The List of Books I've Read in the Past Year


Hi HIH family! I don't know if you noticed the freezing cold weather Toronto has been having this week, but it has really gotten me in the mood to stay inside, snuggled up with a warm blanket, reading some of my favorite books. Over the past year, my book collection has grown rapidly, and I thought I’d share some of my favorite titles from my shelf to keep you warm this weekend! These are books that have brought me joy for the last 12 months, whether they are memoirs, fiction, self-help, I love them all! 


1.    Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trailby Cheryl Strayed 

This was the most recent book I finished, just earlier this week. Written by Cheryl Strayed in 2012, it's a memoir describing her 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 as a journey of self-discovery. The book reached No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list, and was the first selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 (Oprah, I love you girl). What I love about this book is the description of her real-life journey, because this indeed really did happen. It's one of the books that when you read it, your mindset shifts. It's like reading about someone’s journey immediately takes you on your own, which I love. This is a great book for anyone needing to figure stuff out in life, for anyone who feels alone if the world, and for anyone seeking adventure. Highly, highly recommended. 


2.    The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown 

This one is a bit of a cheat move on my part because this book was part of my gratitude book list so you’ve heard the recommendation from me but I still wanted to add it because it’s a book I have read at least 3 or 4 times since purchasing it a few months ago. This book is total self-help/self-care but in the most relatable ways. Brene Brown has become one of my favorite people I do not know in this world because of her relateability. She studies shame and fear for a living, but explains it in the most simplified way that anyone can understand the terms she’s using. This book talks about taking the steps needed to let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and EMBRACE who you are (known as whole-hearted living). I love this book because it comes to me when I need it the most. I leave it on my desk and when I need inspiration or finding myself feeling anxious or scared about a new project at work, or launching a new post on HIH, I read it to give me courage and to let go of the things that do not serve me. 


3.    Sharp Objectsby Gillian Flynn

In need of a good thriller novel? Oh my gosh this one will have you on the edge of your seat every time you pick it up to read. Sharp Objectsis written by Gillian Flynn, the author of the No.1 New York Times Bestseller Gone Girl. It’s also been made into an HBO series starring Amy Adams. THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD. Here’s the summary:  Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders by two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom of her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims- a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story- and survive this homecoming.This book has so many twists and turns; you won’t even know what’s going to happen next. I read this during the October and November months so it was perfectly timed with Halloween, and darker and colder nights! 


4.    Oxygen: by Carol Cassella

Another great thriller read to add to the list! Oxygenis a plot twisting, mysterious literary read and I loved every minute of it. It has Cassella’s first-hand understanding of the healthcare system (she’s a practicing anesthesiologist and so many twists that you’ll be spinning in your chair! Here’s the summary: Dr. Marie Heaton is an anesthesiologist at the height of her profession. She has lived and breathed her career since medical school, and now she practices at a top Seattle hospital. But a child’s death on the operating table forces Marie to explain the nightmarish disaster and face the resulting malpractice suit. Simultaneously, Marie is faced with a quieter crisis within her family; her aging father’s sight deteriorates, leaving Marie responsible for his care. As her carefully structured life begins to collapse, Marie confronts questions of love and betrayal, family bonds and the price of her own choices. Set against he natural splendor of Seattle, and inside the closed vaults of hospital operating rooms, Oxygen climaxes in a final twist that is as heartrending as it is redeeming.This book feels very authentic and real, to the point where it feels like a non-fiction or memoir. Love Grey’s Anatomy? You’ll love this read. 


5.    Big Little Liesby Liane Moriarty 

I’m sure we’ve all heard of the amazing success of the show, Big Little Lies, starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, and more but I want the world to know that the book is just as phenomenal! I read this book when I went to Mexico last January and finished the whole book in the seven days I was there. I could not put it down. It’s funny and scary and relatable and just so so good. This book is all about the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive. It has murder, friendship, love, violence all wrapped up into one little book. It’s a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal and the little lies that can turn lethal. Would highly recommend this to someone who wants to read more this year, it’s a page-turner, and a short read! 


6.    Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin

I love Emily Griffin’s writing. It is so conversational, like she’s tapped into my conversations with friends and really writes both female and male characters so perfectly. The story is all about a girl and her best friend, and how that girl sleeps with her best friend’s finance. But the girl, Rachel, is a heroine you a rooting for, not against. That’s because her best friend Darcy is the type of girl that thinks she’s it, knows she’s got a smoking hot body, and has the world at her fingertips. Something Borrowed will have you laughing, crying and calling your best friend the minute you put it down!  


7.    The Girl on the Trainby Paula Hawkins

This is another read I’ve picked up a few times since purchasing, and love it every time I do. I love books set in England, I think it just adds so much to the book. This book has also become a film, starring Emily Blunt. It’s an amazing thriller/mystery novel that you will not want to put down. The main character Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every morning and night, the train passes the same suburban neighborhoods, including a home with housed a couple she saw all the time. Rachel starts to feel like she even knows them, giving them names Jason and Jess. Their life- as it seems- is perfect, unlike her own life she recently lost. But then one day she sees something, it’s only a minute and then the train chugs a long. Now everything has changed for Rachel and soon she is entangled in not only the investigation, but in the lives involved as well. It’s a really great book for anyone looking for something different. It’s not formatted in chapters, but rather days and times so it’s one of those books that you feel like you may miss out on the next twisting moment! 


What are some of your favourite titles from the past year? 6 months? 3 months? Comment below (need recommendations for 2019!). Happy reading!