A Year in Reading: Thoughts and Recommendations

“Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real.” 
Nora Ephron
2017 partial reading list

At the start of 2017, I set out to read 50 books within the course of the year. By the month of May, I had hit my mark. So, why not go for 50 more? By the end of the year, I clocked in at a 115 books and a total of 31,086 pages. Four of which were audio books, the rest were good ole hardcovers & paperbacks. My complete list is here. As a student on a budget, I am utterly indebted to my local library for making this feat possible.

People pick their reading list for a myriad of reasons. I read to appease my curious self. The genres I find myself mainly gravitating towards are biographies, literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, and the occasional suspense thriller.

Marie: “I’m looking for a book… something that can help me deal with what might be an awkward situation. Something funny might be nice, but not necessarily big, ‘ha, ha, ha,’ ‘laugh, laugh, laugh’ funny, and certainly not make-fun-of-other-people funny but rather something human-funny. And, uh, if it could uh, sneak up on you, surprise you, and at the same time make you think that what you thought wasn’t only right, in a wrong kind of way, but when you’re wrong, there’s a certain rightness in your wrongness… Well, what I mean is, more importantly, I’m looking to be swept up! And at the same time, not.
Dan: Well, you rarely find all that in one book.

As you start the new year with the intention to read more, here are a smattering of recommendations to get the ball rolling:

If you’re looking for a good laugh

@katherineheiny

Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny

It follows the life of a couple raising a child with Asperger’s. The matriarchal character, Audra is the most extroverted, unfiltered friend we all wish we had the pleasure of meeting. Keen moments of observational humor and zany one-liners.

If you want to read the book before the movie

@kevinkwanbooks

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Welcome to the rich and glamorous world of Singaporean’s fictional elite. A modern romantic comedy set against the backdrop of the Garden City. Equal parts entertaining and hilarious.

If you’re looking to learn something new

@harari_yuval

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

One of the most insightful reads of the year. Harari explores humankind’s future…the possibility of immortality and creation of artificial intelligence. Dense read, but broken into digestible bites.

If you had to read just one book this year

@cherylstrayed

Before Cheryl Strayed’s wildly successful memoir, Wild (pun intended), she served as a pro bono advice columnist. Eloquent, empathetic, enlightening.

Books I’m looking forward to reading in 2018

These three selections are purely inspired by the authors’ Instagram feed. Plus, the common thread are these are all coming of age stories. Coming of age post-adolescence to adulthood, coming to terms with one’s life at the end of your twenties and entering your thirties. Memoir, graphic novel, and poetry — something for everyone.

@jedidiahjenkins

To Shake the Sleeping Self: A 10,000-mile Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and One Man’s Quest to Wake Up the Soul by Jedidiah Jenkins

@bymariandrew

Am I There Yet?: The Loop-de-loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood by Mari Andrew

@charlycox1

She Must Be Mad by Charly Cox

If you’d like personal book recommendations, feel free to tweet me @SalomePinto