I stopped choosing my future books from tops and booklists. I won’t say those lists are not inspirational, but most of the times, as you may know, they are subjective. For example, I just reviewed “Less”, the Pulitzer winning book from 2018 and I didn’t like it at all. It’s subjective, of course, this is why it happens not to enjoy a bestseller or a trending book.
Good books that were not so popular, but can be part of your favorite list
- “The Poppy”, by R.F. Kuang is a very impressive book, which generated enough buzz to capture our attention. It’s not about a happy pinkish fantasy, but a novel with war, dark nature and brutality. The story follows the main character, Rin, a war orphan who worked hard, through sheer willpower to get accepted in a military school. The action happens during the Second Sino, the bloody Japanese War, a period of time with drugs and murders. The book has a unique writing style. You will find lots of thing about military strategy, mad dictators, and the ability of human being to make impressive decisions during hard times.
- “You think it, I’ll say it” – Curtis Sittenfeld is a collection of short stories. They explore human identity, political bias, midlife angst, the culture of celebrity or mental illness. All the stories talk about current situations, also like motherhood and marriage and the writing style has intelligence and humor. Overall, if you are looking for a good collection of short stories about contemporary life and an author that develops the characters with lots of skills, go to “You think it, I’ll say it”, by Curtis Sittenfeld.
- “Johnny Appleseed” by Joshua Whitehead it’s a sad and beautiful story. The protagonist of the book is Johnny, the two-spirit character who leaves the rez for making a new life in the city. The story beautifully contours Johnny’s memories, mostly about kokum, his mom and his first love, Tias. One day, Johnny finds out that his father died, and it is the moment he needs to make money in order to go back to the rez, to his funeral. The novel is brilliant for its fantastic protagonist and the first-person narrator. The perspective on family, home, love, tradition, and friendship is very inspirational as well. Give a try to this book!
- “Half Witch”, by John Schoffstall is a very different kind of fantasy, with magical creatures and demons, from a German-Early-modern-punk style. Schoffstall takes elements from European-kind fantasies and twists them in a modern, inventive way. If you enjoy books with marvelous adventures which happen in a peculiar world, “Half Witch” could be a very good choice.
- “White Darkness” – David Grann. If you enjoy the stories with and about Antarctic explorers, this is a very good book. It’s the riveting true story of Henry Worsley, a normal man, with family and kids, but with this obsession for the Antarctic world. Following his idol’s steps, Ernest Shackleton, Henry Worsley will explore the challenging, breathtakingly terrain of Antarctica. What is really nice about this book is its length. It has only 146 pages, so it’s perfect as a gift for a friend who has this passion for the “White infinite”.
- “The Price you pay”, by Aidan Truhen- Price, the main character, is a drug dealer in the UK, who uses technology for expanding his business and stay away from the police radars. But when his neighbor is murdered and Price is half to death beaten, things gotta change. It’s impossible for this novel not to capture your attention. The writing style is entertaining, full of action and suspense. As most of the reviewers say, this is a comic crime novel, with both of extreme violence and twisted humor.
- “Redemption’s Blade”, by Adrian Tchaikovsky is a book about what comes after the big battles and the world’s most bloody events. It is a lesson on how life goes to normal after wars and battles, where death stands triumphant. It is also the story of Celestaine and her adventure to right the wrongs after the war while fighting with her guilt and desires.
Can you add any other title that you loved in 2018, but didn’t received the fame that you thought it deserved?