Top Five Books of 2021… So Far!

It’s early days, but I wanted to talk about some of the books I’ve loved so far this year! I think these will definitely be making an appearance in my 2021 round up when we get there (it’ll come around super fast I’m sure!), but for now I wanted to show them a little bit of extra love! If you’d like TWs for any of these books, all my reviews are linked and contain the triggers I noticed.

  1. The Vanishing Half – Brit Bennett
    This is a great story of sisterhood, love, loss, identity and race. It also has trans representation in the form of a minor character. My only wish with this book was for more scenes featuring the trans character and his partner! It’s a touching novel, written in great prose that flows beautifully. I’m very much looking forward to reading Brit Bennett’s previous work, and hope she writes more novels soon! You can find my review here.
  2. The Wedding of Zein – Tayeb Salih
    I really enjoyed Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North when I read it for my degree, so I picked this up in a bookstore a while back. It was a really enjoyable novella, painting a picture of life in a small village in Sudan with a great mix of comedy involved. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I did Season of Migration to the North, mainly because the brevity of The Wedding of Zein didn’t allow for as much thematic exploration, or for as developed a plot. Still, the characters in this are great, and I absolutely recommend it to anyone. Read my review here.
  3. Exciting Times – Naoise Dolan
    A new Irish novelist, Naoise Dolan’s work really impressed me. It features a lesbian and a bisexual character, both in prominent roles within the book, which I didn’t know before reading it, so that was an exciting (haha) surprise. It also had a political slant that I really enjoyed reading, and I do it reaches a wider audience. It has had mixed feedback from what I’ve read, but I’m definitely one of the people championing it. My review is here.

  1. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
    My only reread of the year so far, and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time around. Daphne du Maurier is second to none when it comes to creating atmosphere, and I love a good gothic novel. The reveals happen at just the right time, and it really benefits from a reread, because I picked up on certain moods and hints at what was to come. I can’t praise this book enough, and it was so cool to read it for a book club and see what everyone else thought of it. Find my review here!
  2. The White Book – Han Kang
    Surprisingly, my favourite read so far this year isn’t a novel! I’ve gone for a prose poetry work by Han Kang, who’s work I adore. This year I’m definitely planning to get my hands on more of her work, so watch out for more raving about her later on this year. The White Book takes white objects, and these are the basis for the narrator’s observations on the human condition. Throughout, many different themes are explored in depth. While the segments are short, the book as a whole feels so cohesive, and it all pulls together as a series of snapshots, creating a beautiful portrait of life. You can find my review here.

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