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 Renée, 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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