Books in 2021: a reading marathon

January 14, 2021 — by Kaasha Minocha

Former first lady Michelle Obama publishes “Becoming,” which talks about her experience at the White House, how she found her voice and her role as a mother.

Ever since high school started, I have not found the time to read for myself. I’m hoping to catch up on some well-deserved reading in 2021.

A week ago, I completed my skincare routine, changed into my pajamas, and settled down in bed to read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel “Americanah.” After reading her discussion on being a non-American Black in the U.S., I was inspired to delve deeper and ponder how her insights relate to my daily life. 

Along with “Americanah,” I’ve been catching up on books that I haven’t had the time for during high school. 

In 2021, I hope I can accomplish my goal of reading a variety of books. Though I don’t have an exact list of what all they will be, I have a good idea on the different themes. After exploring different themes in English 11 Honors such as the American Dream and systemic racism, I’m looking forward to exploring books about racial minorities in America, autobiographies that share important lessons and suspense thrillers. 

I want to reread “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros, which tells the story of a Esperanza, a Mexican-American girl living in a poor Chicago neighborhood who struggles to define herself. 

One of my favorite aspects of the novel is the way it’s structured as a series of vignettes. Though it is an easy read, the story unpacks important topics such as gender identity and the importance of words. 

Along with reading about the experiences of minority groups, I want to catch up on several autobiographies that share important lessons, such as Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” and Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime.Becoming” discusses Obama’s roots, how she found her voice and her experience in the White House. Having gone to Obama’s tour in the SAP center in 2019, I’m eager to read about her experiences. 

Besides these memoirs, I hope I can read some classics such as the  “Jason Bourne” trilogy. After watching the films, I’ve always wanted to read the books, so hopefully I can get this checked off my bucket list.

Finally, my most important goal is to reflect on the hardships of COVID-19 and 2020. After consuming autobiographies and suspense novels, I hope to read books that discuss the difficulties in 2020 and address how America can rebuild from the pandemic. “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” by Mary Trump, President Donald Trump’s niece.   

To accomplish my reading marathon, I’m planning to read two books every month that are no more than 500 pages. Hopefully, I leave 2021 with better reading habits as well a better vocabulary, along with all the insights that I can apply to my daily life.