I’ve been meaning to post a book list about what I’ve been reading myself. So I thought now would be a great time to write a wrap-up post of the best books I read this year.
I tend to like long and complex fiction with multiple characters. An underlying mystery to unravel is an added bonus. I tried to branch out with a little nonfiction and a short story collection, too. I don’t like anything terribly tragic, but totally light won’t keep my attention either. I guess you could say I’m a picky reader.
Take a look at my list and leave me a comment below with your recommendation for what I should read next. (I’m actually itching for a new book right now!)
1. NW: A Novel by Zadie Smith. This book checks all my boxes. It’s a complex read with a multitude of characters. I’m planning to read more from Smith soon. I was so impressed with her layered style.
2. The Rise & Fall of Great Powers: A Novel by Tom Rachman. This is one of those flash forward/ flash backward setups. I was very engrossed in the storyline and mystery. This is another writer that I’ll be looking for again.
3. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. If you like her show and comedy, you’ll like this book. Kaling’s voice really bounces off the pages. It’s a fun read that will have you laughing and maybe even reflecting on your own life.
4. The Circle by Dave Eggers. This was a good suspense/mystery story. It plays on our fears about becoming too attached to tech and ultimately becoming controlled by it. I think it might be one of those books where you like it or not based on how you feel about the ending.
5. Flings: Stories by Justin Taylor. I haven’t read a short story collection in years, but after grabbing this one on a whim, I think I should read more. This particular collection has a strong theme and there are even some characters that pop back up in other stories.
6. Lost for Words: A Novel by Edward St. Aubyn. I really enjoyed St. Aubyn’s dry humor in this quick farce. It jumps around from the perspective of several people. For some reason, I really like that style. It keeps me on my toes!
7. Radical Possibilities: Public Policy, Urban Education, and A New Social Movement (Critical Social Thought) by Jean Anyon. This is an excellent nonfiction read. I first read it for a class in graduate school and honestly, I think it should be required reading for everyone. Anyon discusses race, inequity and social justice. All themes we needed to understand more than ever in 2014.
8. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell. Another nonfiction recommendation. Gladwell takes a look at the lives of the highly successful to try to understand what helped them to achieve success. It’s an entertaining read! Gladwell does an impressive job explaining statistics, broad social trends and complex situations.
What do you think? Have you read any of my books? Would you? And most pressingly, what should I read now?