I started this feature back in 2017 and have always had fun writing it. Since I discovered a lot of favorite books and authors in 2018, I decided to write yet another of these posts for 2019. So without further ado, here are some of my favorite books of the past year (that you should read, too)!
BOOKS RELATED TO THE WORLD TODAY
BORN A CRIME by Trevor Noah Read for fun. I usually don’t read memoirs, because I inevitably end up bored and/or immensely disliking them, but I absolutely loved Born a Crime. Noah manages to tell funny and sometimes heart-wrenching stories from his childhood in South Africa, all in his unique voice that we’ve all gotten to know so well from The Daily Show. Despite the remarkable circumstances of his birth and life, Noah presents himself as a normal, relatable human being, and comments poignantly on race and life in general. 5/5 Wagging Tails
THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas Read on the recommendation of everyone I know. This is an incredible book, and I think it’ll go down in history as one of the most important novels of our time. Thomas writes an incredibly relatable protagonist in Starr Carter, a 16 year old African American girl who witnesses the police shooting of her unarmed friend, Khalil. Even more than being a vital book about police brutality in modern America, The Hate U Give is an incredible book about female friendships, the place of race in education, and the importance of family. 5/5 Wagging Tails
LEVIATHAN by Thomas Hobbes Read for school. Actually, I kind of hated reading this book. It’s horribly difficult to read (it took me an hour to read 10 pages), but Hobbes is evidently brilliant, and Leviathan is required reading for anyone trying to understand the systems of government present in the world today. You could read the SparkNotes summary, but Hobbes is incredibly precise with his words–every one has a meaning.
BOOKS I JUST LIKED
THE TRESPASSER by Tana French Read because Tana French. Anyone who’s been even skimming this blog over the past few months knows that I love Tana French’s novels, and The Trespasser is no exception. Antoinette Conway is a real, imperfect, and strong woman of color, and a detective on Dublin’s fictional Murder Squad. I loved her friendship with her partner, Steve Moran, and the intense psychological journey she goes on in the background of the standard Tana French-murder investigation. This is the sixth book in the Dublin Murder Squad series, but honestly, just read it. 5/5 Wagging Tails
THE SECRET HISTORY by Donna Tartt Read for fun. Honestly, read this just for Tartt’s prose. She does more with a few words than any author I’ve ever read, incredible plot aside. The novel follows one of a group of classics students before and after they murder one of their fellow students. Although The Secret History is long, it’s a careful examination of morals, a close-minded education, and human nature. All the book jackets comparing books to this standard are onto something. 4.5/5 Wagging Tails
A FEW GOOD MEN by Aaron Sorkin Read because of The West Wing. If you know me, you know I love The West Wing, a 1999-2006 TV show written by Aaron Sorkin. Although Sorkin gets a lot wrong about the state America is in (he’s far too idealistic and privileged), A Few Good Men is a well-written examination of the military system and the things that get let slip. Also, after you read this, you can watch the movie version and laugh at Tom Cruise’s acting. 4/5 Wagging Tails
What were your favorite reads of 2018?