Of my 150 books or so read for 2021, what stuck with me the most? What still needles me for attention?
Series: The nine books of Tales of The City by Armistead Maupin slapped me into saying, “Why haven’t I read these before?” They are the perfect comfort meets soap opera novels, all written with care at so many levels: sentence, characterization, plots (soapy and otherwise).
Standalone Fiction: Let’s Get Back to the Party by Zah Salih smoothly joins the friendship-evolving-over-time genre.
Fiction Missed from a Few Years Back: Duma Key by Stephen King must include the best speech-in-a-book I’ve ever read. Indeed, I teared up during it.
Nonfiction Books: Punch Me Up to the Gods by Brian Broome and In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado use cohesive structures to hook a reader through. For Broome’s, it’s a bus ride and what the author witnesses and is reminded of. For Machado, it’s undulating, prelusive simile.
Teen / Young Adult: Flamer by Mike Curato intimately depicts the worries of a teen who fears for his ability to ever be real to the world.
Picture Books: The Spectacular Suit by Kat Patrick with illustrations by Hayley Wells surely is one of the most adorable books about gender expression. I Am Not a Penguin by Liz Wong captures lament for children in a way few books outside of Sesame Street texts have successfully accomplished.