Now that we are quarter of the way through the year I thought I would do a reading challenge check in! I have been steady if not prolific in my reading so far this year, but the books that I have been reading have almost all been excellent. I have been trying to be more deliberate with my choices in line with the challenges I set myself. So, here are some of my favourite books so far in 2021.
Daisy Jones & The Six
This is by the same author as one of my favourite books of last year (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo) and if you made me choose between that and this book I would definitely struggle. This was one of those books that I found myself staying up far too late just to allow me to keep reading! It is such an interesting structure which made it even more of a page turner. Highly recommend.
This is another book by an author I loved last year (Girl, Woman, Other) and it was almost as good (a very high bar to beat!). It definitely ticked a few of my reading challenge criteria as the author is a person of colour and it has a diverse protagonist too. Above all that it was just a really excellent read that I found hard to put down, and also didn’t want it to end!
Catch & Kill
After reading She Said last year I decided I needed to double down and read this as well, and I’m so glad I did. It certainly isn’t an easy read, but it was interesting, important and eye-opening. Ronan Farrow has an excellent voice and whilst enjoyable probably isn’t the right word, I would certainly recommend it.
Too Much Lip
There’s a good reason this book won the Miles Franklin award in 2019! It was an excellent exploration of life in small town Australia for a fictional Aboriginal family. It’s a sometimes dark, sometimes funny but always entertaining and interesting read. It took me a few chapters to get in to the book but once I was in I was well and truly hooked!
This was another book that had some very difficult parts to get through, but I also found myself completely captivated and unable to put the book down. I went back and forth about whether this is a story that should have been told by Silvey given it isn’t his lived experience, but I am still glad that I have read it.
Another excellent non-fiction read that gave me an excellent insight into a way of life that I had limited understanding of. Tara’s story was both harrowing and uplifting and the book was so hard to put down. Parts of it were incredibly difficult to read, but I am so glad I did and would highly recommend you read it too.
This is another book that I can definitely understand why it won the prize it did! It was a beautiful, winding, story about people, trees and the relationship between them. It has a really interesting structure, with the book split into two halves, and starts with a series of short stories. The writing is very descriptive and detailed, which makes for great storytelling but wasn’t the kind of book I could power through lots of chapters at once before bed. It might have taken me a little longer to read, but I’m very glad I did!
So far it’s safe to say I’m doing much better with some parts of my reading challenge than others. I’ve certainly read more books by diverse authors and with diverse protagonists than I feel like I otherwise might have done. I have however still been mostly choosing genres within my wheelhouse, and I’ve been so focused on newer books (or sharing them with my mum!) that I’m yet to go back to any classics. That will have to be my aim for the next few months – I’ll provide an update in my next reading challenge check in!