With the beginning of the year I have seen that social networks have been filled with posts asking for book recommendations for this 2018. I love to see that one of the my friends and contacts’ resolutions for this year is to read more. On Facebook I’ve run into posts asking for book recommendations all the time. As reading is one of my greatest passions, I decided to make this entry recommending 12 books (one for each month of the year) that I have read lately and that are easy to read, to get and with a proposal that is worth know. Here is the list:
- Homo Deus: A brief history of tomorrow (Yuval Noah Harari). This was the book that I liked the most of the ones I read in 2017 and it has become one of my favourites in life. Homo Deus is an essay on what is possibly coming up in an evolutionary perspective for the human race. This premise is explored from different points of view: social, religious, scientific, historical, cultural, etc. Despite being a non-fiction book, it is very well written and the explanations are so clear that the book is very easy to read.
- Sapiens: A brief history of Humankind (Yuval Noah Harari). This work is a treatise on the history of the human race from the first men who walked the earth (and were more similar to the apes than to us) to men of our day and the next generation of humans (who will probably look more like gods than to us). Like Homo Deus, the approach is based on scientific research but everything explained in a very compressible way.
- Big little lies (Liane Moriarty). This Australian novel begins with the death of a person at a school’s trivia night. From that event, the lives of the mothers of the school are explored to discover who died, how this person died and if there is a responsible for the death. It is very easy to identify with the characters of this novel because they are all very human: full of defects, virtues, passion and common problems. ‘Big Little Lies’ is so good that last year Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman produced a series based on this novel and it has won ALL the awards (but if you can read the book first, it is very entertaining and has some different details to the series).
- In the mist of winter (Isabel Allende). In this book, Isabel Allende narrates the lives of three people converging in a cold winter in New York after a car accident (very much like the movie ‘Amores Perros’, but less dense). The narrative of the novel uses flashbacks to tell the history of the characters and that makes it dynamic. Personally, I consider this novel the best that Allende has written in the last seven years, it is much closer to the quality of the author’s first works and that is a great surprise after fairly mediocre novels such as ‘Maya’s notebook’ or ‘Ripper’.
- High fidelity (Nick Hornby). This novel perfectly portrays romantic relationships and their ruptures in a very nostalgic but at the same time fun and realistic way. Something that has this novel is that the main character is a music lover and owner of a record store, so the novel is loaded with references of great songs. I listened to the songs that the book was mentioning while reading it and that helped me get deeper into the environment of the story.
- One hundred years of solitude (G. García Márquez). The masterpiece of magical realism turned 50 years old last year. I read it when I was in high school and I hated it. Last year I decided to give it a second chance and I ended up enchanted by it. The novel is about the genealogy of the Buendía family and it is amazing how ‘Gabo’ (the author) crafts the intrigues and relationships of this particular family. It is not an easy-to-read novel but not because it is boring but because the story is long and complex, but it is very worthwhile … so if you have not read it or when you read it you hated it, give yourself time and chance year of (re) discovering it.
- Wonder (R. J. Palacio). The story of this novel is moving from beginning to end. A book that should be a compulsory reading for all children and parents. This book is loaded with lessons about compassion, friendship, family, personal acceptance and the acceptance of others. I already wrote a little more about this book here.
- Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertalli). This book captures in a very realistic way what it means to be a gay teenager in a heterosexual world. The story portrays what it takes for a 16-year-old boy to come out of the closet and fall in love for the first time. The book was written with honesty and is very funny, moving and powerful.
- The battles in the desert (José Emilio Pacheco). The story of a teenager in love with his friend’s mom. This book, in less than a hundred pages, generates a portrait of Mexico City in the early years of modern Mexico. Brief but with a strong and very deep way to address the issues that are still present in that wonderful city called Mexico: traditions, corruption, fatigue and social indifference. Compulsory reading for all of us who have lived or love or want to visit Mexico City.
- The history of the Republic (Chumel Torres). I had never read a history book that made me laugh. Chumel Torres manages – through satire – to tell the story of Mexico in a fun, entertaining and easy to understand way, but at the same time maintaining a critical attitude towards the events that have shaped our country. Probably a book that only will make sense to Mexicans, but I had to recommend it because it is way too good.
- Sputnik Sweetheart (Haruki Murakami). This was the first book I read in 2018 and I loved it! Murakami has a very poetic style in his prose and it generates a lot of intimacy and makes you feel part of the life of his characters. If you have not read Murakami, I think that this novel is the correct one to introduce yourself into his work since it is a very light but at the same time very well constructed novel.
- The inexplicable logic of my life (Benjamin Alire Sainz). I read this book last week with big expectations because the author wrote one of my favourite books ever: ‘Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the Universe’. And although this book did not seem as good as the first one, it confronted me a lot with the ‘privileged’ teenager I was and made me understand how extraordinary ‘common’ life is if you see it with different glasses.
I hope these recommendations are interesting to you and help you to achieve your reading goals for this new year. In the title of each book is a link to the Book Depository website so you can buy them. If you want more book recommendations, follow my profile in Goodreads and my book account on Instagram @alos_reading_corner, where I post photos and reviews of what I am reading or reading.
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I read 28 books in the past 12 months. #HomoDeus by @yuvalnoahofficial was definitely my favourite. What was your favourite book this year? . If you want to know the complete list of the books I read in 2017, go to www.mylifeinthelandofthekangaroos.wordpress.com and there’s a post with the ranking of the books. Let me know your favourite books of this year in the comments 🙂 . . . En los pasados 12 mes leí 28 libros. #HomoDeus de @yuvalnoahharari fue definitivamente mi favorito. ¿Cuál fue su libro favorito de este año? . Si quieres conocer la lista completa de los libros que leí en el 2017, ve a mi blog @escritos_matutinos y ahí publiqué un post con el ranqueo de los libros. Déjenme en los comentarios sus libros favoritos de este año 🙂 . . . #ReadWithAlo #bookworm #booksandshares #bestof2017 #booksofinstagram #favouritebooksof2017
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