One of my favorite things about the end of the year are year end countdowns. I love reflecting back upon my favorite things of the year and seeing what everybody else enjoyed. Some lists I agree with- sometimes I think books make "best of" lists based not upon merit, but buzz or popularity (looking at you- Goodreads. Into the Water as the best thriller? Really??) I thought it would be fun to run down a list of the books I've read this year and give you guys my rating and reason why you might or might not want to add it to your list.
I'm also hosting a Giveaway on Instagram for 12 days of Christmas!! I'm giving away $50 USD to the Book Depository for books of your choice. Open internationally. It runs from today through January 1st at 9 AM. Go enter!
Without further ado, here's my #12daysofreadthis for January 2017.
The Underground Railroad | Colson Whitehead | A young female slave tries to escape to the free North via a mythical Underground Railroad, running into fictionalized historical events in the process. A modern classic. Read this if: you want to educate yourself about the things that happened to slaves in the Antebellum South that you probably didn't learn about in school. Also worth reading if only so you can be in on the discussion- this book won all of the awards in 2016. Rating, 4.5
The Girl Before | J. P. Delaney | Told from alternating viewpoints, two different young women sell all of their possessions to move into a Spartan apartment and begin to fall in love with its enigmatic architect. Definite 50 shades meets Gone Girl vibe. Read this if: you don't mind suspending your disbelief on some of the more implausible plot points and like a tension building thriller that will keep you guessing. Avoid if you don't like racy scenes or are particularly sensitive to stories about home invasion or miscarriage. Rating, 3.75
Siracusa | Delia Ephron | Two couples- that do not really like each other or their spouses- take a trip to Italy to rebuild their relationships. Friendships unravel and secrets spill out, ending in a giant disaster. Read this if you like to read about rocky marriages and drama set in exotic locations. Avoid if you are in the mood for a page turner mystery- this is more of a close up examination of relationships near their end. Rating, 3
Born a Crime | Trevor Noah | Trevor Noah tells stories about growing up a crime in South Africa. He went through a lot when he was a kid because, quite literally, his existence was a crime. It was illegal for black people and white people to date during Apartheid in South Africa, let alone procreate. Read this if: you like memoir that reads like fiction with smart comedy with social commentary mixed in. I loved it. Rating, 5
Big Magic | Elizabeth Gilbert | A really solid, thoughtful book about the process of creativity. Do what you are called to do- you are already creative; you just have to work hard and open yourself up to the process. Read this if you have a nebulous idea about wanting to do something more creative and are looking for inspiration. Avoid if you are not in the mood for self- help or are looking for something with concrete writing/ inspiration tips. This was more of a memoir about her process. | Rating, 3.75
Small Great Things | Jodi Picoult | A black nurse is faced with an ethical dilemma and has to choose between doing what is right and what is asked of her. She is the only nurse that is in the room when the baby of White Supremacist parents goes into cardiac arrest. She was told that they didn't want her assisting in the case and to not touch the baby, but what about her duty to provide care? A thought-provoking and moving story told with strong characters and compassion. One of Picoult's best. Read this if: you are a fan of Picoult's other work, courtroom drama, and examing race issues that don't always come with a clear answer. | Rating, 4.5
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