The Must Reads of 2019


Reading lists begin as a shelf full of hope until the year flies by, and you find yourself flooded with procrastination. Cheers to the books we’ve been meaning to read all these years and should probably start at some point. Here are the best novels of 2019 that you should never miss out!

Black Leopard, Red Wolf By Marlon James

It is a fantasy novel and the first book of a planned trilogy. The novel draws on African history and mythology, blended into the landscape of the North Kingdom and the South Kingdom, and the political tensions between these two warring states, as well as various city-states and tribes in the surrounding landscape. 

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Girl, Woman, Other By Bernardine Evaristo

The book has no overarching story. Instead, each chapter of the book follows the life of one of the 12 characters (mostly black women) as they negotiate the world. Although each character has their chapter set across a particular time, their lives intertwine in numerous ways – from friends and relatives to chance acquaintances. The book was awarded the Booker Prize.  

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On Earth, We’re Briefly Gorgeous By Ocean Vuong

This is the debut novel of Ocean Vuong and it is an epistolary novel written in a letter form by a son to his illiterate mom. The novel is written in the form of a letter by a young Vietnamese American nicknamed Little Dog, whose life mirrors that of Ocean Vuong. The letter is written to Little Dog’s mother Hong, more often called Rose. The novel also recounts the life of Little Dog’s grandmother, Lan.

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Strangers and Cousins By Leah Hager Cohen

A novel about what happens when an already sprawling family hosts an even larger and more chaotic wedding. It is an entertaining story about family, culture, memory, and community.

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The Topeka School By Ben Lerner

The novel is a tender and expansive family drama set in the American Midwest at the turn of the century. It is a tale of adolescence, transgression, and the conditions that have given rise to the trolls and tyrants of the new right. It takes back to the Topeka in the 1990s where a high school debate team star and his mother, a psychotherapist, contend with the increasingly toxic language that passes for civil discourse in America.

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