Happy 2021! The new year finally arrived, and it came with renewed hope, ideas, and goals. But it didn’t feel right to start the year without sharing my favorite books from the past six months. In august I went through a reading slump, and it was wonderful. I finished the year understanding myself better as a reader, and discovering new favorite books and authors.
In the past six months I found two new favorite books: Catch and Kill: lies, spies and a conspiracy to protect predators and The Stranger [L’étranger]. I loved the way Ronan Farrow talked about the serial abuse culture in Hollywood, and the way predators managed to silence victims and journalists. Even though it is fiction, L’étranger is not less disturbing; it makes you think and reflect on the way we talk about and judge other people. No wonder Albert Camus won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
One of my favorite authors released a new book last year. Elena Ferrante’s The Lying Life of Adults [La vita bugiarda degli adulti] is exactly what you expect from her. It is a beautiful narrative set in Naples with flawed and complex characters, and that explores how complicated relationships with family and friends are. Another author I love is Virginia Woolf, and her novel Flush was as delightful as I imagined; it is calming and easy to read, perfect for when you need some escapism.
But sometimes we need to be reminded of what is happening now, and that’s what The Hate Machine [A máquina do ódio: notas de uma repórter sobre fake news e violência digital] by Patrícia Campos Mello did. In this book, the journalist recalls the hate campaign she suffered in 2019, as well as some tactics authoritarian governments use to suppress the media.
The longest book I read last year was The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. The 1963 research might be considered dated, but it is still very important. A lot of the things Friedan explores in the book still happens today, or we can see echoes of them everywhere. This classic is perfect for any feminist or people interested in the movement; it helps understand how important it is.
A classic that I didn’t enjoy as much was The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, but I’m still proud of reading it. I bought this book over five years ago and felt intimidated by it until I read the first page. A bestseller I actually liked was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; definitely worth the hype.
How was your year when it comes to reading? Did you find a new favorite book? I always accept recommendations!