I was never a huge reader growing up- literature has been my worst subject since elementary school. The most I read for pleasure was a seven-part Fantasy/Adventure graphic novel series in fourth grade, and then I never picked up a book unless I was forced to. It only took a global pandemic for me to value and enjoy a good book. Reading passes time without my phone and helps me achieve my goal of lowering my screen time.
I’m not typically one for To Be Read lists because I like to decide what to read depending on my mood and interests. However, I have five books currently on my bookshelf that I can’t wait to dive into.
- Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
I had to read this book for a high school geography class and only got through two chapters before the book report was due.This book spent three years collecting dust until I decided to pick it back up during the summer. The book is about the author, Eric Weiner, travelling to different countries in search for the happiest country in the world. Out of all the times to read a travel book, I picked a summer where the farthest I can go to read it is my local park. I only read the first three chapters where Weiner explored the Netherlands, Switzerland and Bhutan. I’m excited to read the rest of the book this summer and fuel my wanderlust.
- Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I’ve heard great things about this book and it's a very interesting concept especially for anyone who wants to get into reading and wants a quick read. This book is for music lovers. Daisy Jones and The Six tells the story of the rock band, The Six, and a Stevie Nicks-esque leading lady; Daisy Jones. It is formatted as an interview, so you get the point of view of many people talking about the same event. Reid created a story that clearly could only happen in the 1970s but still deals with universal themes of unrequited love, addiction and commitment. This is the first book I read in 2021 and I was so captivated by the characters. I wish I was able to hear their music because the way Reid describes the songs and makes me want to listen to Daisy’s voice.
- Lovely War by Julie Berry
With the success of Bridgerton and Queen’s Gambit, I know I’m not the only one who has been drawn to period pieces lately. Lovely War, however, is not your average romance set during World War I. It’s narrated by the Greek Gods- mostly by Aphrodite. The plot revolves around four young adults in Europe. One aspiring architect who is faced with being sent to the trenches after meeting with a young pianist at a party. One singer who has been recently orphaned and seeking refuge in France and one charming New York native playing ragtime tunes across Europe for war relief. I am currently 300 pages into this book and adore every character and the format of the book. Julie Berry does a great job including commentary from Aphrodite, Ares, Apollo and Hades throughout the book.
- Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them by Meg Jay
Next month I’m turning 20, so I think this book would be a good one to read this year for obvious reasons. It’s written by a clinical psychologist who studied and worked with 20-somethings. There are a lot of assumptions about people in their twenties and what is expected of them, and as someone who’s entering their second decade, I hope this book will help me not compare myself to others and not feel overwhelmed by societal milestones.
- Conversation With Friends by Sally Rooney
Last spring, I read Sally Rooney’s Normal People because I saw a lot of buzz around it on social media and it was being turned into a series. I fell in love with the two main characters and was so impressed with Rooney’s ability to capture late teenage years and early adulthood so accurately. After finishing Normal People, I couldn’t recommend this book enough to my friends, so one of my dearest friends gifted Conversations with Friends to me for Christmas. I included this on my list to read this year because from the title, you can tell that this is a realistic and relatable book. Sally Rooney has a simplistic writing style and it really makes the dialogue in her books not feel forced. I really connected with her writing in Normal People and I hope Conversation with Friends does not disappoint me.