When quarantine and lockdown were first announced back in March, I panic purchased books. Yup, you heard that right. Not toilet paper, not paper towels, not cleaning supplies. Books.
I think in the first two weeks alone I ordered at least 25 books and at one point during quarantine there were 98 books in our tiny apartment. I honestly think Chris was on the verge of exploding after I counted every book and made the announcement that I owed 98 books. Since then, I’ve definitely made a dent in the books, I’ve sold some on Instagram, and I’ve passed them off to friends. But now comes to task of getting through all of the books I have yet to read.
While my book buying has definitely slowed down, I now have a rather large TBR pile I’m determined to get through before buying any more books. Here’s what’s up next on my reading list.
The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim – When Margot Lee’s mother, Mina, isn’t answering her phone, she visits her childhood apartment in Koreatown to find that her mother has suspiciously died. This discovery sends Margot digging through her mother’s past as a Korean War orphan and undocumented immigrant, only to realize how little she truly knew about her. Interwoven with Margot’s present-day search, is Mina’s story of her first year in Los Angeles and navigating the American myth of reinvention and unexpectedly falling in love, which sets in motion of series of events that have consequences for years to come.
You’re The Only One I’ve Ever Told: The Stories Behind Abortion by Dr. Meera Shah – For a long time, when people asked Dr. Meera Shah what she did, she would tell them she was a doctor and leave it at that. But when she started to be direct about her work as an abortion provider, an interesting thing started to happen: one by one, people would confide that they’d have an abortion themselves. The refrain was often the same: you’re the only one I’ve told. This book is a collection of these stories as they’ve been to told Shah to humanize abortion and to combat myths that persist in the discourse that surrounds it.
Watching You by Lisa Jewell – After spending four years abroad, Joey Mullen returns to England with her new husband in tow. Crashing at her brother’s in Melville Heights, one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England, Joey quickly finds herself infatuated with their neighbor Tom Fitzwilliam. Joey thinks her crush is secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie excels in observing people and has witnessed people acting strange around his father, including the mother of one of Tom’s students that is convinced his father is stalking her. With a twisty plot ending in a brutal murder, you’ll be left questioning who did it.
Anxious People by Fedrik Backman – Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. None of them is entirely who they appear to be, including the bank robber that desperately craves some sort of rescue. As the media and authorities surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves that set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.
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Photography By Caroline The Photographer