Here at MEDIA CONNECT books are our jobs. That doesn’t mean, however, that we don’t enjoy reading in our downtime as well. In fact, outside of working hours, many of us are voracious readers, always on the hunt for the next great read.
In that spirit, here are some of our favorites from the past year:
I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson. Beautifully written, a John Green spiderweb centering around- what else? The process of growing up. First love. Loss of a mother. Grief. Topics that can be easily overwrought. However, Nelson’s writing carries her all the way through, tackling LGBT material in a delicate way. Didn’t necessarily have to love all the characters to appreciate the prose, and that’s the kind of story I always have to heed praise to. One of those books that I read on the train, in bed, on the couch, and felt like it was the end of something when I finished. I’ll be attached to it for years to come and that is the best reception a book can give you.
–Lindsey Hall, Associate Publicist
While it’s hard to pick just one book that touched your heart in the last year, if I think of a book that made me think, that made me see the world a little differently after I put it down, and that made me take a deeper look at myself, that book is Looking For Alaska by John Green. I find myself investing in each character he writes about, which makes his work wonderful to dive into. I loved how the main character, Pudge, was obsessed with famous last words. I loved that Alaska had her own world and pulled not only Pudge, but the readers into it as well. It’s a great story about growing up, about the “great perhaps,” and has universal themes that extend beyond the average young adult story. Also, being born in the nineties, I always appreciate good labyrinth symbolism. Aside from the plot, John Green’s writing is brave and honest, which are two of the best qualities I think a writer can have. I’d recommend it to anyone.
—Anna Patrick, Digital Publicist and Social Media Strategist
I read all the books in The Divergent series over the Summer. I had no intention of reading it initially, despite the new movie coming out, but was coerced by some die-hard fans of the author and the book. Veronica Roth was also at BEA this year, and the crowds that came to see her were so unbelievable that I decided to give it a shot.
I thought the series was exciting, captivating and extremely well written. I became really involved in the plot and felt like I knew the main character, Tris, on a personal level. I was really looking forward to seeing the movie, but ended up disappointed. The cast was not what I had imagined and I was upset to see how much they left out, as often is the case with book-to-movie transitions. I was definitely happy that I read the books first, and pleasantly surprised in my reaction to the ending being different than what I’d heard it would be. It’s a fast-paced, thrilling and lively read and one that I could hardly put down.
–Cori Cagide, Publicist
I recently finished The Dog by Joseph O’Neill. It’s a bleak, existential romp through our brave new world. Full of meditations on modern relationships, technological connectedness, and our lust for luxurious living, it makes for a quick, laugh-inducing read. The plot is set mostly in Dubai and New York, so those who like cross-cultural stories should also get a kick out of O’Neill’s latest.
–Adrienne Fontaine, Senior Publicist
I picked up Amy Poehler’s Yes Please the day it arrived in stores and barely put it down thereafter. It’s a funny, honest collection of stories and anecdotes from Poehler’s life. From hilarious and embarrassing stories from her childhood to her time at SNL, it’s all told in her sharp, witty voice. A definite must-read for any fan of Poehler.
–Johanna Dickson, Digital Publicist
I’d recommend to all script writers on staff: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by The Office actress, star of The Mindy Project, Mindy Kaling. The daughter of a doctor (her mother) and an architect father was raised in Boston, was a child actor who grew up doing sketch comedy with her girlfriends from the neighborhood and later with her roommates while living in Brooklyn. I haven’t finished reading this book, but I’m learning Mindy’s comedy writing technique.
–Dawn Frederick, Receptionist
Related: Hot Books In 2014