For the first time ever, thanks to this blog, I have a complete record of all the books I’ve read over the past 12 months, from June 2014 – May 2015. In that time, I read 35 — just one short of the goal of 36, even though the fiction/biography/nonfiction mix was not quite there (24 fiction, 11 bio/nonfiction — which is still at least 8 more nonfiction books than I wouldn’t read was I not pushing myself to diversify).
After looking back over those posts (you can check them all out here), I wanted to highlight the ones that stood out the most — the ones I’d give 5-star reviews to or recommend to almost anyone.
READ IT, READ IT NOW
The Book Thief — one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching stories I’ve read in a long time. One that sticks with you.
Gone with the Wind — despite dragging for a chapter or several at times, one of the most gut-wrenching stories I’ve read in a long time. One that I really think every American should read.
Open — Seriously, even if you don’t like tennis, you should read this one.
The Tender Bar — This might be the best memoir/autobiography I’ve ever read. It built and developed so gradually I didn’t realize how emotionally invested I was until the end.
Brain on Fire — Just utterly fascinating, especially if you’re interested at all in neuroscience or mental illness/how our health care system treats it.
honorable mention: Yes Please — because Amy’s the shit.
His Dark Materials trilogy (Golden Compass, Subtle Knife, Amber Spyglass) — If you like Harry Potter, Hunger Games, any of those epic YA fantasy-type books that really work for all ages (so, basically, everyone who reads) and you haven’t read these yet, get on it.
BEST HISTORICAL FICTION
Lionheart — If you’re into those crazy awesome Plantagenets. But start with When Christ & His Saints Slept, Time & Chance, and The Devil’s Brood. My mom picked up A King’s Ransom a few weeks ago and I get to read it when she’s done!
Anna and the French Kiss — So sweet and enjoyable. Read it to remember what it was like to have a crush on a friend in high school.
Eleanor & Park — The strongest of Rowell’s work (that I’ve read so far). Such a sweet love story.
VERY WORTH READING
Landline — My 2nd favorite Rowell book.
One Plus One — Surprised by how much this one drew me in. And everyone seems to say Me Before You is better, so I can’t wait to get my hands on that.
In Cold Blood — I wouldn’t say this is the most gripping nonfiction or true crime story, but it’s still fascinating.
FOR NOSTALGIA’S SAKE
Jessica Darling’s It List — If you loved the Jessica Darling books, this is worth your time. Another quick read.
Best book you’ve read lately?