It’s hard to believe that the end of the year is rapidly approaching. With that in mind, the end of year is usually filled with ‘best of lists,’ so I want to share the top three books that I really enjoyed reading this year.
“The Regrets,” by Amy Bonnaffons, is a unique novel about love, life, and death. This isn’t a typical love story, if one would even consider it a love story. The two main characters, Rachel and Thomas, meet and fall in love, but there is one small problem, Thomas has recently passed away. Before Thomas can cross over to the afterlife he has to stay on Earth for 90 days, with one condition, he cannot get involved with a living person, otherwise he will incur ‘regrets.’ This is a beautifully written story that will keep the reader wanting more.
“We Ride Upon Sticks,” by Quan Barry, is also one of my favorite books this year. The novel transports readers to 1989 to Danvers, Massachusetts (neighboring town to the infamous Salem, Massachusetts) and follows the mainly all-girls and one-boy varsity field hockey team. Let’s just say the team isn’t known for winning. Sick of being on the losing side, the team takes matters into their own hands and decide that they need some supernatural assistance. This book has it all: 80s references, overly processed bangs referred to as ‘the claw,’ and most importantly, the power of friendship. Get swept up in this fun and empowering book and find out if the Danvers Falcons make it all the way to the state championship, with or without a little help from the dark side.
“Shuggie Bain,” by Douglas Stuart, is a hauntingly beautiful novel that has recently won the prestigious Booker Prize award in England for 2020. The novel takes place during the Thatcher administration in Glasgow, Scotland, and focuses on a young boy named Hugh ‘Shuggie’ Bain and his unwavering devotion to his mother Agnes, who would rather spend her weekly government allowance on beer than on food. Shuggie struggles to survive in an environment where the odds of survival are stacked against him. To say this novel is a feel-good read would be a lie. This book is gritty, harrowing, and, at times, you almost feel like your heart has been ripped out of your chest, but Stuart’s words and imagery are too beautiful to not want to continue to read about young Shuggie Bain.
You can check these titles out by using our Books-to-Go service. For more information call the library at 909-798-7565 or visit our website at www.akspl.org.