As I did in 2016, I set myself another reading target for this year – 40 books this time and I just about made it! I’ve read so many great books in 2017 but here are some that stand out.
The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck – Sarah Knight
This is a book that I recommend to anyone who tells me that they are doing things they don’t even want to. The subtitle of this book is ‘How to stop spending time you don’t have doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like’ and that’s a nice summary. Sarah Knight has written a guide to how to say no to things whilst exploring things such as obligations and unavoidable situations. Personal highlights included making my fuck budget, exploring why we should stop giving a fuck about what other people think and developing personal policies.
Read this if: you’re going into the new year feeling stressed and dreading plans you’ve made coming up then read this book!
Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged – Ayisha Malik
Sofia Khan is navigating the world of dating and exploring how being Muslim affects this. This is a really funny, engaging and educating read. As well as dating, Sofia is also working in the publishing world which flags up a whole lot of issues with the predominantly white, middle class profession. All of the expected issues in a novel about dating spring up but there is so much more to this story.
Read this if: you want to laugh.
The Power – Naomi Aldermann
Imagine a world where women realised they had the ability to create electricity from their bodies. That’s what Aldermann has created in this book. She explores the power of women as a gender, the idea that the world would crumble if women took control of society and the misogyny that is fully integrated into our society. It’s such a good premise for a story but the way it is written, the issues it tackles through different female perspectives are what make this book outstanding.
Read this if: you want good female characters.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
I finished this book yesterday and it was an amazing book to end the year on. Eleanor Oliphant is such an interesting character and is developed so well. Her childhood trauma is slowly unravelled throughout the story. The character is painted as having odd mannerisms, turns of phrase and ways of looking at the world. Her voice as narrator is so good because of this. As a reader, some of Eleanor’s behaviour makes you feel uncomfortable but mostly you start to understand her on a deep level. It explores trauma, mental illness and relationships.
Read this if: you want a book that you can’t put down.
Bad Feminist – Roxanne Gay
I’ve wanted to read this for so long and finally got round to it. This is a collection of essays all about feminism. It was so interesting to me because of the wide range of topics the book deals with – women in academia, scrabble tournaments, rape culture, reality TV and so much more. Roxanne Gay writes in a mostly accessible way, the essays are not all too academic and over wordy which is nice. There are topics included which are potentially triggering to read… Gay also writes about ‘trigger warnings.’ It’s about intersectional feminism and should be more widely read than the problematic Caitlin Moran.
Read this if: you want to read about intersectional feminism, you’re a feminist fan of Scrabble.
How To Stop Time – Matt Haig
A man who has lived for hundreds of years, through witch hunts and Shakespeare and both world wars. The historical context bought in through this story is what makes it such a good read. The main character eventually finds and joins a ‘society’ of people with the same ageing condition as him. It’s about relationships and love as well.
Read this if: you like novels based in historical events.
Setting myself a goal for books works well for me because it reminds me that reading helps my mental health. It pushes me just the right amount to spend time doing something that I enjoy even when I feel like nothing will help. For 2018, I’m hoping to read another 30 books but I need some recommendations, please?
What are your favourite books that you’ve read this year?