Last March in my birthday bucket list post, I set a goal to read at least eight books every year and started tracking them here as part of our Southern State of Mind Book Club. For 2020, I set the goal for 12 books – one a month. I am a little behind on the year as I have read a total of two books so far. When the social distancing orders came, I had big plans to get some reading done, but I have found it to be even harder to accomplish that lately! Partly because the house is always bustling, but honestly it’s mostly just due to the fact that I have NOT been able to focus or concentrate on much of anything the past two weeks. However, I do feel that this is shifting as we have settled into our new normal, and hope to start another book very soon.
Have you been able to get some reading done? I would love to hear about your recent favorites! If you are looking for some recommendations, below are a recap of this year so far as well as all of my books from 2019 at the bottom.
Next Year in Havana– Chanel Cleeton
I love reading historical fictions and this was the first book on the topic of the Cuban revolution I have read. I enjoyed the way the author told the story from two different generational points of view and found myself googling topics as I read it to learn more. There is a second book in this series called When We Left Cuba and I am thrilled to be able to continue the story with these characters and topics.
After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity—and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution… Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest—until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary… Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth. Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.
2. Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid
I struggled to get through this book. I think partly because of the way it was written with lots of dialogue between characters, and partly because what I mentioned above about not being able to currently focus. Overall, the topic was interesting and I was torn on whose side to be on the entire book.
Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store’s security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right.But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other. With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” and the complicated reality of being a grown up. It is a searing debut for our times.
My 2020 Reading Wish List:
My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She Is Sorry– Fredrik Backman
The Book Thief– Markus Zusak
The Paris Wife– Paula McLain
Daisy Jones and the Six– Taylor Jenkins Reed
Beneath a Scarlet Sky– Mark Sullivan
Evvie Drake Starts Over- Linda Holmes
Lilac Girls– Martha Hall Kelly
Feels Like Falling– Kristy Woodson Harvey
City of Girls– Elizabeth Gilbert
Catch up on 2019 Reading Recaps Here:
- The Perfect Couple- Elin Hilderbrand
- The Last Mrs. Parrish- Liv Constantine
- It Ends With Us- Colleen Hoover
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely FineMay- August
- Where the Crawdads Sing- Delia Owens
- Southern Side of Paradise- Kristy Woodson Harvey
- Little Fires Everywhere- Celeste Ng
- The Lying Game- Ruth Ware
- The Identicals- Elin Hilderbrand
- The Wife Between Us
- Sea Change- Karen White
- All We Ever Wanted – Emily GiffinSept-Dec
- Summer of ’69– Elin Hilderbrand
- The Alice Network– Kate Quinn
- Unglued– Lysa Terkeurst