It’s a new year (not a new us) and before going into all the books we’re looking forward to read, and have already read in 2017, we’ve decided to make a little top 5 of the books we read in 2016 and simply LOVED (maybe not in capital, but we did quite like them).
The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma
Set in the 1990s in Akure, Nigeria, The Fishermen, is about four brothers. After an accidental meeting with a local madman, they’re lives are changed forever, as they one by one have to face death in one sense or another.
I loved the book because Obioma is an extremely good writer, and because the story depicts something that we all have to go through at some point–the inevitability of death.
The Merman by Carl-Johan Vallgren
The Merman takes place in Sweden and centers around a girl called Nella. Nella’s mother is an alcoholic, her father is in prison and her little brother is bullied at school. Nella’s best friend Tommy and his brothers have a secret, and when she figures the secret out, she faces a mind-blowing and ruthless reality.
This book was above and beyond anything I ever expected from a book featuring merpeople. I picked it up in a library in Normal-Bloomington, IL on a whim, thinking it would be a fun summer read (also I’m hugely into mermaids.)
This book was absolutely horrible: the unbelievable cruelty of Gerard and his never ending game of cat and mouse was simply stomach churning. I loved the merman; the description of him, his kindness, his vulnerability – I particularly liked the fact that he was luminous. It is probably the most cruel book I have read. However, I did not much care for the translation of the book (too much british slang) as it interfered with my enjoyment of the book but the story definitely made up for it.
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
The Final Empire is about Vin, who joins a thieving crew and their ploy to overthrow the Lord Ruler. This book has everything: a thieving crew, a heist, a rebellion, an undercover mission into the heart of court, romance, magic, death, a cruel dictator/magic emporer and so much move. Brandon Sanderson creates a magical world with a new magic system: alomancy. Alomancy is a form of magic that is utilized by the consumption of various metals and “burning them” from within.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
This is a common favorite (recommended to Signe by Dzenana – she’s eternally grateful, btw.) The Name of the Wind is an amazing fantasy novel about Kvothe. The book is divided into two narratives: 1. Current time: Kvothe tells the story of his life and how he fucked everything up. 2. Kvothe fucks everything up.
The fantasy world in The Name of the Wind is an adult magical world with a lot of adult content. We experience death and loss, we experience the harsh reality of living in complete poverty and we experience a man who has lost all will to live and has given completely up on himself. But the book isn’t all sad and serious. It also features magic lessons, a magic school, good friends who are up to no good i.e. drinking, gambling, lady chasing and everything else that has to do with being a teenager.
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Kindred is a science-fiction novel set in both the 1970s California and 1810s Maryland. The main character, Dana, has to face her African-American heritage, and question if she’s truly no longer enslaved by white patriarchy.
I loved the book because it is new take on the slave-narrative. The time-travel dimension offers the reader a closer connection to the character, because we see her as both a contemporary woman (like us!) and as a slave trying to survive and become free (and literally loosing limbs in the process). Something that is still relevant to consider in this day and age.
*Disclaimer: All cover photos are taken from amazon.com.