I’m doubling up on topics since I didn’t do one of these last week. So…
Last week’s topic:
Top 5 new authors
2020 debut or new-to-me authors
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
I read this last month and had such a great time doing so that I’ll definitely read more of Moreno-Garcia’s work. It’s a very atmospheric historical fiction novel set in 1950s Mexico that has a strong gothic feel to it (as the title implies). It’s about a young woman who’s sent to the Mexican countryside to check on her cousin, whose husband seems to be preventing her from getting the medical help she needs. Although it is slow-paced, especially at the beginning, it was such a compelling read that I sped through it.
Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
I read this as part of a buddy-read with the Wyrd & Wonder crew, and I’m so glad I did. It’s a fantasy novel set in a world where some individuals are descended from angels. The story is about a young woman who’s born into a society that reveres and praises sexual pleasures. She was adopted and raised by a man who teaches her how to be a spy — skills she later uses to help save her kingdom from invasion. I have difficulty describing this one adequately, but it’s such a good read! It was certainly an intriguing one, and I like how Carey writes.
When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten
I believe Getten is a debut author. She’s from Jamaica and her novel is set in Jamaica. It’s middle grade contemporary about a girl struggling to remember what happened last summer as her relationship with her friends become strained. It was a quick read that grew on me and drew me in the more I read. I also liked the plot twist because I didn’t see it coming at all.
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
Unlike the other novels on this list, I didn’t like this one much. It’s historical fiction, with a tinge of magical realism, set in the 1950s/1960s. It uses the Snow White fairytale as inspiration for a story about race relations, beauty, and discrimination between Blacks and Whites and within the Black community. It is an interesting read, but I wasn’t feeling it. However, I would like to try more of Oyeyemi’s work.
Unnatural Magic by C.M. Waggoner
This was a 2019 debut novel, but I read it this year. It’s a fantasy novel about a young woman who leaves her restrictive society to further her magical education elsewhere and gets caught up in solving a series of murders involving trolls while doing so. And it is also about the relationship that develops between a troll and a human man who are both also trying to solve the murders. It’s hard for me to describe it, but it was a really good read. It’s slow-paced, but the setting and the characters really drew me in. I look forward to reading her next book.
This week’s topic:
Top 5 books I haven’t read
Books on my 2020 TBR that I haven’t gotten to yet
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Actually, any book by Adichie. I’ve had her books on my yearly TBR every year for the past few years. I have no idea why I keep procrastinating on reading them.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
It’s the same with Pullman’s Golden Compass. This one I plan to read sometime toward the end of the year because it gives me winter vibes.
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
I was supposed to read this around the Halloween season, but I ended up reading other things. I still plan to get to it at some point before the year ends.
The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey
Same with this one: It was intended as a Halloween read. It’s the third novel in Yancey’s Monstrumologist series, a YA paranormal series about a boy who serves as an assistant to a monstrumologist, a scientist who studies monsters. I might reread the first and second books on audio before jumping into this one.
Velvet, Vol. 3: The Man Who Stole the World by Ed Brubaker, illus. by Steve Epting
I really enjoyed the first two volumes in this comic book series about a female spy, and I’d like to read this one this year. I might do so soon. Recently, I’ve been in the mood for comics and romance novels.