This week’s posts have reminded me how much I adore reading, and how big a part of my life it’s been since… forever. As the author Zadie Smith has said, “Books are my experiences. I’m made of them.” The books we read affect the person we are becoming. I’ve loved what I’ve learned and experienced via the 20 books I’ve read so far this year, and I can’t wait to hear if there’s anything on our reading list in common!
The Millionaire Next Door: An in-depth look at who the rich really are in this country and what we can learn from them. Depending on your preconceptions about rich people, it might be surprising! I particularly liked the section on buying cars.
Allegiant: Book three in the Divergent series was a big disappointment for me. While I didn’t love the ending, my dislike was more about the writing – I thought it was sloppy, and left me wondering why I’d liked the first two books!
Red Rising: One of the best books I’ve read this year. Pierce Brown creates an entirely new world that completely sucked me in. If you liked The Hunger Games you will love this book.
Love Does: Bob Goff shares my love for a “secretly incredible” life full of love and adventure. I had heard so much about this book before I read it that not much of it was new to me – but I still enjoyed it. If you haven’t read it or heard of it, I’d highly recommend it!
The Well’s End: My brother-in-law’s book! A young adult thriller that kept me going the whole way through – I’m ready for the sequel!
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A FASCINATING book that I think everyone should read – one of my favorites this year! I read so many sections and interesting facts out loud to John. It was a little bit slow in the beginning, but I loved the section about Joel Salatin’s farm. I really appreciated Pollan’s calm, reasoned, and often beautiful writing.
The Last Days of California: Eh. Probably my least favorite book from this year. I didn’t find the characters that likeable and wasn’t in love with the writing. I’m surprised it got such good reviews!
Sense and Sensibility: I picked this one up off my own self while waiting for another book to come in at the library. I’m always happy to check another classic off my list, and this one was easy and enjoyable.
In a Sunburned Country: As laugh-out-loud funny and strangely informative as you’d expect from Bill Bryson. I learned a bunch about Australia (and so did John – read lots of this book out loud to him, too!).
The Goldfinch: Hoo boy, there are 16,000 reviews for this Pulitzer Prize-winning book on Amazon, so apparently everyone has an opinion about it! I enjoyed it – in fact, I marked it as one of my favorites from the year. Even in the Las Vegas section, which I thought was slow, I couldn’t stop reading because I needed to know what happened next.
Astonish Me: Another one I marked as a favorite. Well written, satisfying, and fun for a former ballerina like me – I didn’t see the twist coming, though I’m sure some of you smart people will :)
Boy, Snow, Bird: A modern fairytale that’s imaginative and lyrical, but also a little unsettling and frustrating. Reminded me of Edwidge Danticat’s writing.
All Joy and No Fun: One of my favorites from this year! I found it honest and endlessly fascinating, and have brought it up in discussion so many times since finishing it. One of the only books on this list I feel a need to buy so I can refer to it in the future.
The Silver Star: This story about courageous sisters was not as good as The Glass Castle, which was one of my top picks from 2013, but a good (quick) read nonetheless.
The Interestings: While I could appreciate that this book was very well-written, I found the characters a bit annoying, even the ones who were supposed to be sympathetic. I know that’s kind of the point, but it kept me from loving the book. However, I couldn’t put it down, so…
Simplicity Parenting: I found that I already agreed with and intrinsically knew the premise of this book — “the power of less” to raise calmer, happier, and more secure kids — but it was still a worthwhile read. If it does not at all match the parenting path you’re on, I’m guessing it would be challenging and fascinating!
The Maid’s Version: A short but riveting read by the author of Winter’s Bone. Really, really beautifully written – almost poetic.
Me Before You: This is probably the “lightest” book I read this year (not necessarily lightest in subject matter – it made me cry! – but literary weight). A great read for the beach.
The Light Between Oceans: Just digging into this one after many recommendations and it is great so far!
Have you read any of these? Did you agree with my thoughts? What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
P.S. Come back tomorrow – I’ll have a giveaway!! Hint: it’s an item from my home tour! :)