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If a book has won an award, Gina has probably read it. She loves classics, literary fiction, and contemporary fiction. To escape, she reads big fantasy novels and cookbooks. Gina recommends...
The Love Songs of W. E. B. du Bois by
One of my favorite books of the year! The writing pulls you in for that absolutely seamless reading experience, the characters have such depth to them they feel real, and both the historical story and the heartbreaking modern day story had me flipping the pages to see what would happen next. This mainly follows the life of Ailey, a modern day (well, in the 1980s and 1990s) woman with a Black/Indigenous heritage that makes up the historical chapters that lead off each section.
This short little fantasy book/character study with a puzzling mystery is unlike anything I have ever read before. The narrative follows a man named Piranesi around this strange house with many statues that is so big it has an ocean inside. Piranesi lives to explore the house and learn about the tides and different rooms. But yet, there is something strange about the situation that compels you to read frantically, wanting to know what's really going on
Beautiful World, Where Are You by
Rooney's newest novel once again explores modern relationships with very well written characters but this time there are two parallel romantic relationships and one friendship, explored through emails. I enjoyed the multiple character perspectives this time and liked the email chapters between the two women friends that provided some exposition but also speaks to how we connect during a time of global crisis. I found this to be much more hopeful than her previous novels.
Spinning Silver by
An imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale from the bestselling author of Uprooted. These two books by Novik are the best fantasy novels I have read in years.
I recommend this book to everyone who asks for a recommendation and I don't know anyone who hasn't loved it. Two half-sisters, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in 18th-century Ghana and experience profoundly different lives and legacies through subsequent generations marked by wealth, slavery, war, coal-mining, the Great Migration, and 20th-century Harlem.