As I sit here reflecting on 2015 and all that went well and some areas during the year I wish I could stash away and forget completely, there is a piece of each memory that will stay with me forever associated with the books I read during these times or because of these events. I call this my #BookDNA. In the past I have written my #BookDNA posts before the holiday season to help people plan their holiday shopping and give the gift of reading. Whether given to a family member or friend, books are my language of love. The gift of a book is intimate. It means you are on my mind and when I don’t have the right words to say in many situations, I allow the gift of word crafted by other authors speak on my behalf.
This year proved to be a bit difficult to read much for pleasure because of the reading required for dissertation preparation. I was more critical of books than ever before. With limited precious time, if I did not get hooked on the book within the first two chapters, the book went back on the shelf. In no particular order are the books I have chosen to reflect my 2015 #BookDNA and some of the books I chose to give this holiday season.
- Supper Better: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and more Resilient – Powered by the Science of Games, by Jane McGonigal >> You may be familiar with this author from her numerous TED talks or previously written book, Reality is Broken. This book is your game plan for a new and better you starting with getting your brain super-powered. This book was recommended to me by my husband (huge fan of Jane and game design) to help me conquer my inner demons. I hope after you read this book, you are able to recognize and blast demons before they wreak havoc with your life.
- Jack Frost: The Guardians of Childhood by William Joyce >> I love a gorgeous picture book that speaks to the child in each of us. Jack’s tale will guide you or your children during times when it it difficult to keep faith and believe in a power bigger than all of us.
- Yes Please by Amy Poehler >> To be honest, I was never a huge fan of Amy Poehler and thought of her as more of Tina’s sidekick, but man was I wrong. This book not only packed a comedic punch and needed harsh dose of reality, but has made me a lifetime fan. I’m not one for girl talk, so I play the audiobook when I need a good whine or kick in the ass.
- Mrs. Jack: A Biography of Isabella Stewart Gardner by Louise Hall Tharp >> I adore the museum and have wondered the halls aimlessly on more than one occasion. It is impossible to not live in Boston and not know the story of the infamous art heist that occurred in (and in most cases, defines) this museum. I am ashamed to admit that I did not know much about the woman who created this beautiful hodgepodge museum in the Fenway. When I am next asked who I would most like to have tea with (living or present), I will most definitely answer, Mrs. Jack!
- Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey >> This is the second book of the 5th Wave series. The 5th Wave made my 2014 #BookDNA list and I gifted this book to so many friends. I was skeptical if the dystopian intensity could be captured again in the second book of the trilogy. This book delivered and set-up and amazing hook for the final book in the series to be released May 2016. How can I wait?
- Annihilation / Authority / Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer >> This is one of the most haunting science fiction trilogies I have ever read. I cannot describe, only compel that you read and when you are finished reading, let’s grab a cup of coffee or twelve and talk about the meaning of life.
- CODE|WORDS: Technology and Theory in the Museum >> This is a fantastic compilation of essays by current museum hackers discussing the future of museums. Even if museums is not your career or choice, read this book and consider your views as a participant, what experience you could add to the field, and rethink your definition of a museum.
The books I am looking forward to reading in 2016 are a mix of classics and new releases and I don’t know which, if any, will make the #BookDNA list for 2016:
- We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
- The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
- A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
- Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
- Enclave by Ann Aguirre
What were your favorite books of 2015? Are any of these books imprinted on your #BookDNA? What books are you most looking forward to reading in 2016?