Surprise! I like to read! Books! Books I hold in my hands! Books with pages that need to be turned! Here’s a list of stand-out books I’ve read this past year. There are more that I’ve read, but these resonated with me and I don’t want to potentially point you in the wrong direction. I took screenshots from the publishers’ websites and linked to those sites. You figure out how to acquire them, whether you purchase them or borrow from your library. (I love libraries!)
Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher. One of the best novels I read this year. I don’t know why. It’s not particularly exciting. It’s set in the UK and it’s kind of long. Maybe it’s has that long Victorian novel vibe that I like so much. (Hi, Jane Eyre!)
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. This book had come up a couple of times within a week or so. I took it as a sign from the Universe that I needed to read it. There’s a touch of magical realism, which is unusual for me to like (see, Wizards and Shit), but I really liked this book. Also, it helps that the author lives in the same area of Alaska where I grew up—I remember seeing her picture in the local newspaper she wrote for.
It’s Okay to Laugh by Nora McInerny Purmort. She talks a lot about death. Mostly because her father died and shortly after, and I mean right after, her husband died. I’m keeping my eye on this author, because I think she’s only going to get better and better and I say that because she’s already a great writer.
What Comes Next and How to Like It by Abigail Thomas. This is a good contrast to “It’s Okay.” Death is a common theme, but Abigail Thomas has a wiser, more experienced, (older?) voice. This memoir also has a unique format that makes it irresistible to read.
Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life by Kelsey Miller. So many truths in this book. I identified with a lot in this book, which was both sad and reassuring. Obviously, I loved this book for how sincere and honest the author is.
Running: A Love Story: 10 Years, 5 Marathons, and 1 Life-Changing Sport by Jen A. Miller. Once again, I identified with this book, mostly the act of running (I’ve never trained for anything longer than 10K) and being a writer. I started following the author on Instagram and subscribed to her newsletter. I love that she’s unapologetically political in her newsletter, which is something to admire right now.
BUSINESS/THE BUSINESS OF WRITING:
Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being and Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington. This book validated a lot of things I have been seeing and feeling in my work life. I could write a whole essay on it, but I won’t right here. I found this book in the “business section” of the Dewey decimal system. The title reads almost like a self-help book, but it does belong in in business. Everyone on the organizational pyramid should read it.
The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Commercial Freelancer in Six Months or Less by Peter Bowerman. Just about as slick as the title reads. But, sometimes you need that slickness to inspire you to get things rolling.
Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley. Exactly what the title says it is. Even though I’ve been writing for pay for several years now, it doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally need a refresher or some tips and tricks to make my writing better. It’s also has an easily digestible format—great for reading here and there.
Alright, folks, you know how this works. Now you have to tell me what you read this year that you really liked. You know how to use the comment field below.
Here’s to a new year filled with great books!