2015 started with a Buckeye National Championship, and I’ve got to say– thinking back to those wins still brings me an insane amount of joy. It ended with me finishing the final 2 courses I need for my Literacy Specialist masters degree, which has been three years of a 3-train, hour-plus commute up to Teachers College for each class. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the concept of “free time” in 2016–which I’m hoping to spend mainly pursuing painting, drawing, and photography. I just received Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic which I hope will help me to remember to not be afraid of not being good right off the bat. So much of my reading from this year, especially from this summer, helped cast a vision of what I want this year to be about–making meaning from the world around me and creating in response to it.
Highlights from this year include the beginning of my book club, a trip to Austin with my best friends, finding nature in urbanity, another great weekend in the city with my mom, teaching with the best in the business, chasing after flowers in Louisville with my dad, wandering the city with Daniel, adventures with kindreds, my first Buckeye game, laughing with family in Kentucky, Ohio, NYC, and Newport, and playing with my nieces.
But as for reading, here are the best words that illuminated the way (if available, they include links to the posts I wrote; if not, they include links to other reviews or author sites).
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (her Life after Life made my Top Ten a few years back–both are brilliant)
*Honorable Mention: the paired reading of To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee combined with the necessary responses and conversations that happened around its publication.
On Being/Meaning Making
Syllabus by Lynda Barry
Falling Upward by Richard Rohr (Rohr is a Catholic priest whose thinking has been the most insightful in trying to escape the binary thinking so present in both modern politics and faith communities)
Tiny, Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
*Honorable Mention: The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit and Looking at Mindfulness by Christophe Andre
Best Young Adult
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Need more books?
Here are the past years in review since 2007 if you are looking for more books to add to your 2016 reading list.