This was a pretty good year for reading! I read a total of 41 books this year, which is less than 2016, granted moving to the city made me really busy for the last two months and thus, I didn't get as much reading it as I would have liked.
Although I didn't match last year's quantity, the quality of the books I read in 2017 was really, really good. I read a lot of books I truly loved, ten of which I'm sharing below. What were your favorite books of the year?
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco
As mentioned in my Year in Review post (LINK), this was definitely my favorite thing I read this year. If you're at all interested in politics, and even if you're not but you're interested in funny women and career stories, this is a must-read.
Touch by Courtney Maum
The premise of this book sounded interesting but I was not expecting to love it as much as I ended up. The story follows a trend forecaster who is hired by a tech giant to lead their annual conference by discussing voluntarily childlessness. She goes on to struggle with the fact that she sees a trend away from electronics and toward human interaction which is in total conflict with what she's hired to present and also conflicts with the ideas of her pretentious, French philosopher boyfriend. It was really fascinating and brought up a lot of interesting questions!
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The love for this book is strong out there. In fact, it has one of the highest Goodreads ratings I've ever seen (nearly five stars). The story is about Starr Carter, who is simultaneously a relatable "every girl" yet also has a very unique perspective as a black girl at a predominantly white, expensive prep school with an ex-gang leader father and a white boyfriend. The story begins when Starr witnesses her unarmed, childhood friend be murdered by the police during a traffic stop. She becomes reluctantly, almost unwillingly, immersed in the world of Black Lives Matter activism and struggles with straddling the border between her "two lives".
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This was another surprisingly great book I read this year. Spanning several decades, it follows a young woman, Evelyn Hugo, who becomes a Hollywood icon and marries seven times. The book is structured around each of her husbands, as they all serve a very different purpose in her story. The chapters go back and forth between the re-telling of Evelyn's life and the life of the young woman chosen to interview Evelyn. There's an interesting twist at the end, too.
You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero
This book is a great tool for refocusing your views and beliefs about money, as well as getting yourself into a healthy mindset to manifest financial growth. I love that each chapter has a set of to-do's at the end to help you actively develop a better financial mindset.
Beyond the Label by Maureen Chiquet
Another great career memoir I read this year was Beyond the Label by Maureen Chiquet. She was most recently the CEO of Chanel and the memoir follows her from her early days as a L'Oreal trainee in France to her role as president of Banana Republic, on to the process of being hired at Chanel. I loved this book in particular because it's not a "how-to" guide with overused tips on how to be a good employee. More so, it's a reminder that looking at the big picture of your career and focusing on taking the next best action is super important for success.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
I was definitely late to The Nightingale bandwagon, but it truly did not disappoint. In case you don't know, the story follows two very different sisters during the Nazi occupation of France in WWII. Each sister has a very different way of dealing with the occupation, Vianne being very reserved and careful while Isabelle is fiery and aching for rebellion. This book had so many exciting and devastating parts, it was impossible to put down.
The Idiot by Elif Batuman
I loved this understated story of Selin, a naive freshman at Harvard in the mid-1990s. It really captured the naivete and clueless-ness of being that age, especially through the lens of a girl who is academically gifted but still has a very low emotional IQ like most people going into university. It reminded me of the Socrates quote: "I know one thing; that I know nothing." That's Selin, to me. She deals with these existential, philosophical conundrums in her mind but also, is very clueless.
Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
On a lighter note, I finished Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians series with the third book Rich People Problems and I have to say, I'm sad it's over. In the third book, the family's matriarch Su-Yi is on her deathbed and relatives come out of the woodwork to see where they are included in the will. As always, there's lots of drama, betrayals, revenge, couture, and elaborate parties.