Hello friends! My name is Megan, and I am a Knix Ambassador and public librarian. Last year, I left my home in Northern California to travel around the world with my husband (and my favorite travel-friendly Knix goodies: the Evolution Bra and Thigh Saver Shorts!). We visited 38 countries in one year, and I read more than 100 books along the way. Thanks for letting me share my love of books and reading with you today, and feel free to follow along with what I'm reading on Instagram.
That's Megan reading in the middle of the Dead Sea!
Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn't mean it's too late to add a few titles to your summer reading list! Although many readers have turned to books for comfort and escape during this turbulent year, many others have found it difficult to focus on reading anything longer than a tweet. The publishing industry also faced major challenges this year; many publication dates have been pushed back by months (or even into next year!), and authors who did publish new books in the first half of this year were forced to cancel book tours and other marketing events, which means there are a lot of great new books that didn’t get the attention they deserved. So today, we bring you a list of excellent books released in 2020 that should not be overlooked. Enjoy!
So We Can Glow by Leesa Cross-Smith
When I have trouble focusing on reading (like in the midst of a pandemic), I reach for a short story collection. Written to be digested in small chunks, story collections are perfect for distracted readers as well as generally busy people. This collection contains more than 40 beautifully written stories (some of which are only one page long) about women and desire.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The other type of book that can usually pull me out of a reading slump is a well-written mystery or thriller. Mexican Gothic has been high on my summer reading list, so maybe after sharing it with all of you I will finally read it myself! Described by multiple trusted reader friends as “spine-tingling” and “creepy,” this Gothic novel set in Mexico sounds like a delicious escapist read to round out the summer.
Lakewood by Megan Giddings
This book has been out since March and has less than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads so … more people need to read this book!! This debut novel featuring a young woman who signs up for a mysterious study to earn some much-needed income was horrifying and unputdownable. It has been appropriately recommended for fans of Get Out and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Fortunately for sophomore author Brit Bennett, this book did get a lot of attention this year, and every bit of it is well deserved! I loved Bennett’s debut, The Mothers, a few years ago, and I’m pleased to report she’s outdone herself with this historical novel featuring twin sisters from a small town in Louisiana populated almost entirely by light-skinned Black people.
The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert
For a quick read that is heartwarming without shying away from important topics, this delightful young adult novel takes place all in one day: Election Day in the United States. Alternating between two perspectives, the novel tells the story of two teens who meet at a polling place and provides a refreshing portrait of civically engaged young people.
Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud
For fans of literary fiction, this debut novel by Trinidadian author Ingrid Persaud will transport you to the Caribbean for an emotional journey told by three characters: Betty, a young widow; Solo, her son; and Mr. Chetan, Betty’s coworker who moves in with the family. This book contains long-buried family secrets, passionate romance and lifelong friendship, and descriptions of delicious Caribbean dishes that will make your mouth water!
You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria
Looking for something steamy to heat up your summer? This romance features Jasmine, a Filipina and Puerto Rican actress who is on a mission to become the leading lady of her life, without any romantic distractions. In true romance novel fashion, a temptation immediately presents itself in the form of Ashton, who plays her love interest in a new telenovela. Scenes from the telenovela are interspersed throughout the novel, so you get two romances in one!
Sea Wife by Amity Gaige
This book features a couple with two young children who decide to leave their uninspiring life in the Connecticut suburbs to live on a sailboat in the Carribean. What could go wrong, right? The setting of this story definitely qualifies as an escapist read for those who are itching to travel after a summer stuck at home, but Sea Wife is also a smart and introspective novel about marriage and parenting, especially within the constraints of societal expectations.