Books of 2015

A few weeks ago, I posted about the book a week challenge I completed in 2014. As an avid reader, I’m never very far from a book, or two, or five – sometimes reading more than one at a time. In 2015, I didn’t have the same goal as 2014, but I still kept track of what I read and noted my favorites and have continued to do so. Below are the books of 2015:

  1. Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, & Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers, David Perlmutter, MD
  2. Wonder, R.J. Palacio
  3. Still Alice, Lisa Genova
  4. Women, Chloe Caldwell
  5. 10% Happier, Dan Harris
  6. I Regret Nothing: A Memoir, Jen Lancaster
  7. When I Found You, Catherine Ryan Hyde
  8. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyossiki
  9. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards
  10. Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin
  11. The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins
  12. Harvesting Heart, Jodi Picoult
  13. Paper Towns, John Green
  14. The Life We Bury, Allen Eskens
  15. Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari
  16. I Feel Bad About My Neck, Nora Ephron
  17. Plan B, Jonathan Tropper
  18. The Silent Wife, A.S.A Harrison
  19. The Memory Garden, Mary Rickert
  20. The Price of Salt, Patricia Highsmith
  21. Rising Strong, Brene Brown
  22. Room, Emma Donoghue

My top five, in no particular order:

Grain Brain

This book was eye opening on so many levels. At the time I read it, it challenged most of the concepts I held to be true about health and wellness of the physical kind. That’s the beauty of reading – you learn that not everything you were raised to know is in fact true, but quite the contrary. If you’re not familiar with the anti grain movement, you will, without question, be rocked to the core with the information. This book makes sense to me in a variety of ways, and while I’ve adopted some things, I’ve still got work to do.

Wonder

Yes, it’s a children’s book, but don’t let that sway or diminish the importance as a book for people of all ages to read and enjoy; especially one that emphasizes the value and necessity of kindness, compassion, and empathy – characteristics we can all use more of. Furthermore, the book excels at showing us how our respective view point shapes the responses/ reactions we have in life and that not everything is as it seems.

10-happier-ftr[1]

Mindfulness, a buzzword of sorts, I suppose, but in my line of work (social work) an exceptionally important one. We are very much a nation of go, go, go and relish in the glorification of busy, busy, busy that so much of life is lost in its simplicity and knowing who we are, reflecting on what is just in the moment, not 5 minutes from now, or what happened yesterday, but just now. Or, perhaps you’re the type of person who doesn’t pause or take consideration of what you’re doing or how it’s impacting your day to day world until all that you’ve swept under the rug is creeping out from every corner. Mindfulness teaches you how to deal in the moment to gain a greater understanding. I am a self-proclaimed lover of all things ‘based on a true story’ because nothing has the power to teach us more than true life experiences.

The Memory Garden

I can’t quite put my finger on why I enjoyed this book so much, but I did. It was different and focused on relationships, of which I’m a big fan. In my experience, both personally and professionally as a therapist, relationships are the foundation of everything and it’s not only the relationships we have with our friends and family, but also, and perhaps the most important, the relationship we have with ourselves. This book unfolds all of those things through mystery and magic, food, and secrets.

room-emma-donoghue[1]

Do yourself a favor, if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, by all means, read the book. The description and language is exquisite and essential to the storyline. This is a book like none other and possesses the vast power of emotion, struggle, success, and acclimation of a new reality.

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