I like to read, a lot. I always set a reading goal for the year and track it on Goodreads. This year I chose 50. I was able to relatively easily accomplish that amount last year, so I had at it again in 2016. I’m happy to say I’m currently on #52. Of all of these books, I read a lot of amazing stories and discovered some wonderful writers. Let’s start with Non-Fiction.
Side note – I would like to say these are the best books I read this year, not my favorite books of all time, although one or two of them have definitely been added to that list.
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. This was the second book I read this year, and I have to say, I think it had the biggest affect on myself and my year. Even if you don’t know her full story, I’m sure you’ve at least heard of Malala and know what she stands for. She wants education available for every girl in the world. This book gave a great insight into her story and how that has affected her political views. She’s humble, incredibly smart, and most importantly, brave. Please read this book if you haven’t. It ignited the feminist spark in me, which greatly influenced the other books I read this year and opened my eyes to discover and learn about so many other amazing women.
Ctrl Alt Delete by Emma Gannon. And Emma was one of those women, who then also opened my eyes to even more creative, intelligent ladies. I have already written a full blog post on this book, but to quickly sum it up, it’s a biography, but it’s also about the internet and how it has affected us growing up. It was incredibly relatable, funny, and truthful. Emma also launched a podcast to promote her book, which she has continued after the launch. She interviews other creatives who use the internet/social media in their work life. I cannot recommend this podcast enough! You can search the same name as her book on iTunes. She currently has 50-some episodes, and I have loved every one that I’ve listened to thus far.
Bloom by Estée Lalonde. Estée is another amazing woman that I discovered this year. I found her YouTube channel in the spring time and fell in love with her. When she announced her book, I knew I was going to have to read it. It’s a great read that covers body image, her love for her dog, how she got into blogging and YouTube, and so much more. But on top of that, this book is filled with gorgeous photographs. If you don’t know of Estée, do check out her channel, and then order her book!
Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill. Sticking with the strong women theme, I actually learned about Louise O’Neill through Emma’s podcast. She’s an Irish author, and when she was talking about her books they sounded SO interesting to me, so I jumped onto the Book Depository and ordered her first one. I’ve also written a full review on this in a separate blog post, so do check it out. It’s futuristic, dystopian, and amazing.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. This book is a bit different than the others in that it focuses on the friendships of 4 boys from the time they met in college until their 50’s. I bought this book in the spring, but because of its size I felt intimidated to read it. But at the beginning of December, when I had the entire month to read the last book of my 50-book-challenge, I picked it up. The first 100 or so pages was a bit harder to get through, but once you met and dive deeper into Jude, the character the book then focuses around, I fell deep into the character’s lives. I must warn you that this book is not for the faint of heart. I don’t want to give anything away, but there are some very serious and intense topics discussed at length. I cried many times at the end, and if you think you can handle hard subjects, I highly recommend it.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. Last, but certainly not least is one of my new favorite Young Adult novels. I heard a lot of buzz about this book for months before I picked it up. I can assure you the hype is real and right! You have Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, two high school kids that meet on a bell tower and then work on a school project together. Mental health is a big topic in this book, and like A Little Life, there were plenty of tears. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, but one I was more than happy to ride and would gladly ride again.
That is it! As I said, this is just a small portion of what I read this year, but these are the books I still think about and affected me in some way. If you read them, let me know what you think! Let me know in the comments the best books you read this year!