We’re about halfway through the year so I decided to look back and see what I’ve loved so far this year.  As of this writing I’ve read 88 books according to Goodreads.  It has been a weird year for me so far.  I’ve been reading a lot of historical romance and I don’t remember the plot of those once I’m done so I don’t feel like I’ve read that much.  But looking back I’ve found quite a few books I’d recommend.

This is one of my favorites so far this year.  It is a story about an academically gifted girl who just immigrated to New York from Hong Kong.  She lives in extreme poverty with her mother while trying to find her way in school.  It is based on the author’s life.

This book is told in two timelines.  In the past a young Chinese woman flees from the ethnic cleansing of Seattle.  In the present a wealthy young white woman finds out about her family’s part in the racial violence.

This is a middle grade book but it is very cute.  A mixed race Indian-American girl is being raised by her white mother in the U.S. Her father went back to India before her mother knew she was pregnant and never responded to her attempts to contact him.  Now, for medical reasons, they need to find him.  It turns out that he changed his name and is a big Bollywood star. 

This is a unflinching look at life in the Kibera slum in Kenya and about the founding of SHOFCO (Shining Hope for Communities) that focuses on education for girls as a way to improve lives.


Cat Sebastian is a new to me author this year and is now absolutely an autobuy.  Her historical romances are full of queer and nonbinary people which makes them different from most of the other books in this genre.  Her writing is great and witty also.

I knew Alyssa Cole for her historical romances but this contemporary is wonderful.  It starts off with the idea of what if those “Nigerian prince” email scams really were an African prince’s staff trying to get in touch with you. 

A young woman who has been widowed twice decides to try to take control of her life away from her chaotic family but now there are questions about how her recently deceased husband actually died.

I liked this book for the character arc of the mother who starts the book trying to fit her daughter into a traditional life like she has lived but learns slowly to let go and let her daughter be herself. 

This is a book that combines a scientific look at therapeutic music with the personal story of a man who was a patient and a practitioner.


What have been your favorite reads so far this year?