I read a lot of books this year and enjoyed many of them. It’s hard to choose favorites, so I narrowed it down to only those books that were released during 2017. These books all received five out of five shells in my reviews.
Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia
Rita Williams-Garcia is an incredible author whose middle-grade fiction always handles difficult subjects with ease and gentleness. Her newest release is no different. I loved going on an adventure with Clayton as he discovered truths about himself and his family through the power of music.
Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley
I wouldn’t have believed you if you’d told me at the beginning of the year that a book about yoga would make my best-of list, but here we are! Beyond just making yoga more accessible, the biggest take away from this book is that no matter who you are and what your physical limitations may be, your body and mind deserve to be nourished and prioritized.
Hunger by Roxane Gay
This was one of my most anticipated reads for the year and it exceeded all of my expectations. I still feel it in my chest when I reflect on the experiences Roxane Gay shares in this heartbreaking memoir.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This book deserves every ounce of praise that it’s received this year. It’s a stunning YA debut about police violence and the movement for black lives. You definitely need to pick it up if you haven’t already read it. Do it!
Originally published in: 2017
What it’s about: An unintimidating guide to getting started with yoga for people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and abilities.
What made me pick it up: Stanley is something of an Instagram star, so I was curious to see what she’d have to say to reluctant would-be yogis.
My favorite things: Part guide for the reluctant yogi, part memoir, Stanley openly shares her own complicated history with yoga to make it more accessible to anybody that’s been afraid to try because they don’t think that they will be capable. She’s so inspiring and encouraging that I, who have always had trouble with the quiet and introspective aspects of yoga, found myself anxious to give it another shot. She also includes several sequences for feelings that it’s easy to identify with, such as I Need To Chill the F Out (pg 206) and I Need to Love Myself (pg 212).
Who it’s great for: Anyone who’s considered practicing yoga but been too intimidated to start.
Find this book at Amazon or in your local library.
Originally published in: 2015
What it’s about: A young girl explains why she does yoga while demonstrating basic poses.
What made me pick it up: It was recommended to me by OverDrive after something I wanted wasn’t available. It’s a weird service that is not nearly close to the mark but does sometimes suggest things that are also of interest. It was a picture book, which I knew I’d go through quickly. It has a very engaging cover and font.
My favorite things: As a yoga fan more than practitioner, I enjoyed the welcoming colors and design of this book. It also offers easy to understand explanations for how yoga can help with stress and health. In the back is a simple guide to basic poses that made me want to stretch for the first time in a while. Or maybe just lay on the ground in corpse pose. That counts too!
Who it’s great for: Parents who want to introduce yoga to their child. Anyone who enjoys bright colors and engaging illustration. Adults who want a brief guide to basic yoga.