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Oh the holidays, the one time of year that you can actually use shopping as an excuse for being totally stressed out. How should you unwind? I suggest snuggling up by the fire with a glass of wine (or spiked eggnog) and a good book. To help you out a little in your selection process, Book of the Month Club (BOTM) has comprised a list of five shining, better-than-sex books, voted on by their loyal, book-loving subscribers.
Whether you’re an avid or casual reader you can find your next must-reads all in one place (if you don’t know about them already). Here are the best books of the 2016—drum roll please…
This book has critics ranting and raving, and will have you holding onto the edge of your seat. It all begins with Jason Dessen, a run-of-the-mill college physics professor, who’s abducted and knocked unconscious one (crazy) day. When he wakes up he learns that he’s been the object of some scientific experiment—he’s in a world that’s not his own. I’ll spare you the juicy details because, of course, I want you to gasp and cringe at every twist and turn just like I had to. But it’s good, like really good. So after work swing by the closest bookstore, grab a shiny copy, make yourself a hot cup of coffee (or hot chocolate) and plug yourself into the thriller of the year.
After reading what feels like hundreds of reviews, I feel the need to put a disclaimer with this book description. This novel isn’t going to be a light, fun read. It’s not going to be one that you should read to your young children before bed, but it is an interesting, thought-provoking piece. It centers around an 8-year-old named Wavy and an older biker named Kellen. Wavy has an extremely unique upbringing—both her father and mother are meth dealers who have been in and out of prison all her life. After Kellen wrecks his motorcycle one night and Wavy comes to the rescue, they develop an unusual relationship. What starts out as a friendship turns into a love story that’ll make your head spin. I’m only sure of one thing: This book will not be one you’ll soon forget.
Set at sea, this suspenseful thriller is nothing short of magnificent. Lo Blacklock, a journalist for a travel magazine, is sent on a week-long cruise (ok, sign me up for that job). Things are going wonderfully until she witnesses someone being thrown overboard—or did she? With no one unaccounted for the ship moves on leaving (or not leaving) someone behind in the dark blue wonder. This novel follows Lo’s desperate attempts to prove that something has gone wrong. The real question is, why does no one believe her?
If you’re feeling like you’ve lost yourself a little this year. Like you don’t really know what you want to do anymore, or what your goals for the future are. If you’re needing something to put life in perspective—to tell you to stop being such a diva and that your life will continue just fine without that new MAC lipgloss—then this book is for you. This touching memoir by Paul Kalanithi records his feelings, thoughts, and hopes as his life is turned upside down.
He thought he’d be making more money than he knew what to do with, instead he’s being told that he has stage IV lung cancer (talk about a shock to the system). He begins to question morality and the true meaning to life as his life suddenly becomes a short-story instead of the novel he’d hoped it to be. This title is my personal favorite because it forced me to take a step back and realize the important things in life: love, health and money; in that order.
With this eloquently written novel, we’re transported to the Metropol grand hotel in Moscow, Russia—set in the early 1900’s. Here we follow the lonely life of Count Alexander Rostov who has been sentenced to house arrest by a Bolshevik tribunal. While being condemned to the walls of a luxury hotel doesn’t seem half bad to me, for someone who’s never worked a day in his life (and has always gotten what he’s sought after) I can imagine this would be a little earth shattering. Rostov has to watch major historical events unfold from the window of his room, giving him a unique perspective. He explores life, the meaning of it, and what it means to live purposefully.
BOTM outdid themselves in 2016 with a list of books that transcend time and trends. These novels are true works of art that challenge our minds—and these authors make it look easy. So do yourself a favor and grab one (or all) of these books and do a little self reflecting this holiday season.