Last Year’s Favorite Winter Reads
Today’s prompt focuses on winter reading. Here are six of my favorite reads from last winter. #AMonthofFaves is an annual blog event hosted by Girlxoxo, Traveling with T, and Estella’s Revenge. You can hop in anytime, and find all of the prompts here.
No Time To Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin
In this collection of essays, Le Guin talks about literature, politics, belief, aging, and life. It is absolutely delightful. She is so interesting! Even when she’s talking about her cat, Pard, there’s a deeper layer to her musings. She sees the world with such clarity and wonder, and these essays allow the reader to experience that perspective. This book ended up being a smart, feel-good kind of read.
The Wind’s Twelve Quarters by Ursula K. Le Guin
This is a collection of Le Guin’s short stories spanning from 1962 to 1974. Wow, can she craft a story. I bought this collection because I wanted to read “The Day Before the Revolution,” which is considered a prologue to The Dispossessed (it follows Odo, who led the revolution that founded the anarchist society in that novel). Le Guin’s subtle sense of humor, big heart and strong sense of justice, subversive themes, diverse worlds and characters, and smart sci-fi shine in these stories. I enjoyed the stories that leaned more fantasy, too (not usually my jam). Even the commentary she provides before each story was a delight to read.
Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
“The world as we know it is ending. Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. Twenty-six-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted daughter of a pair of big-hearted, open-minded Minneapolis liberals, is as disturbed and uncertain as the rest of America around her. But for Cedar, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant. Though she wants to tell the adoptive parents who raised her from infancy, Cedar first feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation, to understand both her and her baby’s origins. As Cedar goes back to her own biological beginnings, society around her begins to disintegrate, fueled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity.”
American Street by Ibi Zoboi
“On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?”
Ida by Alison Evans
I love Alison Evans. Their books are comforting and relaxing to read, even when something exciting is happening. In Ida, the main character can shift between parallel universes, following alternate paths. She’s able to control this ability, but finds there are repercussions. Cool premise, diverse characters, solid writing.
Like a Champion by Vincent Chu
I devoured these short stories; couldn’t stop reading. They are full of heart, insight, and perspective. The main characters are messy and flawed, some lovable, others downright unlikable. But we’re always given a glimpse into what makes people speak and behave the way they do. No excuses for bad behavior or hurtful words (and they are there), just a gentle offering to see people as they are, but with a different lens.
As for this winter…
I’m looking forward to settling down with Killing Commendatore, because Murakami. ❤ I have a couple weeks off after my studio recital this Thursday, so I’m hoping to start it very soon!