When moving to Chicago a few months ago, I was determined to get back into the interests and hobbies that I had somehow lost while living in Maryland. I signed up for several yoga classes, made a point to walk around and explore the city every chance I got, and most importantly, I got back into the habit of reading. A few months ago a group of friends and I even put together a Google Doc compiling the books we’d finished, the books we were currently reading, and the books we wanted to read in the future. I wanted to share with you a small list of the books that have really caught my interest in the past year.
The Girls by Emma Cline
This was by far my favorite read of 2016. Maybe I’m secretly a cult fan-girl, but Emma Cline kept my eyes glued to these pages for the entire two days it took me to finish. Meant to mimic a ‘Manson Family’ murder story, it follows 14-year-old Evie Boyd and her experiences with a cult like family following a charismatic man. With flashes back and forth from the present to the past and to an unanswered question, I was dying to get to the end of this book andget some answers. Buy it here.
The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo
I read The Alchemist just before I made the move out to Chicago and my inner hippie was delighted. This is the perfect laid back read for someone looking to get right with their soul. Filled with wisdom and reassurance that everything really does happen for a reason, I hold this in my top five favorite books of all time. Buy it here.
Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker
You may know Mary-Louise Parker as the cool drug dealer mom from the show Weeds or Ruth in Fried Green Tomatoes (brownie points to those familiar). For the older generation, she’s better known as the woman Billy Crudup left (while pregnant with his child) for Claire Danes. Dear Mr. You is a collection of letters to different men in Parker’s real life; whether it be members of her family, past romantic lovers, or platonic strangers on the street. Parker has a way of writing so vulnerably that you can’t help but be overcome by her hurt, happiness, and bewilderment. Buy it here.
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
This is the book that left me dangerously close to making the move back to New York City. Sweetbitter follows 22-year-old Tess as she moves to the city and winds up working at a high-end restaurant. This book has a way of combining the energy that sparks motivation while intermingling a love story for those of us who need such things.. Having several close friends in the industry, this book was equally as intriguing as it was accurate. It left me with more of an understanding for my servers, bartenders, and chefs and the energy that goes into their work. Buy it here.
While this is just a few of the several books I’ve read this past year, I’d love to get different opinions from you on new additions to my mini living room library. What are you reading currently?