2016 #BookDNA

This is my favorite post of the year. Books are my love language. I am always reading a book. My small home is overflowing with books. I bet if you were to rummage through my bag at any given time, you would find at least two books. Needless to say, I read A LOT. Not every book is amazing. Some books I do not finish (I never thought I would be one of those people, but I guess I grew up…too little time and always more books). And at the end of each year, I share with you the books that are now imprinted on my soul – my #BookDNA.

I did not have an agenda this year. I read the books that call to me. It was a rough year – in the news – so any escape from reality was embraced. A theme began to form by the close of the year and it was me that was most surprised because if you had asked if I had read these books or planning to read many of these books, I would have laughed and told you these books were not on my short list. Shows you how little I know. This list is split into fiction and non-fiction and listed in alphabetical order. Honorable mentions will follow this list.

Fiction

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel: This is not your average sci-fi thriller with a lot of meandering prose. This is a high-concept novel weaving the past and present in a crisp format. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you enjoyed The Martian, this may be a book that will appeal to you. This is also a great book to listen to versus read. If you do get the book, I beg you – buy the hard cover. The art on the book jacket is amazing and definitely tattoo material. I am not-so-patiently waiting for the sequel to be published!

The Fifth Season (Broken Earth Trilogy) by N.K. Jemisin: Everyone has been raving about this book. The author is a Hugo award winner. This book came to me highly recommended, but it was not until the end of the year that I was able to find time and become absorbed by the story. The first chapter is difficult. There are a lot of new words and concepts. This author makes you work. Don’t let this be a turn-off! Trust me, you will be glad you put in the time and effort to become engrossed in this dystopian tale. Some of the concepts are difficult to read because they do hit close to home. The best books are those that usually strike at your very core. If you want to get warmed up to Jemisin’s work, I encourage you to read her earlier works or the story published in January 2017 Wired.

Non-fiction

Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace by Lynn Povich: I did not know this story. Yes, I know it is awful to admit – I am a Communications major! How is this possible? After reading a review about the Amazon series, I wanted to read the book that inspired the show. The book was captivating. I was ashamed that as a communicator and a female, I was not aware of the history that allowed me to have these positions and freedoms that I take for granted today. This book was an eye-opener and will become a must-read for both of my daughters. It was amazing to see how much has changed and how much has stayed the same. This book was the beginning of a slew of other books I read this year that I had never been encouraged to read or wanted to read, but have helped mold me into a more capable and compassionate woman.

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem: After reading Margaret Thatcher’s books (beginning with Statecraft) and Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s recent book, My Own Words, I felt I had earned the privilege to read Gloria Steinem’s work. Until now, I had been dismissive of Gloria’s work and that of other feminists. It was not until I read Povich, that I got out of my own way and prejudices, and found myself utterly captivated by the agony and strength of Gloria Steinem and the movement she represents. What a wake-up call. The art of listening took on a whole new meaning after I read this book. At 36, I finally feel comfortable being a woman and beginning to feel a sense of understanding amidst all the chaos of present times.

Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery: You must have been living under a rock if you didn’t anticipate I would include this book on my list! I have read this book at least three times this year and I listen to the audiobook when I need to calm myself and focus. The New England Aquarium has become my sanctuary after reading this gorgeous memoir of sorts. Through Sy’s documented experience, I feel as if I have gotten to know the Earth’s most mysterious creature – the octopus. I have never been scared of these creature…more, fascinated. The writing is fabulous. you are guaranteed to laugh and cry. But most of all, I want you to look at these creatures with the respect and wonder I do, rather than revulsion at that which we cannot and may never understand.

Honorable Mentions

 

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  • http://www.cc-chapman.com/ C.C. Chapman

    I’ve been eager to read this even though I knew most of what would be on this based on our conversations. I love that people like you are out there in the world. Always ready to tell me what I should read next.