We present this year’s Top 10 best books.
Top 10: Thanks for the Money (Joel McHale)
Geek Score: 3.28/5.00
“Community was a dream job, and I’m not just saying that because my work schedule between the years of 2009 and 2015 left me in a permanent fugue state. I made hilarious, unique television alongside some amazing people, many of whom I’m certain I did not merely hallucinate due to severe exhaustion.”
Full of craziness and laughter with some seriousness here and there. Joel McHale delivers one of the funniest autobiographies ever. Fans of “Community” will particularly like his reminiscents of the show and his inside stories about the cast, especially you-know-who. There’s depth behind every funny line and truth about the Holywood industry hidden behind laughter.
Top 9: When Light Left Us (Leah Thomas)
Geek Score: 3.30/5.00
“Buck up, son. Let me know if you wanna have another real conversation. And keep an eye out for anything strange or suspicious, all right?”
“There’s going to be a lot of strange and suspicious things around. It’s Halloween.”
“Nah.” Henry tapped his nose. “The suspicious things are the things you don’t see. Keep that in mind.”
“Mr. Flowers, I really mean it—Luz isn’t around anymore. He—it. The alien. It abandoned us.”
“Don’t be so certain.” Henry shook his head. “You’d be surprised at how much of a person is left behind after they go missing.”
“When Light Left Us” is a YA book that focused on three siblings, rather than a high school student and his love woes. Add to that the alien element and you got yourself a unique read. The climax is exciting, like watching a movie, without being too melodramatic. The concept of alien life as discussed here is in-depth and something new.
Top 8: The First to Die at the End (Adam Silvera)
Geek Score: 3.49/5.00
“Before Death-Cast called, you told me the truth about grief. How as long as you keep existing and breathing that you’ll eventually live again. You have to live, Orion.” Valentino tapped his chest. “This heart isn’t my heart or your heart. It’s our heart. I love you, Orion. Live enough for the both of us.”
The video stops there, but my tears only get started.
Valentino Prince loved me—and I got to hear him say it. I get to hear him say it for the rest of my life, even if it’s just the one time echoed forever.
I’m no longer a short story. I’m now a novel.
Better yet, I’m a work in progress.
I have all these new blank pages, and I’m going to live a life worth writing about.
Valentino called me his co-captain on his End Day, and I’m going to treat him as my cowriter through my life.”
“The First to Die at the End” is equal parts heartbreaking and uplifting. In the amount of time you read the book, your heart will be invested in the main characters, Valentino and Orion. The death scene is really heart-wrenching. But the book shines best on the pages where it shows us how we can enjoy life even amid the shadow of death, and that’s what I appreciate about it.
Top 7: More than This (Patrick Ness)
Geek Score: 3.56/5.00
“He looks out toward the darkened sitting room and wonders what he’s supposed to do here.
Is there a goal? Something to solve?
Or is he just supposed to stay here forever?
Is that what hell is? Trapped forever, alone, in your worst memory?
It makes a kind of sense.”
“More Than This” is a bit of a bore sometimes but the suspense and the mystery will carry the readers through to the end. While might have expected something a bit lighter from Patrick Ness, this book is certainly remarkable.
Top 6: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (V.E. Schwab)
Geek Score: 3.57/5.00
“His face hardens, the flat regard of a door slammed shut. “Word of advice. Next time you try to return a book, don’t return it to the same person you stole it from the first time.”
A rock drops inside her chest. “What?”
He shakes his head. “You were just in here yesterday.”
“I remember you.”
Three words, large enough to tip the world.
I remember you.
Addie lurches as if struck, about to fall. She tries to right herself. “No you don’t,” she says firmly.”
“She opens her eyes, and sees him pointing to the door. Her feet won’t move. They refuse to carry her away from those three words.
I remember you.
Three hundred years.
Three hundred years, and no one has said those words, no one has ever, ever remembered. She wants to grab him by the sleeve, wants to pull him forward, wants to know why, how, what is so special about a boy in a bookstore”
There are no elaborate magical rules here which V.E. Schwab sometimes incorporates into her stories. It’s fortunate because it did not weigh down the book’s story. “The Invisible Life of Addie Larue” discusses the subject of immortality like countless books out there. But it has an exceptional plot, and the ending is as heartbreaking and expectedly unexpected.
Top 5: The Son of Good Fortune (Lysley Tenorio)
Geek Score: 3.97/5.00
“Snow, snow, snowy snowy snow,” she sings in a made-up tune. She puts her elbows on the desk, rests her chin on clasped hands. “My whole life, I never see snow.”
“Come to America. To North Dakota.”
“One day. If God is good.”
“God is always good.” He pours another shot, doesn’t drink. “Come closer. I want your face to fill my screen.”
She leans into the webcam, so close she could kiss it. He says she is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen.
Beyond the story of an immigrant, “The Son of Good Fortune,” is the story of a mother and a son. Maxima and Excel’s lives from the get-go are not your typical story. Tenorio shows how a mother’s love shines, especially in the midst of hardships. Every page of this book is a riveting read, and the experience will leave a mark on readers. That’s how you know that this book is special.
Top 4: Notes on Grief (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
Geek Score: 4.03/5.00
“The laughter becomes tears and becomes sadness and becomes rage. I am unprepared for my wretched, roaring rage. In the face of this inferno that is sorrow, I am callow and unformed. But how can it be that in the morning he is joking and talking, and at night he is gone forever? It was so fast, too fast. It was not supposed to happen like this, not like a malicious surprise, not during a pandemic that has shut down the world.”
Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie every word in “Notes on Grief,” a book about losing his father cuts deep into the reader’s heart. It is a perfect and comforting read not only for those who lost their loved ones but also for readers looking for some courage amid adversities.
Top 3: The Comfort Book (Matt Haig)
Geek Score: 4.11/5.00
“The hardest dream of all to achieve is the dream of not being tormented by our unlived dreams. To cope with and accept unfulfillment as a natural human condition. To be complete in our incompleteness. To be free from the shackles of memory, and ambition, to be free from comparison to other people and other hypothetical selves, and to meet the moment without any other agenda, to exist as freely as time itself.”
“The Comfort Book” is my favorite of all of Matt Haig’s books. Curiously, it is not some elaborately written fiction but a collection of musings and lessons that he learned in life. Every page is like a guide for everyday living and will certainly uplift the readers, especially in these troubled times.
Top 2: Crying in H Mart (Michelle Zauner)
Geek Score: 4.14/5.00
“If I’m being honest, there’s a lot of anger. I’m angry at this old Korean woman I don’t know, that she gets to live and my mother does not, like somehow this stranger’s survival is at all related to my loss. That someone my mother’s age could still have a mother. Why is she here slurping up spicy jjamppong noodles and my mom isn’t? Other people must feel this way. Life is unfair, and sometimes it helps to irrationally blame someone for it.
Sometimes my grief feels as though I’ve been left alone in a room with no doors. Every time I remember that my mother is dead, it feels like I’m colliding with a wall that won’t give. There’s no escape, just a hard surface that I keep ramming into over and over, a reminder of the immutable reality that I will never see her again”
“How can you believe in god when something like this happens?” Michelle Zauner’s “Crying in H Mart” tells about reconnecting with her past in the process of seeking answers after the loss of her mother. But the book is not only for grieving, it is also a story of culture and tradition tangled with memories.
Top 1: Churchill: Walking with Destiny (Andrew Roberts)
Geek Score: 4.48/5.00
“It is said that famous men are usually the product of unhappy childhood. The stern compression of circumstances, the twinges of adversity, the spur of slights and taunts in early years, are needed to evoke that ruthless fixity of purpose and tenacious mother-wit without which great actions are seldom accomplished.”
“Churchill: Walking With Destiny” is one of the most important books in the modern era which tackled the life of this hero in great detail. In this online age, this book will certainly play a vital role in battling misinformation, not just regarding his life, but regarding the events which transpired during his time. Events, that one way or another, he helped shape thru his greatness.
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