Aaaahh… hi friends! How are you? Still in a holi-daze? I must admit, it’s been pretty nice to step away from this blog for the past few days and enjoy some much needed down time. Slowly but surely my body seems to be feeling the effects of vacation (read lots of sleep and TV time on the couch), but it’s clear I’m going to need a few more days of this schedule  before I’m fully up for embracing 2013. In the meantime, I wanted to pass along a few of my favorite reads from the year. It’s been an exceptionally good year in books and I’m so excited to share my picks with you. But more importantly, don’t forget to do your part and tell me all that you’ve been reading in the comments so I can start compiling my list for 2013!

1. Wildloved this book you guys, just loved it. If I had to choose one book out of this list to make you go and read, I think it would have to be this one. Wild tells the story of Cheryl Strayed’s journey hiking the Pacific Coast Trail. Not an experienced hiker in the least, Strayed decides to hike the trail after a tumultuous series of life experiences. The story closely follows her time on the trail- the ups, downs, and truly terrifying experiences. But in the end, it’s those experiences that seem to heal her.

2. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? This one is not so new, but I finally got around to reading it this year and I’m so glad I did. This book made me absolutely fall in love with Mindy Kaling. The peak inside her life and bits of wisdom and advice she offers in a whole host of areas had me laughing out loud (to the point where it was difficult to read this book in the subway!). I personally liked this book better than Tina Fey’s memoir… but that’s just me!

3. Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow This one I’m actually still in the process of reading, but can already tell will be one of the most influential books I read this year. I really wasn’t seeking a book of this kind, but a blogger I follow closely snapped a pic on instragram and the title caught my attention. One Kindle sample download later and I was totally lost in the personal stories of Elizabeth Lesser’s and numerous other’s journeys through death, divorce, illness and more, and how it was these difficult experiences that broke them open- allowing them to come into touch with who they were truly meant to be in life.

4. The Happiness Project Another kind of dated work, but as a bit of a self help junkie, I couldn’t help but read it. The thing is though, if you’re not so into this genre, I still highly recommend this book. Gretchen Rubin’s account of the year she dedicated to making herself happier is anything but contrived. It’s witty, refreshing, and filled with incredible wisdom and tips on how to actually get greater joy out of everyday life.

Alright guys- your turn!

  1. Ivan

    I read a lot of books this year that I don’t think you’d like, but I’m reading one right now that I think you will: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

  2. The Art of Racing in the Rain – Not just for dog lovers! It’s full of really good life lessons and wonderfully written.

  3. I love this list Clara. I also read Wild and LOVED it. Probably one of my favorite reads this year too. I also bought The Happiness Project, but haven’t had a chance to read it yet – I’m glad to hear that you liked it! I’ve been meaning to read Mindy Kaling’s book too. Thanks for the recommendations!
    Oh, and if you’re looking for an easy and entertaining read, The Perks of Being a Wallflower was one I enjoyed too – I got through it in only a couple of days. Happy (almost) new year!

  4. I have Rubin’s new book, Happiness at Home, waiting for me when I get back from a trip. Wonder is a YA book I couldn’t put down. And food-wise, My Berlin Kitchen, and Dinner, A Love Story (cookbook that reads like a book) are my winners.

  5. Thank you so much for this list! I just got a kindle for Christmas and have been compiling books myself to read. As for returning the favor, Sarah’s Key was a great read! I’m not the fastest reader and the writing had me tearing through the chapters….enjoy!

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