The holiday season is approaching and I'm a firm believer in gifting books, particularly books I've read in the year that I feel would be perfect for someone else. It's a process that requires thought and I've always loved receiving books with messages inside, only to find them years later in secondhand bookshops to imagine who the previous owner was and why they were gifted that book.
Below are ten books I have read this year with a brief comment on why you might wish to gift them to a loved one!
1. FEVER by Shilo Niziolek
A memoir told through essay fragments, FEVER is a moving exploration of desire, the body, chronic illness and healing from trauma. Beautifully written and a comfort to read and relate to.
2. Wain: LGBT Reimaginings of Scottish Folklore by Rachel Plummer
A gorgeous illustrated collection of poetry depicting figures from Scottish folklore but inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community. The magic and the retelling is incredibly refreshing.
3. GRIT by Silas Denver Melvin
Quite simply a phenomenal collection of poetry portraying the trans experience and coming of age.
4. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, Pachinko follows generations of a Korean family who move to Japan due to war, an enlightening yet harrowing tale of immigration and survival.
5. Beneath the Polish Moon by Jake Kaminski
A novel to break your heart, also with a focus on immigration from Poland to America in hope for a piece of the American Dream. Kaminski's dual narrative makes for wonderful storytelling.
6. Still, The Sky by Tom Pearson
A collection of poetry and artefacts for fans of speculative fiction and Greek mythology, Pearson reimagines Asterion's (the Minotaur) life in the Labyrinth.
7. Queer Poets of Color, Nepantla: an Anthology
A compendium of contemporary and past queer poets of colour from James Baldwin, Audre Lorde to Ocean Vuong and danez smith. A brilliant, vast and varied anthology which celebrates the talent of poets from marginalised groups.
8. Girls are Coming Out of the Woods by Tishani Doshi
A firm favourite of mine - Doshi's collection explores what it means in today's world to present as feminine. An empowering and affirming read.
9. Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
A love story told through such poetic prose, I fell in love with the writing. Truly beautiful in capturing friendship, love, loss and reunion.
10. PET by Akwaeke Emezi
Teenage/Young Adult fiction brilliant for anyone to read. Pet is an unshakeable character searching for justice and hope in a world which rarely promises either.