I love reading. Also making lists of books to read, reviewing books, talking about books … Well, you get the idea.
Recently, a few friends have asked me for book recommendations, which inspired me to make up a list of the best books I’ve read during the past few years. These aren’t necessarily new books, though many of them are. Most of them are works of fiction, though some of the absolute best ones are novels that will challenge you to consider deeper truths about yourself and about the world.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately? I’d love to hear about it!
Click on a title in this list to see my review of the book on Goodreads.
ABSOLUTE BEST BOOKS I’VE READ IN THE PAST FEW YEARS
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
FICTION THAT GETS AT DEEPER TRUTHS
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
- The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
- Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
- A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
MY FAVORITE LIVING AUTHOR?
Ann Patchett is a national treasure. I revere Toni Morrison as well, so I’m not sure I can say for sure that Patchett is my favorite living author. Anyway, though, there are more of her books on this list than any other writer:
- Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
- Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
- Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman
- The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
- The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
- The Moonlight Palace by Liz Rosenberg
- Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
- Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
- Kitchens of the Great Midwest by Ryan Stradal
- Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
- Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
- Love & Treasure by Ayelet Waldman
- Ashenden by Elizabeth Wilhide
- The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
- NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson
- When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
- Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (No review posted; I read this every other year or so. Best book of all time, as far as I’m concerned.)
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway