Five? Only five?! Okay, let’s see if I can do this. Because I think my To Be Read pile is closer to 500 than it is to 5!
As many of you know, The Morning News announced its Tournament of Books longlist this week. In early January, they’ll announce the finalists and we’ll get to start reading in earnest before the brackets are announced for March Madness. I get ridiculously excited about this because, hello! Mega book nerd! But before the excitement settles in – or, more accurately, I should perhaps say along with the excitement, I always get a little down on myself. I’m fairly well-read. I try hard to read diversely, from every section of my library. Certainly I read copiously: 230+ books this year so far. And yet, of the 120 books on the longlist, I’ve “only” read 22. Undoubtedly I’ll be able to cram in some more before the longlist is pared down, but for now I’m at 10%. Honestly, some days stats like that make me feel like I’m doing little more than beating on, endlessly against the tide. …But then I remember how awesome it is finding that one book you just can’t put down, and I happily dive right back into the next story.
So! My five books. All from the TOB longlist!
Here Comes the Sun, by Nicole Dennis-Benn. I’ve read the first chapter and Dennis-Benn’s voice reads like basking in the sun, just gorgeous! And contemporary stories (or, uh, any stories really) set in Jamaica always grab me. If I don’t get this under the tree, it’ll be a splurge item!
What Belongs to You, by Garth Greenwell. This is going to sound silly, but every time I see this book, the cover grabs me. The story is about a tender-turned-violent relationship between a man who grew up loathing himself for being gay, and the young man he traps in his seduction. This might be too gritty for me, but I’m willing to give it a go.
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi. This is the It Book of the year, and one I think will go deep into the brackets. I needs to read it for no other reason – but if I needed any others, everyone says it’s gorgeously written and well told. Also? A diverse book and we always need more of those!
The Association of Small Bombs, by Karan Mahajan. This book has been at the top of my TBR for ages, and if I don’t come up on the waitlist soon, I’m going to break down and buy it. Also – that cover!!
Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson. Brown Girl Dreaming was one of my favorites; I read it to the girls out loud, and they listened, enraptured. We talked about race and discrimination and the power of resilience and how necessary to survival hope and dreams are. I’m very much looking forward to reading another novel by an author who could beget all of that!
What’s on your list for the next few months? Who else out there is playing along with the TOB?