58 Book Recommendations To Kick Off The New Year

58 Book Recommendations To Kick Off The New Year

Included are all of the books I read this year that you should check out before your next trip to the bookstore


I made it an unofficial goal for 2018 to read 52 books. To jumpstart this, my mom and I started a competition with each other to see who could read the most books in 2018. My end count ended up being 58, but my mom won with a little over 70. I attribute my loss to being a full-time student and part-time employee, but it could also be that my mom is just a faster reader than I am. Anyhow, I thought I would include the entirety of the books I read along with my rating out of 5 stars so that perhaps you can kickstart your 2019 reading list.

"Station Eleven" by Emily St. John Mandel; 4/5

"Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink" by Anthony McCarten; 5/5

"The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini; 5/5

"The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield; 4/5

"The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins; 5/5

"Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury; 5/5

"The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls; 5/5

"Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn; 5/5

"Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn; 4/5

"The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood; 3/5

"Slaughterhouse-Five" by Kurt Vonnegut; 3/5

"The Bhagavad Gita"; 4/5

"The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World" by Joni Seager; 4/5

"A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini; 5/5

"We Were Liars" by E. Lockhart; 4/5

"Salem Falls" by Jodi Picoult; 5/5

"Big Little Lies" by Liane Moriarty; 5/5

"The Basic Eight" by Daniel Handler; 4/5

"More Than This" by Patrick Ness; 3/5

"Mosquitoland" by David Arnold; 4/5

"Fingersmith" by Sarah Waters; 2/5

"Never Let Me Go" by Kazoo Ishiguro; 4/5

"I'm Thinking of Ending Things" by Iain Reid; 3/5

"Turn of Mind" by Alice LePlante; 4/5

"Being Peace" by Thich Naht Hanh; 5/5

"Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck; 4/5

"Paper Towns" by John Green; 5/5

"Warrior Woman: The Exceptional Life Story of Nonhelema, Shawnee Indian Woman Chief" by James Alexander Thom; 3/5

"Turtles All the Way Down" by John Green; 5/5

"This is Where it Ends" by Marieke Niijkamp; 4/5

"Niki's Honor" by Laila Anwarzai Ayoubi; 4/5

"Passover Haggadah"; 3/5

"Girl in Pieces" by Kathleen Glasgow; 4/5

"Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail" by Cheryl Strayed; 5/5

"The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath; 4/5

"Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng; 5/5

"The Sun and Her Flowers" by Rupi Kaur; 5/5

"Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster" by Jon Krakauer; 5/5

"Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer; 5/5

"Someday, Someday Maybe" by Lauren Graham; 4/5

"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware; 3/5

"Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman; 5/5

"Yes Please" by Amy Poehler; 4/5

"Uglies" by Scott Westerfield; 4/5

"The Color Purple" by Alice Walker; 5/5

"Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert; 5/5

"The Rules of Magic" by Alice Hoffman; 4/5

"The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology" by Thich Naht Hanh; 5/5

"Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell; 5/5

"The Knife of Never Letting Go" by Patrick Ness; 5/5

"The Ask and the Answer" by Patrick Ness; 5/5

"All the Bright Places" by Jennifer Niven; 4/5

"The Alice Network" by Kate Quinn; 5/5

"I Was Here" by Gayle Forman; 4/5

"Clockwork Angel" by Cassandra Clare; 5/5

"Anatomy of a Misfit" by Andrea Portes; 3/5

"It's Kind of a Funny Story" by Ned Vizzini; 5/5

"Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell; 5/5

I know I have a lot of 4 and 5 stars here, but most of the books I read this year were really good. My favorite ended up being a tie between "The Alice Network" and "Fangirl." So if you're looking to read some excellent books this coming year but don't know where to start, check out some of the books on my list and go from there. Happy reading!

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13 Of The Best, Most Famous Poems Ever Written

Masterpieces by some of our favorites like as Shakespeare, John Donne, and Homer.

Some of us read poetry for an eager and fast escape from this world. On the other hand, some of us read poetry solely to share it with the ones we love. There are miracles on paper that can easily be forgotten about if we let them be. The following poems are written by some of our favorites such as Shakespeare, John Donne, Homer, and more. It is clear why these have become some of the most famous and unforgettable poems ever written. So grab a pen, and interpret these poems in your own, unique way.

1. “Go and Catch a Falling Star” - John Donne

Go and catch a falling star,

Get with child a mandrake root,

Tell me where all past years are,

Or who cleft the devil's foot,

Teach me to hear mermaids singing,

Or to keep off envy's stinging,

And find

What wind

Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,

Things invisible to see,

Ride ten thousand days and nights,

Till age snow white hairs on thee,

Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,

All strange wonders that befell thee,

And swear,

No where

Lives a woman true, and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,

Such a pilgrimage were sweet;

Yet do not, I would not go,

Though at next door we might meet;

Though she were true, when you met her,

And last, till you write your letter,

Yet she

Will be

False, ere I come, to two, or three.

2. “Drinking Alone in the Moonlight” - Li Po

Beneath the blossoms with a pot of wine,

No friends at hand, so I poured alone;

I raised my cup to invite the moon,

Turned to my shadow, and we became three.

Now the moon had never learned about drinking,

And my shadow had merely followed my form,

But I quickly made friends with the moon and my shadow;

To find pleasure in life, make the most of the spring.

Whenever I sang, the moon swayed with me;

Whenever I danced, my shadow went wild.

Drinking, we shared our enjoyment together;

Drunk, then each went off on his own.

But forever agreed on dispassionate revels,

We promised to meet in the far Milky Way.

3. “Sonnet 18” - William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

4. “The World Is Too Much with Us” - William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

5. “She Walks in Beauty” - Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

Thus mellowed to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impaired the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express,

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

6. “How Do I Love Thee?”- Elizabeth Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

7. “ Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” -Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

8. The Jabberwocky” - Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;

Long time the manxome foe he sought—

So rested he by the Tumtum tree

And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

9. “Tears Fall in My Heart” - Paul Verlaine

Tears fall in my heart

Rain falls on the town;

what is this numb hurt

that enters my heart?

Ah,the soft sound of rain

on roofs, on the ground!

To a dulled heart they came,

ah, the song of the rain!

Tears without reason

in the disheartened heart.

What? no trace of treason?

This grief's without reason.

It's far the worst pain

to never know why

without love or disdain

my heart has such pain!

10. “We Wear the Mask” - Paul Lawrence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile;

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!

11. “The Panther” - Rainer Maria Rilke

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,

has grown so weary that it cannot hold

anything else. It seems to him there are

a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,

the movement of his powerful soft strides

is like a ritual dance around a center

in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupils

lifts, quietly--. An image enters in,

rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,

plunges into the heart and is gone.

12. “Sea Fever” - John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

13. "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight" -Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Save these poems for your next coffee shop date or solitude moment. You might be surprised at how much you can find yourself in a poem.

Cover Image Credit: Thought Catalog

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Poetry On Odyssey: The Marks Of Life

As you go through life your experiences shape who you are.


We start as a blank canvas,

born into the world.

But as we grow,

and the experiences we face shape us,

our body begins to show it.

The freckles across your cheeks,

that denotes a passion for the outdoors.

The scars on your arms,

that show your battle.

The tattoos on your skin,

that exhibit your creativity.

The dye in your hair,

that displays your whimsy.

Everything about you helps tell your story.

Just make sure it is a good one.

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