Reading Outside My Comfort Zone: #AMonthofFaves

This #AMonthofFaves continues apace, hosted by the marvelous and wonderful Andi of Estella’s Revenge, Tanya Patrice of Girlxoxo, and Traveling with T. Today we’re talking about a book this year that surprised us.

I would like to choose Nick Hornby’s Funny Girl, but I already chose it for something in this Month of Faves. However, I want you to, when you picture me reading Funny Girl for the first time (a thing I am sure you are all constantly imagining), imagine that I spend the entire time saying, “REALLY. REALLY.” Because that is what happened.

Instead of that, I choose two debut novels that were so remarkably assured and thoughtful that it seemed unlikely these were, in fact, debut novels. These are the wonderfully-titled Make Your Home among Strangers and the awarded-and-accoladed The Turner House. I got both these recommendations from Stacia Brown, who writes on the Act Four blog for the Washington Post, and I will now take sweetly like a lamb any further book recommendations she may want to issue.

And I also choose Elizabeth Eldredge’s book Power in Colonial Africa: Conflict and Discourse in Lesotho, 1870-1960. I know you are thinking that a history book with discourse in the title sounds unbearably dry and tedious, and I am sympathetic to your position. However, in actuality, that book was great, and Lesotho is a baller nation. Perhaps as a function of my low expectations for a history book with discourse in the title, I loved it maybe the best of my four Africa reading project books so far this year.

(Nah. The Congo book was better. But I knew the Congo book was going to be good. That one got rave reviews in the academic journals, and it was highly recommended by another of the writers for the Washington Post‘s Act Four blog, Alyssa Rosenberg.)