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1. To Kill a Mockingbird
It's not a surprise that this is on my list, as it's probably my all-time favorite book and I have a cat named after the main character. I read this book for the first time in 8th grade and I remember sympathizing so much with Scout and her views on her world. Since then, I've read it so many times I've lost count, but I knew I had to reread it this year with the release of Go Set a Watchman. Every time I read it, I find something else to love about the plot, the characters or the writing. This time, it was the quote
“Atticus, he was real nice."
"Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”
-To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
After reading this book, I was ready to hike the Pacific Coast Trail. I honestly thought I could do it....and then I did a four hour hike in Turkey and quickly realized otherwise. I was amazed at how engaging and page-turning this book was, despite the fact that it's about a woman hiking by herself. I admire Cheryl's ability to hike and her courage to do it by herself, especially with little experience. Girl power for sure! I'm waiting for Amazon to put this movie on their rentable list because I definitely want to watch!
3. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I had so many people recommend this one to me and I kept putting it off because I'm not a huge historical fiction fan, but there is a reason this book is so popular. Told from the perspective of two people, a German teenager raised in an orphanage who joins the Nazi army and a blind girl living in France during WWII, this book had me reading late into the night and early in the morning wanting to find out what would happen next. It was long, but worth the number of pages the author took to tell this story.
4. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Another one of the books that was made into a movie! My mom recommended this to me and it was fascinating. I'm lucky that no one in my family has experienced any sort of Alzheimer's/dementia, but this book had me in tears as I "watched" Alice slip away. The movie is almost as good as the book, but the author's ability to describe the emotions of the family and of Alice was incredible.
5. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
I've been telling Mike he should read this book because it's SO FREAKING GOOD! I actually don't remember if I read this at the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015, but it's so good I knew I wanted it to be on there. It's another long one, but worth the time investment. The story starts out with a young boy and his mother who are at an art museum when a terrorist attack happens. His mother is killed and he ends up stealing a piece of art. Throughout the novel, the boy experiences many different life changes, all while holding the piece of art in secret. Go. Read.
My question for you is...what books are you reading? What was your favorite you read last year? What should I add to my reading list?