This past year was a great year for books. And this year I read more books than I had read in a long time. It was one of my goals for the year – and the only one I really kept. I’m not sure if in 2016 I’ll have any new goals or resolutions, but the goal of reading more is one I hope I can keep up. I read some really great books – and some that were quite disappointing. Of all of the new releases I read this year, these are my favorites.
A Spool of Blue Thread – Anne Tyler I just finished this book a couple of weeks ago and I really loved it. The family was dysfunctional, but very close and deeply loving. It’s the kind of family I think most could relate to. The story is multi-generational, and focuses on a beautiful home in Baltimore. After reading the book, I wanted to be in that family – to be a part of their lives, and to live in those old craftsman home.
Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates I was completely blown away by this book. I had heard many good things about this book, and had even heard Coates interviewed. I was still stunned by this book’s message. It was real, raw, and heartfelt. I was deeply touched, and after reading it I wanted to make everyone I know read it. Unfortunately those who need to hear this message won’t be reading the book. It’s an important one nonetheless.
Shotgun Lovesongs – Nicholas Butler Of all of the books on this list, this one is my favorite. About a group of friends, friends who had grown up together in a small town. They remained close, even though their lives took them in different directions. I loved the characters, and their story seemed so familiar. They are Midweaterners, my people.
Noggin – John Coren Whaley. This was a fun YA read. When I picked it up from the library, my daughter cracked up about the picture on the cover. It seems somewhat futuristic, dealing with the future possibilities of medicine and transplant surgeries. In this story a teenage boy gets a head transplant. Meaning after a losing bout with cancer, his head survived and he received a body from a donor who had been declared brain dead. Once you get your head around that (pun intended!), the story of his return to high school life is funny and sweet, and somehow still relatable.
We Are Called to Rise – Laura McBride I really loved this book – it was sad, and sweet, and so touching. It was such a great reminder that there is always a silver lining. Although the main characters have all experienced tragedies, there is so much hope for all of them. Read this one with a box of tissues!
How to be a Grown Up – Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus This story was written by the same duo that wrote the Nanny Diaries. Here the main character seems so similar to some of their other characters, just all grown up. This story is every mom’s nightmare. After years of marriage, Rory’s husband leaves her. He’s an actor and has to “take a break” from the family to focus on a role. It was empowering to me when she rises to the occasion, and finds out she’s a lot stronger than she ever imagined.
I’m looking forward to many more great books next year. Early mornings with a cup of coffee and a good book. Late nights with a cup of tea and a good book. Right now I’m working on Vanessa and Her Sister, which is really good so far. Next I will tackle all of the books I got for Christmas!
Happy New Year and happy reading!!