Hi and welcome to my first blog post of 2021 🙂
I wrote a 2020 mid year reading recap here. This post will be what I read in the second half of the year. So let’s begin!
Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri: A fascinating book on the history and cultural significance of black women’s hair. The book is composed as both a history lesson and a modern discussion on racism. It’s also academically written so takes a good bit of concentration to read. Highly recommend.
The Country Girls Trilogy by Enda O’Brien: Country Girls was banned in Ireland under the 1929 Censorship Act due to it’s depiction of sex and discussion on the Catholic Church. It now stands out as being one of the most influential books in Irish history. The story of childhood friends Cait and Baba tells the story of their lives, from living in rural Ireland, moving to Dublin in their carefree twenties to eventually both settling down in London. The first two books in the trilogy were entertaining though my interest started to deplete in the final instalment.
Secret by Rhonda Byrne: I started this a few years back but never finished it, I gave it another go and enjoyed the positive message and affirmations (though it is very airy fairy at times). Basically our positive thoughts result in positive outcomes, negative thoughts result in negative outcomes.
The Lauras by Sara Taylor: A bit of an odd book. Alex and his mother leave their family home and his father in the middle of the night and set off on a road trip across America, so his mother can confront unresolved issues in her past. Hit or miss.
Home Stretch by Graham Norton: His third fiction book and my favourite. Three young people survive a car accident. The other three die. Connor, one of the survivors, is consumed by guilt and grief and moves away from the small town. Years later the past catches up to him and he must face up to what happened that day. The book jumps from different moments in time and had me hooked from the word go.
After the Silence by Louise O’Neill: During a wild party on a small island off the coast of Ireland a woman is murdered. Her death becomes famous but no one is found guilty, though locals have always held their suspicion on the truth. Ten years later a documentary crew have come to the island determined to reveal the truth. I was gripped throughout and O’Neill’s use of Irish phrases and folklore added a richness to the story. Her best book yet.
Twenty Years a Growing by Maurice O’Sullivan: The Blasket Island is a remote island off the west coast of Ireland that became famous for it’s writers and literature through the Irish language. This particular book is the English translation of one native islanders story of growing up on the island and paints a picture of times gone by.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: Hard to miss this international bestseller last year as it was nearly on every bookshop shelf. The story of a neglected young girl living out in the wild marsh, it’s a story of loneliness, human connection and perseverance. I found it hard to get into at first, but once I did I appreciated how beautifully written the story was.
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge: Journalist and activist Eddo-Lodge explains all things racism, from the history of racism in Britain, to the systemic system and white privilege. A really important read, I learnt a lot from this book.