As any of you who have followed my blog for a while know, there was a long gap in my blogging (and reading) life over the past year or so. Which means that not only did you miss me (I assume), but I missed out on everything that was going on in the bookish world. The only plus to this is that I now have a year’s worth of books pre-vetted by other bloggers and BookTubers to catch up on. Here are the ten (plus two more because I have trouble with important decisions) that I’ve found most exciting!

Autumn – Ali Smith
The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
The Tidal Zone – Sarah Moss

The Good Immigrant – Nikesh Shukla (ed.)
Another Day In the Death of America – Gary Younge
All We Shall Know – Donal Ryan

Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
Commonwealth – Ann Patchett
The Essex Serpent – Sarah Perry

Today Will Be Different – Maria Semple
The Unseen World – Liz Moore
Shelter – Jung Yun

This was a surprisingly difficult list to compile – there are so many other books I wanted to include and others I know I’ve forgotten and will be kicking myself later for not including! But there are also a lot I haven’t yet discovered – and this is where you come in.

What were your favourite books that came out last year? Which of these have you read and what did you think of them? Any you’d particularly recommend? 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly link-up feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week TTT has a different topic, and everyone who links up has to create a link of ten items that fit that topic. To see past and upcoming topics, go here.


  1. Lauren

    Several of these are still on my TBR shelf/list as well, most notably Homegoing, Another Day in the Death of America, Shelter, Autumn, the Maria Semple, and Underground Railroad. I tried to do Underground Railroad on audio, but quickly realized it would be a book I would be better off reading. The writing was beautiful and I thought I would miss too much on audio. The only one of these I’ve read is The Unseen World. I also did this one on audio and after adoring Heft (which I really recommend), I was kind of disappointed in this one. It just didn’t feel like it went anywhere. And I often like character books that don’t go much of anywhere, so I’m not even sure I remember what the disconnect was. I hope it turns out to be better for you!

    1. Rain City Reads Post author

      I’m a bit nervous of both The Underground Railroad and The Unseen World – the first because of the subject (I’ve heard it’s quite harrowing, as it would be) and the second because it’s not my usual kind of story, but I’ve heard a lot of good things so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m interested to hear that it didn’t work out as well for you – I am worried I will have the same reaction, so now I won’t feel alone! I’m not sure when I”ll get to it as it’s probably one of the ones from this list I”m less excited by. I read Autumn, which was my first Ali Smith. I was fascinated by the style – it was unique and interesting – and the way the story unfolds through it was beautiful. But I really didn’t end up liking the main character very much, so I was left with slightly mixed feelings on it. I’ll be interested to hear what you make of it! Let me know if you plan to get to any of the others in the near future or if you’d be interested in a buddy read!

      1. Lauren

        Often when I don’t connect with an audio I wonder if the book would have landed better had I read it. I’m really not a great audio listener (though I must say, when one hits me, it hits me, I think I heard and absorbed every word of The Last Cowboys of San Geronimo), one reason I figured I should read Underground. Also because there is a (harrowing) history there I don’t want to gloss over.

        I hope Unseen World works for you. I liked the characters as I remember, just felt it didn’t do or tell me anything. But I’m happy to hear others have liked it, because I really like her as a writer.

        I think the two I am most anxious to try and cram in are Homegoing and Another Day. If I do get to them soon I will let you know. You do likewise! Maybe you’ll spur me to get to them. It’s so hard these days to get to the backlist sitting on my shelf, but I really want to.

        1. Rain City Reads Post author

          I’ve had a really hard time with audio-books in the past – I have a tendency to let my mind wander and miss things. I think it’s down to practice, though, so I need to just give it a go one of these days! I did enjoy the Harry Potter books read by Stephen Fry, but that’s mostly because he’s just so entertaining, and I know the stories anyway so it didn’t matter if I missed things. So a bit of a cheat.

          I honestly am not sure if/when I’ll get to it, but I will let you know what I think if I do! It was one I put on the list because several BookTubers I had been watching seemed to like it, but it is a little outside my normal reading comfort zone anyway, so now I’m not entirely sure if it’ll get me.

          I’ll read the beginning of both in the next couple of days and let you know which seems to grip me the most! 🙂


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