From non-fiction to poetry to trashy romance, I thought I’d list some of the best books I’ve read this year.
Future Perfect: A Skeptic’s Search for an Honest Mystic, by Victoria Loustalot
I went on Goodreads to see how this book was categorized (memoir) and was surprised to see how poorly it was rated. This ramble into modern mysticism ruffled a lot of feathers, but I read it almost a year ago, and I’m still thinking about it, especially the chapter talking about the link between New Age beliefs and orthorexia. Don’t expect conclusions, but do expect plenty of thoughtful conversations.
Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure, by Amy Kaufman
If you, like me, occasionally find yourself watching certain reality tv shows, you’ll enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at the manipulation that goes into making people act like utterly unhinged on television.
Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft & Mary Shelley, by Charlotte Gordon
Alternating chapters on the lives of a mother daughter combo whose works had an irreplaceable impact on our culture. I especially liked learning the details of Percy Shelley’s death by dick measuring with Lord Byron.
Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History, by Bridget Quinn
This book has irrevocably changed what I notice when I go to art museums.
I Am Not Your Final Girl, by Claire Holland
Feminist poetry about horror movies. If that description doesn’t convince you on its own, I don’t know what else to say.
The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson
Now that my anxiety is medicated, I’m much more able to read horror, so I decided to start off with this classic. That was at once a very good and a very bad idea.
A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas
I finally got around to this book, and enjoyed the way it melded Tam Lin and Beauty and the Beast. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series, but if it ends in anything but a thruple, I’m going to be pissed.
The Glamourist Histories, by Mary Robinette Kowal
One of the best series I read this year. The first book reads exactly like a Jane Austen novel, with just a dash of magic. Then events escalate, rapidly, in deeply satisfying ways. Want a typical Jane Austen heroine to deal with war? Oppression? Treason? Slavery? Then this is the series for you.
The Pageant, by Leigh Walker
I always wanted to write a book that people would say was “just like the Hunger Games, but with vampires.” Leigh Walker got there first and I am extremely jealous. At least, the Vampire Royals series is just like the Selection, but with vampires. If you’re trash like me and think that sounds delightful, you’ll probably devour this YA romance series in a weekend.
Variant Lost, by Kaydence Snow
I think I’ll get into reverse harem romances, I thought to myself at some point in November. I immediately happened upon this super-powered series, and it’s still the best I’ve read in the genre.