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!

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