Book Recommendations

The Best Books I Read in 2020

Me, looking back at 2020: well… that happened.

It feels like this year has happened both very slowly, and very, very fast. Time whirled past me in a blur of images and colors, and sometimes, it fell away like petals from a blown flower, numbingly unhurried. But always, the inexorable tides of time receded into nothingness when I was lost inside a book.

There were many days this year when it seemed like the world was falling down around me, when I felt unmoored, hideously lonely and unsteady as a reflection in boiling water, missing home and my family and feeling sick with it, but stories always dulled the edge of my despair, even if it were only for the space of a few hundred pages. They took my mind out of its iron cage, and let it swim in a pool of make-believe wonders and terrors. They coaxed me from my sulks, and threw my troubles into the air, leaving them to be carried off by the winds. Stories found me sinking beneath the surface of a cavernous gloom, slowly dropping out of sight of heat and light and air, and stretched out to me, offering me a life buoy.

This post is a thank you to the stories that kept me sane and kept me company. Stories that I honestly cannot imagine surviving this year without. So, without further ado, here are my favorite books of 2020.

P.S. Books with LGBTQIA+ representation have a little rainbow flag emoji next to the title! (Disclaimer: it’s like, pretty much all of them.)

Continue reading “The Best Books I Read in 2020”
Book Recommendations

2021 Most Anticipated Book Releases — YA Contemporary Edition

Hi hello, friends!

I’m back, as promised, with a new post in my 2021 Most Anticipated Book Releases series. The first two posts in this series delved deep into the world of science-fiction and fantasy which promised stunningly original debuts vying for space alongside exciting and long-awaited new works from beloved authors (in case you’ve missed those lists, you can find them here and here!). But if contemporary fiction is more your jam, well, this post is for you!

Next year’s buzziest YA contemporary releases include: a new Angie Thomas novel that takes place before the events of NYT bestseller The Hate U Give, a lesbian love story set in the afterlife, a trans boy vying for the title of Homecoming King against his ex-boyfriend, a cello prodigy falling into a whirlwind secret romance with a K-pop idol, lots of fake-dating shenanigans… and so many others that you should add to your TBR, pre-order, and shout about from the rooftops!

Below are 60-something titles that have been getting high ratings and positive reviews from readers. So, read on, and click the titles to add the books that snag your attention to your Goodreads want-to-read shelf!

N.B. There’s a little rainbow flag emoji next to books with LGBTQ+ representation. Books are in order of publication date.

Continue reading “2021 Most Anticipated Book Releases — YA Contemporary Edition”
Book Recommendations

2021 Most Anticipated Book Releases — Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy Edition

Hi hello, friends!

Last week, I posted a list of the upcoming YA SFF offerings of 2021. As promised, this week, I’m back with the Adult SFF edition of that post!

Some of the most anticipated titles include: a queer Asian-American reimagining of The Great Gatsby, an epic Indian-influenced fantasy starring morally fraudulent lesbians, a sapphic North-Africa inspired fantasy about rebellion and espionage, a queer retelling of the founding of the Ming dynasty pitched as Mulan meets The Song of Achilles…. In other words, SO MUCH goodness heading our way next year!

So poke around—There are around 70 titles on this list, I hope you find a new favorite here!

N.B. Once again I have linked every book to its Goodreads page in case you want to know more, and also put a little rainbow flag emoji next to books with LGBTQ+ representation. Books are in order of publication date.

Continue reading “2021 Most Anticipated Book Releases — Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy Edition”
Book Recommendations

2021 Most Anticipated Book Releases — YA Sci-fi/Fantasy Edition

Hi hello, friends!

There are many things to look forward to in 2021: chiefly, 2020 being over and a slew of new books!

I sat down to scour all the new releases coming out next year, and came up with an unwieldy beast of a list, stretching out to every horizon. (That’s only slightly hyperbolic: there are A Lot of books coming out next year, and… a lot of trees that are going to be felled to house the sheer scope of human imagination). So I marshaled my best efforts to round-up the most exciting books of 2021, and curate a list which I will be breaking up into four blog posts based on genre: this one, as the title reads, will include offerings from YA science-fiction and fantasy, and you can also look forward to other lists of books in the Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy, YA Contemporary, and Adult Contemporary genres very soon.

Queer retellings of age-old tales (from Peter Pan to Sleeping Beauty to The Firebird)? Greek myth reworked into modern settings? Stories inspired by beloved movies and TV shows like Killing Eve, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Black Mirror? Dyslexic princesses, trans witches, pansexual bloodmages, angry magical sapphics, polyamorous relationships, and found families of cutthroats and thieves? It’s a feast!

So here, the most anticipated YA SFF of 2021. I hope the following list of 60-something books peps you up for the new year!

N.B. Books with LGBTQ+ representation are marked with a little rainbow flag emoji next to the title!

Continue reading “2021 Most Anticipated Book Releases — YA Sci-fi/Fantasy Edition”
Book Recommendations

30 Romantic Webcomic Recommendations for #Graphicathon

Hi hello, friends!

Graphicathon is a week-long readathon that I’m co-hosting with Katie @ohhitheryon and Alex @alex_abe_ and which takes place from November 1-7. This readathon is all about devoting yourself to reading graphic novels and Webcomics. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the incredibly talented creators who combine visual delights with impressive storytelling to fire the imaginations of readers the world over, and give their work the attention it deserves!

Graphicathon has specific challenges to aim for (like reading a graphic novel with your favorite color as the cover, or from your favorite genre, or one that has a one-word title, etc). For this end, I assembled a list of 30 Webcomics readily available online to spur you on! The following recommendations either firmly belong to the romance genre, or simply have a romantic subplot, but can fall under any of the prompts. 

Listen… the world is falling down around us, and I just [clutches fist] really like reading about people falling in love! Accessing love via fiction! Being transported into love tales by means of osmosis and all that! So whether you’re keen to read about heirs and duelist bodyguards, cursed princes and secret witches, sweet-tempered necromancers and 17th century astronomers, wandering girls and sharp-tongued mermaids, or high-schoolers simply navigating the calamitous experience of being young and in love, I hope you find something to love in this list!

P.S. Click on the title to access the Webcomic online!

✴✴✴✴✴✴✴

Continue reading “30 Romantic Webcomic Recommendations for #Graphicathon”

Book Recommendations

Women with Swords in Books

There is just… something about a woman with a sword.

Her grip tight, unfaltering, on the hilt of her silvered sword, hanging from a broad and battered belt, hands quick as lightening snatching the sword from its sheath, facing her enemies, girded and braced, sword up against the coming blows, or aimed at tearing flesh, the enemy undone before her, kneeling and begging for mercy, the point of  the sword placed gently under their chin, blood drying thick on her wrist-

Alright. Okay. I got distracted there for a second. Point is: I love women with swords. So without further ado, here are 10 book recommendations with women and… swords.

Continue reading “Women with Swords in Books”
Book Recommendations

A List of Feel Good Books to Help You Survive the Cataclysmic Experience of Being Alive Right Now

I think these days more than ever, with a pandemic ravaging every corner of the world, I understand more keenly how absolutely necessary it is to find the escape hatch in reality, to seek out a pleasant corner and while away the hours inside a story. Inside a comfort read.

So what does a comfort slash feel good read mean for me? Continue reading “A List of Feel Good Books to Help You Survive the Cataclysmic Experience of Being Alive Right Now”

Book Recommendations

20 Book Recommendations with Casual LGBTQ+ Representation

Sometimes, when I say I long for more stories with queer characters, I mean stories where they’re embroiled in intergalactic wars, or committing high-risk heists, or traveling through time and worlds, or navigating a post-apocalyptic landscape. Stories where the characters are permitted to simply exist as queer, where they’re defined by more than just the ire and oppression they face. No compunctions, no hang-ups.

Of course that doesn’t mean Continue reading “20 Book Recommendations with Casual LGBTQ+ Representation”

Book Recommendations

10 August Book Releases For Your TBR

Hello, friends!

I can’t believe it’s August already. It feels like January was four years ago, June lasted a week and July has completely disengaged from linear time. I basically only know what day of the week it is because of highly-anticipated, buzzy book releases.

Here are the ones coming out this month that I’m really looking forward to. Read on! I hope this list introduced you to a new favorite! Continue reading “10 August Book Releases For Your TBR”

Book Recommendations

5 Muslim Book Recommendations For Your To-Be-Read

As an avid reader/devourer of novels and a Muslim, I often have to scrounge to find even a handful of titles that represent this aspect of my identity. Luckily, these past couple years saw the release of so many incredible books that portray various Muslim experiences and I genuinely struggle to adequately express the feeling of contentment and gratitude that accompanies seeing yourself reflected on the page. In the following list are 5 books with Muslim protagonists that I absolutely adore and that you do not wanna miss!

So, without further ado…
Continue reading “5 Muslim Book Recommendations For Your To-Be-Read”