In my ongoing quest to read literary fiction that is not all about straight white men having affairs, wanting to have affairs, or trying to get out of affairs (oh, what woe to be man!), I used my 39th birthday as an excuse to add to my reading pile. And here’s what’s coming up!
I think I’m most excited about Queenie, which has been billed as Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah. But Sian Cain over at the Guardian Books podcast has been talking up Carty-Williams for months and says this vastly undersells the breadth of this novel. According to Cain, it’s equally about the intersections of mental health and class in addition to the experience of a young, single black British woman.
And for a close second, I just can’t pick whether it’s Jericho Brown’s poetry collection The Tradition, Elizabeth Strout’s Olive, Again, or Colson Whitehead’s novel The Nickel Boys, a bildungsroman about the traumas of black boyhood during the Jim Crow era. They’re all sure to be masterful.
After developing chronic migraines in 2015, I struggled for two years to read at all. In 2018, I read just over a dozen. It was a breakthrough year for me. And then in 2019, I read 18 without breaking a sweat. So this year I’m aiming a little higher. It’s always a trip with chronic illness. You just don’t know which way the pendulum will swing. But fingers crossed, I’ll make it to 25 books in 2020.
What are your reading goals this year? Any (spoiler-free) thoughts on this pile? Let me know in the comments.