It’s a new year, and with that comes the opportunity to step out of our daily routine of work, Netflix, sleep, repeat. It’s time to slip a mental sweat into our lives to partner with our destined-for-failure gym resolutions. Here’s a list of the top 10 books I’m looking forward to reading this year and here’s hoping our reading workout lasts longer than our gym memberships!
1. Anna Kendrick’s book of essays
It was rumored all over the internet that the biggest gift 2016 is to offer is a book of essays from our favorite Tweeting babe, Anna Kendrick. I couldn’t find a title for the supposed work that is said to be published in fall of 2016, but if this is true, if life does take this brilliant turn for the better, then this year is already looking like it’s going to be great.
2. Originals: How Non-Conformists Change the World by Adam Grant
Essentially, this book gets to the root of human angst– this is an exploration of life and our placement in it. I chose this because it latches onto the idea that we can be original in trend-driven societies, and that being original sets us apart and guides us to success. It’s easy to follow the leader and disregard the circumstances surrounding us as we mutter, “that’s someone else’s problem,” but I’m excited to read Grant’s exploration of what being original means in today’s societies and how that relays into our relationships with others throughout the world.
Release date: Feb. 2, 2016
3. Shame and Wonder by David Searcy
This collection sounds like it will be very strange and really thought-provoking. Either way, I’m into it. I love reading personal insights into experience and having the ability to reach into their soul searching for later application in my own life. I’m looking forward to taking in some of Searcy’s writing while I figure out my own messy life (post-graduate program and post-twenties) at the same time.
Release date: January 5, 2016
4. The French Chef in America: Julia Child’s Second Act by Alex Prud’homme
I love all things Julia Child and cooking related. I am so excited for this book to come out because, while I might be the worst cook aside of my soups and stews, I like to imagine that I can make the same dishes and live my adult life with her advising my culinary journey in a time that Julia Child roamed the earth. While I have read about her, watched movies about her, and been subject to the hyper-sexualized and/or the odd replacements for her, she was the OG cook for me (aside from you, grams. Your enchilada recipe is still the best!) and I can’t wait to take a bite out of her history with this new book.
Release date: Oct. 4, 2016
5. Jefferson’s America: the President, the Purchase, and the Explorers Who Transformed a Nation by Julie M. Fenster
I love early American history, but I especially love the aspect of travel and exploration. People were rough and ready, strong and prepared to walk into the great unknown just to say it was ours—‘Murica! I am drawn to the political aspect of this because it’s about what was behind the American mentality for expansion, what drove our country to think this way and move westward. This gives us insight into who we were as a nation, where we wanted to go, and finally, gives us the knowledge to take stock in who and what we have become. Is Jefferson’s America our America? How so? How is it not? I don’t know, let’s find out!
Release date: May 10, 2016
6. The Mafia Hit Man’s Daughter by Linda Scarpa and Linda Rosencrance
Who is not obsessed by the mafia these days? Hollywood has glamorized it with Tony Montana and Don Vito Corleone as the poster children for our understanding of organized crime. But, Scarpa’s and Rosencrance’s are seeking to enlighten readers to the reality behind the Hollywood prototype. Curiosity has gotten the better of me with this one because I want to know about the dark underbelly of this society and what these people go through in the name of family. But, let’s face it, when I pick up my copy of this book, I probably won’t be able to stop myself from saying, “Say hello to my little friend.”
Release date: Jan. 22, 2016
7. Apostle: Travels among the Tombs of the Twelve by Tom Bissill
I have a soft spot for all things travel related, and as someone who attended Catholic school as a child, I was taught what happened over two millennia ago from a neatly comprised book. However, I want to know the truth. I want to know what these men did in order to acquire fame through their loyalty that has spanned that length of time—I’m asking for a friend… Bissill’s work explores the process the twelve apostles went through to get to our understanding of them today. It is rich in history and profound in our understanding of religion as an ongoing process, and I’m excited to find out how these men came to be who we think they are.
Release date: March 1, 2016
8. Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man’s Education by Mychal Denzel Smith
I think this will be an incredibly insightful and interesting read for everyone, regardless of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation. I believe this read will enlighten folks to the complexities and inequalities of educational experience throughout the U.S. Obviously reading expands our mind, openingvour comprehension of the world to new experiences that, while not our own, shed light on how we contribute to it.
Release date: June 14, 2016
9. Zero K by Don DeLillo
After reading White Noise, I have becoming obsessed with DeLillo’s works. You can feel the action in his style—it’s beautiful, poetic, and often times scary because you become so entrenched in the novels. He deals with the complexities of human experience in immediately relatable ways that are timeless. It takes a true master of the craft to create that effect, so I can’t wait to dive into his newest novel.
Release date: May 10, 2016
10. The Obsession by Nora Roberts
I have to admit, I have never read a Nora Roberts novel, but 2016 marks the year I bite into one of these bad boys. I have heard of her work for so long, and as a New York Times bestselling author, you would think I would have taken the time to read something, but alas, I have no romance novels under my belt other than the Nicholas Sparks books I binge read in high school. This book interested me for other reasons, too—it sounds dark, intriguing, and complex as she deals with issues from her past in the present. I am a sucker for identity narratives that are trapped in some sense of timelessness angst. Here we go for round one, Nora!
Release date: April 12, 2016
My top 10 reading list is just a start because it’s always fun adding to my collection of books. I have way more than I will ever be able to read in one lifetime, but all the fun is in finding new books that you never would have thought to pick up before. Cheers to a new year, a new outlook, and new books that will keep us company and teach us things about life because it’s a tricky thing to go through alone.