To celebrate the end of the year I’m recommending a whole slew of things to read! This is a non-exhaustive list of the novels I read this past year that I loved and would love for you to read. Why read fiction, you ask? Please watch the fabulous (and dearly departed) Ursula K LeGuin at the National Book Awards in 2014 explain that it is in part because we “need writers who can remember freedom” (transcript here).
- LaRose – Louise Erdrich
- I’ve read several of Erdrich’s books and I plan on eventually reading all of her work – but slowly, so I don’t run out of it.
- The Killing Moon and the Shadowed Sun (The Dreamblood Duology) – NK Jemisin
- Black speculative fiction for the win! These were the first of Jemisin’s books I’ve read, but I will be slowly working my way through more of her work.
- She Would Be King – Wayétu Moore
- A magical realist tale of the founding of Liberia. I actually recommend not reading any more summary than that.
- Troubling Love – Elena Ferrante
- A painful but beautiful novel about the sudden disappearance and loss of the narrator’s mother in Ferrante’s signature style. I think I have now finished Ferrante’s catalog and I feel a bit lost.
- Pachinko – Min Jin Lee
- A book about four generations of a Korean family from before the two Koreas and their migration to Japan. A great transnational novel on race, identity, and migration.
- Unsheltered – Barbara Kingsolver
- I’ve read and loved all of Kingsolver’s work and this is her newest.
- The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Arundhati Roy
- A very beautiful and surprising novel about nonbinary genders and the militant struggle in Kashmir.
If Ursula K Le Guin did not convince you, my favorite academic advice columnist has also recommended reading fiction among many other wonderful suggestions for those experiencing “outrage fatigue.” Here’s to imagining (and building) a different world in 2019.
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