Book Buzz: Books That Were My Jam in 2016

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There’s the NPR list of the best books of 2016.

There’s the one from the New York Times. There’s also the Goodreads list.

And then there’s MINE. Of all the books I’ve finished this year, here are my top 6:

 

“The One That EVERYBODY Read So You Have To Too” 

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The Nightingale. By Kristin Hannah

Historical Fiction

In a nutshell: It’s historical fiction set in WWII France – Two sisters trying to figure out survival and resistance during the war.

For me: I read this in a single weekend and thought of canceling a couple different social events just to keep reading it. If you’re looking to spend an entire day on the couch or distracted on a flight – this is your book. If you’re a crier, have some tissues handy. One of the best parts about this book? It’s based on a true story. Have fun with the googling afterwards!

 

“The One That Michael Crichton Fans Will Love & Super Fans Will Hate” 

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Micro, By Michael Crichton, finished by Richard Preston

Science Fiction

In a nutshell: Young and brilliant grad-school scientists are lured to Hawaii to work for a mysterious biotech company or so they think… After they’re shrunken down to microscopic proportions and left for dead on the rainforest floor, they’ve got to use their smarts to save their own lives. Dun Dun Duuuuuuuuun!

For me: Although Michael Crichton’s die-hard fans will insist that you can “totally tell that somebody else finished this book as it’s not classic Crichton” I think his manuscript (3/4 finished when he died) was finished by a guy who I think captured his writing perfectly. I’ve read almost every book by Michael Crichton and loved the fact that although his books are fiction, they’re always based on and backed up by a mountain of scientific facts. His novels have pages of citation in the bibliography. His books are so incredibly complex, but consistently thrilling and entertaining. I read this one over a 5 day ski trip this year and was excited to hear that they’re turning it into a movie. If you like science fiction or thrillers, you’ll love this.

“The One That’s a Cult Hit… Literally”

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The Girls, by Emma Cline

Fiction

In a nutshell: I’d first heard about it on NPR and explained as a Charles Manson cult-esque story: A bored and lonely teen searching for belonging among an intriguing group of girls results in intense relationships of varying consequences.

For me: This novel was insanely well-written. I read this book in a little under a week and was very impressed at the way every scene was brilliantly described; specific, clear details, but without unnecessary filler.  I also just learned that the author is just 27 years old < – – – Badass.

“The One That Was Born From A Tumblr Page”

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Notorious RBG, by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik

Biography

In a nutshell: The life and times of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Hence the title. ; )

For me: RBG is one of the hardest working women in the legal system. I’ve already written about this book here, but wanted to give it one more shout out. Her stories! Her quotes! Her dissents! There was something on nearly every page that I wanted to highlight and remember. The passion and work ethic this woman possessed has led to the betterment of so many people in this nation. I’m very much looking forward to reading her autobiography in 2017 after I finish my current ones.

“The One That We All SHOULD Have Read Already”

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The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell

Non-Fiction

In a nutshell: Ideas and events are small… until they’re not. But what events lead up to that point where they “tip” or go viral and experience massive success? It’s a combination of many small things, incidents, or people that are driving them. Malcolm makes you think about the road to success a little differently with his ideas.

For me: I know this book has been around for years, but I’m excited I finally got to it! I’ve read David & Goliath, seen his TED Talk, and listened to every episode of his podcast (can’t wait for the next season) so I knew it wouldn’t disappoint. His writing can sometimes take practices we accept as normal and turn them on their head, but with enough evidence to support his ideas that you’d be unwise not to take heed. I’ve never read/heard anything from Gladwell that I didn’t immediately take something from. If you’re in business or striving to make your small idea a big one, you need to read this book.

and now… for my FAVORITE book of all of 2016:

***** DRUMROLL*****

“The One You HAVE To Purchase Immediately”

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All The Single Ladies: Unmarried Women & The Rise of an Independent Nation

by Rebecca Traister

Non-Fiction

I got to purchase the book and get it signed by the author earlier this year at a live Call Your Girlfriend event in Los Angeles. At the time, I wasn’t totally sure what the book was about, just that it was going to be discussed at the event. I went to the event alone so I began thumbing through the pages while waiting for the show to start. After reading just the table of contents pages, I was in.

In a nutshell: “Historically, when women have had options beyond early hetero-sexual marriage, their resulting independence has provoked massive social change. Unmarried women were crucial to the abolition, suffrage, temperance, and labor movements; they created settlement houses and secondary education for women. Today, only 20% of Americans are wed by age 29, compared to nearly 60% in 1960. The Population Reference Bureau calls it a ‘dramatic reversal.’ Traister sets out to examine how this generation of independent women is changing the world.”

For me: If you’re a woman who’s extremely annoyed with having women’s success tied to their marital status, you’ll love this book. Now, don’t get miffed – this book isn’t knocking marriage. It’s for married women too. In fact, the author immediately addresses this, and her own married status right away. It just outlines what has happened over the last 100+ plus years to our own ladies and what they’ve accomplished in this country despite all the legal, social, and ethical crap that stood in our way and how our independence shook things up.

The chapters on female friendship and finances were the ones I connected with the most. If I had the money, I’d buy this for every woman I know and donate one to every middle and high school in the country.

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In the words of Levar Burton, “You don’t have to take my word for it…”

Give these books a whirl and let me know what you think!

What are your faves that I need to check out in 2017?

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