This has been a somewhat slow reading year for me. Between having a baby and getting into my final months of grad school, I haven’t had the time to read everything I’ve wanted to. And it doesn’t help that terrific new books are being published all the time. However, I am going to make the time to read these seven recent books before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
1. Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
I’ve had the ARC of this one sitting on my Kindle for months. Twenty-two year old Tess arrives in New York City with the burning desire for something she can’t quite place. She soon falls into a coveted job as a back waiter in an upscale restaurant. After years of working in food service, I enjoy reading books that take place in restaurants and explore the relationships that can form from long hours of unforgiving work.
2. My Beer Year: Adventures with Hop Farmers, Craft Brewers, Chefs, Beer Sommeliers, and Fanatical Drinkers as a Beer Master in Training by Lucy Burningham
My Beer Year follows Burningham’s journey into becoming a certified beer expert. It is a long, twisting process full of fascinating facts and characters. I love craft beer and want to learn more about the culture surrounding it, so I’ll be reading this one with a bottle in my hand.
3. Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta
I would read Melina Marchetta’s grocery list if she published it. Ever since I stumbled across Jellicoe Road a few years ago, I’ve devoured everything of hers I can get my hands on. Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil, which will be released in October, seems to be completely different from her previous young adult and fantasy books, focusing instead on a detective investigating a bus bombing. But if it has the same heart-wrenching beauty to it, I’m totally there the day it’s published.
4. The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Liang
I don’t remember where I found this one, but it’s a quiet exploration of loneliness and human connection as told through the lens of art. As a work from home mom, I spend a lot of time on my own so I’m interested in exploring what others have written about their experiences.
5. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
I’m not a huge sci-fi or fantasy reader, but this looks amazing. I actually did have it checked out of the library a few months ago, though didn’t get to it before the due date. Two best friends reunite as adults after being separated under mysterious circumstances in high school. One is a top scientist, the other a graduate of an esteemed magic academy and together, they’ll either save the world or destroy it.
6. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
This actually came out last year, though I didn’t have a ton of interest in it at that point. I liked Aziz Ansari just fine, but had been recently underwhelmed by his stand-up special. Then, this year I watched Master of None and now I’m in love. It was so smart, funny, and real and I hope Modern Romance has all that same authenticity to it.
7. The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich was such a tragic figure and his life reads like a novel. My academic background is in the history of classical music, so when I found out that there was actually going to be a novel published about Shostakovich, I was really excited to read it. This short, tense book focuses on Shostakovich at the age of thirty. His work has recently been denounced by Stalin and he doesn’t know what will happen to him now or how it will affect his loved ones. The book follows him through this moment and how it influences the rest of his career.
Hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze in a few more books alongside these titles, but these seven are my priority for the year. What books will you be reading in the last few months of the year? Let us know!
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