Today, the 9th of August is National Book Lovers Day! How are you planning to celebrate the bibliophile in you? All I want to do is perch on a chair on that cozy little corner that I have set up for reading. I will gather one of the several books from my unread pile and also fix myself a cup of hot chocolate coffee! Yeah, that’s what I’m indulging in these rainy days!
Here I am, sharing my favorite reads from this year, all four to five star reads, from January to August. Pick any from the list and I promise, it will not disappoint you.
11 Books To Get Lost In This National Book Lovers Day
1. Love Letters to the Dead
The first on my list is my very first read of 2019, and by far, one of my absolute favorites. Love Letters to the Dead begins with an English assignment where Laurel has to write a letter to a dead person. She continues to write letters to lots of dead people including celebrities, slowly revealing her life and her secrets. Her sister had a tragic death and nobody knows what happened that fateful night except for Laurel.
I didn’t like the protagonist Laurel at the beginning of the book and the whole thing was a tad bit slow. But once the layers started to peel away, it was an altogether different experience. I haven’t written a detailed review of this book, because trust me, I was so heartbroken. This book talks so much about loneliness, depression, abandonment and also about sisterhood and friendship. It is an incredible story, absolutely wonderful but devastating at the same time. Recommended by Emma Watson herself, this book is a must-read!
2. The Nine-Chambered Heart
Janice Pariat’s The Nine-Chambered Heart is about nine people describing their love for one woman at different points of her life. It is a collection of short stories or rather encounters of each person who were briefly a part of her life, in some way or the other. This book explores all facets of love – innocence, lust, companionship, trust and in a way, hurt and betrayal. What I loved most about the book is that it is more flesh and blood. It is real and true to our feelings. You can read the full review here.
3. An American Marriage
Recommended by Oprah and Barack Obama themselves, An American Marriage had been on my TBR ever since its release. I was adamant as to owning the hardcover itself, so I waited and waited until I got it on a deal from a bookstagrammer’s unhaul.
An American Marriage is about the marriage between two black people- Roy and Celestial who are living a happy American life. But things become ugly when Roy is arrested and sentenced for 12 years of jail on rape charge – which Celestial knows he didn’t commit. When Celestial tries to cope up, her feelings towards him begins to wane as years pass by. She seeks comfort in her childhood best friend – the best man in their marriage, Andre.
The three characters are deep and etched to perfection, and you will find yourself drawn to their emotions. You also get to see the criminal justice system and racial profiling of black people in America.
4. The Art of Racing in the Rain
Oh, my heart! This book made me cry and cry and cry until I couldn’t breathe! The protagonist of the book is Enzo – Denny’s dog. Of course, being a dog mom didn’t help. I read the book as if my golden boy was speaking to me – as if how he perceives his life with us.
Enzo is an intelligent dog who loves his treats, car rides and racing! He understands the language humans speak, watches TV and listens. Promise me that you’ll get through the first chapter and you are going to love this book!
5. The Wife Between Us
The title, blurb and book cover caught my attention and that’s why I picked up this book to read. The blurb asks you not to assume anything, but you keep doing that throughout the book. The Wife Between Us is an unputdownable thriller with a storyline of marriage, betrayal, friendship, obsession, and what not! I went into the book without reading any reviews and any expectations and therefore, I’d urge you to do just that. That’s the reason why I am not giving you a glimpse into the plot here.
6. The Woman in the Window
Another brilliant thriller on the list is A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window. It is kinda creepy and I jump at anything remotely scary.
Anna is agoraphobic. For the past 10 months Anna has been trapped inside the four walls she calls home. She can’t bring herself to take a single step outside. and her days are filled with pills to control her anxiety. Her life outside her home is only viewed through her Nikon camera, where she watches her neighbors’ daily routines. And then, she witnesses an attack in the home across the street no one will believe her. It’s a drag in the beginning but then it picks up the pace.
7. The Poison of Love
Originally published in Malayalam, K.R. Meera’s The Poison of Love is nothing short of brilliance. It speaks of deep, passionate, heartbreaking and devastating love! What makes this short read so special is the author’s writing style. The symbolisms are amazing and so is the visual elements of the book. Pick this book for the well-etched characters, engaging plot and tormenting love.
8. Lady Windermere’s Fan
This play by Oscar Wilde falls under ‘Comedy of Manners’ – meaning it gives a satirical portrayal of society. Lady Windermere is told by other ladies in the society that her husband Lord Arthur Windermere is having an affair with Mrs. Erlynne- a scandalous seductress already popular among men. She is devastated when her husband asks her to invite Mrs. Erlynne to her birthday ball. The heartbroken Lady Windermere falls for the poetic words of Lord Darlington who invites her to elope with him. She must now decide if she should be the woman of high moral character that she is, or accept Lord Darlington’s advance and seek revenge on her husband. Thought-provoking, satirical, and witty with beautiful dialogues and well-crafted characters- that’s Lady Windermere’s Fan for you!
9. A Curse So Dark and Lonely
One of the best fairytale re-tellings of Beauty and the Beast, this is the perfect YA book that you need on a bad day. A phenomenal read, the ending will leave you in shock. The much-awaited second part of the book will be released early next year (2020).
I have spoken in length on why Michelle Obama’s Becoming is a must-read. Truly inspiring, profound and thought-provoking, this book will make you appreciate her even more.
11. Jasmine Days
Winner of the JCB Prize for Literature, Jasmine Days by Benyamin was all over Instagram, the end of last year. But what drew me to it was the brilliant book cover. The book tells the story of Sameera Parvin, a Pakistani expat trying to find her way in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, fictively called The City. She stays with her father and relatives in ‘Taya Ghar’, an extended family home. Sameera lands a job as a Radio Jockey in Orange Studio where she befriends Ali Fardan, a Sunni Muslim whose belief in a revolution of the City is unwavering. Ali is also an admirer of Hezbollah, a Shia Islamist political party and militant group. The dynamics of the story changes when the City gets torn apart by communal violence and religious conflicts. It was also a revolution between the City’s ‘second-class’ and the ruler, His Majesty. A hard-hitting book, there are many reasons why I love this book.
That’s it! These are my 11 favorite reads for 2019 thus far and therefore my recommendation for National Book Lovers Day. Loved reading this post? Pin it for later!
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Let me know if you have read any from my list, your favorite reads of 2019 thus far and your plans for National Book Lovers Day!