I actually completed the number of books in my Goodreads Reading Challenge for the first time ever. I think the PopSugar one is too ambitious for me, but is a nice way of trying new genres. This year I read a whole lot of memoirs, mostly because I’m working on, and books purchased for cheap from Goodreads deals and BookBub. If you want to keep up with what else I’m reading, or what’s on my to-read list, be sure to follow me on Goodreads. Also, note that some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links, but will not cost you anything extra.
Comics and Graphic Novels
The Walking Dead: Volumes 8-28 and Here’s Negan, Robert Kirkman
Thanks to e-book versions available through my local library, I finished all of the series until the next volume comes out. I also read Here’s Negan, a standalone comic about the backstory of the show’s most notable villain. The storyline varies greatly from the show at times so it’s nice to follow different plots.
March: Book One, John Lewis
Atlanta is lucky to be represented by the legendary John Lewis. I received his award-winning three book graphic novel series about the Civil Rights Movement for Christmas. It’s a must-read for every American and tells his story, and the stories of his contemporaries, in a unique way.
Memoirs and Non-Fiction
Beyond Belief, Jenna Miscavige
I have an odd fascination with Scientology. While this book wasn’t written that well, it was an interesting memoir written by the niece of the “church’s” leader, who left after years of abuse in the Sea Organization.
Adnan’s Story, Rabia Chaudry
As a fan of Serial and Undisclosed, I knew I wanted to read this story about Adnan Sayed. There was a lot of information that was new to me, but at times the story felt like Rabia’s story with bits about Adnan added in. But I did enjoy it overall.
Walden on Wheels, Ken Ilgunas
I heard the author speak on a podcast, so when I saw his book on sale, I quickly bought it. It certainly appeals to the need for adventure that inspired guys like Kerouac and Hemingway. Ilgunas traveled around in his van and later lived in it while attending grad school to avoid accruing debt.
Waiting to Be Heard, Amanda Knox
I’ve always been fascinated by the Amanda Knox story because we were around the same age. I never felt like she was guilty and there was a lot of sexism that went into putting her behind bars with a shaky story about what happened to her roommate. She’s actually a good writer.
Blackout, Sarah Hepola
One of the best books I read this year was about an alcoholic writer who suffers from blackouts. She tries to piece together what happens to her during the missed time before finally getting clean.
Shrill, Lindy West
After reading Kate‘s rave reviews, I bought this book by a notable essayist. She talks about how she is treated because of her size, relationships, and getting trolled online. Her writing is clever and great to read.
The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World, Torre Deroche
I loved Torre‘s first book, especially during that time of my life. But like mine, her life has changed as well. She went through the death of her father and breakup her relationship before meeting a friend that changed her life. Together they walked pilgrimage trails in Italy and India. But it’s no Eat Pray Love. Her sense of humor is dark, but well worth a read.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers
At the end of The Art of Memoir (see below), there’s a list of recommended memoirs to read and this was one I’d heard of. I’ve read Zeitoun, another book by Eggers, so it was interesting to read his origin story. The writing style isn’t really for me, but I understood the early twenties period he was writing about.
Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty
I wanted to start with Big Little Lies before the show started but that didn’t happen. Instead, I read another book by the author. The story itself is interesting and weaves a bunch of narratives together about what happened at a family barbecue. I also loved that it was set in Sydney, my former home.
The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
I still haven’t seen the show, but I did read the book. I agree with all the other statements about how timely it feels given our political climate. The futuristic world where women exist solely to bear children for powerful men doesn’t seem that far off.
The Beautiful and the Damned, F. Scott Fitzgerald
I love Fitzgerald and finally got around to reading one of his other books. This one was a bit slow for my taste, especially the beginning when the leading characters hadn’t yet met one another. The middle was the best, but the end felt rushed. It seems like he was still developing the characters for future books.
The Art of Memoir, Mary Karr
This one is a bit inside baseball, but if you’re thinking about writing a memoir, this is the book to read. It was recommended when I was at a writer’s retreat this summer. The author has penned a few notable memoirs herself.