I’m no Millions but here’s a YIR anyway.
I thought a year of emotional distress and living alone would bring me more time to read but I maxed out at 41 books this year. I don’t mind. They were what I needed at the time. And 40 was my goal anyway.
Of the 41 that I read, here are my top 5 and the reasons why:
- Deathless by Catherynne Valente
- Crush by Richard Siken
- The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit
- Please Undo This Hurt by Seth Dickinson
- The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Deathless made me a Valente-crazed reader. I think I underlined 3/4 of this book and it immediately joined my ‘favourites’ shelf. It is everything I love in story-writing and it brought all of my Russian fairytales to life into one world where they somehow co-existed perfectly.
Crush is a collection of poetry about love and loss and life that I re-read as soon as I finished it. I read parts of it out to the people around me, friends or acquaintances, without much context, because I needed to share it. Siken made me feel his pain and his strong desire for that long-lasting, life-long love. His words made me feel stronger and planted my feet firmly in the cement – I was going to hold my ground until I felt it the way he feels it.
The Faraway Nearby whet my appetite for Iceland. And then May came and my wishes became reality. Solnit prepared me for Iceland and for constantly having to say yes to live the kind of life I envied in others.
The shortest book I’ve read is actually a Tor short story. I keep seeing GoodReads reviews for Tor.com stories and this just happened to be the one I clicked on. Seth writes about the negative emotions we all feel once we realize our mortality and feel those feelings of smallness and insignificance.
If you haven’t heard about The Dream Thieves, let me tell ya… stop reading this entirely and just buy it. It’s a ‘you’ll thank me later’ kind of situation. I didn’t seem to fall in love with the characters the way that most of the Instagram #bookstagram community seems to have… but I did fall in love with the world that Stiefvater created.