Set Your Year-End Reading Goal
- Bookish influencers I respect telling me to read it
- Media buzz around the book
- Cover art (the saying goes that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but it’s the first thing I see, so how could I not?!)
My year-end reading goalsThe first book on my list is “Talking at Night” by Claire Daverley.If you’ve had an irreplaceable hole in your heart after reading Sally Rooney’s books, you know the hunt for a book with a similar vibe has been constant. Someone recently recommended “Talking at Night,” and I’m about fifty pages in and see exactly why. It is a tender love story layered with adolescent anxiety, mistakes, heartache, and the nail-biting wreck of caring so deeply about another person. It’s a perfect read after your Sally Rooney binge. The second book on my list is “My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante. I’ve recently moved to Florence, Italy, and have wanted to read books set in Italy to feel more inspired. My beautiful editor, Kinza, has gushed about the writing of Elena Ferrante and I sneaked a peak at Zadie Smith saying that “My Brilliant Friend” reawakened her love for reading again. As someone whose writing is primarily set in Italy, I feel it’s my duty to read Ferrante, who is the unofficial Godmother of Italian literature. Third on the list is “If We Were Villians” by M. L. Rio. Would this post be written by me if I didn’t recommend at least one dark academia book? I’ve owned this book and tried reading it three times, but inevitably threw it aside for something shinier. It wasn’t until my friend raved about it the other day that I finally decided it was time to sit down and finish it. Allegedly similar to Donna Tartt’s “A Secret History,” this book follows the dark spiraling of seven young Shakespearean actors at Dellecher Classical Conservatory. There’s murder, oak libraries, and iambic pentameter.Continuing on, the next book I want to read is “The Master and Margarita.” Besides books, my other obsessions are few but mighty, and one of them happens to be Pedro Pascal. I won’t get into it here, but just know that this obsession runs deep. So while I was browsing through some basic factoids about my beloved actor, I saw that one of his favorite books is “The Master and Margarita.” I wish I had a better reason for why I want to read it, but I can’t lie. It’s all for Pedro. In this book, the Dev pays a visit to Soviet Moscow. Accompanied by a retinue that includes the fast-talking, vodka-drinking, giant tomcat Behemoth, he sets about creating a whirlwind of chaos that soon involves the beautiful Margarita. Nice choice, Pedrito! Finally, the last book on my list is ‘Babel” by R.F. Kuang. I cringe at how behind I am on reading this book, but I’ve been in a deep cowboy romance phase that just passed, so my head has been in the sand. Technically, this book is also dark academia, but are we surprised? I started listening to this book on audio, and all I can say is I understand why the world is talking about Kuang. Her writing is gothic and gorgeous, dripping with sinister history and the seductive pursuit of knowledge. I absolutely adore it so far and cannot wait to finish it. What books are on your immediate TBR?
Talking at NightBy Claire Daverley
Talking at Night tells a story of sudden connections, missed opportunities, the many loves we have over a lifetime--and the one that keeps us coming back, again and again, for more.
My Brilliant FriendBy Elena Ferrante
Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between two women.
If We Were VillainsBy M. L. Rio
Dellecher Classical Conservatory is a place of keen ambition and fierce competition. In this secluded world of firelight and leather-bound books, students play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingénue, extras.
The Master and MargaritaBy By Mikhail Bulgakov and Mirra Ginsburg
The Master and Margarita combines fable, fantasy, political satire, and slapstick comedy to create a wildly entertaining and unforgettable tale that is commonly considered the greatest novel to come out of the Soviet Union.
BabelBy R. F. Kuang
A novel that that grapples with student revolutions, colonial resistance, and the use of language and translation as the dominating tool of the British empire.