For the last few years, I’ve compiled my favorite (and least favorite) books of the year. After all, I like reading a lot. This year, I’m not going to give you the whole list of how many pages I read, what modes of books I read, how many books written by men and by women I read – instead, of the 108 books I read in 2017, I’m just going to give you my ten favorite non-fiction and ten favorite fiction choices.
Book that made me want to tell my story better because his writing – and his story – is just gorgeous: The Color of Water (James McBride)
Book found to have me barrel-laughing in humor and in truth: I’m Judging You (Luvvie Ajayi)
Book that helped me understand the whole story behind interracial marriage in the United States: Loving (Sheryll Cashin)
Book that is her best and most authentic yet: Of Mess and Moxie (Jen Hatmaker)
Book I devoured over the Advent season: God With Us (Gregory Wolfe, editor)
Book that made me feel like I am not alone, even in the wilderness: Braving the Wilderness (Brene Brown)
Book about my father-in-law’s integration that made me go, “Whoaaaaa, Nelly!”: An American Insurrection (William Doyle)
Book about my father-in-law’s famous march that made me go, “What a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man…”: The March Against Fear (Ann Bausum)
Book of pictures and narrative story that made me remember and long for the good ol’ Obama days: Obama (Pete Souza)
Book that helped me walk through the bigger conversation of what it means to be white: White Awake (Daniel Hill)
And, of fiction…
Book that made me want to learn more about immigration in our country: The Book of Unknown Americans (Cristina Henriquez)
Book that made me grateful for writes who “get” the mixed-race conversation: The Almost Sisters (Joshilyn Jackson)
Book that exposed one of the deadliest race riots in American history: Dreamland Burning (Jennifer Lathum)
Book that made me want to be 18 again, falling in love all over again: When Dimple Met Rishi (Sandhya Menon)
Book that is quick-witted, journalism-based and a fun mystery to boot: The List (Karin Tanabe)
Book every human in America needs to read, because black lives really do matter: The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas)
Book that made me want to curl up with a spot of tea and a thick volume of Russian literature: A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
Book of immigration and young love and New York City: The Sun is Also a Star (Nicola Yoon)
Book of history I need to read, learn and remember: The Underground Railroad (Colson Whitehead)
Book I think I read in the 7th grade but just can’t remember: Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes)
Of my top twenty books for the year, if I could give you my very favorite to read, it’s the very first one listed above…
Do yourself a favor and drink of The Color of Water.
So, there you go: twenty fiction and non-fiction reads I couldn’t get enough of this last year. As per the coming year, I want to continue to learn and dig into history. And, I’d really, really like to not read anything I don’t actually like …but I’m sometimes learning how to quit a book.
So, what about you? Were any of my favorites your favorites, too? What would you add? What would you delete? Also, does anyone else find it interesting that six of my favorite fiction books were YA, and all but three were written by women?
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