I can’t quite categorize the type of books I read in 2017 because it was a rather random assortment, but I surprised myself with how much I was able to read, despite my rather full work load. Here are my top 5 recommendations, along with a list of the rest of the books I read this past year!
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: An excellent speculative fiction novel that depicts a world in which women are, quite literally, subservient to men. It’s shocking and absurd and a warning- everything a great speculative fiction novel should be.
- Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance: An eye-opening memoir that discusses the people (his family, but we are to assume their stories could be easily transferrable) who are struggling to get by in Appalachia with obstacles of poverty, drugs, and poor education.
- All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: A wonderful Young Adult novel that discusses death, mental illness, and abuse. The characters are sweet and painful and a good reminder (for a teacher) that there is so much more going on behind the scenes that we will likely never know or understand.
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie: A funny, but heartbreaking, story of a kid growing up on a reservation with a dream to get a better education and be successful. Though it’s definitely not the main focus, it offers a look at the way of life on reservations and the many ways that we are failing Native Americans as a country.
- Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit: A series of essays that reflect on the way women are treated with horrifying statistics about abuse and a stark demand that we stop turning a blind eye to the reality of these issues and start doing something about it.
Here are the rest of the books, in no particular order, that I read this year:
- Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
- Seriously…I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres
- Firstlife by Gena Showalter
- El Deafo by Cece Bell
- Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
- Columbine by Dave Cullen
- milk and honey by Rupi Kaur
- Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
- the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace
- What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
- Unwind by Neal Shusterman
- We Beat the Street by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
- the sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur
- Legend, Prodigy, & Champion by Marie Lu
Have you read any of these? Did you read any great novels this year? Let me know in the comments!