As a lifelong lover of reading, I take joy in books that only another book lover can relate to so I share with you now my list & favorites so another avid reader might find one they love too.
Books of 2018:
1. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
2. Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give A Fuck
3. Tips For Living, Renee Shafransky
4. All The Secrets We Keep, Megan Hart
5. Everything Happens For A Reason And Other Lies I’ve Loved, Kate Bowler
6. A Dark Lure, Loreth Anne White
7. Go, Kazuki Kaneshiro
8. I Can’t Breathe, Matt Taibi
9. The Book of Joe, Jonathan Tropper
10. Feast: True Love In & Out of the Kitchen, Hannah Howard
11. When Never Comes, Barbara Davis
12. The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boon
13. The Light of the Fireflies, Paul Pen
14. The Rules Do Not Apply, Ariel Levy
15. The House By The River, Lena Manta
16. Ten Women, Marcela Serrano
17. All The Bright Places, Jennifer Niven
18. Calypso, David Sedaris
19. Come Matter Here, Hannah Brencher
20. A Place For Us, Fatima Farheen Mirza
21. The House of Broken Angels, Luis Alberto Urrea
22. I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, Michelle McNamara
23. Whisper Me This, Kerry Anne King
24. The Storyteller’s Secret, Sejal Badani
25. The Thinnest Air, Minka Kent
26. Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis
27. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders & the Birth of the FBI, David Grann
28. You’ve Been So Lucky Already, Alethea Black
29. Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together, Kara Tippets & Jill Lynn Buteyn
30. The Infinite Pieces of Us, Rebekah Crane
31. Fail Until You Don’t: Fight. Grind. Repeat. Bobby Bones
32. Swan Song, Robert McCammon
33. A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis
34. Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty
35. The River Widow, Ann Howard Creel
36. Becoming, Michelle Obama
37. Tears of the Silenced, Misty Griffin
My Top 5, in no particular order, with excerpts & my thoughts:
“What if we all stood equal in one another’s eyes & felt pride at our reflection? I speak of utopia & chance being ridiculed, but sitting in a village thousands of miles from everything, I will roll the dice. For one day only, maybe we could put aside our differences & come together in our sameness. For one day, we could see that past all the variations, we are all the same with similar hopes, dreams, fears, strengths, & weaknesses. For one day, we could stand together, not apart, & treat others as we would hope to be treated.”
A beautifully written novel that weaves together the intricacies of class, culture, love, friendship, & family.
“It’s not that I’ve emerged from my cocoon a butterfly. It’s not that I have escaped the taskmaster that lives in my brain & shouts & shouts an endless loop of fear, worry, shame. But I do know that the taskmaster’s voice speaks only some garbled, deeply skewed version of the truth, and that’s no truth at all. I’m less afraid to fall into the depths of my fear, worry, shame. I’ve been there before, & I know the way back out again. I have a flashlight. The darkness cannot devour me, & it certainly cannot stop me. Every bad moment is not a judgment. Every bad decision is not a life sentence.”
I love memoirs. I tell my children often that we all have our own stories & this one resonates deeply with me. And her writing was purely poetic, I’ve not ever read anything quite like it with its style & prose.
“I keep having the same unkind thought – I am preparing for death & everyone else is on Instagram. I know that’s not fair – that life is hard for everyone – but I sometimes feel like I’m the only one in the world dying.”
“We’re all sinking, slowly, but one day, while everyone watches, I will run out of air. I am going to go under. Even explaining it, I feel more & more frantic. There will be a day when I can’t take my next breath. And I will drown. I can picture it so clearly. People talk about heaven like it’s a hop, a skip, & a jump. A veil between heaven & earth will part & I will pass through it. The promise of heaven to me is this: someday I will get a new pair of lungs & I’ll swim away. But first I will drown.
Another memoir, and this one written by a woman with incurable cancer who, as a new mother, is trying to reconcile a belief she formerly ascribed to.
“At the end of the day, all he really knew was that he was a Mexican father. And Mexican fathers made speeches. He wanted to leave her with a blessing, with beautiful words to sum up a life, but there were no words sufficient to this day. But still, he tried. “All we do, mija,” he said, “is love.” Love is the answer. Nothing stops it. Not borders. Not death.”
I had the distinct pleasure of attending a book reading & signing by this author & if you ever get the opportunity to do it, I’d highly recommend it. As a white girl married to a Hispanic man, I could appreciate the cultural component of this book and laughed & cried throughout.
“Most violent criminals smash through life like human sledgehammers. They have fists for hands & can’t plan beyond their sight lines. They return to the scene of the crime, as conspicuous as tin cans on a bumper. But every so often a blue moon surfaces. A snow leopard slinks by.”
“Tracking back the killer’s predatory development was like watching a horror movie in reverse, but rewinding was important. “A criminal is more vulnerable in his history than his future,” writes David Canter, a leading British crime psychologist, in his book Criminal Shadows. Canter believes the key to solving a series of crimes is to find out what happened before the first crime rather than establishing where the offender went after the most recent one. “Before he committed the crime he may not have known himself that he would do it,” writes Carter, “so he may not have been so careful before as afterwords.”
I’ve always been intrigued by true crime & long fascinated by forensic psychology even briefly entertaining the idea of pursuing it as a career. I can spend hours watching shows like Dateline so this book certainly piqued my interest
especially given the after effects.
Happy reading in the New Year!