I spent a lot of my time in 2015 trying to find out more about myself and reconnect with the things I used to love. One of those hobbies was reading. As a kid I read all of the time. As an only child I spent much of my time alone and reading was a nice escape, and still is. I was hoping to read 40 books last year, and even though I didn’t accomplish that goal I did find a few amazing books that I’ve since added to my favorites list. The following are the best books I read last year.
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
It had been a while since I read a fiction book that I really enjoyed. I think it helped that I absolutely love the movie based off this book, but, as in most other cases, this book was so much better than the film. It was interesting to see the story in an expanded way, and in such beautiful prose. The narration was clear and well put together and I think it offered so much insight not only to Astrid but also to the world around her. I’ve since recommended this book to many people, including my grandma. And despite the page count, this was a pretty quick read due to the easy flow of the story. I was totally hooked from the beginning.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
This was another case of a book I was hooked into from the beginning. I think the best part of this autobiography is the way it reads. You don’t feel like you’re reading non-fiction when you read this. Malcolm X was so connected to the moments of his life and it was interesting to see how some of the ideas and issues he experienced are things that people of color are still experiencing today. I think people view him in a much different way than he was as a person and for that reason, as well as the insight it offers into the hardships faced by the black community, I think this is a book that everyone should read. Some of it is really rough around the edges and hard to read, but I think that’s one of the best parts about it because it’s a true story and it doesn’t leave anything out.
You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
I got really into self-help books during the summer of 2015. I’ve been in a pretty rough place for a while now and that was a big factor in me trying to find some plan of action that started to get me out of the rut I was/am in. This book was a good kick in the pants though. It was well written, super funny, and was a breeze to read while still offering really amazing advice and personal stories. I also enjoyed the library of other self-help books that Sincero offers at the end of the book if a reader wants to further their journey. My life has been a constant struggle in a lot of different ways since I read that book, so I’m planning on returning to it as soon as I get through the stack of library books in my apartment. I wish I would have taken some notes the first time I read it so I had a go to list of some of the tips and exercises, so I do plan on doing that the second time around, and I suggest it to anyone who plans on reading it for the first time. But it’s so good and I think that it’s a good jumping off point for anyone who feels stuck. And I think a lot of millennials, at least the ones I know, not to mention people of other age groups, have a tendency to feel stuck.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
I’ve read a lot of bad reviews for this book, but I also know that it’s famous worldwide and a lot of people have benefited from it. I am one of those people. I’ve always liked stuff and I’ve also always had a fair number of hobbies. That usually ends up with an accumulation of items, for better or for worse. I don’t remember where I heard about this book, but wherever it was, I was immediately convinced that it would help me out. Admittedly, there are some silly sounding steps in the KonMari method, but I regret doing none of them. I was finally able to get rid of a lot of the stuff I’ve had sitting around, useless, for years. And now, getting rid of things is such a breeze. After finishing the whole process there was a lightness I felt, and it was such a relief of pent up stress over having too many things in such a small space. I’m sure there are still items I could get off my hands, but overall this book offered me all of the tools I needed to successfully lighten my collection of stuff and live a more streamlined life. And I’ve recommended it to tons of people who found success with it too.
So there they are. I hope you enjoyed this post and I’ll be back with more later!