1. Pine by Francine Toon – Released 23rd January 2020
I was late picking this one up from Waterstones, because I was doing extra work for my company, but I’m now on holiday and am about half way through this. It is about Lauren and her father Niall, and the mystery that ensues involving the disappearance of Lauren’s mother Christine. There is an extremely oppressive atmosphere as you read, and there are definitely witchcraft vibes beginning to emerge. It is proving the perfect book to read during the stormy weather we have been experiencing here in the UK, but would also be ideal for around Halloween.
2. Dominicana by Angie Cruz – Released 23rd January 2020
I quickly pre-ordered this one the day before release date, as it was recommended as an own voices alternative to American Dirt, which was rife with racial stereotypes. The book is set in the Dominican Republic and New York City, and follows our main character Ana, who is forced to marry a man much older than her in order to attempt to elevate her family’s financial standing. I am around eighty pages in, and the book is heartbreaking and unflinchingly honest so far.
1. Fish Soup by Margarita García Robayo
Whenever I receive a gift card, I like to purchase books I know little about, and that I potentially wouldn’t normally think to buy. This is because it opens doors for me that may not have otherwise been opened, and allows me to broaden my horizons further. Fish Soup is a collection of short stories that explores familial, health and survival struggles, alongside what the American Dream means for individuals that are faced with naturalised violence and catastrophe. Margarita García Robayo is a Colombian author, and given that I am attempting to read more translated fiction from around the world, this felt like a perfect choice.
2. Home Remedies by Xuan Juliana Wang
This short story collection explores the relationship between youth and technology and the immigrant experience for Chinese youths. Xuan Juliana Wang herself moved from China to the US when she was seven years old, so this is an own voices collection. Recently, I have been thoroughly enjoying my consumption of short story collections, and this and the aforementioned Fish Soup were purchased in an attempt to read short stories from a wider selection of countries and cultures.
1. Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism by Kristen Ghodsee
I’ll be honest, I purchased this one based on the title – I’m grumpy with my country at the moment for voting Conservative and I would like to read about alternative economic systems. Furthermore, I’ve seen a few booktubers reading it and giving it a good rating, so my interest was piqued enough to pick it up, especially as I had a gift card to use up.
2. Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez
I’ve wanted this book for quite a while, so I gave in when I saw it in Waterstones for half price. The book explores how society systematically ignores women, focusing on issues such as the gender pay gap, and discussing how we can make the world more equal. Having previously studied Sociology at university, I think some of what is discussed may be familiar to me, but I’m still excited to see what I can learn.