A Year of Books

New Year’s resolutions can be hard to keep, but there was one goal I set for 2015: to read one book for each week of the year. I came close by reading 50. Don Quixote kept me from meeting this goal. It took me weeks to read Cervantes’s masterpiece, time which could have been spent reading 3 or 4 average-sized books. But I’m especially proud of reading Don Quixote, a book like no other.

Of the 50 books read in 2015, here are my top 5, in no particular order:

Take This Man by Brando Skyhorse: The autobiography of a Mexican-American writer who suffered a highly dysfunctional family life until he broke away and became his own man.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng: A heartbreaking story of a young Chinese-American girl’s search for identity.

Make Your Home With Strangers by Jennine Capo-Crucet: A Cuban-American teen goes off to college in a northeastern American university where she quickly feels alienated from her fellow students and . . . from her family back in Miami.

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters: A sensitively written story of forbidden love in early twentieth century America.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes: Cervantes packs so many themes into this tale of class divisions, the wisdom of the seemingly common man, the search for truth and justice, keeping one’s dreams alive, and the realm of popular fiction. And, over four centuries after it was written, it still entertains, and it made me laugh out loud.

This list of favorites makes me realize that I have a preference for coming-of-age stories. I guess that’s not surprising since I wrote one. Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

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