Stand Out Reads for the Year So Far

Since the start of 2019, I have read over 100 books. My goal for this year is to read 150 books. If you have set a reading goal for 2019 and you are nowhere near it, here are some recommendations to get your reading mojo on. It was hard to narrow down some of my favourite reads for the year so far, but these are a few books I cannot stop talking about.

 Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat 

Edwidge Danticat is the queen of short stories and she proves this again with her recently published, ‘Everything Inside’. It is a strong collection of stories filled with complex characters, all dealing with major issues, trying to navigate life with Haiti at the centre of each narrative. 

The characters we meet are first, second, or third generation Haitians living in Haiti and the United States. With eight stories in the collection, it is hard to zone in on one that truly floored me, because every single one of these stories are spectacular in their own way. Danticat knows Haiti and I know when I pick up her book, I will be longing for a place I have never visited. If you are looking for a strong collection of short stories, I highly recommend this read.

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena 

If you love a great mix of mystery, murder, suspense and thriller set in a close-knit community, then ‘Someone We Know’ by Shari Lapena is the next book you need to pick up. I read this entire book in one sitting because I just had to know who was the killer. 

Set in the suburbs of upstate New York, we meet a family who found out that their teenage son’s favourite pastime is breaking into their neighbours’ houses and snooping into their computers. A husband also recently reported to the police that his young wife is missing – could these incidents be linked? If so, how? Shari Lapena knows how to write characters who will surprise you and keep you guessing and that is what I love most about her writing. She gives us this premise and a solid community of do-gooders and we are then left wondering “Who would do such a thing?” This is a fast paced and enjoyable read. 

The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull 

An alien invasion happening on the US Virgin Islands. Sign me up! Cadwell Turnbull’s debut novel, ‘The Lesson’ is unlike anything I have ever read before and I cannot stop talking about it; I didn’t want it to end. 

Set in the US Virgin Islands, we meet the members of the community of Charlotte Amalie. Like most Islanders, they are pretty laid back, but all living complicated lives. Things get even more complicated when one day the sky opens and an alien ship docks close to the island. The five hundred Ynaa came in “peace” and with advanced technology to offer for their five-year stay on the island. Did they actually come in peace? 

Cadwell is able to traverse and blend various genres together so well, that it is hard to classify exactly what genre this book falls under. We get a bit of Sci-Fi, historical fiction and young adult fiction. If you have always wanted to read about an alien invasion happening on an island, well this might be the only book for you.

Dutch House by Ann Patchett 

If you are a fan of Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, then you will absolutely love her latest release, The Dutch House. In this book, we meet Cyril Conroy who, through luck and some real estate knowledge, came into great wealth. Through this new-found wealth, Cyril was able to purchase The Dutch House which was previously owned by a Dutch family who came to ruin. Cyril purchased this sprawling mansion in the countryside of Philadelphia as a surprise for his wife – this began the downfall of the Conroy family. 

Ann Patchett did an amazing job of showcasing sibling relationships; mother, daughter-son relationships; sainthood; and forgiveness. The characters were well formed and complex; so much so, that you will not want to leave them alone until you finish the book. If you love family drama, this is your pick. If you are looking for a truly heart-warming sibling relationship, this is it. If you are a fan of Ann Patchett, just know she delivers with The Dutch House. 

If you are still looking for more book recommendations, be sure to follow me at bookofcinz 

Cindy Allman is a Caribbean Girl Reading the World. A Jamaican living in Trinidad & Tobago, she is a top Goodreads reviewer and hopes to inspire you with her passion for books. Follow her at or @bookofcinz on Twitter and Instagram

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