I should turn this blog into a quarterly review, since I am too busy buzzing through weird reads to stop and post things I suggest here. But alas, (in no specific order) my favorite ten reads of 2017 so far (I'm 24 deep!) that you should add to your shelf, share with your friends, and stay up all night devouring.
The book you will tell the next 50 people you speak with to read- but then just tell them the whole story anyways:
1. The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel
From Goodreads: Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality--not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own.
The best damn graphic novel to finally start your obsession + a really unconventional real life family:
2. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
From Goodreads: Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve
A LOL read with highly relatable content (Klein is also a writer for The Amy Schumer Show!):
3. You'll Grow Out of It by Jessie Klein
From Goodreads: As both a tomboy and a late bloomer, comedian Jessi Klein grew up feeling more like an outsider than a participant in the rites of modern femininity. In YOU'LL GROW OUT OF IT, Klein offers - through an incisive collection of real-life stories - a relentlessly funny yet poignant take on a variety of topics she has experienced along her strange journey to womanhood and beyond. These include her "transformation from Pippi Longstocking-esque tomboy to are-you-a-lesbian-or-what tom man," attempting to find watchable porn, and identifying the difference between being called "ma'am" and "miss" ("Miss" sounds like you weigh ninety-nine pounds).
Characters you can't get out of your head and a heart-breaking coming-of-age book that'll make you feel lucky for your own upbringing:
4. White Oleander by Janet Finch
From Goodreads: Everywhere hailed as a novel of rare beauty and power, White Oleander tells the unforgettable story of Ingrid, a brilliant poet imprisoned for murder, and her daughter, Astrid, whose odyssey through a series of Los Angeles foster homes--each its own universe, with its own laws, its own dangers, its own hard lessons to be learned--becomes a redeeming and surprising journey of self-discovery.
A fantastic historical read, regardless of your political opinions on the author:
5. Killing Kennedy by Bill O'Reilly
From Goodreads: Recounting in gripping detail the brutal murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy—and how a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath.
The best audiobook that leaves you wanting to go for walks just to get in the final hours of epic narrative + story:
6. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
From Goodreads: Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.
An amazing Young Adult novel from a distant land that'll keep you at night, heart racing with adventure:
7. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
From Goodreads: In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.
The best bookclub read to devour with your Mom and sister that is nothing like any romance novel you have picked up before:
8. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
From Goodreads: Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
An amazing collection of poems about love lost from a young age, that'll you highlight over and over again:
9. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
From Goodreads: milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.
The best nightmare short story from a mystery fan favorite that'll you start over once more, the minute you finish it:
10. The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
From Goodreads: A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the "psychic" visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan's terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan's teenage stepson, doesn't help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.
There are three books that I already wrote about on the blog that actually move to the top of the above list, but didn't want to repeat the obvious. Those books are, and in order: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed and Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner.
Thanks for stopping by!