My Top 10 Books of 2017

I have come across so many wonderful books this year. The bolded books are my top 10 (and within each category, I’ve listed the books in order of how much I enjoyed them, with my favorites at the top). Happy reading!

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Serious Reads (Fiction and Non-Fiction)

  • Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi (about a woman moving from Nigeria to New Jersey and her life in both countries – absolutely loved this book)
  • The Best Kind of People – Zoe Whittall (about a beloved high school teacher being accused of sexual impropriety, from the perspective of his family)
  • Sweet Bitter – Stephanie Danler (coming-of-age story in New York restaurant scene, dark and delicious!)
  • Hunger – Roxanne Gay (eye-opening and raw memoir about the author’s relationship with food and her body)
  • Lives of Girls and Women – Alice Munro (collection of short stories – dark and twisty writing)
  • Ghettoside – Jill Leovy (about the epidemic of unsolved murders of black men in America)
  • Torch – Cheryl Strayed (despite being a huge Cheryl Strayed fan, I found this book a little hard to get into and really, really sad)

Light Fiction

  • Where’d You Go Bernadette – Maria Semple (quirky and unusual story + lovable characters – I enjoyed every minute of this one)
  • Kitchens of the Great Midwest – J. Ryan Stradal (almost made the Top 10 list – a unique page-turner with heart!)
  • The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion (adorable, feel-good and fun, an awkward professor looking for love via an alogorithm – what’s not to love?)
  • The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion (a definite ‘sequel’ vibe, but still cute)
  • The Third Wife – Lisa Jewell (a light mystery, easy read, good suspense)
  • The Heist – Janet Evanovich (escapist mystery, fun)
  • The Chase – Janet Evanovich (same as above)
  • Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future – A.S. King (young adult genre, didn’t love)
  • The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules – Catherina Ingelman Sundberg (this seemed like it would be really fun, but it wasn’t my kind of humor)

Laugh Out Loud/Comedic Biographies

  • Girl Walks Into a Bar – Rachel Dratch (It was tough to pick a favorite from this list, as I enjoyed them all so much but this book was a stand-out – hilarious, full of emotional depth, and just made me love her so much!)
  • You’ll Grow Out Of It – Jessie Klein (hilarious and brilliant, a lot of laugh-out-loud moments)
  • Scrappy Little Nobody – Anna Kendrick (I love her and wish we were friends)
  • Theft by Finding: Diaries – David Sedaris (his diaries from 1977-2002, not as funny as his usual writing, but shows his journey before/during/after his rise to fame)
  • Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawson (enjoyable and fun)

Self-Help/Spiritual (*I’ve been on a big spiritual development journey this year filled with many good reads!)

  • Braving the Wilderness – Brené Brown (For me, everything she writes is gold – this book was no exception. About the quest for true belonging.)
  • The Magic of Thinking Big – David Schwartz (an oldie but a classic, about our thought patterns in relation to setting and achieving goals)
  • Loving What Is – Byron Katie (game-changing perspective, process for accepting reality in order to feel more joy)
  • The Untethered Soul – Michael Singer (about finding inner peace, I’ll definitely be reading this one again as there was lots to take in – really good)
  • 10% Happier – Dan Harris (this could have been on the Top 10 list as well but I thought 5 from this category was excessive – it’s about meditation from a sceptic and critic, really accessible and relatable)
  • The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz (one to be reread, lots to soak in over time)
  • White Hot Truth – Danielle LaPorte (about trendy/faux vs. authentic spirituality – I had some good takeaways from it)

Organization/Productivity/Creativity (Work-Related)

  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol Dweck (growth vs. fixed mindsets – really helpful concept re: embracing a more open approach to life)
  • On Writing – Stephen King (a great book about cultivating creativity, what a life he has had!)
  • How to Raise An Adult – Julie Lythcott-Haims (from the former dean of freshmen at Stanford University about the over-parenting epidemic)
  • The Organized Mind – Daniel J. Levitin (scientific underpinnings of organization – fascinating! Especially the first half – second half was a bit boring, even for me…)
  • Daily Rituals: How Artists Work – Mason Currey (the daily rituals various famous artists follow – really interesting, great gift or coffee table book)
  • Smart But Scattered Teens – Guare and Dawson (helpful if you have a teen or work with young people who have ADHD or executive functioning challenges)
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD – Mary Solanto (this is a manual for program design, not “fun” reading but helpful if you work in this field)

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Up Next…

  • Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng (fiction recommended to me – I’m looking forward to it!)
  • Mating in Captivity – Esther Perel (I’m a huge fan of her podcast – I think she’s brilliant)
  • A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle (I read this 8 years ago, but I didn’t appreciate it at the time so I want to revisit it)

Reading is one of my favorite ways to start and end the day; I can’t wait to dig into my 2018 stack. I always appreciate book recommendations so please share suggestions you have! 🙂

Thanks for reading and happy holidays!

❤ Kailea

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