I love good books and being able to help someone find their next great reading adventure, which is why I look forward to writing my annual book round up.
Scroll to read my review on some of my favorites from this year!
I’ve linked each of the books to Amazon where you can read a more in-depth summary as well as others’ reviews.
1. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
The order of the list is not intentional, HOWEVER. This book deserves to hold the #1 spot.
I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s a fiction novel like I’ve never read before. It’s a book about love–But not romance love. Love of friendship, money, success, fame and creating. And about so much more.
In this exhilarating novel by the best-selling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry two friends—often in love, but never lovers—come together as creative partners in the world of video game design, where success brings them fame, joy, tragedy, duplicity, and, ultimately, a kind of immortality.
Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.
2. Why We Sleep
A fascinating read on sleep. It was fascinating to learn the why to the various curious things experienced with sleep in my life. To name a few: the afternoon slump, the reason when I used to stay up til 3am drinking & partying, why I couldn’t sleep in, and exactly how jet lag works–charts and all. But the book doesn’t just stop with the fascinating learnings. The author and sleep expert goes on to tell you how you can do something about it all too!
Let’s just say, after reading this book I quit caffeine. And the quality of my day-to-day life tangibly improved.
The first sleep book by a leading scientific expert – Professor Matthew Walker, director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab – reveals his groundbreaking exploration of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better.
Walker answers important questions about sleep: How do caffeine and alcohol affect sleep? What really happens during REM sleep? Why do our sleep patterns change across a lifetime? How do common sleep aids affect us, and can they do long-term damage? Charting cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs and synthesizing decades of research and clinical practice, Walker explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood, and energy levels; regulate hormones; prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes; slow the effects of aging; increase longevity; enhance the education and lifespan of our children, and boost the efficiency, success, and productivity of our businesses. Clear-eyed, fascinating, and immensely accessible, Why We Sleep is the crucial account on sleep that will forever change listeners’ minds on the subject.
3. The Wisdom of the Enneagram
This book has been eye-opening for my self awareness and development. It’s taught me to notice cues and patterns in my behavior when I’m heading downward in health, and helped me to understand why I am the way that I am sometimes.
The enneagram is about your personality type, but it is not another personality test. The difference: personality tests are based on behavior, and the Enneagram is based on your motivation–your basic fear and core desire.
The ancient symbol of the Enneagram has become one of today’s most popular systems for self-understanding, based on nine distinct personality types. Now, two of the world’s foremost Enneagram authorities introduce a powerful new way to use the Enneagram as a tool for personal transformation and development. Whatever your spiritual background, the Enneagram shows how you can overcome your inner barriers, realize your unique gifts and strengths, and discover your deepest direction in life.
4. When Breath Becomes Air
Looks like another memoir made it onto another list. But I actually finished this one. It was well written and the fact that the story wasn’t just about his life, but was from the perspective of a doctor who suddenly becomes the patient added another dimension that made it all the more captivating. Highly recommend.
At the age of 36, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed”, as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.
Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.
5. A Dog’s Purpose
I landed on this book when months after my fur-partner of 15 years passed away last Christmas. I needed a book for my aching heart and grieving soul and this book delivered.
This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, this touches on the universal quest for an answer to life’s most basic question: Why are we here?
Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh out loud funny, this book is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog’s many lives, but also a dog’s eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man’s best friend. This story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.
6. All Along Your Were Blooming
If you are unsure of what to gift from this list, let it be this. I’ve gifted this book to multiple friends, including myself. It’s a tangible poetry book both beautiful in words and illustration.
A celebration of hope. An encounter with grace. A restoration of the heart. A healing of wounds. An anthem of freedom. All Along You Were Blooming is the ultimate love letter from the pen of popular Instagram poet Morgan Harper Nichols to your mind, heart, soul, and body.
7. Big Magic
Timing matters even with books.
This year was my 2nd time reading this book. I didn’t finish it the 1st time and had given it 2.5 of 5 stars, but having read it now, I see that it was just not the right time. This time around I found it inspirational for myself and in line with the thoughts I’ve been sharing with my clients and subscribers.
“A must read for anyone hoping to live a creative life… I dare you not to be inspired to be brave, to be free, and to be curious.”-PopSugar
8. Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows Series)
Okay this is Book 2 the Six of Crows duology which means you have to read the 1st book, “Six of Crows” too. #Sorrynotsorry
If you’re familiar with the Netflix series, “Shadow and Bone” then you have already met these characters and this world which is why you must know the Six of Crows series is the better story. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Shadow and Bone when it came out, my 2010 book review is testament to that, however I found the characters, plot line and overall story of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom to have more depth and complexity–almost like the author wrote this 2nd series to grow with her readers.
If you’re a fan of Shadow and Bone, this duology is a must read.
If you loved Harry Potter and/or Twilight then the books set in this universe (Grishaverse) need to be on your to-read list.
When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.
9. Cloud Cuckoo Land
This book disappointed me.
But I must’ve missed something
Written by the author of one of my favorite books, “Cloud Cuckoo Land” was one of my most highly anticipated books of this year. The concept was unique and the cover art was captivating. Although I enjoyed the story, I didn’t feel like I was moved the way everyone else was. After finishing the book, I watched as the book won awards, remained on the bestsellers list, and rolled in rave review after rave review, from everyone but me.
Which is why I had to include it on this list. Just because I didn’t feel the same [clearly] doesn’t mean you won’t. And what I do know is that it’s written by a brilliant author, it has a story concept intriguing enough for me to get on a waitlist, and in the end was loved by so many (as seen by all those stickers on the book!).
I might just have to read this book again another time.
How do we weather the end of things? Cloud Cuckoo Land brings together an unforgettable cast of dreamers and outsiders from past, present and future to offer a vision of survival against all odds.
An orphaned seamstress and a cursed boy with a love for animals risk everything on opposite sides of a city wall to protect the people they love.
An impoverished, idealistic kid seeks revenge on a world that’s crumbling around him. Can he go through with it when a gentle old man stands between him and his plans?
Unknown, Sometime in the Future:
With her tiny community in peril, Konstance is the last hope for the human race. To find a way forward, she must look to the oldest stories of all for guidance.
Bound together by a single ancient text, these tales interweave to form a tapestry of solace and resilience and a celebration of storytelling itself. Like its predecessor All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr’s new novel is a tale of hope and of profound human connection.-Goodreads