Another week, another Top Ten Tuesday, a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This time I’m talking about books that have under 2000 ratings on Goodreads that I’ve enjoyed. I’ve talked about most of them before on other posts, but I can’t help to mention them again! I noticed they are all a bit unconventional, but they have all stayed with me after reading them for one reason or another and I’m glad I can share them again with you. Let’s check them out:
1. SALT FISH GIRL BY LARISSA LAI
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia
I read this one for college 5 years ago so my memory is foggy. I remember this though: Chinese mythology, LGBTQIA+ representation, two characters connected… one in nineteenth century China, another in a futuristic Pacific Northwest. Doesn’t that sound appealing? There’s a lot going on, maybe it’s a bit confusing, but I recall loving the complexity. The first chapter is about the myth of creation and it’s probably the most beautiful opening chapter I’ve ever read.
2. THE DANCING GIRL OF IZU BY YASUNARI KAWABATA
Genre: Short Stories
Coming from a Nobel Prize winner, I’m surprised the collection doesn’t have more ratings. These stories are very simple and autobiographical. They are all very similar, but what I liked about them was the tone. It’s such a specific feeling and image and I have in my mind when I think of these: melancholy, sadness, simplicity.
3. GRIEF IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS BY MAX PORTER
Genre: Magical realism, Fiction, Poetry
A crow figuratively embodies grief and visits a family who has lost their mother/wife. It is told through vignettes, some told by the children, other by the father, and the more poetic ones by the crow. It’s a very different read and I think I didn’t scratch the surface when I read this. It’s complex, it’s raw, and it’s beautiful too.
4. A GUIDE TO BEING BORN BY RAMONA AUSEBEL
Genre: Short Story, Magical Realism
Probably one of my favorite reads of the year so far. Every single story is entrancing, unique and bizarre in its own way. A boat in the middle of the sea filled with grandmothers, people who grow arms when they fall in love, a guy with drawers in his chest, a girl whose baby is an ever changing animal… The book is divided in four parts: Birth, Gestation, Conception, and Love. Life and death are recurring themes, but each story is very different to the next, which I loved.
5. PANTOMIME (MICAH GREY TRILOGY #1) BY LAURA LAM
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQIA+
I’m always looking for representation and I’m really glad I found this book! Pantomime is about Gene, who is intersex. After their* family betrays them, they adopt a new identity as a boy called Micah and joins a circus. The story follows Micah getting to terms with who they are, running away from home and dealing with the magical mythology that surrounds their world, which is pretty cool (though that’s more explored in the second book).
*I refer to Micah with the neutral pronoun ‘they’ because they never disclose what they prefer or how they identify in this book.
6. TEATIME FOR THE FIREFLY BY SHONA PATEL
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Set in Assam (India) during the 40s, it tells the story of Layla living with her husband near the tea plantations among the English wives of other tenants, elephants, and man-eating leopards. Even though the romance wasn’t the best, it’s a book that captivated me through the historical fiction parts and I really enjoyed reading it.