I'm naturally an avid reader. That's great for personal fulfillment and creativity and awful for my fun money budget, haha. Since reading is a default hobby for me, my reading goals aren't about reading x number of books or pages. Instead, they center around intentions. In late 2018, in the wake of all of the #metoo revelations, I decided to me more intentional about reading female authors, and also international authors. Roughly half of the books I read were by women and/or international authors. I think my favorites of the year hold that ration, although that's been the case even when I'm not intentional about which authors I'm reading.
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino - Amazing collection of essays about identity in 2019. Tolentino is humane, funny, insightful, powerful. It's been fun to see her humble response to this book's reception. I have a feeling she'll be one of my favorite authors all of my life.
Joyland by Stephen King - Wonderful coming of age story wearing a thriller's leather jacket.
All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung - A memoir centered about being an adoptee. Required reading for anyone in the adoption triad (biological and adoptive parents and adoptees).
The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier - A dated but empathetic work giving permission to adoptees to explore their feelings and worth.
The Crow by James O’Barr - When O'Barr's girlfriend died because of a drunk driver he expressed his grief and anger through this goth comic made all the more famous by the great and tragic movie.
Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson - My introduction to contemporary fiction, recommended by amigos Matthew and Brian.
Microserfs by Douglas Coupland - In the wake of the tv show "Halt and Catch Fire", I wanted to learn more about 1990s tech culture. This book was recommended on a subreddit and I found it humane, interesting, and creative. I haven't read anything like it, although it did feel at home in the 1990s so I guess in a way I have.
Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami - How can you even explain what this book is about, other than saying "very Murakami"?
Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker - This was the Year I Finally Got Wine, and this book was a big part of why. Bosker embedded herself into a group of NYC sommeliers studying for their big test. Along the way she met all kinds of glorified winos, and it's a fun and funny adventure. My takeaway, whether it's in the book or not, is that elevating every day life by savoring it is kind of the point.
The Comic Book Story of Beer by Jonathan Hennessy - Works very well as a comic (GORGEOUS) and as a beer history for beer beginners and novices.
HONORABLE MENTION: Witcher series. The first short story collections are the best, but all the books are fun (and now in English). I recommend reading the short stories before watching The Witcher on Netflix.