Sunday, December 27, 2015

My Personal 2015 Book Awards

I read something like 43 books this year, and here's my favorites of the bunch:

"Rocks:  My Life in and out of Aerosmith."  by Joe Perry
This is a memoir written by the lead guitarist of the band Aerosmith, a favorite of mine for many years.  It was really eye-opening in some parts, I'd read their biography "Walk This Way" in college and reading it from Joe's perspective was quite different.  It's good to hear from "the quiet half of the Toxic Twins."

"My Year with Eleanor" by Noelle Hancock
Another memoir, with the writer on a journey of self-discovery using Eleanor Roosevelt's life as an example to follow.  I learned so much about Eleanor Roosevelt in the process and think of her now as a fantastic example of charity, class and stubborness being a good thing.  

"A Discovery of Witches" by Deborah Harkness
The lead character, Diana Bishop, comes from a long line of distinguished witches, and has absolutely zero interest in her bloodline of scorcery.  Until she is dragged down into the underworld.  I read this while I was sick with the flu in February and enjoyed it immensely.  It's a trilogy, and each book is quite long.  I haven't gone back for the second book yet, but I will eventually.

"The Boston Girl" by Anita Diamant
Honestly, this felt like nonfiction.....beautiful story of Addie Baum and her immigrant family in the North End of Boston.  It really made you feel like you were there.  

"As You Wish:  Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride." by Cary Elwes
If you are even a casual fan of the movie The Princess Bride, you should read this book.  It's written by Cary Elwes, who played Westley.  It's funny, it's sad and surprising.....just an overall great read.

"Yes Please" by Amy Poehler
Wow, perhaps 2015's theme for books is "The Year of the Memoir."  Amy Poehler is a comedian and actress that's originally from Massachusetts and was a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live.  This was a fantastic book and after reading it you feel like you "know" Amy Poehler and would want her to be your friend.  I felt the same way about "Bossypants" by Tina Fey.  Tina and Amy are sometimes referred to as each other's "Comedy Wife."  Their sketches on SNL and their movies are hilarious.  And this year, my "besties" were awesome when they co-hosted "Saturday Night Live" on my birthday last week.  :)  I hope to see their new movie "Sisters" this week with a friend.  

"The Night Circus" by Erin Morganstern
I enjoyed the hell out of this book, with the magical circus just showing up without warning, none of the performers aging and the real purpose of the circus.  The characters were breathtaking.  I won't say any more, I don't want to ruin anything.  I'll just say that Brian got the audiobook for his commute based on my recommendation, and we rarely read the same books.  

"Girl in Translation" by Jean Kwok
This was the story of a girl who comes to America at a young age.  She and her mother come from China after the death of the girl's father, and life isn't quite what they hoped it would be.  They live in a condemned building with no heat and they are slave workers in a clothing sweatshop run by a family member.  Riveting.  

"In the Unlikely Event" by Judy Blume
OK, I am a huge Judy Blume fan and read everything that she writes, even kids books.  This was her newest and was based on the real event of planes coming down from the sky in New Jersey in the fifties.  Mind-blowing stuff.  

"What Alice Forgot" by Lianne Moriarty.
Imagine having the perfect life, married to the perfect man and about to have your first child.  Then imagine waking up one day to find that you can't remember the last ten years of your life and in that time, you've had three children and are in the middle of a bitter divorce from Mr. Wonderful.  I couldn't put this down.  

And a late submission, I just finished "The Kids are All Right." by Liz Welch and Diana Welch.  It's (you guessed it) another memoir.  It's the very true story of four young siblings losing both their parents three years apart in the eighties.  It's a sad story, but has a hopeful ending.  Plus, there's a website to see family photos and a section dedicated to other people writing their version of the story.  

Next up, for 2016:

"The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins.  It's billed as "a debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives. "

"Choose Your Own Autobiography" by Neil Patrick Harris.  He's the incredible actor that brought you the characters of "Doogie Houser" and Barney on "How I Met Your Mother."  HIMYM is one of my all-time favorite shows, so I am looking forward to this.  

No comments: