I hope this list is helpful to many. I heavily rely on other's recommendations, so if you have any good books you've read recently, please let me know :)
Without any particular order, here are my favorite reads from 2017 --
This book are the last written words from a young doctor who is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Powerful reflection on life and death. This book was also forwarded by another Indian descent author, Abraham Verghese, whose book Cutting for Stone is one of my most absolute favorite books of all time.
It seemed as if everybody and their mom was reading this book in hopes to understand how it was that Trump got elected as president of the US. Interesting read of a young man who was raised in a highly dysfunctional society and of how he eventually got out of it. If you have trouble reading a lot of cussing, feel free to skip this read, as it is saturated with profanity.
The Hole in our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness by Kevin DeYoung
I just love everything this author ever writes. He writes about things that need to be written, and does it in a simple, yet profound manner. This book is no exception.
Like I said, I just love this author and anything he writes. Simple and to the point. The subtitle says it all, so I won't add anything else here, other than you just need to go read it :)
If I could give an award to the #1, best, most favorite book of the year, this one would win the 2017 award (last year's award would go to What Alice Forgot). It is just so good! It covers a lot of hard topics without it taking an emotional toll on you, and it is such a redeeming story! I read it in two days. I just could not put it down. And it made me so happy in the end. Go read it.
The basic premise of this book is: "You are better off being white and guilty than black and innocent." I love the work that Bryan Stevenson is doing today, so if nothing else, look him up on the Internet and make yourself familiar with his work, even if you never read the book.
The Waiting: The True Story of a Lost Child, a Lifetime of Longing, and a Miracle for a Mother Who Never Gave Up by Cathy LaGrow
This was an absolutely beautiful story. A young girl in the early 1900's is raped and gives her baby up for adoption. I loved walking thru decades of life with her and learning what it's like to be a birth mother. Grab some Kleenex, you'll need them!
Letters to a Birmingham Jail: A Response to the Words and Dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr edited by Bryan Loritts
With contributors from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, I'd say this has been the best and most helpful book I've read on race-related issues.
The story of a "prodigal daughter" and of the struggles that both her and her father face during that long, hard season. Written in both a his and her voice, it is a good book because it gives you an opportunity to enter into each person's life and thoughts. I'd even say it's a great "parenting" book. And a quick, easy read.
Messy Beautiful Friendship: Finding and Nurturing Deep and Lasting Relationships by Christine Hoover
If you are anything like me and incredibly insecure about your relationships, I'd highly recommend this book. I found it to be profound and liberating.
A novel that brings to light the contributions that women gave during WWII. As is the case with any WWII book, it is a hard read, but well-written, profound, challenging, and educational.
I just loved this book. I read it in a weekend, all while neglecting everything that needed to get done in my home. I grew up as a privileged Mexican, so reading about Reyna's world and her family struggle was amazing to me. I'd especially recommend it to anyone with a Latino background or someone who wants to better understand the life and struggles of the illegal immigrant.