This year I paid extra attention to selecting female authors since I realised that on my previous reading lists women make barely 30%. And I indeed found some amazing authors.
Top 5 books I read this year (including all genres):
Naomi Alderman: The Power – amazing must-read thought experiment about power and inequality. I wrote about it here.
N. K. Jemisin: The Fifth Season – breathtaking incredibly imaginative fantasy dealing with issues in freedom and inequality in most carefully constructed world I read in a long time. No wonder she won 3 Hugos in a row!
Ronan Farrow: War on Peace – Ronan writing with his staple charming witty style about his years in US foreign service. He is not blind towards recent failures of US foreign policy – great fun and informative read.
Madeline Miller: Circe – re-imagine Greek legends you know from school but told from the perspective of women not men. Ever wondered why is it that Circe or Medea have horrible reputations for torturing men?
Masha Gessen: The Future is History – how USSR became Russia with its current president told from the point of view of few families Masha interviewed plus larger political context. Incredibly thorough and fascinating read.
In Sci-fi/Fantasy I further recommend Becky Chambers for heartwarming and entertaining, Ann Leckie for genius and AI-chilling, and Nnedi Okorafor for super innovative reads. Also Scalzi new book, The Consuming Fire, was out this year and I loved it as much as all his other books. But, man, if you’d taken more than 2 weeks to write it, it could have been even better!!
In non-fiction, Maya Angelou memoir is heart-breaking and amazing, Madeleine Albright‘s Fascism puts current moment in perspective, and Angela Saini‘s Inferior should be compulsory reading for everyone alive.
From the classics I should have read a long time ago: Margaret Atwood (Handmaid’s Tale), Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner), and Jane Austen (Emma) were all predictably amazing. And then I spiced the year up with couple of Terry Pratchetts for the days when I couldn’t take anything else because how horrible the news was. You can check out my complete reading list here.
Overall, I couldn’t be happier with this year readings, almost all of the books I read (even though there was not space to mention all of them here) were amazing! That is, except Dark Matter by Blake Crouch which is sexist, lame, boring and I hated every single page of it. This comes with the disclaimer that I actually know about quantum mechanics, so that probably made it worse.