I am currently celebrating the fact that I hit my 25 books in 2015 goal via Goodreads! This could not have been done without the completion of my Masters degree, the joyous book club I joined (here’s to you Changing Hands Bookstore/First Draft Book Bar), and the copious amount of free time I have had in the past few months.
I originally planned to rank all 25 books in order from best to worse, but that would take way too much time (and reading on your part) so I chose to only review 5 of the best books I enjoyed this year.
5. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
This was a book I had heard good things about in the new year and was excite to read. I wasn’t disappointed at all. It kept me on my seat throughout its entirety and also left me with so much thought after it was done. I didn’t think I would be a fan of the thriller type books that have been out recently, but after this and Gone Girl, I definitely get the trend.
4. Did you Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
Just tragic. Those were the words I repeated so many times as I read this book. That feeling of closure, and the fear of never getting it, allows so much feeling that we all as humans can connect to. I loved hearing from other perspectives surrounding this one small town, and left the book wanting to make sure everyone was just okay, because I knew that would be all they would ask for.
3. Bossypants by Tina Fey
I had been waiting for the perfect time to read this book, and finally found my opportunity as I boarded the plane back home to Kansas City for Thanksgiving. I am not much of a flyer, so I knew I needed a book that would distract me 100 percent and allow me to laugh as I flew through bumpy skies. Bossypants was the perfect antidote. Tina had me laughing out loud throughout my entire flight home and back to Arizona. Not only was this book hilarious, it touched on things I often think about with being a woman seeking success and the possibility of having a family, and my creative spirit…all of those things and more including childhood stories and growing up made me love this read.
2. Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey by Maya Angelou
I should have known Maya Angelou would come right at the last minute and steal my heart. This was my last book of the year, and I’m so happy it was. As a twenty-something trying to figure out who I am, I could strongly relate to this book. I have been in need of a prose from an African American woman, and I sought out Maya for that solace. Quickest read I have ever done, but was filled with so much impactful content.
1. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
This book. I was nervous yet excited to read this as I had heard rumors about the plot and how it differs from To Kill a MockingBird, but what I did not expect is what made me love this book so much. Its timeliness of its publication was eerily perfect, and so needed in a time where we think racism is over and we don’t have to talk about it anymore…No, we really do need to. Harper Lee wrote this before To Kill a Mockinbird and I bet her editor said, “people are not ready for this yet”. Sad to say, I don’t know if people today are still ready for it, but I strongly encourage everyone to read this! Even though it was not edited as thoroughly as most books are, the message packed a great punch, and I loved hearing Scouts voice as a twenty-something trying to figure out her life. This book couldn’t have spoken to me more at the exact right time it needed to.
Honorable mentions: (in no particular order)
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P by Adelle Waldman
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Elegance of a Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for reading!