Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, but now it is hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads. Todays topic is books that I’m glad I read. I’m going to try and focus on picking books that I read this year, but we will see how that goes. So far this year, I have read 46 books. That sounds like a good number, but really it isn’t that many when I look at the list and try to pick out what to include on this post.
* Disclaimer: The links I have included to purchase the books from are affilate links for the BookShop and I recieve a small commision if you purchase anything through this link *
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism. It is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today.
Without hesitation, this is the first one that comes to mind. This has now become a staple in my recommendation lists and I am recommending it to everyone I know. For such a short book, it taught me so much about British Black history and really highlighted for me what the British history curriculum is failing to teach students. I plan on rereading it again, because if I could learn that much from a first read, then the second and third times are really going to concrete what I’ve learnt in my brain.
You can purchase Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race: here
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara has always kept her words to herself. When it comes to standing her ground in her Harlem neighbourhood, she lets her fists and her fierceness do the talking.
But X has secrets – her feelings for a boy in her bio class, and the notebook full of poems that she keeps under her bed. And a slam poetry club that will pull those secrets into the spotlight.
Because in spite of a world that might not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to stay silent.
I know this one was featured last week on my ‘Books I Haven’t Read Yet’ post, but I have now read it! I needed to get it off my TBR and finally read it and I am so glad that I did! The verses in the novel were so beautiful and the relationship dynamics were so complicated and beautifully executed.
You can purchase The Poet X: here
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
In a world where disease, war and crime have been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional scythes. Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythes’ apprentices, and despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation, they must learn the art of killing and understand the necessity of what they do.
Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice and as Citra and Rowan come up against a terrifyingly corrupt Scythedom, it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser.
I am not normally a fan of science fiction/dystopian books, so I wasn’t going to pick this one up at all. It was such a hyped up book series though, so I did end up picking it up and I am so glad that I did! It pushed me out of my comfort zone with my reading genres and it really didn’t disappoint. I still have the final book in the series (The Toll) to read but I am getting there with it.
You can purchase Scythe: here
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…
Cheating a little bit… I techincally read this for the first time back in 2013/2014 (for some reason the first time I read this isn’t listed on my Goodreads so that’s a little annoying), but I did reread it again earlier this year, so I’m couting it! The Mortal Instruments is the series I credit for my love for books – it was the one that really got me into reading YA and reading more frequently and really just reading outside of school. So, I am obviously glad I read this, but also glad I reread it this year – it is a book that brings me joy and is always one I reach for when things are a little bit too much and 2020 has definitely been too much.
You can purchase City of Bones: here
Validate Me by Charly Cox
Honest, raw, insightful and magically interweaving the everyday with the abstract, Charly’s writing is exquisite. She is a leading light of the new cohort of young women who are changing the landscape for poetry in the 21st century.
Part-comedy, part caricature, but mostly harrowing truth, Charly Cox’s second collection, Validate Me explores the havoc that the digital hemisphere is playing on our relationships, concentration span and mental health. Written entirely on her phone, this is a look at how a life lived online is both liberating and screwing us all up, through the gaze of one woman on the cusp of absolute digital burnout. Funny, heartbreaking and achingly relatable, Charly’s writing has the power to make us all feel less alone.
I don’t usually include poetry collections on these lists, however Validate Me is definitely a book that I am glad I read. As someone who writes poetry on her phone constantly, I loved the thought that this poetry collecction was written entirely on her phone. Charly Cox is probably my favourite poet, so I tend to love everything and anything she writes, but it is because she does write such raw and honest depictions of what it is like being a woman with mental health issues navigating the 21st century world.
You can purchase Validate Me: here
That is all for this week – I was surprised that I did manage to find five books that I read this year to add to this list! What books are you glad that you read this year?