It’s probably some sort of defense or escape mechanism, but given the choice, I would happily spend all day- every day- reading. Sci-fi isn’t my favorite, but pretty much any genre is fair game. Most often I’ll have four or five books going at a time (if you keep them in different rooms it’s easier to keep track of the plot). Maybe you’re an avid reader, or maybe your 2016 resolution is to “nourish” your mind and finish one book. Either way- here are five of my favorites that I read in 2015.
1. Food Rules; Michael Pollan. Though this book originally came out in 2009, the 2011 updated version includes gorgeous illustrations by Maira Kalman. A very fast read that is more like a collection of 83 tips guiding you to healthier eating.
Don’t worry- this isn’t a preachy eliminate food groups “diet” book. It’s more like a wise advice reminding us what food meant to our grandparents, and how we can return to that lifestyle.
Two of my favorite tips? #45: Eat All the Junk Food You Want as Long as You Cook It Yourself and #55 that suggests altering the “are you full” question to “are you still hungry?”
2. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things; Jenny Lawson. Though you don’t have to read her 2013 book- Let’s Pretend This Never Happened– first, I do recommend adding it to your list. No doubt, Jenny Lawson has a unique approach to her openness on mental health. She is brutally honest, and absurdly funny.
You will laugh out loud (especially with Let’s Pretend..), and maybe feel a little guilty that such serious topics can be so hilarious. But, that’s part of her gift- connecting all of us through the bizarre-ness of life.
I wrote about Furiously Happy back when I read it in October. I claimed I had found my new mantra for life…I didn’t lie…I’ve used it on numerous occasions since.
3. Luckiest Girl Alive; Jessica Knoll. Loved Gone Girl (hated the ending too?)? Luckiest Girl Alive will keep you captivated until the final page…and you’ll wish there were more. This is one of those books you’ll finish and immediately want to read everything else the author has written until you realize- damn! It’s her first book!
Behind every “perfect life” is a web of secrets wrapped in tragic events. Until, of course, they all become exposed. Warning- you will lose track of time while reading this one, better yet, just clear your calendar until you finish it because you won’t want to stop reading.
4. Truth About Alice; Jennifer Mathieu. Frankly, as the mother of a teenage daughter, this book scared the hell out of me. But, that’s also the reason you should read it- especially if you have teenagers. Granted it is fiction, but it’s a great reminder how quickly events can spiral out of control.
Don’t overlook Truth About Alice because it falls into juvenile lit (while you’re in that section check out Eleanor & Park and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian). Even better, get your kids (sons and daughters) to read it too & use it as a conversation starter about relationships, crushes, jumping to conclusions, rumors and responsibilities.
5. Anger Meridian; Kaylie Jones. Ok, my suggestions are heavy on fiction this year, but another must-read. Admittedly this one sat on my shelf for a long time- choosing multiple others first because I didn’t like the cover (yeah yeah, you can’t judge…I did). Even after loving the book- I still hate the cover.
Leaving one disaster for another- Merryn learns as much about her mother’s narcissism as she does about herself. She has to learn how to stand on her own, and up to her past, to protect herself and young daughter. Intriguing characters, complex twists, and a definite page turner.
Limiting favorites to five wasn’t easy, looking for more great reads let me know. Have suggestions of your own…let me hear them!
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