I loathe top 10 lists, and at the same time, always read them and get great tips for stuff I enjoy later. So…yeah. Hipster hypocrite, thy name is Felicia.
Anyway, I have read some great books this year (branched out a bit from traditional romances) and wanted to share my faves with you! ONLY FIVE OF THEM BECAUSE HIPSTER ME DOESNT WANNA DO TEN!
Golem and Jinni by Helene Wecker
This is one of my favorite books of the year. I didn’t know a ton about it going in, other than loving the gorgeous cover, but I’m very glad I didn’t. It is a historical urban fantasy of sorts, about a Golem and a Djinn separately stranded in turn-of-the-century New York city. The two character’s storylines intertwine beautifully, with themes of identity, religion and friendship weaving in and out of a wonderfully detailed world. If you liked The Night Circus, or Dr Strange and Mr. Norrell, you’ll really love this book.
How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
I don’t read a ton of biographies but this one was so outrageous and smart and funny that it made me a fan of the genre. Caitlin Moran is unabashedly a feminist, but she fills out the word in a way you actually WANT to identify with the phrase. Weaving her opinions in and out of her crazy family stories, she spurs the reader to re-think concepts of woman’s rights and feminism, which for some weird reason have accumulated a negative stigma over the last few decades. In a day and age where more and more legislation is being passed against BIRTH CONTROL (I mean, what the hell people?!) we need more writers, men OR women, to put sexual issues in plain, and hilariously dirty language like this author. Recommended!
Alex Verus Novels by Benedict Jacka
Technically this is not a book, it’s a series, but I gobbled all 5 (6?) of them up in a few weeks. It’s an urban fantasy series set in modern day London about mages and secret light and dark magic and YUM is it fun! I love the main character, his magic is divination, so he can see all possible outcomes, which is dealt with in a really fun and believable way. His assistant is a girl who has a curse, and the characters are really fun and multi-dimensional. Very evocative of the Harry Dresden books (not a bunch of romance, for those Vaginal Fantasy ladies out there, sorry!)
Quiet by Susan Cain
I have had a lot of issues I’ve been dealing with this year, mental and physical, and it was wonderful to read this book about where some of the possible roots lay, and how to cope with them. This book was so helpful and methodical in highlighting the differences between extroverts and introverts, and how society has an (unjustified) bias towards the more outgoing people. It had great suggestions in how to cope and assert yourself in an organic way, how there is a lot of strength in being the type of person who can be quiet and thoughtful, and that good leadership isn’t always about the brashest and most dynamic. Highly recommend for other shy people out there!
Alif the Unseen by G Willow Wilson
Another Genie book! This one is set in the modern-day Middle East, and it mixes mythology and technology in a really fun, engrossing story. Alif is a hacker in love with a woman above his station, who gets dragged into the hidden world of genies while trying to avoid frightening prosecution by the state, who has eyes everywhere, especially the internet. It’s a romance, a thriller, a mythic epic and a religious contemplation all in one. Wonderful insight into Islamic culture as well as the magic of Djinn. So inventive and original, even if it sounds like a strange mash-up, try it! You’ll enjoy it!
Let me know what really struck you this year! It will allow me to avoid OTHER people’s top 10 lists 😉
HAPPY NEW YEAR!