Happy July! The 2018 books have been amazing and plentiful. I have read 50 books so far this year covering many genres. I want to share my five favorite literary fiction reads so far:
“Everything Here is Beautiful,” (Mira Lee, Pamela Dorman Books, 1/18) is a powerful immigrant story about two Chinese/American sisters. It’s a sad, but honest look at mental illness with issues involving loyalty, family and love. This is a beautifully written novel.
“The House of Broken Angels,” (Luis Alberto Urrea, Little, Brown & Co, 3/18) is a funny sprawling portrait of a first generation Mexican/American family. The characters are both humorous and tragic. This is a story about the celebration of life in the face of death. The main character, Big Angel tells his daughter, “Love is the answer. Nothing stops it. Not Borders. Not Death.”
“Rainbirds,” (Clarissa Goenawan, Soho Press, 3/18) is a murder mystery/family drama in which a brother comes to a town outside Tokyo where his sister has been brutally murdered. He decides to take over his sister’s vacant teaching job so that he can piece together her life, and how and why she was murdered. A haunting and engaging novel.
“A Place for Us,” (Fatima Farheen, Hogarth, 6/18) is an overwhelming story of a fractured Muslim/American family. It’s a passionate and powerful saga with elements of faith, betrayal, family and values. An amazing debut novel by 26-year-old Fatima Farheen Mirza — this is a must read.
“Mars Room,” (Rachel Kushner, Scribner, 5/18) is a dark, sarcastic, truthful book depicting prison life. It is a revealing and ambitious story of a woman’s survival behind bars. I found this to be a very compelling read, yet heartbreaking.