A Few of My Favorite (Pandemic) Things: Literary Edition

Here are a few books that really floated my boat over the last 16+ months…

Cover of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book
Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. Finally read this in April 2020, and it was as delightful as you might expect, given its author and its awards.
Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age. An outstanding 2020 first novel that I still find myself thinking about, for its politics, humor, and most of all its characters.
Stephen Graham Jones’ The Only Good Indians has been nominated for and won a bunch of awards. And well it should! This book did new things. Scary things.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic is an award-winning novel that I couldn’t put down. It draws from all sorts of topics she’s researched at length. This book felt to me like the definition of a book that springs from an author’s interests & perspective in such a way that no other author could have done the same book justice.
A couple years ago, I picked up a psychological thriller called The Kind Worth Killing, by a guy I’d never heard of: Peter Swanson. It was compelling! I’ve since gone on to read most of his books and enjoyed every one. Eight Perfect Murders was no different: a mystery about mysteries, and thoroughly Hitchcock.
Though I’ve probably read more by Stephen King than any other living author, I never got around to Doctor Sleep until recently. I’m glad I did! While it’s billed as a sequel of sorts to The Shining, it’s simply a different book, and very good.
I tore through Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood. Ware specializes in modern turns on Golden-Age tropes and techniques, revitalizing them for the 21st century. If you liked Knives Out, but you just can’t plug in to Christie, Sayers, March, and kin, try this. I’m making my way through the rest of her books, and The Death of Mrs. Westaway is also prime reading.

2 thoughts on “A Few of My Favorite (Pandemic) Things: Literary Edition

  1. Isn’t The Only Good Indians amazing? That’s the book I’ve been waiting for him to write! I always felt like he struggled a bit with the novel format until this one. So freaking good. Also, I discovered Mexican Gothic because of you and read it early this year–simply wonderful and thank you! We’ll have to discuss Doctor Sleep next time we chat…still not entirely sure what I think of it as a whole, but there were parts I loved. In a Dark, Dark Wood has intrigued me for a while…maybe I’ll give it a spin soon.

    • 100%! I’ve liked many of his books and stories, but it all seemed to click. Looking forward to talking with you about Doctor Sleep. I avoided it for a while, as I haven’t always been so keen on characters he has revisited, so my expectations may have been lower. We’ll see! As to Ruth Ware, I feel like some of her books have real moments of horror that you’d appreciate (more later).

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