Top 12 Favorite Books that I Read in the Last Year


Top Ten Tuesday is here again! Today I’m linking up to share my all time favorite books that that I read within the last year. The link up gave me the option for 3 or 5 years, but I didn’t read much after college. I think I maybe read two good books in the two years after college. College was over 5 years ago, so that pretty much precludes college, so I can’t include things like Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (At the time of writing, this novel was 50% off and the whisper sync version is only $3 – read here about how you can save a lot on Audible books! What works for Classic novels will work for all novels) or The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

I also couldn’t chose just 10. I wanted to pick many, many more novels, so you get 12 with an honorable mention! I also thought that I would share a favorite quote or two from some of the novels!

My Top 12 Favorite Books that I Read Last Year | Why Did I Wait So Long to Read Some of These?

Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

where'd you do bernadette
At the time of writing, this Kindle book was on sale!

This book is TOO funny. It is poignant, hilarious, and just so much fun.

That’s right,’ she told the girls. ‘You are bored. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s on you to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.”
― Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette

This Is Where I Leave You

this is where i leave you

I absolutely loved the insight into the dysfunctional family. The family is insane, but there is a lot to learn about life from the novel.

You have to look at what you have right in front of you, at what it could be, and stop measuring it against what you’ve lost. I know this to be wise and true, just as I know that pretty much no one can do it.”
― Jonathan Tropper, This is Where I Leave You

Girl, Interrupted

girl interrupted

This memoir was – for lack of a better word – memorable. It started a bit slow, but by the end, I understood the structure and totally fell in love with it.

Was insanity just a matter of dropping the act?”
― Susanna Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted

Gilead
gilead

This novel made me cry. Sobs. It was so rich in wisdom. I do need to read the sequels, but I’m a little afraid of tarnishing my perfect memory of this novel.

Memory can make a thing seem to have been much more than it was.”
― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories

one more thing If you can’t laugh at this, you don’t have a sense of humor. I listened on to the audiobook, though. Delivery is EVERYTHING.

The wise quote:

You want to meet someone who likes the same things you do, and who likes you most when you’re most being yourself, so that when you are in a relationship, the person will truly be compatible with the real you.”
― B.J. Novak, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories

The funny quote:

If you love something, let it go. If you don’t love something, definitely let it go. Basically, just drop everything. Who cares.”
― B.J. Novak, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories

East of Eden

east of edenI can’t believe that I waited so long to read this novel. It is so rich and complex, but in an amazing way.

I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

The Grand Sophy

The Grand Sophy This novel is hilarious. It’s like if Jane Austen wrote a slapstick novel. It make me laugh out loud. I loved it. It was just so amazing.

It is abominable, Sophy!”
“Yes, if the motive were not pure!”
― Georgette Heyer, The Grand Sophy

The Poisonwood Bible

the poisonwood bible Again, why did I put this off? A story about a Southern Baptist preacher trying to force his culture on the African culture and the way that the family does and doesn’t mix with the culture was great. It was nice to read all the different viewpoints, too.

Everything you’re sure is right can be wrong in another place. ”
― Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

The Blind Assassin

the blind assasian So, Alias Grace is my favorite Atwood novel, but it’s not the traditional dystopian novel that Atwood writes. I loved this one, though, because of the time period in which it was set!

The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.”
― Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

The Handmaid’s Tale

the handmaid's taleAgain, how long did I make it so long without reading this? I was a little dismayed after I read the novel and saw so many reviews that revolved around the gender roles in the novel. While you could definitely read this as a gender studies book and look at it through that lens, I saw it as a political warning that had nothing to do with gender. It’s more of a warning about what can happen if lots of little things can be passed as laws until they add up to something horrible.

Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.”
― Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

the perks of being a wallflower

 

So, I was 26 when I read this novel. I’m still 26, but only for another week. I am glad that I waited to read this book. Of course, every teenager in my high school was reading this in 2004, but I didn’t read it just because I refused to do what everyone else was doing. I did read it last year, though, and loved it. I think I was able to appreciate it a lot more in retrospect than I would have as a 16 year old. By placing 10 years between myself and the age of main characters, I gleaned a lot more than simply plot.

Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook

 

I watched the movie first and loved it. Then I read the movie. Loved it. They really aren’t the same story at all. There are some parallels, but they’re different. They’re both good. That doesn’t happen often, but it was great. I recommend both.

Life is not a PG feel-good movie. Real life often ends badly. Literature tries to document this reality, while showing us it is still possible for us to endure nobly.”
― Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook

Honorable Mentions

honorable

Veronica Mars Series:

Not amazing literature, but I sure did love them!

Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line

Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell

The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, Book 2)

The Likeness was insanely creepy. I couldn’t put it down. It was so creepy that I had to keep reading just to get the feeling away. That has to be good and powerful writing!

All the King’s Men

I love Robert Penn Warren. This novel was incredibly interesting. It was not my favorite from last year, but I do think it bears mentioning!

Linking up with Broke and Bookish!

This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links that help defray the cost of running the blog.

Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog’s URL, so that I can find you.

Categories: link up, Reading | Tags: |

32 Comments

  • socalledhomemaker | March 3, 2015 | Reply

    I keep hearing great things about Where’d You Go, Bernadette. I need to check it out. And that Jane Austen-esque book sounds great!


    • Sarah @ Seriously, Sarah? | March 3, 2015 | Reply

      Where’d You Go was laugh out loud funny. I wouldn’t have picked it up, but a friend of mine who was an English major with me, plus has fantastic (aka similar) taste in books gushed about it. It usually makes the “summer” lists, so it’s a pretty fun and light read, even though I would argue that there is a lot of good material there. It’s not what I think of as “beach” reading.
      I have a list for an upcoming link up of books to read if you like Jane Austen and that one book made the list (along with a whole section dedicated to that author). Her books are hits and misses because she wrote so many, but I recommend that one A LOT!


  • Ashlen Mathew | March 3, 2015 | Reply

    We actually just got This is Where I Leave you from Redbox – we’re planning on watching it tonight (we watched Gone Girl last night because I just finished the book). I’ll have to add it to my ever-growing to-read list!


    • Sarah @ Seriously, Sarah? | March 3, 2015 | Reply

      The book is 1000000000000000000000000000000 times better. It’s such a character driven novel that it didn’t translate on screen. I read the book in like a day and a half and then watched the movie the very next day. So, I was definitely comparing/contrasting them!


      • Ashlen Mathew | March 3, 2015 | Reply

        I’ll definitely keep that in mind! I was comparing and contrasting Gone Girl like crazy last night. My husband didn’t get the ending of the movie – why Nick didn’t just leave. I felt like it definitely left something to be explained if you didn’t read the book. But overall, I kind of liked the movie better…and I almost never say that. That said – I actually wasn’t wild about the book. I don’t know if I’ll do a blog review of it because it seems like everyone else has already read it and I’ll get a blog flog for not loving it!


  • Rebecca Chapman | March 3, 2015 | Reply

    You put so many of my favorite on this list! One More Thing, This Is Where I Leave You, Silver Lining Playbook, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. Have you read Looking For Alaska? It reminded me a lot of Perks Of Being A Wallflower. I might have even like it better. I read East Of Eden forever ago but I think I was too young to understand it at the time. Maybe I need to pick it back up.


    • Sarah @ Seriously, Sarah? | March 3, 2015 | Reply

      I haven’t heard of Looking for Alaska. #morebookstoread #allthebooks
      It’s probably good that I waited until last year to read East of Eden because it’s a strange kind of story, plot-wise, but it says a lot–like has a lot of meaning. Steinbeck is better with words than me, obviously. Me no words good.
      (I also ended up listening to East of Eden on audio because it was beastly long).
      Do you think I should do a post on how to listen to library audiobooks on your iphone/ipad so that you save your place and can take it with you and speed it up? Am I the only one who listens at double speed?


      • Rebecca Chapman | March 3, 2015 | Reply

        If you read The Fault In Our Stars, Looking For Alaska is by the same author. I’d check it out. It’s super easy and super quick. Steinbeck has always been one of my favorite. Of Mice And Men is one of my all-time favorite books. But I totally agree that his stuff has a lot of meanings that I don’t think high schoolers get when they are assigned those books. If nothing else, I would appreciate that post 🙂

        But seriously, I do think it would be helpful!


        • Sarah @ Seriously, Sarah? | March 3, 2015 | Reply

          Ohhhh. I did read The Fault in Our Stars. Cried. So. Much. Then I watched The Dallas Buyers Club that night (yeah, read it in a day). SO MUCH CRYING for one day.
          I may have to post about it. It would be a lot of screenshots. It’s legal to put it on your computer for personal use, right? I just listen and delete. It’s the only way to make it portable. I mean, I have a portable CD player somewhere (yes, I wasn’t allowed to have an ipod at my desk for security reasons), but it eats batteries like it’s its job. And it lets me make it play fast!!!


  • Julie @ Artwork by JM | March 3, 2015 | Reply

    I loved the movie Silver Linings Playbook, so I definitely want to read the book one day. I’ve heard a lot of great things about This is Where I Leave You. My sister LOVED Perks of Being a Wallflower but I’ve still never seen it


    • Sarah @ Seriously, Sarah? | March 3, 2015 | Reply

      The book and the movie of Silver Linings Playbook are almost different stories, so you can read the book after the movie (like I did) and totally enjoy it. I preferred the book of This is Where I Leave You to the movie, even though the movie did have a great cast. I haven’t seen the movie version of Perks of Being a Wallflower, but Audible had it on sale one day (probably because of the movie), so I picked it up. Again, I was like, why did I wait?!


  • Stacia | March 3, 2015 | Reply

    SO many good books listed here! Girl, Interrupted probably impacted me the most last year.


    • Sarah @ Seriously, Sarah? | March 3, 2015 | Reply

      Oh gosh. I was like, “woah,” when I put it down. I can’t believe I hadn’t read it. If I was a teacher, I would teach it.


      • Stacia | March 4, 2015 | Reply

        It totally should be taught in schools!


  • Amy @ Set Free | March 3, 2015 | Reply

    Thank you for sharing!! I’ve read several of these, but am always looking for new ideas.


  • Gennie | March 3, 2015 | Reply

    I was just about to order some more books, and so this is the best post possible!! Thank you so much! 🙂


    • Sarah @ Seriously, Sarah? | March 3, 2015 | Reply

      Perfect timing! Are we Goodreads friends? You should use it. The more friends that I make on there – I add blogger that gives their link/they have good taste (I read a lot of book link ups). The more friends I get, the better my book recs get. It’s a great resource, too, because if a friend leaves a detailed review, it’s so helpful on making decisions. Then, if they don’t, you can at least see what’s trending, or check out tons of reviews before picking a book. I think the people who leave reviews there are more reliable than Amazon haha!


  • TexErin | March 3, 2015 | Reply

    Jonathan Tropper’s One Last Thing Before I Go is on my top ten list from the previous year. I plan to read more of his stuff.


    • Sarah @ Seriously, Sarah? | March 3, 2015 | Reply

      I definitely preferred This is Where I Leave You (I read One Last Thing Before I Go the next week). I already have a few more of his books waiting on me to read. I love him!!!


  • Kati Rose | March 3, 2015 | Reply

    I read the book for Silver Linings Playbook and saw the movie and was surprised how different they actually were. I liked them both for different reasons though. While I haven’t read it in the past year, I remember when I did read Girl, Interrupted I sat there when I finished it in silence just reflecting. It takes ALOT for a book to do that to me. East of Eden is the only Steinbeck novel I haven’t read yet, maybe I need to change that!


    • Sarah @ Seriously, Sarah? | March 3, 2015 | Reply

      The same thing surpised me, too! I watched the movie first. I think it was a year or more later when I read the book. I also liked them both because they got the same message across but with almost different plots. There were the basic plot points, but some MAJOR changes, yet the same ending/message.
      Girl, Interrupted was so slow for me at first that I almost put it down. Then something turned at the halfway point. I was just like THIS. YES. I know it’s a little dated, but I have the same problems with the DSM–but that’s just me.
      East of Eden is the only Steinbeck novel that I’ve read! I don’t know which to read next!


  • Andi Fisher | March 3, 2015 | Reply

    I have been thinking about re-reading Steinbeck, I think Ihave read most of his novels but they are such classics they deserve a re-read!


    • Sarah @ Seriously, Sarah? | March 4, 2015 | Reply

      East of Eden is the only one I’ve read (bad English major, I know!). Which one would you suggest reading next?


  • Chelsie Carr | March 3, 2015 | Reply

    Okay, East of Eden is by far my FAVORITE all time novel, ever. I don’t know what it is about it, but I just love it. I read it once a year. Also, I adored Perks and I am currently reading Mindy Kaling’s book, so that makes me want to read B.J. Novaks book. Also, Where’d You Go has been on my list forever, thanks for reminding me to read it!


  • Chelsea | March 4, 2015 | Reply

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my all-time favorite books.


  • Britt Hanson | March 4, 2015 | Reply

    You read some great books! And the ones you read that I haven’t are all pretty much on my to-read list already 🙂


  • Sarah @ Seriously, Sarah? | March 4, 2015 | Reply

    I had it on my bookshelf for a long time, too! I read it last year as part of a link up for something called Operation Read Your Shelves. I’m so glad that I did.
    My favorite Atwood book is Alias Grace, which is super different from anything else she wrote, but I still love the rest of her work.


  • Sarah @ Seriously, Sarah? | March 14, 2015 | Reply

    Perfect! Thanks! Now I know where to start. He has so many, I was like… “what next?”My senior year, my roommate and 2 housemates were all in the same seminar that focused on The Grapes of Wrath, so even though I haven’t read it, I’ve sat through about 10 presentations on it!


  • Top 10 Books I've Read So Far In 2015 - Seriously, Sarah?Seriously, Sarah? | June 30, 2015 | Reply

    […] I’m linking up with Broke and Bookish to talk about my Top 10 Favorite Books that I’ve read so far this year. Earlier this year, I was supposed to write about my favorite […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *