This winter break dedicate some of your free time (besides watching TV or Netflix all day long) to delving into books!
Regardless if you are a book lover or not, reading is an activity that everyone should do as it helps tremendously with analytical skills, boosting your intelligence, and reducing stress, just to name a few benefits. In fact, research has concluded that reading books (not magazines and comic books), aided tremendously in improving one’s mental and physical health.
As we continue to practice social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic (cases across the nation spiking up due to Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season, there is a lot more time for everyone to start reading some new books. Reading can provide an escape for many people from the stressful events going on in the real world right now, and it can help you too! Whether you prefer memoirs, fiction, or nonfiction, there’s a book for you.
Please note that all of the books featured in this article are ones that were released throughout this entire year.
Now, with all of that being said, listed below are 10 Books That You Need To Add To Your Leading List ASAP:
1. The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett:
One of two books featured in this article that was named one of the Best Ten Books of 2020 by The New York Times Book Review, Britt Bennet’s The Vanishing Half tackles the themes of race and identity. The novel’s nonlinear narrative structure captures the different fates of Stella and Desiree, two identical twin sisters raised in a black Louisiana Town during the Jim Crow era, after one of them decides to pass for white. The events of the novel take place from the 1940s to the 1990s.
2. The Comeback, by Ella Berman:
In a post-#MeToo world, Ella Berman’s The Comeback is a captivating tale of power and justice. The novel is centered around the return of former rising Hollywood Star Grace Turner (one year after her sudden disappearance from the industry) to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to director Able Yorke, her longtime abuser.
3. A Promised Land, by Barack Obama:
The second of the two books featured in this article that was named one of the Best Ten Books of 2020 by The New York Times Book Review, the first of two planned volumes of the former president’s memoir is a MUST-READ for everyone! A Promised Land is only one of two books featured in this article that I have read so far (As of December 8th, I am almost halfway done with Volume 1).
In a tweet posted after the announcement of the book’s release date (November 18th, 2020), Obama stated the main aim of his memoirs was to “provide an honest accounting of my presidency, the forces we grapple with as a nation, and how we can heal our divisions and make democracy work for everybody”. The first volume concludes with the events of the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011. No release date has been announced for Volume 2 yet.
4. Interior Chinatown, by Charles Yu:
The winner of the this year’s National Book Award for Fiction, Yu’s second novel uses the screenplay format narrative structure to tell the tale of Willis Wu, the “Generic Asian Man” who gets stuck portraying the “Background Oriental Male” and occasionally “Delivery Guy”. Throughout the book, Wu confronts casual racism and the cruel hierarchies of the entertainment world in his quest in obtaining leading roles (his goal is to portray the “Kung Fu Guy”) on screens worldwide.
5. Notes on a Silencing: A Memoir, by Lacy Crawford:
Crawford’s riveting yet devastating memoir chronicles her sexual assault as a student at St. Paul’s, an elite boarding school located in Concord, New Hampshire and how her case was covered-up for decades. The memoir also depicts Crawford’s struggle in regaining her sense of self after the horrifying trauma. Along with The Comeback (See #2 Above), Notes on a Silencing is a must-read for those of you who want to read a book about sexual assault in the age of the post- #MeToo Movement.
6. Memorial, by Bryan Washington:
The plot of Memorial sees its’ main protagonist Mike flying off to Osaka, Japan to care for his ailing father, leading behind his visiting mother and his black boyfriend (the beginning of the book sees the couple questioning why they are still seeing each other romantically) to keep each other company.
Although Washington’s novel was only released this past October, it has earned rave reviews, with NPR‘s Michael Schaub calling it a “Masterpiece” and offering high praise to the author’s “ability to draw the reader’s attention to what’s not said as much as what is.”
7. The Last Flight, by Julie Clark:
Julie Clark’s The Last Flight is one of those books that once you start it, you will not be able to put it down! This novel tells the story of two women with very different lives who make a last minute, desperate decision to switch identities at the airport to escape their lives. The Last Flight will keep you guessing with its many twists and turns.
8. Rage, by Bob Woodward:
The renown investigative journalist has written 19 books on American politics, with 13 of them topping best-seller lists. His latest best-seller, Rage, which was released in late September, sold 600,000 copies within its first week of publication, according to USA TODAY. It was recently announced that Woodward would be teaming up with fellow Washington Post Reporter Robert Acosta on a book about Trump’s final days in office and on the initial phase of President-elect Joe Biden’s presidency. No title or release date for the book has been announced yet.
Although Rage focuses mostly on President Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is also very critical of Trump’s handling of the racial unrest that emerged this past summer over George Floyd’s death and strained relationships with top military officials. The president’s relationships with Vladimir Putin and Kim-Jong-Un are also brought up in the book too.
9. The Answer Is …, by Alex Trebek:
In The Answer Is …, The longtime Jeopardy! Host recounts his life and relationships, in addition to his work in television. Trebek passed away at the age of 80 years old less than one month after the book’s release. The cause of death was due to complications from surgery to treat pancreatic cancer. Since its’ release on November 8th, The Answer Is … has remained on the New York Times Best Sellers List for Hardcover Nonfiction for nine consecutive weeks so far.
10. Team of Five: The Presidents Club In The Age Of Trump, by Kate Andersen Brower:
Beside former President Barack Obama’s memoir A Promised Land, the second of two books featured in this article that I have read so far is Kate Andersen Brower’s Team of Five: The Presidents Club In The Age Of Trump. For those of you interested about our country’s presidents, this book is just for you and is a must-read!
The CNN’s Contributor’s latest novel captures the relationships between the former American presidents as well as the strains between the world’s most exclusive club and the current occupant of the Oval Office, Donald Trump. With Trump’s days in office coming to a close as President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in as America’s 46th President on January 20th, 2021, it doesn’t appear that the President’s Club will be welcoming Trump into the group with open arms.