The end of year is always a special time for my reading soul. Not so much for my ACTUAL soul. The reason why is in a thread below.
That means that end of year reading lists are coming out. And since it’s 2019, it’s the end of a decade. So, end of the year/decade lists are coming!
I love these lists because I get to discover anything I missed during the year. This is amplified by end of decade because for SURE I’ve missed something in the past 10 years.
My wallet hates these lists. For obvious reasons. On a related note, have you noticed how you don’t 1) make enough money for 2) have enough room for 3) have enough time for ALL the books you want to read? It’s a cruelty that. Just wanted to point it out.
So far there have been three lists that have captured my eye.
This list comes from Lithub, a hub for all things literary (get it?).
The title of this intrigued me because I want to know what I’ve missed. Sure, I can show you my to-be-read list but what I can’t show you are books that should have been read but weren’t.
Lots of those on the list are from smaller publishers and/or debut writers. It’s understandable. Although the smaller publishers are winning all the critical writing/book awards, their marketing budgets are small if existent at all. Also, writers are NOTORIOUSLY bad at marketing.
Seriously, guys. It’s a crime how bad we are at telling people about our work.
Some of the titles that caught my eye are:
- Other People’s Love Affairs: Stories.
- Morning in Serra Matu
- Fever Dream <– I own this but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.
- Hallow Heart
- The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir
- The Book of Emma Reyes
- The Book of Harlan <– Kindle version acquired!
- Where Reasons End
Of course the summary to all of these is on the Lithub article.
You may not have noticed because my reading has been everywhere the past two years as I work on the memoir but I LOVE Latin American literature.
What I consider Latin America includes Mexico, Central and South America and Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries like Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
I grew up with listening to my dad and mom tell stories and there is a certain form and cadence with how Latin American writers tell stories that always feels like home to me. Whether it’s Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, or even Roberto Bolano (I’m not a fan but I can’t deny his talent), I always come back to these stories.
Also, if you haven’t read Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo, get you a copy. That book still haunts me.
But usually when one discusses or talks about Latin American cannon, it’s male dominated.
The Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli tweeted out this list recently.
So, this list is in Spanish but it’s worth the Google translation to this.
There are books here I have NEVER heard of. This list goes decade by decade, which is a plus. A lot of these books have been translated, another plus. I like the challenge of reading in Spanish as sometimes I don’t agree with the translations. Of course this is so up my alley but I’m super interested in these books.
- Cuentos Negros de Cuba
- Cuentos Completos by Silvana Ocamps (she’s AMAZING!)
- Lazos de familia by Clarice Lispector (pretty much anything by her is amazing)
- Los Recuerdos del Provenir (Recollection of things to Come)
- Memoria de la melancolia/ Memory of the Melancholy
- No One Will See Me Cry
- The things we lost in the fire/ Las cosas que perdimos en el fuego
- Los ninos perdidos / The Lost Children Archive
- Distancia de rescate
Those were just some of the ones I wanted to buy immediately. There were so many more from the list I wanted to know more about! I’ll be chewing on this list for a long while. I’ll also be exhausting my Libby app and my library cards (yes, that’s plural).
Those are just the two lists that tickled my fancy in recent weeks. I’m sure they’ll be more!
Now that the semester is over, I can get back to reading. I just finished the Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and, oh my! I need some time with this book before I write about it. I’m currently reading a book from Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series since I needed something light after the Morrison book.
Curling up with my book lists,