So just a quick post today about my favourite books from last year. I aimed to read a lot more in 2017 than previous years since I’d finally finished my English degree. But life got in the way and it wasn’t an excellent reading year for me. I started a lot of books but finished barely any. This was a running theme in my 2017. But through the distractions and lack of momentum – I either read two books in a week or nothing for three months – I found a few gems. Some that I’ll keep coming back to and others that I’ll always reference and recommend. I’m keeping these blurbs super vague since I know how much we all hate a spoiler! And yeah, I read only women last year. Cos why not?
Favourite Books Read
Room – Emma Donoghue: I read this back in January last year and it was soul-crushing whilst constantly picking you up right before it crushed you again. It was very interestingly narrated; I think the kids voice is what brings it charm. It kind of restores your faith in humanity even when so many singular characters do the opposite.
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas: If you read one young adult book for the rest of your life, let it be this. Warning: try not to read it in public too often. I tried reading it on two different flights and kept silently and discreetly crying until I had to put it down. This book is everything you should be reading right now. You can’t pretend you’re not part of the problem, you have to own up to it because Black Lives Matter.
A Darker Shade of Magic – V. E. Schwab: If you’re more into fantasy then I’d say this is a great book for you. Whilst it’s of the YA genre it’s a bit darker and more new adult than others it gets grouped with. What I love about the story is that adventure and friendship and finding oneself is at the forefront of this plot, not a shit love triangle.
Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi: I’m tempted to say this is my favourite book of the year. I read a lot about race this year, kind of accidentally when I was just reading women. This book taught me a lot about an experience that isn’t mine but that I think we should all be aware of. It follows the life of a family through centuries and it is endlessly intriguing. Fair warning though, it will also break your soul multiple times.
Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur: I often reread this just in one sitting. I’ve done an article about this book before but I just think it’s boss. This collection makes poetry-haters love poetry. It touches on love, friendship, rape, abuse, family, race, identity, feminism and so much more. It’s so quotable.
Along for the Ride – Sarah Dessen: So when my life changed beyond repair in February I couldn’t really watch anything or listen to music or see people. I couldn’t really function. And I just needed something safe, something to make me feel normal. Dessen’s books are I think some of my most defining adolescent reads. This one in particular was always my favourite and I always loved Auden. Rereading this was therapeutic and nostalgic. It was just the YA fix I was looking for.
Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling: Come on, do I actually need to say anything about this one? I find them comforting and feel-good. When I’m waiting for a bus or waiting for a friend I just whip one of these out on my phone. I’m never not reading one.
Favourite Partly Read Books
Just Kids – Patti Smith: This book is a love story to New York and to friendship and to art. It makes me want to keep writing and never stop. It makes me want to write not for what it could bring me but singularly for the joy of writing. It makes me want to get up and win the green card lottery and move to nyc to live forever and follow my dreams until I die an early death after a whirlwind life.
Citizen – Claudia Rankine: Dude, this book. You just need to go out and buy it right now, trust me on that. You know the type of book where you’re highlighting passages and then you realise how redundant that is cos you’ve literally highlighted the entire book? That is this book and so much more. It’s about race, it’s about America, it’s about identity. It does not apologise.
Yes Please – Amy Poehler: If ‘laugh out loud’ was ever going to get quoted on the cover of a book it would be this one. Again the highlighter has come out several times. It’s not just jokes, obviously. It’s life advice, it’s essays about learning who you are and what you want. It’s pretty great.
Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert: I started this one at the very end of 2017 because I’d heard so many people talk about it. I don’t often read ‘self-help’ type books but this seemed like something more. It’s about living creatively and beyond fear and whilst I don’t love everything about the books voice, I’ve found myself thinking about different passages days after reading it. It really inspires you to ignore the voice in your head that tells you no.
Now I don’t wanna jinx myself but I’m on to book five of 2018 so send me some good book vibes to keep me going for the next fifty weeks, please and thank you!
Paperback Writer – The Beatles