Best of the Year

There are only 12 days remaining in 2019. I’ll probably read at least one more book before 2020 arrives, but so far this year I’ve read 45. Following is a list of my five favorites ranked from best to least of the best:

1.  The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. I love this coming-of-age young adult novel about a teen girl struggling to become her own person despite challenging obstacles. Beautifully written in verse form.

2.  The Library Book by Susan Orlean. Of course, I’m biased. I worked at the Los Angeles Public Library in the early years of my librarian career. With its detailed descriptions of library procedures, policies, and buildings, a reader might find some of this book tedious. But I enjoyed it, especially the many historical details.

3.  On the Come Up by Angie Thomas.  An ultimately optimistic coming-of-age story of a Black teen who dreams of becoming a famous rap artist so she can save her family from economic distress.

4.  Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. This was an especially interesting and eye-opening novel for me. There are many historical details of the lives of Korean refugees living in Japan during and after World War II. Their sense of alienation from the mainstream Japanese culture is heartbreaking.

5.  There There by Tommy Orange. I felt a personal connection to this story of Native American cultural identity,  and how Natives can feel lost in their own country.

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