The Poptimist Top 10 Books for 2019 | Summary and Q&A

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January 3, 2020
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ThePoptimist
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The Poptimist Top 10 Books for 2019

TL;DR

A list of the top 10 books read in 2019, including a mix of fiction and non-fiction across various genres.

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Key Insights

  • 📔 Many books on the list received critical acclaim but were not widely recognized in mainstream book communities, highlighting the need to promote diverse voices in literature.
  • ðŸĪŠ The Giller Prize shortlist showcased the strength of Canadian literature in 2019, which often went overlooked due to the popularity of Margaret Atwood's "The Testaments."
  • ðŸĨš Discovering lesser-known authors, such as Younghill Kang and Fatima Farheen Mirza, led to a greater appreciation for their contributions to literature.
  • 😀 Books like "Happiness" and "Severance" provided hopeful perspectives on resilience and humanity, even in the face of adversity.
  • 👊 "A Place for Us" tackled themes of faith, family, and cultural identity, showcasing the impressive talent of a young author.
  • 👊 "Miracle Creek" exemplified the length parents would go to for their children, while also functioning as a thought-provoking courtroom drama.
  • ðŸ’Ķ Ling Ma's "Severance" showcased how literature can reflect and comment on current social and cultural issues, in this case, exploring themes of work, consumerism, and identity during an apocalypse.

Questions & Answers

Q: What are some of the reasons people either loved or hated "Normal People" by Sally Rooney?

People either loved or hated "Normal People" because of its portrayal of young love, the exploration of personal growth in relationships, and the relatability of the characters' experiences.

Q: How does "Reproduction" by Ian Williams reflect Canadian literature?

"Reproduction" explores various aspects of Canadian identity through its diverse and complex characters. It delves into themes of family, race, and personal growth, making it a true representation of Canadian literature.

Q: Why does the reviewer believe "East Goes West" should be part of the Western canon?

"East Goes West" is a strong representation of immigrant experiences in America during the 1930s. It delves into themes of racism, xenophobia, and the pursuit of the American Dream, making it a valuable addition to the Western canon.

Q: What makes "Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club" by Megan Gail Coles a dark but compelling read?

"Small Game Hunting" is a dark novel that explores themes of intimate partner abuse, misogyny, and classism in Newfoundland. While it can be challenging to read due to its intense subject matter, its powerful writing makes it a compelling and important book.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The list contains the top 10 favorite reads of 2019, featuring books like "Normal People" by Sally Rooney and "Bitter Orange" by Claire Fuller.

  • The Giller Prize-winning book "Reproduction" by Ian Williams is highlighted for its exploration of family and nature vs. nurture.

  • "East Goes West" by Younghill Kang, which should be included in the Western canon, portrays the immigrant experience in America during the 1930s.

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