This list took me a bit of time to compile. Choosing this list required multiple lists and a lot of crossing out, since I’ve read so many excellent books in the last three years. So, that being said, this list is not in any particular order because that would have made me even crazier than I was already acting. Did I mention that while picking these ten books I was talking to myself in a way that made my husband serious question what he sees in me? It was that intense of a process.
1. the perks of being a wallflower
by stephen chbosky
This was a reread for me last year, but the most welcome one. I forgot how much, as a teenage, I was able to relate to Charlie’s life as a teenager. While I wasn’t nearly as social awkward growing up, it’s nice, as an adult, to remember how awkward and nervous I was at the prospect of dating for the first time, going to my first party and being friends with older kids. I definitely related to Charlie’s love of The Smith’s as a teenager, because who didn’t have that one album that kept them sane?
2. blood, bones, and butter: the inadvertent EDUCATION of a reluctant chef
by gabrielle hamilton
A couple of years ago, I started reading a lot more nonfiction books. I was very adamantly a fiction reader for a really long time. Blood, Bones, and Butter was my first real dabble into the nonfiction realm and I absolutely loved it. Hamilton’s story from early adolescents to her successful adult life as the owner of New York’s restaurant Prune is inspiring and admirably adventurous. She lives such an original, unconventional life that I was frankly jealous of at times.
3. the tiger’s wife
by tea obreht
The Tiger’s Wife very much deserves to be on this list not only because it was beautifully original and haunting to read, but for the fact that while this is Obreht’s debut novel, I also believe she was only twenty-five at the time it was published. She was even the youngest writer to grace The New Yorker’s “20 under 40” list. Based in a small country in the Baltic, the story follows a young doctor who uses the old Slavic folk tales that her grandfather used to tell her to investigate his mysterious death, among other things.
4. the silver linings playbook
by matthew quick
It took me a while to get to reading Silver Linings but, I held off on watching the movie in case it absolutely ruined the book for me. Thankfully, it wouldn’t have either way. I may be a bit bias off the fact that most books that include sports as some important factor in the novel immediately find a way into my heart, but I really enjoyed Pat’s narrative as he tried his hardest to see the silver lining of everything.
5. Station eleven
by emily st. john madel
I was absolutely obsessed with Station Eleven. I’m pretty sure I recommended it to just about every person that would talk to me during and directly after I read it. My husband still hasn’t read it and every once in a while I just wave it in front of his face like it’s a well cooked steak. Of course, he’s also been taking his sweet time reading the Divergent trilogy, so I guess I have to cut him some slack. But, really, this book was well written, creative and incredibly original. If you haven’t read it, do it.
6. yes please
by amy poehler
I feel like I waited forever for this book to finally come out. I’m one of those people who repeatedly let’s their best friend know they are the Tina Fey to my Amy Poehler. Though, I’m the glasses wearer in my best friendship. I listened to the audiobook, because what’s better than listening to Amy Poehler read Amy Poehler’s book? Nothing. That’s the correct answer. I listened to the whole book in one sitting, not only did I laugh and cry from laughing; but, I learned so much about what it takes to be a female in the comedy scene and truly respect everything Poehler has ever done even more.
7. the magician’s land (the magicians #3)
by lev grossman
This trilogy took a while to grow on me. I honestly was not the biggest fan of the protagonist Quentin. He was a bit on annoying ass for the majority of the series, but it wasn’t until the last book that he started to mature. The Magicians novels are sort of Narnia meets Harry Potter meets America and definitely made for an interesting read. The Magician’s Land does an excellent job of tying everything up in a nice bow.
8. A Discovery of witches (all souls #1)
by deborah harkness
I mentioned before that there is definitely an adult Twilighty feel to this book, but it’s done so well that I couldn’t help but root for Diana and Matthew’s relationship from the very very beginning. I pretty much love anything witches related, so it was a no brainer when I picked up this series that I was going to devour each book like it was a Reese’s Blizzard from Dairy Queen (which also happens to be what I’m eating right now).
9. the goldfinch
by donna tartt
The Goldfinch was a roller coaster of a read. There were definitely parts that I had mixed feelings about, but overall, this was an insanely enjoyable book. It is a fairly hefty book and took some time to get through, but it spans the majority of the main character, Theo’s, life, from its tragic beginning to it’s self-realizing adulthood. The relationships between Theo and the many other character’s of the novel are what kept me together while I read this. There is such a strong sense of friendship, love, but also annoyance and indifference that felt real and relatable.
10. the fault in our stars
by john green
If this isn’t a given, I don’t know what is. I fought reading this book for a while, but after I finally bit the bullet I saw exactly what I was missing. TFIOS is more than a story about cancer, which was one of the reasons I tried to stay away from it. But, I’m very glad that I didn’t.