As the end of December approaches it brings with it reading lists of the best books people have read over the course of the year. But if you’re anything like the staff at Zola, you’re willing to admit that there simply isn’t enough time (even across 365 days) to read everything you want to. So at the end of year parties, as we brag to our friends and family about the wonderful books that we have read, know that at the back of our minds we’re wistfully thinking of the ones we never made time for. Below are some of the books that the Zola staff wishes they had taken the time to read this year.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Admitting YA-sacrilege…I have a never-ending love for John Green and haven’t read any of his books. This is a bandwagon I want to hop on. The holidays are here and I’d love for someone to get me The Fault in Our Stars (and likely a box of tissues) so I can get started because for whatever insane reason I’ve forgotten to buy it for myself.
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
I seriously cannot believe that another year has gone by and my bookmark hasn’t moved from halfway through Martin’s epic first novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. I can think of at least five people wanting to shank me right now for promising I’d finish this. Sorry, guys. Maybe next year?
|Amanda, Senior Designer|
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Kelly stole mine! I’m truly ashamed that I haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars. Having received such high recommendations from my coworkers and friends (all of whom said it was completely worth reading despite my concern about using an entire box of Kleenex for a book), it has been on my list all year, and yet I have not gotten around to reading it. I’ve even recommended it to people, y’all! I’m embarrassed. Somebody, give me this book.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
Slouching Towards Bethlehem has been on my list since I studied Creative Writing in college. I kept my Didion ignorance a secret from all of my creative writing classmates. Thanks to Zola, I am finally reading it!
|Sam, Editorial Assistant|
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
I’ve been dying to read this because I never trusted Peter Pan and Tiger Lily seems like a badass heroine unlike the lame damsel-in-distress Wendy. I am on a huge reimagining of classic stories kick and this seems like the perfect fit.
|DongWon, Director of Product Management|
My main reading regrets are:
The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit
She’s one of my favorite writers of all time and this is a memoir/critical study of her mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s. It has seemed too intensely sad for me to truly dive into even though she’s an incredibly transporting writer and a powerfully incisive and observant thinker.
Dublin Murder Squad by Tana French
In The Woods was one of my favorite reads last year and one of my favorite mystery/thrillers of all time. She has 3 more books in the series and I can’t think of a single reason I haven’t shoved those into my brain as fast as possible.
|Matt, Senior Engineer|
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
Next up is most likely Stranger in a Strange Land…on a long list of classic sci-fi/fantasy that I have yet to find the time to sit down with.
The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
I’ve been meaning to read The Better Angels of Our Nature. Someone recently told me that this book changed their outlook on life more than any other book they’ve ever read. I believe it’s about the decline of human violence. “The decline of violence may be the most significant and under appreciated development in the history of our species.” Steven Pinker.
|Alexis, Metadata Analyst|
I constantly have a running list in my head of 1,000 books I want to read, so I don’t even know where to begin! But, I’ll start here…
A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
I read the first book after watching the first season, so I was hoping to read the second book before I watched the second season to see if it would change my reading experience. But, since Netflix sucks and I don’t have cable, I’ve watched the second season before getting to this book. Boo.
The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Super embarrassing, don’t even know why I am publicly sharing this…but I just think the story line sounds super cool.
|Lynda, Chief Marketing Officer|
|Luke, Product Manager|
Kelly and Amanda stole mine! But aside from The Fault in Our Stars, I do also want to read…
The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross
I read Listen to This this year and it was a level of music writing I’ve never encountered–he makes the obscure relatable and engaging, while welcoming you into a world that seems inaccessible (and shaming those who make it so).
The Ball and the Cross by G.K. Chesterton
I read The Man Who was Thursday this year and it was hands down the best thriller I’ve read…ever. He manages to combine weird early 20th Century Anarchist criminal societies with Catholic metaphysics. The Ball and the Cross finds an Atheist and a Catholic running around Britain, away from the cops who are trying to prevent a duel between the two. Sounds like a kooky and crazy premise.
|Phil, Director of Reviews|
The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Shameful confession: this novel, when I read it, will be my first Gaiman. I’m intrigued by the story of it, and I read some wonderful reviews that have kept my appetite ever-whetted.
You Are One of Them by Elliott Holt
I got to know her voice and sensibility via Twitter and am very curious about this, her first novel.
|Devereaux Chatillon, Publishing Counsel|
The Path to Power by Robert A. Caro
It’s been on my shelf (and I even bought it in hardcover), but when I’ve had time for a long read, I’ve gone for novels like The Goldfinch, which I love.
|Joe, Chief Executive Officer|
|Tad, Director of International Business Development|
For something completely different,
On The Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System by Hank Paulson
Interested to see if Paulson abandons his trademark understatedness and renders the hair-raising climactic October 2008 Treasury meeting with nine of the world’s top (sweating) bankers with a painterly touch or a sledge hammer.
|Jay, QA Manager|
The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
I’ve been meaning to finish up the Percy Jackson series. Sadly, I haven’t been able to read anything lately that doesn’t have to do with programming.
Don’t miss any of the New Year’s countdown! See all of the stories here.
This article originally appeared on Zola Books.