Binging TV shows is so last year, now we are about binge reading. As we continue to search a bottomless well of content to keep ourselves entertained (and escape reality for a little while), here are 9 binge-worthy books I recommend.
Rest and be thankful by Emma Glass (Contemporary fiction)
Laura is a paediatric nurse, she fights with colleagues and is with a man who doesn’t love her. This novel is an intense and raw insight into the cost of care, from physical exhaustion to building a career surrounded by tragedy. An imperative read in a time of a health crisis.
The shadow of the wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (mystery)
In post-WWII Barcelona, Daniel Sempere’s father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. There he discovers a mysterious book called The shadow of the wind. Throughout a decade, Daniel becomes obsessed with the story and its enigmatic author as he realises that someone has been destroying every copy in existence of the author’s work. What follows is a gripping mystery as reality mingles with fiction in the search for truth and illumination. An instant classic that praises storytelling.
Salt: a world history by Mark Kurlanski (nonfiction)
This mineral has a 5,000 year-old story that spans across four continents; it has shaped geographical routes, has influenced vocabulary and behaviour, was a valued currency and provoked wars. This unassuming item becomes the center of a riveting tale full of fascinating facts and connections. The perfect story for fans of nonfiction and history.
Half of a yellow sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (historical fiction)
This book is a masterful fictional account of Nigeria, told through sisters Olanna and Kainene. Readers will have a tough time finding a book that handles war and hopelessness with such grace and grip.
Chronicle of a death foretold by Gabriel García Márquez (novella)
A man returns to his hometown where a man was murdered a long time ago. In recounting the circumstances upon which the murder took place, our narrator establishes all the ways in which the tragic event was foretold but not prevented. Gabriel García Márquez remains unmatched in his ability to paint colourful and lived-in portraits of characters in all their complexity and contradictions.
We were liars by E. Lockhart (thriller)
Though Cadence Sinclair has a luxurious life on a private island with her cousins and grandparents, something is not right. She goes through a traumatic event which everyone around her refuses to clarify. Despite an idyllic lifestyle, Cadence’s narration in metaphors and fragments of consciousness slowly reveals an unhinged and unsettling reality. Quite the thrilling book.
Circe by Madeline Miller (fantasy)
Circe is banished to a deserted island for using her powers against her family. Alone on her island, Circe hones her craft and develops a cautionary mistrust towards the outside world. What follows is an epic tale spanning thousands of years as many famous figures of Greek mythology – from Odysseus to Hermes, Medea and Daedalus – cross paths with Circe and face her magic and her wrath. A spellbinding story.
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang (sci-fi)
Imagine touching heaven, deciphering alien language, living in a biblical world, proving math is meaningless and developing godlike intelligence. While writing, Ted Chiang is more concerned with the impact of a futuristic life than the current human life we are living. A book that will stay with you for years to come.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (romance)
The story begins in a tiny village off the coast of Italy in 1942. From there, several stories unfold. A World War II narration from a failed writer, Richard Burton’s adventures as he shot Cleopatra in Rome, and a present-day assistant for a TV show producer in Hollywood. These stories unravel and intertwine with ravishing cities in the backdrop, inviting the reader to travel alongside enticing characters. It is a tender romance that comes alive by cinematic settings.