How’s your reading habit? Are you in a reading slump where you want to read but are not able to for whatever reason? I had been there for a very long time. When I decided to get back to reading, I had to schedule it, like I would do any other work.
Can you read a book a week? It is possible if you set a goal to read 25 pages every day. If you read fifteen minutes daily, you will finish a 250-page novel in just over one week. Make a start. Pick up books you know are going to be easy to read or are about topics you love to read about.
Here are some more fiction books I read this year. These are all long books, mostly dealing with difficult life situations. Each of these books takes you on a journey over years of the lives of the people involved.
- A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende: How do you begin to tell the story of a friendship that has lasted over sixty years and spanned countries, continents, and lives? A couple is forced to flee countries due to internal conflicts, this is their story of how it impacted their relationships and lives.
- The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali: This is a beautiful love story wrapped in threads of history and political intrigue. It is a coming-of-age novel that tells the story of two individuals who live through the various political changes in their country, and come together despite it. It is a tale of family love and relationships, friendship, and loyalty. How love finds a way even after a space of decades.
- Wolf Hall trilogy by Hilary Mantel: This is a great historical novel taking place in the Tudor era. The main character in Wolf Hall is Thomas Cromwell, who plays a very important role in Henry VIII’s court. The first book set the scene, the second one was difficult to read through because it was so long, but the third one made up for it all. Filled with political intrigue, it takes you on the ups and downs of the lives of people whose lives are dependent on a king’s whims and fancies.
- On Earth we’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong: This is a poet’s first book of prose: a lyrical interplay of memory and desire, pain and beauty. The story maps the immigrant experience in America – from the Vietnam War to working-class Boston neighbourhoods. It’s written as a letter to the author’s mother. I got the audiobook for this narrated by the author in his passionate way.
- Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart: Shuggie Bain lays bare the ruthlessness of poverty, the limits of love, and the hollowness of pride. Agnes is abandoned by her philandering husband, and she and her three children find themselves trapped in a mining town. She descends deeper into drink, the children try their best to save her, but abandon her to save themselves. Shuggie who holds out hope the longest. It’s difficult to see the child having to take on the role of a parent for his mother, but it is heart-warming to see the love that’s often hidden deep.
- A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles: This has to be one of my favourite books just for how it is told. It’s a novel I enjoyed immensely. The characters and events actually seemed real to me. The idea of a man voluntarily being under house arrest for an indefinite period of time in a fancy hotel seemed hard and idealistic to imagine. But somehow, Towles succeeded in making his book realistic—and endearing!
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara: To say that the emotions this novel evoked were overwhelming, would be an understatement. This book crushes you to pieces with the very first passages, and it makes you want to beg for mercy as you read on. It truly is an emotional ride but not for the weak hearted. Some parts are very distressing to get through, I have to say.
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