Dianas Notes from the City

My Favorite Books I Read This Year

Well, I didn’t get to read as much as I wanted to this year… between getting a new job, signing up for Krav maga, and doing all the other things I’ve already been doing (French, working out, guitar, travel) but hey at least I kept myself busy this year right? I did have a few favorites and as usual, I want to share that list with you so here it goes:

Designing Your Work Life

I really enjoyed their first book “Designing Your Life.” and as I was finding myself looking for a new job and it felt like a never-ending process I found this book to be helpful. David & Bill provide valuable insights into how people typically get stuck as well as effective steps for reframing problems and getting into action. I especially liked the “don’t resign, redesign” chapter, which shows how to be “the designers of our own lives” and find new options for satisfaction when circumstances don’t allow you to leave your current job. I definitely, recommend it if you want to change your mindset about when you are not happy with your current circumstances but can’t leave it.

La Gente No Existe

Every year I try to read at least one book in Spanish and one of my favorite authors has been Laura Ferrero since I read her first book and followed her on Instagram. Well, this book definitely did it for me! A book of short stories: In one of the short stories, a woman falls in love with a neighbor because of how he takes care of the plants on his terrace. In another one, a man organizes a party with all his loved ones to celebrate the end of a long illness. And in another one, a girl accompanies her mother to see apartments that they can never afford to buy…
In these stories, there is love and heartbreak. There is absence and guilt. There is hope. There are those who celebrate today and what’s come, and others who prefer to live in expectations, where they feel protected. Those who can forget or not completely forget. All I have to say is that for sure some stories stuck with me.


Let me start with, this book is not for everyone but if you enjoy character-driven stories and don’t mind the lack of a strong plotline, I highly recommend it. I certainly loved it! The book is full of short random anecdotes and observations narrated by a woman who is probably an academic in her 40s who lives alone. In my opinion, some of the observations are thoughts of loneliness and solitude. This book beautifully narrates life in passages and how the hopes, frustrations, and longings of solitude and remembrance come into play.

The Keeper of Lost Things

This beautifully written book is a story of people who are a little lost navigating through life and their journey to finding their way. The story opens to introduce the character, Andrew, who is an older writer who lost the love of his life too early. He hires a young woman, Laura, who is trying to reclaim her life after divorcing the man she married too young. She is glad to get rid of him and loves Andrew’s house and lifestyle. Andrew has a study full of objects he has found over the years while he takes walks. He makes a note of where and when he finds each and every object with an intention of somehow returning the objects to their rightful owner. But he can’t really figure out how to go about accomplishing this goal.

A book about loss, love, and friendship.

The Cat Who Saved Books

Being a cat lady I love to read books that mention cats or have a cat on the front cover (especially if it’s an orange tabby.) I saw this book at a bookstore when I was in Dublin and added it to my list of “To read.”

A young man loses his grandfather and slips into depression meets a talking cat and embarks on a series of gentle quests to “save books. In my opinion, the author did a great job of making this book a fun story to read for anyone who loves books and cats while at the same time throwing in there some life messages we could all use a little reminder of.

Overall, The Cat Who Saved Books” is a quirky, fun, and touching joy for those who love books…and cats!

The Most Beautiful Book in the World

Well apparently short stories were a thing I really enjoyed this year, just as “La Gente no Existe” “The Most Beautiful Book in the World” narrates eight short stories. Each one contains only a few key characters and spans roughly twenty pages. In the broadest sense, these stories uncover the hidden sources of humanity’s best qualities: happiness, forgiveness, love, and generosity.

There is beauty in every story. This is not the fairy tale beauty, but the beauty of reality. Every story is bittersweet and awakening and definitely some stories I connected with more than others.

And… that’s a wrap. Have you read any of the books on this list? and what were your thoughts?

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