New Years Book Recommendations


Madelyn Herman, Writer

The new year is a perfect time to start fresh and even one month into the year you can still add books to your to-read list and see how many you can finish in the next 10 months. 

One book recommendation is “Everything Sad is Untrue” by Daniel Nayeri. There is severe political unrest in Iran with protests and a strict government. It is essential to learn more about the situation going on there. This book was published in 2020 Before the current major wave of protests began. However, it is still relevant. “Everything Sad is Untrue” is the author’s true story of a boy who fled Iran with his family and is now trying to fit in in his new home in Oklahoma. It talks about his struggles with telling his story when no one believes him and just sees him for his appearance and descent. It also touches on life and Iran and the people and culture there as well.

If you haven’t read it already, a secondary book is “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins. This Book was also published in 2020 however It is being made into a movie set to be released in November of 2023. This novel is the prequel to Suzanne Collins’s extremely popular trilogy “The Hunger Games”. This book is set During the 10th Hunger Games when Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Hunger Games. He has been assigned to mentor the female tribute from District 12, considered the worst assignment. The fate of him and his family depends on her and vice versa.

The next book recommendation is “Klara and the Sun” By Nobel Peace Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro in 2021. In this dystopian novel, Klara, an “Artificial Friend” with outstanding observational qualities, watches people outside the store and on the street. She hopes that a customer will choose her, but when the possibility arises that her circumstances may change, she is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans. This book explores a future with Advanced AI and gene editing. It also explores the themes of love and Human Nature, in a disconnected future.

For the final book recommendation, “Song of Silver, Flame Like Night” by Amélie Wen Zhao Was published in early 2023 and is an adventure book Inspired by Chinese folklore. Lan is a song girl in Haak’gong, a city transformed by the colonizers. She has a strange mark burned on her arm by her mother in her last act before she died. Zen is a practitioner of the elusive magicians of the Last Kingdom, whose magic is fabled to have been drawn from the demons they communed with. When Zen meets Lan, he recognizes her as a powerful practitioner with a powerful ability hidden in the mark on her arm. Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within, secrets that they have yet to discover. Their fates are connected, but their destiny remains uncertain. And with that, the battle for the Last Kingdom begins. 

The four books above are certain to help jump-start your yearly reading. From current events mixed with biography to upcoming movie plot refresher, to slow-paced dystopian, to Chinese folklore with a dash of action and thriller, all of these books bring something different to the table. Happy reading.