This Year’s Book Recommendations

Friends and family often ask me for book recommendations, understandable considering the amount of time I spend reading and thinking about books. I keep a list of every book I read for easy reference.

Here are a few of my favorites from the past year:

Where’d You Go, Bernadette- Maria Semple

A fifteen-year-old girl, obsessed with visiting Antarctica, searches for her disappeared, agoraphobic mother. Quirky, though not overly so, and touching.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home- Carol Rifka Brunt

Following the death of her uncle, a famous painter, lonely June befriends his partner and tries to reconnect with her older sister. Haunting and beautiful.

The Orphan Master’s Son- Adam Johnson

This won the Pulitzer a couple months after I finished. Sprawling, complex, and fascinating. Part one is a little slow, but the story picks up in part two.

As mentioned earlier, Gillian Flynn’s novels have also been highlights of my year.

In non-fiction:

Brain on Fire- Susannah Cahalen

A memoir of a lost month in the hospital with a rare auto-immune disease. One of only a few known patients with the disease, doctors originally believed she might be suffering with schizophrenia. Callahan brings a journalist’s eye to piece together this lost month and recount her recovery.

Love Is a Mixtape- Rob Sheffield

A memoir about music, mixtapes, and his late wife RenĂ©e, who died at age 31. Sheffield recalls their romance and life together through the mixtapes they made and loved from the late ’80s to mid ’90s

Maphead- Ken Jennings

I’ve been obsessed with maps for almost all of my life. So much of this rang true for me. A fascinating read about why people love maps for those not similarly afflicted.

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