I haven’t been much of a reader since my 9th grade teacher slapped a copy of Great Expectations on my desk. I’ve become an expert in the art of leaving books unfinished. After traveling to New York in March and finishing an entire novel on my way back to Austin, my thirst for literature came rushing back.
If you’re looking for a novel to read (or gift) over Christmas break, take a look at my favorite titles of the year.
Best non-fiction: Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
Prior to her admission to the hospital, Susannah Cahalan had been experiencing what seemed like the flu. What seemed like an innocent illness became a month-long episode in which she experienced paranoia, hallucinations and mental instability. Come to find out, she was suffering from a disease that doctors knew near to nothing about, leading her to ask the question: How many other people are suffering through this and going untreated?
Best fiction: What Alice Forgot
A nasty fall at the gym causes Alice to lose her memory amidst a divorce and custody battle, leading her to contemplate what really matters in life. This novel grabs you from the first chapter and has you frantically reading to the end.
Best easy read: Slammed (series)
This series details the life and romance of two young adults brought together by the death of their loved ones, leaving you wondering about the fate of them as a couple. I'm very picky when it comes to young adult novels, but I was pleasantly surprised by Colleen Hoover's work.
Best war novel: The Yellow Birds
Iraqi war veteran Kevin Powers' debut novel mirrors his experiences overseas. Twenty-one-year old Private Bartle fights for his life and the life of 18-year-old Private Murphy to fulfill a promise he made to Murphy's mother while they were in basic training. This tale of friendship and loss is a heart-wrenching look at a seemingly impossible war.
Best tough love novel: If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You
Kelly Kutrone is a hard-as-nails woman who has endured enough hardships in her climb to the top of the PR industry, dishing tough love from the first to the last page of this novel. If you are needing some serious ass-kicking to motivate you this break, crack this novel open.
Best book to learn from: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
In case you were wondering how something goes from being a small trend to a huge fad, this is your bible. It errs on the repetitive side and isn’t an intriguing read, but it’s full of concepts that leave you thinking.
Best celebrity read: Tales from the Back Row
Amy Odell (an Austinite) never cared much for style when she was all of a sudden thrown into the fashion industry head first. She has worked for multiple publications in NYC and is currently the editor of Cosmopolitan online, and her first novel gives a snarky yet graceful look into her life in the back row.
Have a good book suggestion, or something you would like to see on the blog? Message me below!