I love to read, I can easily spend a whole day reading a book. There have been many nights where I have given up on sleep to finish a book if it is that good. This year I decided to attempt to read 25 books during the year and I’m on book 27 right now. Some of those books I absolutely loved which you can tell from my Goodreads ratings and only one of them I absolutely hated (sorry This One is Mine by Maria Semple). I was going to wait to pick my top five favorite books until I was done with the book I’m currently reading Fates and Furries by Lauren Groff since it has received such praise and was named Barrack Obama’s favorite book of 2015, but I’m halfway through the book and I’m not really liking it.
We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas
This book has been on my list to read ever since it came out in 2014 and I had been patiently waiting for it to be available from my library. We Are Not Ourselves is one of the best books I have ever read and gets a spot on my all-time favorite list. It is 620 pages, but it is a quick read because I could not put it down. The story follows the Leary family, Eileen, Ed and their son Connell and Eileen’s desire for the American dream are not the same as her husband’s. I honestly went through so many emotions about each character while reading the book and when I read the last page I wished the story had not ended.
The Boston Girl by Anita Diamond
Addie Baum, the Boston girl tells her life story to her granddaughter and you feel like you are given the privilege to listen in on the conversation while reading the book. Addie story starts in 1900 where she grew up to immigrant parents She dreams of finishing high school, going on to college and having a career. The book follows her friends, the ups and downs of her family and her love life and how all of it has shaped her life. An honest and simple story that I could not put down.
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins they have classified as this year’s Gone Girl and while I read that book and thought a shade here or there could classify it as that, I actually think Luckiest Girl Alive deserves the title more. The story follows Ani FaNelli and moves back and forth between present day and Ani then known as TifAni in high school. You think you know the story early on in the book of what happened to TifAni in high school that lead her to reinvent herself as Ani, but then halfway through the book the story will just completely spin on you. I did not see the huge twist coming and that made me love this book even more. If you read reviews on Luckiest Girl Alive they aren’t the greatest, but I thought it was an incredibly powerful debut novel and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good psychological thriller.
Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm
After being disappointed by The Girl on the Train I was reluctant to read another book that was being compared to it. After reading some good reviews on Unbecoming I finally decided to read it and I was glad that I did. Grace originally from Tennessee, lives in Paris and restores antiques where she calls herself Julie and says she is from California. Back in Tennessee her husband and his best friend have just been paroled from an art heist Grace had planned. I wouldn’t classify this book as much of a psychological thriller, it is more of a suspense cat and mouse novel as Grace knows that her deceptions and actions are quickly catching up to her even when she is in Paris. Throughout the whole book you see the evolution of Grace and you feel for the character even though you know what she has done.
Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and how it has stayed with me weeks after reading it. It sounds like your typical summer beach read from the description, girl is set to marry guy, a week before their wedding finds out he has a huge secret and returns home only to find out not everything there is as it seems, plus it is being turned into a movie so you think the book just screams romantic comedy. But once you get past that, you are met with an incredible novel where you feel the struggle that Georgia is going through as she finds out these things about her fiancé, her parents and their winery, her family and herself along the way. The ending to me was completely perfect aside from the fact that I didn’t want it to end.
For 2016, I’m setting the goal of 25 books again, though I’m hoping I can read more. I’m always looking for book recommendations, so if you have read something you loved, let me know in the comments.