It’s always hard to select which new books I’ll read at the start of a new year. I’m usually torn between re-reading old favorites, reading the new bestsellers, or reading completely new finds I had never heard of before. Usually, I’ll read a combination of all three.
My go-to topics, right now, are biography, travel, and non-fiction, but I’ll occasionally pick up a fiction or self-help book if the mood strikes. I like to constantly have a pile of books to read on my nightstand, knowing full well I will never finish all of them.
Here have been my favorites this year:
The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking
Hygge, which I had no idea about until I read this book, is a phrase from Denmark- which is often said to be the happiest country in the world. Hygge is loosely translated as “the art of creating intimacy,” or “coziness of the soul,” or “from the presence of soothing things.” Basically, Hygge is a state of being- of feeling calm, happy, warm, and loved. This book teaches you little ways to achieve Hygge in everyday life, whether it’s in the way you decorate your home (light lots of candles), to what you eat or drink (hot cocoa), to how you spend your free time (curled up with a book while it rains outside).
The author, Meik Wiking, is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, and his book is full of neat pictures and tidbits to help you live your best like. This book made me want to instantly rid myself of negative energy, and to make everything in my life a little warmer, more magical, and filled with Hygge. This was a great way to start off 2017- reading a book that explored the ingredients of happiness.
The Psychology of Harry Potter: An Unauthorized Examination of The Boy Who Lived
Harry Potter is one of my favorite book series of all time, and I loved this collection of essays that delved deeper into the themes behind the stories. A lot of people think these are just books for kids, about wizards and magic and things that don’t exist. Not a lot are aware that most of Voldemort’s reign is very reminiscent of World War II, and that the books explain heavy concepts such as love, loss, and friendship in a way that readers of all ages can understand.
This book analyzes not only the characters and their actions within the series, but the way the reader connects to these stories. Not all the characters are perfect, the wizarding world is just as flawed as the muggle world, and humanity is not divided into good people and Death Eaters. These are things we know by simply reading the books, but they are topics that get a full analysis within this fantastic compilation.
#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
When I first started blogging, this was the most talked about book amongst fellow bloggers. I mean, this book is the dream for all of us- why not go into business ourselves and make money doing something we love? Why can’t we all be our own kickass, confident, stylish boss?
I finally started reading this book after watching the Netflix show. It’s a very easy and inspiring read. It was fun to learn about Sophia’s story and her creation of Nasty Gal. Her voice is incredibly relatable and easygoing, and she gives a lot of good tidbits of wisdom. I think this should be required reading for every blogger, and every introvert. Yes, surprisingly Sophia herself is an introvert, and thanks to the rise of social media, she found it easier to communicate and network on her own terms. This brings me hope that I can one day be the master of my own business fate.
The Circle by Dave Eggers
This was one of those rare fiction books that had me completely hooked from beginning to end. I never wanted to put it down. The funny thing is, I had seen the movie earlier in the year (starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks), but the book is so different. The main character becomes a lot more unlikeable as the book goes on, and the author explores the dark side of technology, along with the obsession that comes with creating such technology. This book begs the question, is it really best for us to know everything about everyone?
If you are interested in how online identities are taking over the world, and how hard it’s becoming to keep things private, then this book will prove fascinating. It almost serves as a warning- what will happen if we all decide to go transparent; when we can be watched, and reached at any time? What if there comes a time when we can never fully disappear from the world for a while?
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
I always knew Anna Kendrick was funny, and her memoir certainly proves that. She has a very witty and wry sense of humor that is very like my own, which is part of the reason why I like this book so much. It’s cliché, but it sounds as though Anna could be your best friend if you met her.
Anna also recounts the craziness of Hollywood, of theater, and of starting acting at such a young age. She doesn’t fit in to the typical Hollywood mold, and that’s what makes this book so interesting. She’s self-deprecating, but doesn’t overdo it. She can be funny and serious, and I dare anyone not to laugh out loud while reading this book.
I have a ton of books on my list for 2018, but I want to hear more suggestions! What good books did you read in 2017, and what did you like about them?
Hugs and Fishes,