Books have always been my saving grace, my escape from a world gone wild. Whenever I am overwhelmed, in need of comfort or inspiration; I turn to those familiar worn pages. They are constantly changing and questioning my world view, pushing me to become a better version of myself. Books are a large part of my life, and as such, they are also one of my biggest investments. When my bookshelves started overflowing, I plunged into the realm of the ebooks (people can’t question your purchases if they cannot see them piling up in the corner of your room). Which is how I wound up with 481 books owned and unread at the beginning of 2016.
So this past year I embarked on a grand literary adventure: to start reading some of these little lovelies I have waiting for me. In 2016 I set a new personal record: 205 books read, checked off the list, coded and catalogued. Now, this was in large part due to my fascination with reading some shorter titles that are geared more towards young adults and children (surprisingly pertinent lessons can be learned from the works we abandoned as we entered adulthood), and my discovery of audiobooks to go with my long commute and a job that allows me to listen to whatever I want when it won’t interfere with my work product.
This has been a year of transition and change for me, a year of challenging myself and my own opinions, of expanding my views and opportunities. These books were an integral part of my personal journey, and so in tribute, I am going to mention a few; my top ten. Deciding the titles that would make this list was an incredibly difficult decision for me, as I had fond thoughts of most of them. But after some time debating and evaluating, I finally managed to whittle down the numbers. With that, I present to you: Tipsy Typer’s Year-End Top Ten Literary Lovelies (note: these were not all written this year, they just happened to be read by me this year). They are in no particular order, so here goes:
- In the Country We Love: My Family Divided. By: Diane Guerrero
- Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man’s Education. By: Mychal Denzel Smith
- The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. By: Wes Moore
- I am Malala. By: Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
- Wild. By: Cheryl Strayed
- Kingkiller Chronicles (Book 1: The Name of the Wind. Book 2: The Wise Man’s Fear). By: Patrick Rothfuss
- The Martian. By: Andy Weir
- The Elephant Whisperer. By: Lawrence Anthony and Graham Spence
- AWOL on the Appalachian Trial. By: David Miller
- I Ching. Author unknown
And then, because I really struggled with this decision, I’ve decided to include 10 honorable mentions that were so unbelievably close to being on the top list that I actually swapped a few of them out. Multiple times.
Tipsy Typer’s Just as Awesome Honorable Mentions that Probably Should Have Made the List (again, in no particular order):
- The Little Prince. By: Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- Wishful Drinking. By: Carrie Fisher
- This is Your Brain on Parasites. By: Kathleen McAuliffe
- Catch Me If You Can. By: Frank Abignale
- Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain. By: Michael Paterniti
- American Gods. By: Neil Gaiman
- The Art Forger. By: B.A. Shapiro
- The Girl on the Train. By: Paula Hawkins
- Ready Player One. By: Ernest Cline
- Dead Mointain. By: Donnie Eichar
Every book I have read this year has left me with something, has impacted me in some way. That’s the beauty of books; they change us in ways that we don’t always immediately recognize. And judging by the mountain of exciting pages I have in my to-be-read pile (currently numbering at 633), I believe I will have another year of memorable forays into the written word. If you get a chance to peruse any of these beauties, I know you will not walk away disappointed. So tonight I raise my glass and send a cheers out to the authors who have inspired me this year, as well as those who I know will help me navigate through 2017. I couldn’t do this lie without you.