If there’s anything I’ve done a lot of in Peace Corps during my free time it’s reading. I constantly am updating the books I have on my phone and try to spend as much time reading as possible. These are my favorite books that I read last year (some released last year and others are older and I’m just getting around to them).
1. The Night Circus
A big apology to my Mother and Sister who have been trying to get me to read this book for like at least my entire life. I LOVED this book. It was magical and took me to a different world in a way that books haven’t done for a long time. Absolutely must read.
2. American Gods
Neil Gaiman is my favorite author of last year and has definitely solidified himself as one of my favorite authors of all time. He writes in a way that just sucks me into the stories he’s telling no matter what the story is. It’s one of those just unreal reads. I’m thrilled they’re turning this into a TV show and I can’t wait to see what they do with it. Granted everything in this list is a must read (they’re my favorites) but I would say if you’re going to read anything from this list The Night Circus and American Gods are my picks. I’ve recommended this book to literally everyone I know.
3. Why Not Me?
I want Mindy Kaling to be my friend so bad it’s unreal. This book and her first book make me laugh out loud and say YES GIRL ME TOO over and over again. She just cracks me up and I love reading about her life and hearing her thoughts on the world around her, most of which I strongly agree with and feel the same way. So Mindy I know you’re an avid reader of the blog so like lets hang out.
4. Bad Feminist
The stories that Roxane Gay writes are not only relatable but touching and unapologetically real. While I can’t relate to all of them it’s wildly interesting to read about her experiences as a black woman and what she thinks about feminism and the world. If you’re wondering about your views as a feminist or love reading books by strong women this should be at the top of your list. Especially the bits about female friendship, she gets it.
Lindy West cracks my ass up. I loved reading this book and while I was able to relate to Bad Feminist in some ways I connected even more to this book. Lindy talks about what it means to be a big girl and I definitely had the same feelings she has about what being big means. And the title in itself is just too good.
6.Go Set a Watchman
To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite book of all time. I love that book with every bit of me and I was thrilled beyond belief when this came out. I know there was a lot of controversy about the issuing of the book and the drama surrounding that and that was all sad and ugly but I do love this book. I think Harper Lee wrote about the world in a way that was fresh and new for her time and as a female writer and I love the way she writes Scout and the life that adult Scout lives.
7. The Circle
This book is creepy and good in the best way. I got into thrillers a lot this year and books that really suck me in and this is one of them. The story focuses around technology and the growing tech world and what we’re doing with it, both the good and bad. I think because this whole idea seems honestly TOO real and possible that’s what makes it good and I can’t wait for the movie to come out. I won’t say too much because it’ll ruin it.
8. The Good Girl
THIS BOOK. I read this in a day. I literally can’t say anything about it without ruining things but if you like twists and thrillers READ THIS BOOK.
9. Neapolitan Novels
I’ve never read books like this. They’re honest and raw and about life and relationships between men and especially women in the realest way. If you love reading about female friendships and the struggle sometimes of female friendships then definitely read these books.
10. Fredrik Backman
I SOBBED reading both of these books. WEPT. Fredrik Backman is like a better Nicholas Sparks. Without all the sappy love gross stories and with actual real stories about people and life. I love love loved both of these books and like I said they’re wildly touching and sweet. Hit ya right where it counts. Read them but if you don’t like crying in public save them for at home.
11. The Wangs vs. The World
I just talked about this in my December Favorites but I loved this book. Great story about family and what it means to be a family and like I said the main character reminds me of my grandfather so I was hooked.
12. Kitchens of the Great Midwest
I love stories that span a long period of time and you get to see how the characters grow and intertwine with each other. This is one of those books and even better it’s about cooking! The character development in this book is A+ and was a lot of fun to read.
13. Crazy Rich Asians
Another book I read in a day. The characters are so unique and dynamic that it’s hard not to get sucked in. I also learned while getting the picture that not only is there a sequel that I didn’t know about BUT a THIRD book coming out this year and they’re turning it into a movie!! So I of course immediately downloaded the next book. Stories about love, friendship and family drama always are a win for me. This one also just made me want to go to Singapore even more than I did before.