At the end of each year, I like to take note of the books I read--which ones I liked, which ones I didn't, how my selection of books has differed from year to year, etc. Here are my 7 favorites from this past year:
This was hands down the best book I read last year! It's a true story of the friendship between a little boy who begs on the streets of NYC and a businesswoman. The story is so heart-breaking and touching--there were several nights that tears were streaming down my face as I read this. It made me realize that I am so unaware of the poverty that grips the lives of so many here in the U.S., and also how even the littlest things can have the biggest impact.
If you're into food memoirs, definitely read this one! Out of all of Ruth Reichl's books, this one is definitely my favorite. The disguises she develops and wears for the restaurants she tries and reviews are hilarious! This book is also where I found one of my favorite quotes about cooking that I shared here.
I have previously posted about this book, and it ended up being one of the most fascinating books I read last year. It gives a glimpse of what life inside a federal women's prison is like--the friendships that develop, how the women spend their time, the dynamics between the guards and the prisoners, etc.
This book is kind of random, but I loved it! It's about mental athletes (seriously, did you know there was such a thing?!) and their techniques in training and preparing for national and worldwide Memory Championships. It sounds crazy and it is! These people memorize and recall insane things like multiple decks of cards in just minutes, dates, names, anything you can think of. The guy that wrote the book actually tried all of these mental athletes' techniques to see if it was true that all of our brains have the capacity to memorize and retain such large volumes of information. A super interesting read if you like thinking about how our minds work :)
Most of the books that made this list were non-fiction, which is unusual for me. I just wasn't a big fan of the fiction that I read last year - except for this book. It was SO good! It was beautifully written, it was thought-provoking, and the story was unique and not as predictable as many books are these days. This was one of those books that I couldn't put down because I was so drawn into the story and the characters.
My favorite cookbook from this year, and one of my all-around favorite cookbooks! Joy is awesome. She makes delicious food and writes funny and clever things. I have enjoyed working my way through this cookbook and several recipes have become repeats already!
This was my favorite "coffee table book", if you will. Emily's blog is my favorite blog, and her book is like an entire year of posts in one big chunk. The book is divided by seasons of the year, so the fashion and beauty tips for that particular season are right there with season-appropriate recipes and decorating ideas. I love Emily's approach to entertaining and decorating, so I found her book to be really inspiring.
So what were some of your favorite books that you read last year? Have you found that your preference in books shifts over time?