Hello friends! After loving working on my previous five star predictions posts, I knew I wanted to make another two-part series of my predictions, but I also knew that I wanted to mix it up a bit. So, instead of choosing four books I’m 1000% sure I’ll love, I consulted my goodreads to-read list and organized it based on average rating. Then I selected the top two-two fiction and nonfiction titles. The reason why I couldn’t simply go with the first four is that three of those were nonfiction books, and I wanted a more even selection.
I can’t wait to dive into these novels, so I’m hoping to get to them soon-ish. But until then, let me share the four books as well as my expectations with you all. Some of these have been on my tbr for ages so I’m glad this post is finally prompting me to give them a chance.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says good-bye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.
Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gaëtan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.
🪐 average rating: 4.57
🪐 expectations: Out of all the books on this list, The Nightingale is the one that’s been on my tbr for the longest, and it’s also the one I’m the most hesitant about. I’m not sure why, but even despite the hype and multiple people telling me how good it is, most recently in the comment section of my 21 Books I Want To Read in 2021 post, I’m not confident I’ll love this book. I hope I’m wrong, especially because a part of me really believes that this could be a five star read.
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
In So You Want to Talk About Race, Editor at Large of The Establishment Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the “N” word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don’t dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.
Oluo is an exceptional writer with a rare ability to be straightforward, funny, and effective in her coverage of sensitive, hyper-charged issues in America. Her messages are passionate but finely tuned, and crystalize ideas that would otherwise be vague by empowering them with aha-moment clarity. Her writing brings to mind voices like Ta-Nehisi Coates and Roxane Gay, and Jessica Valenti in Full Frontal Feminism, and a young Gloria Naylor, particularly in Naylor’s seminal essay “The Meaning of a Word.”
🪐 average rating: 4.51
🪐 expectations: I’m really-really looking forward to this nonfiction title! I’m not American, but nonetheless I’m sure I’ll benefit from reading this novel as Hungary is far from being an anti-racist country.. I’ve heard really incredible things about this title, so I’m fairly certain I’ll rate it five stars.
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens.
How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?
In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?
Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power … and our future.
🪐 average rating: 4.41
🪐 expectations: I bought this book such a long time ago, and it’s one both my mom and I want to read… but neither of us have gotten to. I don’t tend to read nonfiction about history, but this sounds very accessible even to those, like me, who don’t know terribly much about the history of humankind. 😅 Even though my history classes in elementary and high school were horrid, I loved my university history classes, so I’d definitely say I have an interest in history. Hopefully, Sapiens will influence me to pick up more history-related nonfiction.
The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews
Can two broken boys find their perfect home?
Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he’s ever known. Now Sam’s trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he’s caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing – each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie.
But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.
🪐 average rating: 4.35
🪐 expectations: I’ve wanted to read this book for the longest time, and now that I’m writing my MA thesis about Australian Young Adult fiction, the time has finally come for me to tackle the novel. I enjoyed the author’s debut novel, and I’m hoping to like this one even more.
Have you read any of these titles? What did you think of them? Do you tend to enjoy hyped books and/or novels with high goodreads averages?