These were my favorite reads this year. Give them a try! (These books are recently published, but not during 2021.)
ECHO IN ONYX. This fascinating page-turner from Sharon Shinn is about a royal society where a select few have dopplegangers (exact replicas of themselves) who are integrated into society and accompany and interact with their primary individual in fascinating ways. I was totally immersed in this book. The first book in a trilogy–also available in audio book.
KLARA AND THE SUN. A Booker Prize-winning book by literary author Kazuo Ishiguro. It’s a surprisingly believable view into the mental world of a humanoid-looking AI. The story conveys a sweet and sometimes unbearable poignancy. Ishiguro is a master of irony, where the reader is aware of things that the main character is not. Some may find it a bit slow, but I didn’t.
THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET. If you’ve read David Mitchell’s science fiction, you’re already a fan. He’s a total powerhouse literary writer and this one, with small elements of fantasy, is historical fiction set in 18th century Japan. The main character is a Dutch merchant who run afoul of his corrupt employer and harbors a secret love love of a Japanese woman.
GREAT STORIES DON’T WRITE THEMSELVES. From the brilliant teacher Larry Brooks, a clear-sighted, inspiring guide to using major turning points in the novel, using a popular mystery book by Robert Dugoni as an example. His structural approach to the novel is the most helpful advice I’ve ever been given. I recommend all his other books as well!