What are your favorite books that you read this past year? At the beginning of 2017, I set a goal to read at least 12 books this year (one for every month), and reading more has brought a lot of joy into my life. Here are five favorites that I dug into this year…Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
I’ve talked about this one a bunch, between a mixtape post and in putting it my 2017 gift guide. But that’s because it really is a great book that is both entertaining and poignant at the same time. I loved learning more about South African culture, and everyone I know who has read this book loved it. If you’re into audiobooks, Jordan says this is the perfect choice, since it becomes even funnier hearing Trevor Noah narrate his stories.
Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner
In this book, Erin Loechner describes her journey of working her way to a place of internet fame as a blogger and HGTV star, and then realizing something was still missing. She shares how she went through a series of steps to reject society’s push for “bigger, better, faster,” and embrace a slower, more intentional way of life (and yes, Erin–just like me–has tried the capsule wardrobe thing).
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
This book starts with the stories of two half-sisters in Ghana in the 1700s and tracks their descendants through several generations, all the way to present day. This might sound like hyperbole, but I found this book to be masterful. And my mind was blown when I learned that it is Gyasi’s debut novel. While the book is sad and cringe-worthy at times, there are certainly moments of redemption and themes I still reflect on.
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
I picked this book up after hearing so much buzz about it. J.D. Vance is fairly young to write a memoir, but his perspective is an interesting one, particularly in light of last year’s presidential election (though not the author’s intention). I appreciated the window into a culture I’ve had little experience with, and for as much as we talk about race in America, I’m not sure we have enough conversations about class and environmental pressures, which are both addressed in this book.
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doeer
Let’s start off by noting that this book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2014, so when I tell you it’s a great book, there are far more credible sources to back that up. The novel is set during WWII, which isn’t a time period I’m particularly interested in. But this is the kind of book that has you eager to see what happens to the characters and simultaneously not wanting the book to end. I struck when I realized WWII–a very crazy, life-altering time period–existed in a not so distant past (the war ended three years before my dad was born).