Every year, I read books that change me, as a person and as a reader. And I love it. Over the past decade or so, I have grown so much and a huge part of that is due to books. What you read shapes you, even if it’s just a little bit, and that has made such a huge difference in my life. Since today is Thanksgiving here in the US, I thought I’d share some of the books I’m thankful for having read this year.
The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates. This is such a great book all about how important it is to empower women. I already know that was important, but this book taught me so much about how empowering women can affect literally everyone and make the world a better place. I loved it.
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. I had been putting this book off for years because it’s both a classic and a very, very large book. But I’m glad I finally read it because it made me remember how much I enjoy reading classics, and how important it is to try something new (i.e. not by Jane Austen or the Brontë sisters).
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. I like to think of myself as pretty aware of racial issues. But I also think there’s always room for improvement and growth, which this book made very evident. I realized that I was familiar with issues of race in the US (which makes sense, since this is where I’ve lived my whole life), but this book taught me about the same issues in the UK. Which are similar, but not totally the same.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a middle grade book by an author I wasn’t already familiar with. And even then, I’ve read maybe two. But I kept hearing about this one, and I am so glad I read it because I absolutely loved it. It was a great reminder that middle grade books are valuable, regardless of your age, and I should be paying more attention to them.
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. This book reminded me of just how much I love historical fiction. This book is epic and wonderful and I loved it. It’s also a very long book, and I definitely needed a reminder that sometimes books that take longer to read are 100% worth it.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. This year, I finally accepted my love for romance books. Specifically, romance books that are not also something else. I felt like I could justify historical romance or romance with some sort of other story happening. But I do really enjoy just simple, contemporary romance. It’s fun, and something that I generally don’t have to think too deeply about, and I have accepted that I do want to read more of it in the future.
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie. It feels like a lifetime ago that I was a young, nerdy history major. That’s right, I have a degree in history, my first love. And I needed to remember that. Even though this is a biography and not a straight history book, I learned so much about Russian history (maybe even more than from that one Russian history course I took in college). I definitely want to make it a goal to read more history now.
That’s it for the books I’m thankful for this year. I kept this list short because I really wanted to focus on the lessons I learned from these books.
What book are you thankful for this year?
To all my American followers, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and to everyone else, Happy Thursday!