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10 Books to Read These Holidays

21 December 2020

No Matter How Terrible 2020 Has Been, the Realm of Authors Remains Unscathed.

Aluxers, with limited options available of what we can and cannot do this holiday season, leaning more towards the can nots, we’ve compiled a list of 10 reads that will have your nose jammed in between the pages wondering “who did it?” and “is this story seriously real?”.

They’re great stocking stuffers, and if your stockings are too small, buy the digital option instead – and they’re all available on Audible.com

Happy reading Aluxers!

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With that said and done, let’s get on with the article.

1

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Namey

We start off with a lighter read, to ease into vacation mode. This is one of Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Book Club choices and takes you on a trip to the English countryside.

The lead character, Lila Reyes, has a specific plan for her life. However, life has a way of shifting our world upside down and it wasn’t long before Lila’s well thought out plans and her life fell apart.

Struggling with mental health issues, her family believes time away from Miami will do her good, and she lands up in Winchester, England with family and friends. It’s cold, flavourless and she’s miserable.

That’s until she meets Orion Maxwell.

We suggest a cup of tea and cucumber crustless sandwiches to accompany this beautiful read.

2

His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie

We leave the English countryside and head into West Africa, where the temperature has just risen substantially.

We take in the tale of Afi Tekple, a young seamstress who lives with her widowed mother. Out of the blue comes a marriage proposal from a wealthy family in Ghana, and she accepts the marriage proposal of Elikem Ganyo, even though she doesn’t know him.

Her husband to be doesn’t arrive at their wedding but sends a stand-in instead and when Afi moves into her lush new life, she realizes her new husband has his own secrets.

Can Afi gain the love and affection of Elikem? And who and how would you define the homewrecker in this book? It will get you thinking, and you’ll probably have some very different perpectives around the dinner table.

3

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

With 43,000 reviews on goodreads alone, I’m Still Here, is a powerful memoir by Austin Channing Brown, who draws her readers into her life growing up as a Black, Christian woman in America. Her parents named her Austin so that future employers would think they were interviewing a white man.

She tells the story of how she had to learn to love her own blackness and how apathy from white middle-class and Evangelicalism fuelled the racial divide further. Even Reece gained a fresh understanding when she said, “I still have so much to learn and I want you to join me in having meaningful conversations, no matter how uncomfortable they may feel—it’s part of it.”

Here are 10 Most Successful Black Entrepreneurs who didn’t let racial biases get in their way to glory. 

4

Rodham: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld

We all know that Hilary Rodham married Bill Clinton. That’s a fact. But what would have happened if Hilary didn’t marry Bill Clinton?

While reading this gripping and riveting novel, you find yourself finding it difficult to separate the fact from fiction. History is weaved perfectly into fiction and you’ll recognise the characters and feel like you know them already, because you do, a little anyway.

There’s a cameo appearance by Donald Trump and you find yourself imagining a different power couple.

We can go further, but we don’t want to reveal too much. All we can say, Aluxers, it’s worth a read.

5

If I Had Your Face: A Novel by Frances Cha

We leave the States and head to contemporary South Korea and meet 4 characters, each depicting a narrative so common for women living in South Korea: Impossibly high beauty standards, social hierarchies, K-pop and underground room salons.

There’s Kyuri, who works in an underground salon room. There’s Miho, her roommate struggling with her own personal issues, Ara, who has a dangerous obsession with a K-pop star and Wonna, recently married and struggling with motherhood in an extremely hard economy.

It’s a quick read, but it’s a page-turner.

6

Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America; Essays by R. Eric Thomas

There’s a little something for everyone in the debut collection of personal essays by R. Eric Thomas, a playwright and columnist. He takes hugely debatable and confrontational themes and manages to make them humorous. We’re talking religion, race and sexuality.

One reader described the book as, “the perfect balm for my soul during this wretched pandemic.” Another said, “A treasure, the kind of book I’ll recommend to everyone but lend to no one because I’ll be rereading it for years to come.”

Plus, the book is pink and covered in confetti… what’s not to like?

7

A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom: A Novel by John Boyne

John Boyne has hit the nail on the head with this epic journey, beginning in Biblical times right through to 2080. His insight, knowledge, and wisdom make it abundantly clear that everything in life is connected. There are no coincidences.

It begins with a family, a mom, dad and 2 sons. One son takes after his father and the other his mother. Thereafter the same family takes on this journey, but there are subtle differences, which you’ll understand when you read the book.

It’s a slow read, but it’s beautifully seamed together. Two thumbs up from us at Alux.

8

Conviction by Denise Mina

Anna McDonald’s husband is leaving her… for her best friend… and he’s taking the kids.

Anna’s life is in ruins, so she takes her mind off things by listening to true crime podcasts. However, one podcast is sounding a little too familiar to Anna, and she feels a strong connection to the story.

This sets off an interesting journey for Anna, as she finds herself tracking a killer or possibly more? Read it to find out.

9

Blacktop Wasteland: A Novel by S. A. Cosby

He’s trying to be a good dad, good husband, honest mechanic and live a clean life, but Bug has a reputation. He’s the best getaway driver the East Coast has ever seen.

It’s a life that Bug doesn’t want a part of anymore, but his financial situation and the allure of “one last job” is hard to ignore, he agrees to take the wheel one last time.

We leave you with this poignant quote from the book, “Listen, when you’re a black man in America you live with the weight of people’s low expectations on your back every day. They can crush you right down to the goddamn ground. Think about it like it’s a race. Everybody else has a head start and you dragging those low expectations behind you.”

10

Utopia Avenue: A Novel by David Mitchell

Sex, drugs and Rock n’ Roll take us back to the late 1960s and we follow the journey of a fictional band called Utopia Avenue.

Author, David Mitchell makes you feel like you’re in the thick of things at Utopia Avenue’s live concerts, and it’s splashed with Easter Eggs that you’ll love.

It’s a book you’ll be lending out often, just remember to take a snapshot of the person holding this gem, so you can track who has it at any given time.

Question

What book can you recommend for the holiday season?