Books of my Gap Year

Sinead Nardi-White - Senegal


January 31, 2020

I quite literally do not think I could have survived these past five months without reading. Full stop. It is my English escape from how hard learning Wolof sometimes is, how I entertain myself when everyday life is moving slowly (aka Senegalese time), and a way to connect with the other GCY fellows since we’ve established a book exchange amongst each other. Because of that, I want to share the books- all 75- that have gotten me through 2/3 of my gap year. 

Here’s the list in no particular order- my favorites are starred: 
1. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel by Gail Honeyman*
2. My Name Is Lucy Barton: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout
3. Anything Is Possible: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout
4. A Gentleman In Moscow: A Novel by Amor Towles
5. The Afterlife of Stars by Joseph Kertes
6. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Eric Larson
7. Transcription: A Novel by Kate Atkinson
8. Early Warning: A Novel by Jane Smiley*
9. Golden Age: A Novel by Jane Smiley*
10. Some Luck: A Novel by Jane Smiley*
11. The Sympathizer: A Novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen
12. In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II by Rhys Bowen
13. The Shadow King: A Novel by Maaza Mengiste
14. The Namesake: A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri
15. Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfield
16. March by Geraldine Brooks*
17. The Round House by Louise Erdrich
18. The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo*
19. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
20. Trains and Lovers: A Novel by Alexander McCall Smith
21. Now We Shall Be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller
22. Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
23. The Wife: A Novel by Meg Wolitzer
24. The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
25. Arcadia by Lauren Groff
26. We Were The Lucky Ones: A Novel by Georgia Hunter*
27. His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae by Graeme Macrae Burnet
28. Warlight: A Novel by Michael Ondaatje
29. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms
30. Prep: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfield
31. Red at the Bone: A Novel by Jacqueline Woodson
32. The Dutch House: A Novel by Ann Patchett
33. The Revisioners: A Novel by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
34. Guest House for Young Widows: Among the Women of ISIS by Azadeh Moazeni
35. Girl: A Novel by Edna O’Brien 
36. The Godmother: A Novel by Hannelore Cayre
37. Unsheltered: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
38. Restless: A Novel by William Boyd
39. Fates and Furies: A Novel by Lauren Groff
40. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
41. Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur
42. Sisterland: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfield
43. Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller*
44. Who Thought This Was A Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House by Alyssa Mastromonaco*
45. Rules of Civility: A Novel by Amor Towles
46. The Gone Dead: A Novel by Chanelle Benz
47. Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
48. The Guest Book: A Novel by Sarah Blake
49. The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir by Samantha Power*
50-56. Harry Potter 1-7 by J.K. Rowling*
57. Mrs. Everything: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner
58. So Here’s the Thing: Notes on Growing Up, Getting Older, and Trusting Your Gut by Alyssa Mastromonaco
59. From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein*
60. Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World by Jennifer Palmieri
61. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
62. You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories by Curtis Sittenfield
63. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
64. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen*
65. The Vacationers by Emma Straub
66. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal*
67. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond*
68. The Only Woman In the Room by Heather Terrell*
69. Euphoria by Lily King
70. The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson
71. However Long the Night: Molly Melching’s Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph by Aimee Molloy*
72. One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayner
73. Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer
74. Pregnant Pause by Han Nolan
75. The Pilgrimage by Pablo Coelho
I’m grateful for all the opportunities this gap year has given me, and having time to read more than ever before just for pleasure is at the top of the list (right there with getting to hold lots of cute babies)! My goal is to reach 100 books before I leave Senegal on April 4th. 

Sinead Nardi-White