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15 Literary Fiction Books to Read in 2020

Y’all know I struggle with literary fiction, but one of my goals for 2020 is to read some more ~literary~ books. What do I mean by literary? I think the connotations of “literary” usually indicate well-written or experimental prose and a somewhat serious narrative dealing with serious, realistic topics. Or something to that effect. Not all the books on this list are hardcore literary; many, in fact, fall into that nebulous category of “upmarket” fiction – which is, as I understand it, literary fiction with a more commercial appeal. I think it’s a good mix! Continue reading “15 Literary Fiction Books to Read in 2020”

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Book Review: Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

Home Firehome fire
Kamila Shamsie

Riverhead, 2017
★★★★★

I finished reading this book eight days ago and have been struggling to write some kind of coherent review that fully expresses how I felt. The thing is this book made me feel so strongly in a way that books rarely do; I was overcome by such a storm of emotion that I needed to take a step back before I could formulate a review. That alone should tell you how much I loved this book.

So, in short, this is a modern-day retelling of Antigone set in England with an all-Muslim cast of characters. I read Antigone for the first time approximately an hour before starting this book. I liked the play, but it’s also very difficult to get much emotion out of plays (personally, anyway) so I wasn’t swept away. Then I read this book, which is a surprisingly literal adaptation (that is, the central conflict is the same) that leads up to one of the most tragically beautiful ending scenes I have ever read. Continue reading “Book Review: Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie”