Favorites of 2016: Books

I think we can all agree, 2016 was not the nicest year… Nonetheless, I have managed to find many things I love. And I would like to share my favorites with you in segments in the hope that it can make your 2017 better than 2016. This past year, one of the best things I’ve rediscovered was my love for literature. For the past several year, I simply have not had time to read between my constant homework and extracurriculars in high school followed by the tough transition into college. But when my second semester at the college ended in April, I was able to delve into all new stories and go on adventures with characters that would become some of my favorites. Hopefully they make it into your lives too:

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith 

This incredible novel by J.K. Rowling, under her now famous pseudonym, was my absolute favorite of the year (and one of my top 5 ever). We follow the dynamic character of Cormoran Strike, one-legged army veteran and struggling private detective who is dragged into his biggest case ever: the murder of movie star Lula Landry. While the suspense in this novel pulls the audience in, the endearing relationships Strike makes tugs at the heartstrings. And if you are like me and crave more, Galbraith has written more Strike novels including The Silkworm and Career of Evil.

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed America
by Brian Kilmeade

Obviously, I am a huge history buff and I love nothing more than putting my feet in the shoes of those who walked the earth before me. And in this non-fiction biography, Kilmeade takes historic storytelling to a new level. With extensive information and narrative-like drama (similar to Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly), I felt as though I were a part of the quick wit and decision-making of America’s most famous founding father. And part of one lesser known, equally important wars in American history.

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

Another non-fiction title, this experiential project by Orwell illustrates his experiences leaving his privileged life starting from scratch in the down and dirty parts of Europe’s most famous cities. While taking place in the early 20th century, I found much of Orwell’s observations and experiences to translate as truths that ring true today. His detailed descriptions paint a picture of Paris and London not many people think about.

Gone: A Photographic Plea for Preservation by Shelby Foote and Nell Dickerson

Now this one won’t be up everyone’s street, but this book encompasses my area of study. A fictitious story of the Civil War, this coffee table book is filled with pages of full color photography of real, historic homes that have been abandoned and left to rot in the 100+ years since the war and Reconstruction Era.

And those are my favorite books of 2016! They brought much light to my life and hope they do the same for you!

xo Em

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