65: Top 10 Favorite Books
Updated: Oct 3
These are the books that have stayed with me, the ones I find myself thinking about, years down the line.
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami: This book began my love of magical realism. There are a lot of moving parts but the characters are well defined and there is an ambiance of nostalgia throughout.
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell: This is an ambitious book that centers largely around the life of a woman after the disappearance of her brother when she was a child. The story also leans into perspectives from characters who have a large impact on her life and who she influences on turn. The plot delves heavily into spirituality.
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski: This novel is immersive and a challenge to undertake. Essentially, this onion of a book is the diary of a young tattoo apprentice as he pieces together the life work of a blind writer. That life work is a novel, written in the style of a nonfiction analysis piece, on a National Geographic photographer's attempts at exploring the moving labyrinth within his newly purchased home. It's not a quick read but I highly recommend this if you enjoy experimental fiction.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo: It reads like a very simple fable. The characters are charming and the story is heartwarming.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab: It's a beautiful story of resilience and the importance of acknowledgement, legacy. The narrators capture the difficulty behind choosing a path when consequences seem permanent—that fear of being locked down for life. Neither narrator casts judgement over the shortcomings of others, too busy living their lives to the fullest. The big idea was creative and explored well throughout. I'm sure I'll be reading this again.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig: I read The Midnight Library, a Fantasy novel by Matt Haig, in one sitting and loved it. While the writing is simple and flowing, the big concept is ambitious but well executed. The story of Nora Seed is as relatable as it is uplifting. I recommend this book to anyone going through their quarterlife, or midlife, crisis.
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende: I found the story enchanting, if often tragic.
Never Let Me Go: Kazuo Ishiguro: This is a heartbreaking story where the core plot is gradually revealed.
Tigerman by Nick Harkaway: This is about an older man who has borderline retired from an extensive military-ish career, and who befriends a boy. The man is watching over what is essentially a colonized island, on behalf of the colonizers, that is scheduled to be evacuated, and the boy is loyal to the land and its people. This book hurt my heart and for that reason, I didn't like it at first. Months later though, I kept thinking back on the plot, so this is an impactful story.
Beloved by Toni Morrison: Beloved, a historical fiction-magical realism novel by Toni Morrison, is heartbreaking, gritty, and beautifully written. I struggled with the chapters on Beloved's perspective. Those are few and the rest of the book, while largely darting around the answers to the big background questions, was very straightforward, if flowery. This is a story about slavery survivors, after the American Civil War, coming to terms with their immense trauma. There is also a central theme of redemption.
I hope you found a new book to read! Thanks for stopping by! I put out a new blog post every Monday. Toodles!