In 2016, I made a simple New Year’s Resolution: “Read more books.”
That goal breaks all the rules of goals- it’s not measurable, it may or may not be realistic, but sometimes those are exactly the types of goals I need. Well, say whatever you want about goal-setting here, but this one worked for me. I read 29 books (I didn’t take a count till the end, so that kept me short of 30 I guess), and most of them were fabulous.
I’ve kept up the reading trend so far in 2017, and here are my favorite fiction books I couldn’t put down! All of these would be great beach reads, or to get lost in on a rainy day. I loved them.
- The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe
If you asked me in person for a book recommendation in the last year, the odds are I told you this one. It’s (loosely) based on a true story, set in the late 1800’s at Vassar College in New York. The main character, Anita, is the first African-American to attend the prestigious school, and she certainly wouldn’t be allowed to attend if they knew she wasn’t actually white. This story is so fascinating, because it’s talking about race relations in the late 1800’s, but Anita also gets into the most elite social circles of New York City society. I couldn’t stop reading it!
2. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Not everyone loved this book, but I read it last summer and I still think about it all the time. 39-year old Alice wakes up from hitting her head, and has lost all memory from the last 10 years. (Can you imagine?) She doesn’t remember becoming “one of those girls who goes to spin class,” she can’t remember why on earth she would be splitting from her love-of-her-life husband, and she especially can’t remember the 3 kids she birthed in the last 10 years. It’s a good one.
3. The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza
If you liked The Devil Wears Prada, you’ll love this. A big-time fashion magazine editor returns from a few month’s leave while going through treatment for breast cancer, and when she gets back, the magazine is in all kinds of transition. The magazine is going digital, and there’s a new super-young, super-millennial, super-know-it-all woman as the co-editor in chief. This was an interesting look into the millennial vs. experience conflict in the workplace, plus fashion and photoshoots. Very fun!
4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
I can never remember the title of this, and also I tried and failed to read this years ago, but trust me. It’s worth it. The style is different- the whole book is reading letters back and forth from various characters, but if you can stick with it, you will fall in love with these characters. Guernsey is an actual place, an island off of the UK, and this book is set just after World War II. The letters tell the story of what happened there during World War II, and how a “literary society” among people who had never read much before saved their spirits. If you like stories about books with endearing characters, this is for you.
5. Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry
This one’s about a one of the very few high-up women in Wall Street, right on the brink of the 2008 crash. If The Big Short were a book, written from a woman’s perspective, this would be it. It was an interesting “peek behind the curtain” story into a world I know nothing about. She also goes pretty deep into the harassment women in that male-dominated industry have to put up with, so heads up, this one is not PG.
6. The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
Oh my. If you’re into British Royalty at all, this is for you. It’s a fictional account of an American girl studying abroad who just happens to live on the same floor as a certain eligible British prince. They fall in love, and you can imagine how the Royal family reacts! This was SO fun and I could not put it down. Another “peek behind the curtain” book into a world I’ll never see up close. Heads up: this is also not PG.
Happy reading! More genres to come, so stay tuned!