The Books That Changed My 2016

I graduated college this year! Woo! Go me. For the past 4 years, or so, I’ve been reading everything that’s been assigned to me, rather than what I like to read. Of course within the spectrum of assigned reading, I did find books that really changed my year. Sometimes assigned reading can be beneficial. I still remember reading Wuthering Heights in high school and it’s still one of my favorite books I’ve ever read. Though this year has been difficult, personally, and on a national and global level, I have found that some of the books I’ve read this year have made it better, in retrospect.

Before school ended, I read Beloved by Toni Morrison. It has so many layers to it, that you have to reread some passages to figure out what it is Morrison really means. It made me consider our world on a spiritual level and try to understand how the characters were thinking and feeling. It also made me think about slavery on a different level than I had before. 

In the fall, I read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and it being a memoir dedicated to Coates’ son, made me consider how things don’t change much between generations. Coates explained how he had to teach his son how to act around police, just as his father taught him. It struck home, because of all of the violence we’ve been privy to and the way Coates writes is poetic and honest. 

I just finished The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I laughed and read in awe at the way Thomas brought families to life. Each member had a distinct quality that stood out in my mind, and the main character, Starr was someone I felt like I knew. This book taught me to speak up and to not be afraid of having a strong voice. 

These are the books that changed my 2016 – for the better. What are yours? 


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