What I’ve Been Reading

In the past few years, I’ve been mak­ing an effort to read more. I start­ed by read­ing non-fic­tion, and though that was nice (and edu­ca­tion­al), I want­ed to expand my hori­zons by read­ing more fic­tion. Here’s what I’ve been read­ing recent­ly (and some of the best from the last few years):

  • The Chron­i­cles of Pry­dain by Lloyd Alexan­der: I’ve only read the first two books so far (just start­ed the third), but they are easy reads about being a hero and over­com­ing pride, set with­in a mytho­log­i­cal world that is sim­i­lar to Wales. Great books that are won­der­ful for any age.
  • Alif the Unseen by G. Wil­low Wil­son: I read this a cou­ple years ago, but it’s stuck with me. Set amidst a com­bi­na­tion of the Arab Spring and an under­world of ancient mag­ic, it is a sto­ry about a man doing what is right and pro­tect­ing those he loves.
  • Amer­i­canah by Chi­ma­ma­da Ngozi Adichie: Her writ­ing is the most beau­ti­ful writ­ing I’ve encoun­tered in a long time. It’s flu­id and descrip­tive and poet­ic and just beau­ti­ful. The sto­ry is a com­pelling one about race and human­i­ty and love, but it was the writ­ing that drew me in.
  • La’s Orches­tra Saves the World by Alexan­der McCall Smith: A sweet sto­ry about love and loss and sus­pi­cion and hope in World War II, the orches­tra the main char­ac­ter starts does­n’t actu­al­ly play a big role in the sto­ry. This is not a dif­fi­cult read, and it’s not “great” lit­er­a­ture, but it was enjoy­able.
  • Whiskey Tan­go Fox­trot by David Shafer: A thriller set in the not-so-dis­tant future, it sets up a world that is exhil­a­rat­ing and ter­ri­fy­ing. It is about the data that con­trols us, and it had me ques­tion­ing a lot of motives of busi­ness­es. I could­n’t put this book down.
  • Super­girls by Mike Madrid: A rare non­fic­tion book among this set, this explores the iden­ti­ties and tropes of women super­heroes in com­ic books from their dawn to the present. I haven’t ever real­ly read a com­ic book, just the occa­sion­al graph­ic nov­el, so this was infor­ma­tive and inter­est­ing.
  • Can’t we talk about some­thing more pleas­ant? by Roz Chast: Speak­ing of graph­ic nov­els, this is one that I thor­ough­ly enjoyed, though it had no super­heroes. A woman strug­gles to care for her aging par­ents as they go through demen­tia and the trap­pings that come with old age. It was poignant and made me think long and hard about what I want the end game to be like.

I’ll write anoth­er post with more books I’ve been read­ing. These are just the first ones that came to mind.