5 Best Books I’ve Read This Year

I have committed to read 50 books this year and, with all that has been happening (this is where you imagine I live a hectic, exciting and adventurous life), I am surprised I am more than halfway through the challenge.

Since the start of the year, I have read 39 books and while I have already forgotten some of them, there are a few that I enjoyed reading very much and a few that made such an indelible impression on me.

By the way, I love getting good book recommendations so feel free to tell me in the comments about any good books you have read or send me a recommendation on Goodreads .

These are my five favourites:

1. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

storiedlife

The first thing that got me about this book was the title. I like titles that seem promising and I considered this to be such. I must admit that A.J. Fikry was a bit hard to love in the initial stages of reading but as the book progressed he became one of my favourite characters. I cannot say much more without spoilers and I wouldn’t want to ruin it for you. It is a book full of surprises and it is guaranteed to bring about a plethora of emotions. Perfect ingredients for a good book. I think this is actually my favourite book so far this year.

 

 

Favourite quote:

The words you can’t find, you borrow.
We read to know we’re not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone. We are not alone.
My life is in these books, he wants to tell her. Read these and know my heart.
We are not quite novels.

The analogy he is looking for is almost there.
We are not quite short stories. At this point, his life is seeming closest to that.
In the end, we are collected works.

2. And the Mountains Echoed

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This book is a tearjerker.

The book started with a father telling his children, Abdullah and Pari, a folk tale. I have never heard a folk tale that I didn’t find intriguing and with a folk tale at the start of the book, I was reeled in. Fortunately, I was not disappointed with what I was reeled into. The story is mostly based in Kabul, Afghanistan and as much I have read so many books I think this was the first time ever that I had read a book set in Afghanistan. It was an amazing story and it brought such insight into life as it was in Afghanistan and this was a new culture for me. This book brought me a lot of heartache and I felt the pain of the characters. Real tearjerker.I didn’t really like how things turned out in the end with Pari and Abdullah but considering reality and the twist and turns of the story, it could have been much worse.

Favourite quote

“I suspect the truth is that we are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable odds, for something extraordinary to happen to us.”

3. My Sister’s Keeper

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“Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate — a life and a role that she has never challenged… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues,My Sister’s Keeper is the story of one family’s struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time.“

This book indeed raised a lot of important ethical questions. Dear Anna, my favourite character, is more or less forced to sacrifice herself for her sister. When she questions and protests, who can really blame her?

This book was not only a story for me but it made me question my own life and the decisions I have made or have been forced to make for the benefit of others. As an older sister and first child, I have been placed in a role where certain things are expected. Maybe that is why this book resonated with me so much.

Still, it is an amazing story.

Favourite quote

“You don’t love someone because they’re perfect,” she says. “You love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.”

4. The Stud and The Stud II

13562067_1214908961861114_1024012303_n1These were birthday gifts!🙂

First, let me declare that I am a proud Jamaican.

Second, let me also say that the first fact did not at all influence this book being a part of this list. (Well, maybe just a little bit.)

The Stud and The Stud II tells the story of Jerome, a star football player and his exploits in satisfying his insatiable sexual appetite. These books actually made me laugh out loud while reading them and each character and their intertwined dramas was very, very intriguing. I guess it can be classified as erotic but that didn’t get to me at all. The author lets Jerome off too easily, though and some aspects of the story are obviously just a story – too coincidental, too ironic. Nonetheless, once you look past a few typos and the overuse of ellipses (one of my pet peeves), they were thoroughly enjoyable books.

5. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

3367956I think the movies I have watched have put a blinder on me as it relates to American History. When I think of segregation, poverty, slavery and all the bad things of the America of old, I think of the Black people being marginalized. Like “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng, this book allowed me to see a different perspective as it relates to life in America for persons of different races. The focus of this book is on the Chinese and Japanese in America and the struggles they faced in the 1940s. It is also a beautiful love story of love that transcends races and who doesn’t like a good love story?

 

 

 

HONOURABLE MENTION: Sea Breeze Chronicles

I read the first of this set of books in one sitting. Any book that makes me do that must definitely be a good read. The Sea Breeze Chronicles are a set of about eight books, each sharing the story of one of a group of friends and their love interests. My favourites were Jax and Sadie’s story and Dwayne’s story. These are light, fun, simple reads. Perfect for the beach or for a long trip.

 

It’s Been Five Years

Yesterday marked five years since I created this WordPress blog (not quite five years since my first post though). Five years is a long time depending on how you look at it. There have been many changes in my life since then and I have changed a whole lot, too. I have learnt, though, that change is not necessarily a bad thing and that change often signifies growth.

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I haven’t written my thoughts in a long time. I think somehow I lost my muse or something but I hope to start again. When I first started writing my thoughts, I was inspired to do so by a friend who tried to convince me by telling me I would see how my thoughts evolved over time through my writing. It’s true. Sometimes I read things I have written in my journal and I wonder if it was truly I who wrote that. I’m not too certain that disparity, that change in my writing, is manifest in my blog as distinctly though.

I had considered deleting this blog and starting afresh but I am now happy that Dettie convinced me not to (I’m not quite sure she knows this🙂 ). The thing is, I thought my blog was without focus; a whole hodgepodge of things – books, crochet, poetry, relationships, photography, random thoughts… However, I have come to realize that I have been in focus all along. All these posts have really been “my thoughts into words”.

With that being said, thank you to all my followers and visitors. I appreciate the time you have taken to read, like and comment on the melange of thoughts I share on this blog.

The journey continues…

Beloved

“I am my beloved’s
And my beloved is mine…”
And so it shall be
Till the ending of time.
If no one else loves me
I don’t mind one bit.
My beloved loves me
And that takes care of it.

Writing 101: Day 7

Fallacy

She asked if he loved her
To which he replied,
“I love you so much,
It just… fills me inside!”
“Will you ever leave me?”,
She questioned anew.
He said, “Darling, there’s no way
I could live without you!
It will be a week with four Thursdays,
When pigs start to fly,
Or a cold day in hell,
Before I tell you goodbye.”
His words touched her soul,
And his eyes touched her heart,
She was entirely convinced
There was no way they’d part.
So, she gave him her all
Till nothing was left.
She gave him the good,
The better and best.
But, when life came crashing,
The fallacies were shown,
It was then she found out
He wasn’t really her own.
She’d though he was prince charming,
And so romantically loquacious!
But he was really just a frog,
Being pathologically mendacious.
But like a spell was removed,
And scales fell from her eyes,
She can now stay a mile off
And spot a man telling lies.

One Second

All I wanted was
One second more
To show you I am stronger
Than how you left me before.

All I wanted was 
Just one second
To show you my heart’s now
My deadliest weapon.

All I wanted was
One second to add
To the day I saw you 
And you thought I was mad.

Just one more second
And I would have carefully hid all,
My broken heart, my pain, 
My eyes pleading at you to call,

You would have thought I was happy
That I’d moved on with my life,
If I had one more second,
Just one second more.

Writing 101: Day 4