Do I write often anymore just for me? Nope. Can I write about anything other than my favorite books? Also possibly, no. Once upon a time I would make a favorite book list every six months. I think I’m currently on the 18 month plan so if you’re still here– thank you for hanging on. Since no one really reads this part and just heads for the books I’ll get right into it.
Wait, one more thing. I will link to my Amazon store because it’s the easiest place to find books and for writers like me to put together book lists BUT I have found most of these books at much better prices on Alibris and have found the audiobook versions on Chirp for WAY less than on Audible so check there for sure!
And yes, they are affiliate links so there is a small chance I’ll be able to buy a Starbucks with the amount of affiliate money I make from purchases you make through the links in this post.
The One Hundred Years of Lenny and Margot
After this recommendation, the rest of my list is in no particular order but this is my number one, must read, best, most favorite book I’ve read in a few years. I highly recommend the audiobook– the voices! Sweet, quirky characters, a storyline that doesn’t sugar-coat the tough stuff, just so good. But so good with Kleenex. I will avoid crying at all cost but I would still read this ten times over. So worth the puffy eyes.
This book was absolutely not what I expected from Barbara Kingsolver. I’m more in awe of her writing than I was before and I didn’t think that was possible. Demon Copperhead is a true study in the constraints and cycle of poverty. I love a book that is entertaining while also eye-opening and that is exactly why this is another favorite book.
The Seven Sisters series
You guys I’m on Book SEVEN and I do not want it to end. I have never ever gotten so lost in a series that I don’t even want to come out to pick up another book. I have put off every book that has come up from my long hold list at the library until I finish the Seven Sisters series and I don’t even care! How did I not know about them before?
Mary Jane takes place in the late 70s/early 80s and follows the lead character through her time babysitting one summer for a carefree, to put it mildly, family in her neighborhood. You guys I had ALL the nostalgia reading this one. If you’re looking for flashbacks of the summers where you just showed up at home once it was dark and you were often watching someone else’s child for $2/hr, this is the perfect read.
The Lost Ticket
Quirky characters and a little old man with a lost love. I’m in! This was the sweetest book about unlikely friends. Such a heartwarming read, I LOVED everyone in this book.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January
One of those debut novels where you’re like “How in the world did someone have this story in their head and come out with such beautiful writing as a first book?” The Ten Thousand Doors of January is all kinds of stories within one story and the whole book was just mesmerizing to me. Beautiful read.
Remarkably Bright Creatures
Also in my top five of the year. Written from the perspective of an octopus who is trying to find a way to communicate with a woman about the mystery of her lost son. How did the author even dream this up?Somehow it works beautifully. One of those books that gave me a complete book hangover– nothing was as good for months!
Side note: Normally I am all about the audiobook but this one threw me for a bit and I think I may have enjoyed reading it moreso than listening to it. What does an octopus sound like when speaking? I’m not sure we’re supposed to know this.
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
I read this at a time when I had a very hard time paying attention to much of anything and it was PERFECT timing. Dear Sugar gives the most beautiful advice on every relationship situation that you will think has nothing to do with you but in fact, they all do. The best life lessons are hidden in every page. Get this one in paperback and keep it, dog-eared and worn, forever and ever. I wish I had.
Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting
I will never say no to a book full of quirky characters and this one did not disappoint. Every time I wonder how one is going to be different than the last book of quirky people I read, an author like Clare Pooley surprises me. The perfect reminder that everyone has a story and how we label the people we see but don’t take the time to know, is often furthest from the truth.
Thank You for Listening
This book was so refreshingly different than anything else I’ve read. Thank You for Listening follows the story of a former audiobook narrator who slowly figures out who she is again after taking on a new assignment completely out of her comfort zone. I’m not a big romance reader but this one was an exception for me. Loved it!
Wrong Place Wrong Time
This was a page turner that made my brain WORK. I was completely immersed in this story of a mother trying to go back in time to prevent her son from committing a crime she can’t imagine he ever committed to begin with. EXCELLENT.
The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett
Oh my heart. That’s all I can think to say about this one. Eudora is an elderly woman who has her mind set on dying as relief from the tough life she has lived but her chance relationship with a ten year-old girl changes everything. I was worried this one would be too predictable to be enjoyable but that was absolutely not the case.
Hell of a Book
Well this was a crazy ride. First, so much of Hell of a Book is hard to read because, as much as we don’t want it to be, this is reality for black men in America. Second, the writing is brilliant. The whole story just magically floats you along before you realize you are at the end and nothing was really what you thought it was all along. As I mentioned before, I rarely reread even my favorite books but this one might need a reread. I need to figure it out better than I did the first time.
Katherine Center is quickly becoming one of my “must read” authors. All of her books are so easy to dive into. They’re not so much light reads and they are easy stories to love. I’m not the greatest book reviewers, as you already know if you’ve made it this far down the page, so I’m not even sure how to describe her style of writing. Every one of her books is just always what I need when I read it. If you’re looking for a story that will suck you in without making you think too hard, pick up a Katherine Center book.
Can I read a Sarah Addison Allen book and have it not be a favorite book? Not yet, no. This one is so different from Allen’s others, not quite as magical, but still manages to have that tell-tale magic woven throughout the story. If you have not read Allen, her books are my favorite books to read aroudn the holidays. Start with First Frost!
Well everyone should have to read this book. Even if you think you are an ally and support the transgender community you have more to learn and this book teaches it through the best kind of storytelling. So proud of Jodi Picoult for using her voice and influence to share this important story.
What have you read from my favorites this year? What would you add to the list?
Book shopping advice for the best deals
The best deals on physical copies of books are on Alibris.
And then for audiobooks, I always find the best deals on Chirp.
In case you need more, here are a few of my lists from past years:
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