2018 was a good year for reading. Even though I didn’t get to all the books I set out to, I did get to read a lot more non-fiction – which was something I set out to do. Overall, I got to read some interesting books, and I found a few worth talking about. So I’ve listed a few of those below (in no particular order). Here you go:
#1 What it means when a man falls from the sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah
This book combines two things I love: short stories (12 in total) and an author with a fresh and resonant voice. I’d never heard of her so I went in with no expectations. Her stories which are mostly set in Nigeria range from domestic to slightly outlandish, and explores a full range of humanity’s struggles through the lives of young girls and women. Warning! Her perspective is often grim but her accounts are effortlessly stimulating. The stories take pessimistic turns, but as you and I know, life can take dark turns so…
#2 Live the Let-go Life by Joseph Prince
If you’re dealing with anxiety, fears, doubts, depression, fears of the future, or simply find yourself struggling to keep up with work, career (or the lack thereof), school, life and to-do lists, this is definitely a book for me. This book (and the resources that came with it) helped keep me steady through 2018. If you feel like you’re living with one nostril barely above water or like the other shoe may drop, this book shares good news about God’s grace for your life’s pace.
#3 The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes
One word for this book: REAL! I would recommend this book to anyone who writes (in the closet or open), wants to be a writer, or knows a writer. Honestly, I’d recommend it to everyone because Ralph Keyes’ words helped me in ways that many others failed (not because they weren’t giving good advice) because he understands that very few people – who want to write – have writing problems; only human ones. He brings these demons to the surface and communicates with you without judgment or condescension. I love this book!
#4 Midnight Confessions by Stephen Colbert
Now this is technically not a “book” book. I love a good laugh and the Late Shows’ host’s book will give you that. It’s filled with short notes (his confessions) and tweets, with illustrations, so it goes by fast. Some of my favorites are: “When people say I’m self-centered…I can’t help but think they’re talking about me”
Albeit, whether you’re a Colbert fan like me, or you sometimes just need amusement, this book will give you some much needed laughs.
#5 On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss
So I chose to read this book purely based on its public health relevance, but it tackles an issue that is relevant to everyone: infectious diseases. Guns and knives offer a violent perception of death, but there are also deep fears reserved for that which sneaks into our bodies and turns our own cells against us. Biss’s book concerns itself with a specific debate in medicine (the question of a relationship between vaccination and mental defects), one that is basically an investigation of human fear in the face of deadly enemies that exist around us but are invisible to the naked eye. What I admired about Biss is that she didn’t succumb to the use of terror-mongering statements that feed people instinctual fears but she suggests that the most effective way to win is foremost through collective action and I totally agree. A very insightful read!
P.S. You don’t have to be a scientist to enjoy this, you just have to like the world you’re in.
#6 Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Okay, so this was a great book to read but it took me too long to finish. That is probably a reflection of my poor attention span. I mean, I read almost three books in-between this one. However, I can say without a doubt that it was worth the read. Tomi Adeyemi’s telling of the fantastic twisted land of Orisha and the adventures of her three teenage protagonists is ingrained in me, that is how good she was at telling the story. Did I mention that this is the first part of a projected trilogy? I was stocked!!! One thing is sure, the tale is magical and outlandish but still resonates with the world we live in today and I can’t wait to see what the sequel brings.
#7 Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John C. Maxwell⠀
As the title suggests, this book is all about establishing meaningful connections to develop great relationships in all aspects of life, regardless of your field of interest(s). One thing you’ll learn for sure is that communicating (in whatever form) will only take you so far if your audience feels disconnected. This was a great read, and one that I’ll definitely be going back to from time to time.
***Bonus: Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret
I’m throwing in this Judy Blume classic because it’s an oldie but definitely a goodie. I read it a couple of years back but decided to give it a once over since it was announced that the author finally agreed to let it be made into a movie. It’s a really quick and interesting read that details the coming-of-age story about a girl (and her friends) discussing a range of pre-teen issues from bras to periods and boys. It also explores questions about faith while being brought up in a home with parents that have no religious affiliations.
Let me know what some of your favorite reads of the year were. Did you get to read as much as you’d like? If you didn’t, what are your plans for 2019? As for me, I’m looking forward to getting my nose into as many books as possible.