My Top 7 Great Reads This Year

Because I am an avid reader, I often get the question, "so what's a great book on the shelves right now?" Here are some of my most recent treasures, in no particular order.

  1. Private, Swimsuit by James Patterson: What I like about James' books is that they have different flavors to them. The thing that is consistent is they capture my imagination and they are page-turners. I absorb them like they are my favorite flavor of gelato because I don't want to stop until I am done. I have never read a James Patterson book that I didn't enjoy.
  2. Basket Case by Carl Hiassen: I really enjoy his books because they are always set in South Florida where I grew up. All the scenery and the personalities of the characters feel really familiar. He brings you through the wild and crazy ride through these unimaginable situations that could never really happen in real life but probably did because he was a journalist for so many years.
  3. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese: This is probably the best book I have read all year. It was such an unusual story about twin boys who are born to a nun who dies in childbirth. They are raised in a very biblical setting in Ethiopia while the country is going through political turmoil in the 1908's. It took me on a journey to a place I had never been before. I really enjoyed the writing: the way one word followed another in the sentences, it is cinematic.
  4. This is Not the Story You Think It Is by Laura Munson: Beautifully written book about becoming emotionally mature and accepting 100% responsibility for your own joy and happiness. Laura proves that it is possible to do it and in a highly entertaining, personal memoir.
  5. The Shack by William Paul Young : The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of a young girl leaves the father with tremendous guilt while he mourns his loss. He begins to have a conversation with God and interacts with different spiritual versions of Jesus. It is a powerful religious/mystical story of an ordinary man who is having extraordinary conversations with who he believes to be God.
  6. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Sieg Larsson: This is the third in the series and I loved them all. I cried when the book was over not because of the way it ended but because it was the third and final one. They are just such gripping and riveting reads. His characters are so rich and fully developed and the stories so extraordinary. I think I may start over with the first one and read them all again.
  7. Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert: This is the author who brought us Eat, Pray, Love which I read three times! I have read Committed twice. I love how her personality jumps off the page. As you are reading it you feel like she is one of your closest friends and you know how she thinks by the way she shares the story. I would like to be that level of writer when I grow up someday.
I encourage you to take the journeys so well-crafted in these books. Enjoy the ride!

Arielle Ford has launched the careers of many NY Times bestselling authors including Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Neale Donald Walsch & Debbie Ford. She is a former book publicist, literary agent and the author of seven books. To learn how to get started writing a book please visit: