What I've Read This Year

For the past few years, I’ve been using the Goodreads reading challenge to encourage myself to read more. I’ve kept my goal fairly simple, aiming to read a book a month. I’ve fallen a bit behind on sharing reviews as I’ve gone, so I thought I would share a quick catch up. Here’s what I’ve read so far this year:

  1. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

    This book is a collection of poetry. This was beautifully written and gave me chills, but I found some of the poems difficult to read at times due to subject matter. Even still, I rated this 4 out of 5 stars.

  2. Wherever You Go, There You are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn

    This was a self help style book, all about mindfulness meditation. The book was very well-rated and I read it on the recommendation of my doctor, but man. This book was not for me. It was too new-agey, too philosophical for my liking. I rated it 1 star.

  3. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

    This is a YA novel from the writer of the Shopaholic Series. Audrey suffers from anxiety and mild agoraphobia. There were parts of the story that really irritated me, but it was a fine read. 3 out of 5 stars.

  4. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

    The autobiography of the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah tells his amazing story from his young life in apartheid South Africa to the host of one of the more popular satirical news shows. This was a great read and I totally cried. I rated it 4.5 stars out of 5.

  5. Everybody Writes: You Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

    This was assigned reading for the course I took this year, so I picked it up because I had to. It’s a great resource for anyone looking for a guide to content writing. There were definitely chapters of this book that covered things I already knew, but it’s a solid guide for anyone that is new to content writing or looking to brush up on their strategies. I rated it 3 stars of 5.

  6. When We Collided by Emery Lord

    Another YA, this book put an interesting twist on the boy-meets-girl, summer loving story. It handles the portrayal of mental health and mental illness in a more realistic way. The story has alternating narrators, from the POVs of the two main characters. I really didn’t like the one character, but still rated this 3.5 stars.

  7. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandy Menon

    While I found this book slow to get started, I really, really enjoyed the main character, Dimple. I honestly thought I knew where the author was going with the story, but she surprised me. It was a well-crafted story with real characters. I rated this 4 out of 5 stars.

  8. Other People We Married by Emma Straub

    Other People We Married is a collection of short stories. I didn’t really enjoy this book, but kept reading, because I thought maybe the next short story would grab me. It was readable, but I wouldn’t call it enjoyable. I gave this book 1.5 out of 5 stars.

  9. The Assistants by Camille Perri

    I loved this book, it was a fun read. The story was incredibly far fetched, but I think that’s what made it so fun. And having spent my fair share of time working as an unappreciated assistant, there was definitely something cathartic about this book. Don’t judge me! I rated it 4 out 5 stars.

  10.  My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

    Another Sophie Kinsella book. This was definitely more of Kinsella’s normal chick-lit style, where her protagonist gets herself into some major trouble, lies about it, then gets found out and hilarity ensues. It was formulaic, but something you can pick up and read. It was fine. I rated it 3 out of 5 stars.

  11. This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

    Absolutely hated this book. I ended up hate-reading it because I really struggle with DNFing (Did Not Finish) books and again, it was a collection of short stories, so I thought maybe one of them would speak to me. I was not a fan of the main character. He came across as a complete asshole and maybe if I hadn’t read it in the middle of the garbage fire that is life, society and politics these days, maybe I would’ve enjoyed it more. But right now? Hard pass. I rated this 1.5 stars out of 5.

  12. This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

    This book follows the story of Sloane, who’s adjusting to life in Florida. Her family has just relocated from NYC and Sloane is struggling with the fallout from the move. When a painting by her new best friends’ mother goes missing, Sloane takes it upon herself to find out what happened to it. I really enjoyed this YA novel. The author created a really great group of secondary characters in the main character’s group of friends and family. I rated this 4.5 out of 5 stars.

  13. I Know I Am, But What Are You? by Samantha Bee

    Samatha Bee’s autobiography was a good read. It was interesting to read about her early career and Canadianisms that were very familiar. I skimmed through some of the essays, but overall it was an entertaining read. I rated this 3 out of 5 stars.

  14. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

    I picked this book after watching this review of it on Marines’s YouTube channel. The story follows Starr in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend from childhood, Khalil, by a police officer. This book punched me right in the feels. It was heartbreaking, inspiring and all too real for many POC families in America. I cried a lot. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

  15. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennett by Bernie Su and Katie Rorick

    I have to start off by saying I did not watch the web series, so I read this as a stand-alone book. I feel like that probably took away a lot from the story. This book was fine, but I wasn’t totally as in to it as my friends who experienced the webseries and book together. I very much related to Lizzie as being a mid-20s post-grad struggling to break into a competitive job market so she doesn’t drown in debt/have to live with her parents the rest of her life, but otherwise I found the story a little predictable. I gave this 3 out of 5 stars.

  16. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

    Another autobiography! This one by Mindy Kaling had its moments, but at times her self-deprecating humour gave me the same feels as Amy Schumer’s brand of humour. As in, it felt bad, man. I rated this 2 out of 5 stars.

  17. Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

    This book tells the story of Norah, who suffers from anxiety and agoraphobia. She can barely manage to leave the house to see her therapist, but things change when she has an encounter with her new neighbour. This story reminded me of other YA novels like Finding Audrey and Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, but it was way better because Norah’s struggles feel more realistic and true to life than Audrey’s (and isn’t insta-cured when a cute boy shows up) and she is truly ill. I rated this book 3.5 stars out of 5.

  18. Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

    Okay, so this book was difficult to read at times. No pun intended. The stories in this collection deal with very heavy subjects. Some of the stories are hard to read and left me feeling uncomfortable. I had to take a break from this book because of how difficult I found some of the subject matter. That being said, I still found Difficult Women to be well-written and a good read. I rated it 4 out of 5 stars.

  19. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

    It’s been a few months since I’ve finished this book and I’m still not exactly sure how to describe it. The main story follows a group of kids in a small town where weird shit happens as they’re getting ready to graduate high school. It’s definitely science fiction, it’s definitely quirky and I love the diversity in the characters. This book is not for everyone, but it was definitely my kind of weird. I rated it 4 out of 5 stars.

  20. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

    Speaking of weird and quirky… Eleanor is an incredibly socially awkward, solitary woman in her mid-30s. She lives a very regimented life, which has been her method of survival. She and her awkward, sloppy and loud coworker, Raymond, happen upon an elderly man having a medical emergency. The unlikely pair save him, which inevitably leads to them all sort of saving each other.  I really wasn’t sure where this book was going at first. It’s clear that Eleanor is haunted by things that she has survived, but the ending of the book still took me by surprised. I’m pretty sure I liked this book? I rated it 3 stars out of 5.

  21. Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

    Set in 2575, a corporate war is breaking out and recently broken-up teenagers Kady and Ezra, along with the rest of their planet, are fleeing the conflict. On top of that, their fleet of evacuated civilians is dealing with a homicidal artificial intelligence and a zombie-plague. Kady is trying to untangle a scary corporate conspiracy and ugh, now she has to rely on her stupid exboyfriend and other teen-angsty things. I found this book distracting as heck to read, because it’s told through IM conversations, dossier briefings, medical reports, intercepted emails, and interview transcripts. But the design of the book is beautiful and once I got into the story, I had a hard time putting the book down. This is the first of a trilogy.  I rated it 4 out of 5 stars.

  22. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

    I loved, loved, looooooved this collection of essays by Roxane Gay, and it wasn’t only because she did a complete tear down of the bullshit that is the “romance” of books like the Twilight Saga and 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy. Though that was a very good part of the book and made me feel incredibly justified and validated for the trauma my friends and I suffered recapping the series for the Snark Squad website. Anyway. Twilight and FSoG aside, this was an excellent commentary on feminism, the culture and media we consume and that we can all do better. I rated this 4.5 out of 5 stars.

  23. Mr. Kiss and Tell (Veronica Mars #2) by Rob Thomas

    Okay, let’s be honest: I read this book for one reason and one reason only: I am a Marshmallow.  My love for Veronica Mars runs deep and she was taken from us too soon with the cancellation of her show after the 3rd season. After the Kickstarter campaign that brought us the Veronica Mars movie, these two books were released to carry on the VM universe. In this book, Veronica is hired to investigate the claims of a woman who says she was assaulted and left for dead by an employee in Neptune’s fancy hotel. The book was fine, but if it wasn’t Veronica Mars, I wouldn’t have read it. I gave it 3 stars out of 5.

  24. Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

    This is the second book in the Illuminae Files. I was better prepared for the way the story was presented, so I found this book easier to get stuck into. The book follows new characters on the Jump Station Heimdall, who wind up pulled into the corporate warfare when the company BeiTech tries to gain control of the station. Hanna, the daughter of the station’s commander, reluctantly teams up with Nik and Ella, members of a notorious crime family to try to save the crew of the Heimdall and the universe. No big deal, right? I gave this 4 out of 5 stars.

What are you reading right now? And do you use Goodreads? Let’s be friends there!