We’re halfway through 2021 (which seems wild to me, by the way), so it felt like a good time to reflect on some of my favourite reads so far this year and share some of the books I’m anticipating.
5 books I’ve read and loved this year
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (March 16)
I tore through this novel that made me love a robot more than I’ve loved many human characters (and I don’t typically read science fiction). Several months later, I still think about Klara.
The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex (March 16)
I relished the different layers in this beautiful novel and in all the characters’ secrets as they were slowly revealed.
Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson (April 13)
This short novel broke my heart with its examination of race and masculinity and the barriers to maintaining a connection.
The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker (May 18)
Disturbing and dark from the first sentence, this story is told through the first-person perspective of an 8-year-old girl who murders a younger child. It’s difficult subject matter for sure, but the story is gripping and moving.
Animal by Lisa Taddeo (June 8)
A man shoots himself in front of a woman, compelling her to escape New York City and finally confront her traumatic childhood. Gritty, raw, and so engaging.
5 books I’m looking forward to this summer
Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin (July 6)
The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer by Dean Cobb (July 13)
The true story of a Victorian doctor who committed murders in the United States, Canada, and Britain.
We Want What We Want by Alix Ohlin (July 27)
These short stories are described by the publisher as “surprising” and “darkly funny.”
All’s Well by Mona Awad (August 3)
A theatre professor with chronic pain is at the end of her rope when she decides to work on a production of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well.
Three Rooms by Jo Hamya (August 31)
A young woman lives in rented rooms and on the sofas of strangers as she searches for her own home and a place in the world.
5 books I’m looking forward to this fall
The Pump by Sydney Warner Brooman (September 7)
A gothic collection of linked short stories set in a southern Ontario town called “The Pump.”
Unreconciled: Family, Truth, and Indigenous Resistance by Jesse Wente (September 21)
A non-fiction work that examines relations between white and Indigenous peoples in Canada.
The Strangers by Katherena Vermette (September 28)
A family saga following generations of the Strangers.
Dog Park by Sofi Oksanen (October 5)
A woman sits on a bench, watching a family play in a dog park. Someone sits next to her, and the woman realizes it is a person whose life she ruined decades ago.
People from My Neighborhood by Hiromi Kawakami (November 30)
A tiny book of short stories about the different people belonging to a neighbourhood.