Return to Reading: Book Bucket List for 2015

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A new calendar year comes with resolutions of all kinds whether it be to pay a visit to the local gym, maintain some form of organization or to journal more often. However, there is no need to impress anyone, if you make a resolution, make it for yourself. Resolutions do not to be that extreme, for example, this year my resolution is to make time for reading. I believe that the escape and journey provided by a quality novel is something to cherish and I hope that throughout this year I will no longer deny myself of that experience.

At the beginning of last year, I started a list on my iPhone of books to read. As the year progressed, I managed to compose a list of roughly 30 books and unfortunately only found time to complete two. This year I plan to continue adding novels of various topics to this list and hopefully complete a significant number of them before the year comes to an end. After a long day of work and class, instead of filling my mind with trash television, I hope to engross myself in a novel of witty intellect or trying times. I have provided a select few books to read for the new year with a brief description for each. These select few novels are ideal for anyone looking for a quality and enriching read.

Tigers in Red Weather

by Liza Klaussman
Klaussman delivers a novel with all of the required elements: history, family, scandal, romance and, most important, quality writing. Set in the time frame immediately following the Second World War, the novel follows the lives of two upperclass female characters, Nick and Helena. Nick and Helena are accustomed to a pampered lifestyle, however, life as they know it begins to change when hidden secrets start to surface.  The storyline includes a common, familiar theme that things are not always as they seem.

The Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern
Morgenstern provides a look inside a life unknown to most, the circus. This is a story that portrays the passions and hardships of true love in an elegant fashion. “The Night Circus” is Morgernstern’s debut novel. The dynamic relationship between main characters, Celia and Marco, is sure to captivate readers and keep them fixated throughout the novel.

The Partly Cloudy Patriot

by Sarah Vowell
Vowell establishes a collection of essays and reflections ideal for entertaining any and all readers. Her personal essays are humorous and thoughtful covering a variety of known topics from German filmmakers to the Gettysburg Address.  Vowell does not sugarcoat her opinions, she is not afraid to say it like it is.  “The Partly Cloudy Patriot” is a novel that can be appreciated for its honesty and fluidity throughout.

Brain on Fire

by Susannah Cahalan
Cahalan unveils anyone’s worst nightmare: waking up in a hospital bed with no recollection of your life before that moment. Cahalan experienced a medical mystery. She woke up in a hospital bed without the ability to speak or move and no memory of why she was there. Cahalan describes her experiences and the doctors who helped save her life.  Each page is filled with rawness and honesty from Cahalan’s point of view.

Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality

by Jacob Tomsky
I personally love staying in hotels which is why I am especially excited to read this novel. I do not frequently stay overnight in hotels; however, when I do, I often pretend that I am Eloise from Eloise at the Plaza. Tomsky provides an inside look into the numerous amounts of people that work around the clock to ensure a quality stay at any hotel. Tomsky knows the do’s and don’ts of the hotel industry as he has held every position in the book from valet to housekeeping.  Readers will enjoy the details of Tomsky’s stories and experiences and insight into the perks, turmoils, and secrets of the hotel industry. He includes examples and stories that will make you laugh, blush, cringe and keep yearning for more.

Feature image: Pedro Ribeiro Simões, Creative Commons

Katherine Kelliher
Katherine is currently a senior at Saint Louis University studying Political Science, Communication-Journalism and French. She drinks her coffee black and is an avid film watcher.