I am a sucker for a book list. Books I read. Books I want to read. Books that are going to be movies or television shows that I have to read. Usually I forget a lot of the books I read that didn’t make any kind of impact. However there were some I read this year that really stood out for various reasons. They may not all be books released this year and they may have some problems but reading is akin to going to the movies for me- I see it in my head. So here are some of the best times I’ve had with books this year and the reasons why:
Tease: Amanda Maciel
This was a tough read because I’ve an interest in bullying and especially cyber bullying there are so many horrible true stories. The story is told from the perspective of a bully Sara (though she doesn’t see herself that way) while Emma Putnam, the victim has taken her own life. You never get into her head. Sara is an impossible character to like. Excuses for everything. Emma deserved it. But the end made it worth the read to see Sara finally and truly accept responsibility for her actions. I would totally give this to high-school age kids although never getting Emma’s perspective would make me want to be careful that victims of bullying understand there are other options.
The Golem and the Jinni: Helene Wecker
Occasionally I love a book that I don’t think I’m going to get through and then comes roaring back and surprises me. The first two hundred or so pages of this book about a myth and a monster come to life in New York were dull but then the last six hundred I couldn’t stop reading as characters began to crash together and fates are meet. It also helped that I totally fan-casted Sendil Ramamurthy and Gwendoline Christie in the main roles.
The Martian: Andy Weir
Man gets left behind on Mars because they think he’s dead. Man struggles to survive with lots of detailed science. NASA realizes he’s alive and mounts rescue mission including a last ditch effort from his team that could cost them all their lives. Girl reads until her eyes bleed and cries and cries. Seriously I couldn’t put this one down! If they do this movie right it will be huge! This was one that I recommended to people I worked with who all loved it just as much.
The Opposite of Loneliness- Marina Keegan
This is a collection of stories and essays by the late Marina Keegan and it was probably the most personal read. I didn’t really like the stories. They were very cold to me. But her essays were very smart and she was incredibly observant woman. But what got me was a vein of questioning mortality throughout and this was a girl who if you read her biography she probably didn’t sleep much through high school and college. And I couldn’t help but wonder if she knew she wouldn’t have the time and it made me want to live just as fully.
“Sometime before I die I think I’ll find a microphone and climb to the top of a radio tower. I’ll take a deep breath and close my eyes because it will start to rain right when I reach the top. Hello, I’ll say to outer space, this is my card.” Marina Keegan, Song for the Special.