Thursday, September 1, 2016

Autumn Reads: Catching Up With My TBR

The year so far has been outstanding for books and with fall releases from heavyweights like Zadie Smith, Michael Chabon, Margaret Atwood, and Jonathan Safran Foer, everyone's To Be Read list is set to keep on growing.

Personally, I am most stoked about Smith's Swing Time and Brit Bennett's The Mothers and will do my best to grab copies when they get released.

But this fall, I want to try diving into some books that I have let sit on my bookshelf and Kobo, books that had lots of buzz when they came out or are deemed modern classics but that I just didn't get a chance to dive into. This list could go on forever, but I'll throw out five I'll prioritize.

Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

I picked up a copy at a used bookstore about a year ago and it has been calling out to me ever since. Kingsolver appears to be one of the great modern authors who touches upon important political and social themes, but for whatever reason I haven't managed to read anything yet. The story is about an evangelical family's mission to the Belgium Congo in the late 1950s and how over three decades their entire worldview and perspective gets shattered and reconstructed in the midst of postcolonial transformation. Sounds amazing!

Paul Murray, Skippy Dies

Here's another that I have wanted to read for ages and it has sat in my ereader patiently waiting for me to pick it up. Long-listed for the Man Booker in 2010, two all-boy school roommates deal with the travails of teenage existence, dealing with love, identity and petty competitions that (guessing from the title) ends in tragic fashion.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun

Adichie's Americanah is one of my all time favourite reads and that I haven't had a chance to pick up her previous and maybe most acclaimed novel (won the Orange Prize for Women's Literature) is a true shame. Thankfully, my book club has chosen this one as our next read. Adichie delves deep into one of the bleakest and most tumultuous periods of Nigerian history, as southern separatists engage in a decade long struggle to establish an independent republic. Again, sounds amazing and of what I hear it is an emotionally packed book which should be great for book club discussion.

Teju Cole, Open City 

Another highly acclaimed book that takes place in Nigeria (and elsewhere) that I managed to miss. I really want to know what's in the water because the quality of literature that comes from Nigerian authors is amazing. Anyways, Cole's book won a bunch of awards, is seen as one of the best books of the last 10 years and seems to delve into my psychological character introspection, for those looking for these less plot driven books.

Alistair MacLeon, No Great Mischief

One of these great Canadian novels that came out when I was not as on top of my reading game. Comes highly recommended by my dad, so I guess it is time to finally pick it up. Another family history, dealing with how we deal with repeated tragedies and manage to continue pursuing life. It's also nice and compact so shouldn't take too long to get through what appears to be a bit of a weighty topic.

Anyways, if you are interested in reading along with any of these let me know.

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