I have a lot of favorite books, so I don’t want to write at length about why I loved them (that would probably get boring for both of us!), but I would like to give a short tidbit about why these books have stuck with me this year in case you were thinking of giving them a try and I can persuade you to give them a chance.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
I read this in May, and it was the first book of the year to stop me in my tracks. The writing is beautiful, the plot is set up amazingly, and the characters really felt real to me. Some people won’t like this for its “insta-love” aspect, but in my opinion, the quick romance didn't hinder the story at all. An awesome book.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
There’s a lot of great tidbits about writing in Big Magic. I’m still thinking about them months later. It can be a little hokey pokey, but I urge every writer to give it a shot anyway.
Heating & Cooling by Beth Ann Fennelly
I read this in one day. It’s short but immersive and expressive. I felt sucked in by the end of the first chapter. I will definitely be keeping this one of my shelf to share with others.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
I like stories about brave little girls. Coraline is a gem that I actually couldn’t get into the first time I tried to read it two years ago, but recently, I read it in one sitting and found myself cheering Coraline on and empathizing with her fears.
Turtles all the way Down by John Green
I needed this book. There are a lot of valid critiques out there of John Green’s characters, but I think this book shows just how powerful his characters can be. I needed a book like this to know that I’m not alone, and I am incredibly thankful to Green for publishing it
Animal Farm by George Orwell
I read this late in the year for the first time and really enjoyed it. There’s humor, horror, and familiarity, and it all sums up to a great story.
The Subtle Art of not giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
Again, another book that I needed, full of tidbits that I will take with me. The thing I remember the most from this book is Mark urging the reader to take responsibility for their own happiness. He said something along the lines of, “even if the problem is not your fault, take responsibility for how you will respond to it.” (Paraphrase). I’m still thinking about The Subtle Art months later.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
I devoured this book. I stayed up late to read it and procrastinated on work to finish it. It gave me the encouragement I was looking for and the kick in the butt that always motivates me. I’ve been telling other women (and even men) to read this book since then.
The 4 hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
There’s some great stuff in here, but unfortunately, the presentation just wasn’t for me. I felt like it was a one size fits all prescription for success when only 20% of it was truly applicable to all people. That doesn’t mean that Ferris doesn’t have some great insights. I believe he does. But based on my reading, there just wasn’t enough room in his ideas for people to do their own thing and do what works best for them personally.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
I really enjoyed the first half of Uglies, but my wave of excitement leveled out quickly. I felt the story dragged out too long. I’m not a fan of super long books unless every single paragraph is critical to the story. Otherwise, I just feel like my time is being wasted. If you like dystopian, you may still like this story anyway, but unfortunately this one wasn’t for me.
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
I expected to really like this book, but it got cliched fast. I hate critiquing a story as “cliche” because I think people misuse the word (especially in writing workshops, but that’s beside the point). What I mean by cliche, is that the same old problems were met with the same old solutions. High school characters were presented in stereotypical ways instead of complexly. Some old tropes of YA lit were met with resolutions that just didn’t surprise me or provide deeper insight at all. I expected more from this book; however, that doesn’t mean someone else won’t like the story.
That's the great and the bad of what I read in 2017. Are there any books you’re dying to get to this year? New genres you want to try? Did any of my favorites or least favorites surprise you? Let’s chat in the comments!
Poet. Reader. Lifelong Student.