Our generation is sure to remember the year 2020 for the rest of our lives. In these tough times, books kept me company (what else can you expect from a book blogger). They helped me escape from all the sadness and negativity that this year heaped upon us.
Let’s have a look at the fifteen books that I enjoyed reading the most in 2020. These are the books whose stories are still fresh in my mind despite having read (at least some of them) months ago. They are from a variety of genres – thrillers, literary fiction, historical fiction, and fantasy.
Two cousins search for their Jewish identity in the Paris of 2015.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
Larry Frost, a British pharmacologist living in Paris, is exuberant, charismatic, wildly opinionated. He’s also convinced he’s Jewish – or at least he’s long had his hopes. But his search for what he believes is his true identity produces more questions than answers.
In early 2015, following the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo , Larry is joined by his sceptical older cousin, Nick Newman. Divorced, separated from his son and desperately trying to understand his own place in the world, Nick is drawn inextricably into Larry’s slipstream as they walk the fractured, uneasy, magical streets of Paris.
Then, in November, terrorism strikes the city again. With Paris and the cousins still reeling from the trauma, Larry receives the information he’s urgently been seeking: a long-held family secret that will change both their lives forever.
Set against a backdrop of extremism, nationalism and the resurgence of antisemitism, Jacob’s Advice is a timely exploration of identity, race, family and the inescapable nature of the past.
Told from the alternating perspectives of Hương and her grandmother, The Mountains Sing charts the journey of generations of Trần family as they face severe adversities for more than two decades during the Việt Nam War and the infamous Land Reform of North Vietnam.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
Born in 1920, Trần Diệu Lan and her family lost everything when the Communist government came to power in North Việt Nam. Forced to flee with her six children, she knows she must do whatever it takes to keep her family alive.
Fifty years later, her country is again at war, and her young granddaughter Hương grieves the loss of her parents, who have disappeared to the South along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
In 1824, a young man buttons up his redcoat and goes to war. Amidst the blood and devastation, he discovers a magical power which can save memory from the ravages of time.
1867 and a woman, living above a watch shop, meets two men who will change her life forever. As she ventures further into a world of séance and mysticism, she must decide whether to trust her own eyes.
In the present day, a rebellious artist finds herself photographing stillbirths for a living. At Little Angels, it’s not about what you can take from a picture, but what you can give.
The story of three lives, spanning the history of photography and our relationship with mortality.
Six months of this crazy year, 2020, have passed. Our generation is sure to remember this year for the rest of our lives. In these tough times, books kept me company (what else can you expect from a book blogger).
Below are five of the books that I enjoyed reading the most.
After living a luxurious life with a beautiful wife and raising two sons, Carlos now feels empty. Recently divorced and without a job, he does not know what future holds for him, but his past torments him. He cannot forget the crime(s) he committed one fateful day decades ago in Ghana.
Liz left Ghana in search of greener pastures and is presently a successful career woman in the USA. She escaped abject poverty, but is she free? No. She is trapped in a vicious cycle of supporting her needy siblings and “remains under the vice-grip power of her hoarding mother.”
The paths of Carlos and Liz cross in spectacular, unimaginable ways, and each is drawn back to the Black Volta River of Ghana, which is witness to the most dreadful day of both their lives. Can the River provide them salvation? Read Black Volta by Pete KJ to find out.