastic book, especially if you’re not that into humans right now… Listen to an interview with her on the Imaginary Worlds podcast
Dietland by Serai Walker is absolutely wicked. Biting, funny, harsh, uncomfortable, violent and true. It’s spy thriller, social commentary and coming-of-age story all in one. It’s delicious. Read it.
As a child, the Greek heroes fascinated me. Now I know better. Circe by Madeline Miller is epic story(re)telling from a favorite villain’s point of view.
Unorthodox is an autobiography by Deborah Feldman, a former member of an ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn, New York, who now lives in Berlin. There’s also a mini-series, but I recommend you read the book.
A Streetcat named Bob is the heartwarming story about Bob and his owner – or rather, his official biographer – James Bowen. Includes: The healing powers of cats, mental illness, drugs, homelessness.
Like Water for Chocolate by author Laura Esquivel was sent to me by my friend Jana. It’s a tragic love story set in turn-of-the-century Mexico interlaced with recipes, family drama and magic and it’s really intense.
The Arrival by Shaun Tan is a wordless “graphic novel” and one of the most beautiful comic books I’ve ever read. I have no idea where I got it from or if it’s even mine, but. It. Is. Gorgeous. Artwork.