I absolutely love to read, and I love to share the books I like best with other people. Every few months here on the blog I choose my favourites from what I’ve read lately and write about them. As always, you can see everything I’m reading on my Goodreads profile. You can also check out what I’m reading at #stephlovestoread on Instagram.
Yay! I met my 2016 reading goal and then some, and we still have a couple days left to go before the new year. That makes four years running that I’ve hit my goal, and this year I actually read more books than ever before, which is very exciting. For 2017, I’m setting the same goal of reading 75 books and here’s hoping I’ll surpass it again.
People often seem baffled at how I can read so much, but for me it’s not so hard. 75 books is about a book and a half each week, which, when I’m reading good stuff, is not hard for me to do – it doesn’t take tremendous willpower or require major sacrifices in my life whatsoever. When I’m reading something amazing, I’ll gladly tote a book around with me wherever I go, and read at every chance I get. Whenever I don’t feel like reading or my progress through a book is slow, I can tell that I don’t really love what I’m reading and that I should probably get my hands on something I’m really excited about.
Here are my favourite books from the last couple months of this year. Fun side note: it was really hard to narrow it down to just four, which is always a great sign. Fun side note #2: how cool is it that these covers complement each other?!
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
For me, this one brings together all the best ideas in personal development and delivers them in a tidy and extremely inspiring package. If you want to talk about limiting beliefs, manifesting, how to make more money, motivation, mindfulness, and more, this is the book for you. Plus it’s surprisingly practical and down-to-earth, all while encouraging you to take charge of your life in a big way. I loved it and got a lot out of it, and can’t wait for her new book which is being published in April.
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
The title alone is so evocative, and the story is so powerful. Just like Homegoing, The Book of Unknown Americans does what good fiction should: make big, looming, difficult, painful topics human, relatable, accessible and real to the reader. It’s the story of several Latin American families who wind up living in the same little apartment complex in Delaware (of all places). It’s about their struggles, their love stories, their traditions, their language, their challenges and their heartbreak. It was fun for me to read because of all the Spanish sprinkled throughout, and because I could learn more about the culture of Mexico and many other South American countries.
How to Be a Person in the World by Heather Havrilesky
Having never really read the Ask Polly column, I was in for a real treat when I finally got this one from the library. It’s amazing! I love her! I wouldn’t stop talking about her and the advice she gives for days! Yes, I am super late to the party, but I am so happy to be here at all. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’m borderline obsessed with the Dear Sugar column and all things Cheryl Strayed. And now, having read Ask Polly, it’s as if I’ve added a new member to my wise, wonderful inner board of directors that I can consult as needed. Everything Havrilesky writes feels true and honest, and best of all: it is helpful.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyazi
Gyazi manages to distill hundreds of years of life – both its humanity and its horrors – into just 300 pages. It’s about the lineage of two parallel families, the descendants of two sisters born in Ghana. One sister is kidnapped and sent to America as a slave, while the other marries a British commander and her family remains in Ghana. Each chapter is the story of the son or daughter of the character before, a little snapshot of each of their lives, loves and struggles. I usually find it hard to learn about history because it seems so flat and far away, but bringing each generation to life in this way makes the whole story personal and far more powerful.
You can see all my book recommendation blog posts here.
What’s the best thing you’ve read lately? Tell me your recommendations!