Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The world was hers for the reading.

I have loved to read since the day I first learned how. I fell in love with the excitement of meeting new people, traveling to new places, experiencing new things, all through the words on the pages of the books I picked up.

I didn’t read as many books as I would have liked to last year, but I did read a few fantastic ones. Take a look at what I read in 2015.

“Divergent" by Veronica Roth
One weekend at school last February, I picked up the book and didn’t put it down until I had finished the entire thing. When I was younger, I was obsessed with books set in dystopia, so reading Divergent was like a treat for my younger self. The adventurous plot, the forbidden love story -- this book follows the formula for a YA dystopia series, and it was fun to jump back into.

"Saint Anything" by Sarah Dessen
Another YA novel written by one of my favorite authors. Sarah Dessen’s latest novel is a sweet story about finding your place -- in your family, community, and the world.  Another love story and tons of inspiration, Saint Anything was a great way to kick off my summer.

"Yes, Please" by Amy Poehler 
This is the first book I chose for my summer book club, and I’m so glad I did. I absolutely love Amy Poehler (and Leslie Knope, obviously), so it was a blast to read about her adventures and experiences. Her book is so honest and funny and just a really great read. It was a great way to kick off my summer, and Amy is now one of my best friends.

"Since You’ve Been Gone," by Morgan Matson
Another YA novel, but oh my goodness. I absolutely loved this book. I just loved the story (a girl whose best friend disappears and leaves her a list of things to do over the summer) and the writing and the good vibes of this book. Once I got into it, I seriously could not put it down. I might just pick this one up again to bring back those summertime feelings...

“Room" by Emma Donoghue
What an amazing and emotional and impactful story. I finished this one in one day (mostly because I had book club that night and hadn’t had time to read it before that). But I really probably would have finished it quick anyway because what a story. A woman and her son who are trapped in a room and try to escape all told from the five-year-old’s perspective. Just, wow. A great way to end the summer book club.

"Harry Potter" by J.K. Rowling
Obviously I’ve read Harry Potter before. Obviously. But I was in a Harry Potter class at school last semester, which required that I read the series again. Ugh (sarcasm). I’m so glad I was given the chance to be in this class and experience my favorite series again surrounded by other people who love it (almost) as much as I do. All hail the queen, J.K. Rowling.

"Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" by Mindy Kaling
I read this one in the final days of 2015, and I think it was a great decision. Mindy Kaling, like Amy Poehler, is just funny and fun and honest and one of my new best friends. It’s so great to read about celebrities who I already admire and realize just how much more there is about them to like. Now I need to read her latest book, “Why Not Me?” See you soon, Mindy!

Like I said, I didn’t read as much as I would have liked to in 2015, which is why it’s one of my resolutions to read more in 2016. I already have a list of things I’d like to pick up, but I always love taking suggestions. What have you read that you loved? What do you plan on reading this year? I’d love to hear from you.

I know reading isn’t everyone’s favorite, but I think we could all benefit from picking up a book every once in a while. I strongly encourage you all find something that interests you and read it. Happy reading!

Lots of Love,

Betty Smith, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"