Dianas Notes from the City

6 Books I Highly Recommend

And just like that, another year is in the books. I am starting to think that it is true the older you get time just seems to move a lot faster. This year brought a lot of change and personal growth and I’ve been considering writing a blog post about that. But let’s get back to this post, as we get ready to wrap up the year it is that time to write about the best books I read this year. Here is the list:


In this book, the author Sheila Heti questions what is gained and what is lost when a woman becomes a mother. The book is about a woman’s body and her choices, which are hers alone. She seeks guidance from philosophy, her body, mysticism, and chance.

For any woman who is struggling with the idea of having children because she thinks she is “supposed to” this novel may offer some thoughts to ponder.


Another book about the life-changing choices we make about careers, love, friendship, and motherhood which seems to be the trend when you hit your 30s. Olive is in her early 30s going through some major life changes. She has shared everything with her three childhood friends but they are becoming distant since she is walking a different path. One of her friends has three children, one is pregnant, and one is undergoing an expensive procedure to try to conceive. Olive has never wanted children and society giver her the impression that something is wrong with her.

The book explores societal pressures on women to bear children and even pressuring each other. It also explores how relationships grow apart. A good book if you are in your early 30s.

I am not your perfect Mexican daughter

The perfect Mexican daughter does not go away to college, the perfect Mexican daughter never abandons her family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role, her older sister. Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to pick up the shattered piece of her family. And no one seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed. But it’s not long before Julia discovers Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought her to be.

This book gives you a perspective into the life of a Mexican immigrant and what they have to go through and a look into a Hispanic family with older beliefs. A book about family secrets, mental health, and a look into culture generation beliefs.

Listen to the marriage

There are three lives and multiple relationships in this book. Sandy, the therapist, and Steven and Gretchen, they are in a very distressing relationship and heading for divorce. They come to Sandy for assistance. Each character makes their own personal journey and those journeys are the book’s substance. We learn what goes on within each character and between them as the story unfolds. There are three major themes: the character’s struggles, the therapist’s process, and the transformation of the marriage.

If you are married or have been married for a while. you will find something to relate to in Gretchen and Steve’s marriage. The book takes you through all the mess that marriage can be. How you start on a team and after time goes by, you can start to grow apart. The book touches on some fundamental items in order for a healthy marriage to survive.

Never Let me go

This book was my second favorite this year. As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at an exclusive boarding school. It was a place of mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding them of how special they were. Years later, Kathy is a young woman, and Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time, she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special.

Never Let me go is a gripping mystery, a beautiful love story, a look into human arrogance, and a moral examination of how we treat the vulnerable and different in our society.

Klara and the sun

Klara and the sun was my favorite book I read this year. I read it while on our trip to Ireland and I just couldn’t put it down. From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her

This book is much more than a fantastical plot. Most of all, it is a profound and moving story about humanity, our strengths, and our weaknesses as humans, a look into what it means to make us human. What makes us special? what does it mean to love? A book about loneliness and faith.

I love this book so much I might need to buy a copy and re-read it. Ishiguro covered so many philosophical aspects in just one novel and because of that, I think it also makes it a great book for a book discussion.

And that’s a wrap! How about you? Did you read a book that made a huge impact on you this year?

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