If You Read Only Five Books This Year, Here's What They Should Be

by Melissa Ragsdale

Sometimes it can be so overwhelming how many great new books are coming out. You want to read them all, but you only have so much time in the day. It's so easy for your TBR list to get out of control — which is a great problem to have, but can also be so frustrating. So, when you can only read a few books a year, which ones do you choose?

In my opinion, a good reading diet is a balanced one. You want a little bit of each genre, a hearty variety of perspectives, and you want a good mix of books that will make you feel and think in different ways. It may seem like the only way to do this is to read thousands of books a year, but it's totally achievable with even just a handful of reads.

This list has a little bit of everything: poetry, YA, fiction, nonfiction, and comics. Each one brings something fresh and vibrant to the table. These are also books that people are talking a lot about, so you can jump in to the buzz without missing a beat.

So, if you only have time to read five books this year, these are the five you're going to want open up.

'There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé' by Morgan Parker

Morgan Parker's poetry is smart and bursting with life. Whether she's exploring depression or the daily politics of being a black woman, Parker has a sharp eye and expressive voice that sets her apart. This is the poetry book of the year, in my opinion, and you have to get your hands on it.

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'Exit West' by Mohsin Hamid

Named onto the long-list for the 2017 Man Booker, this book is an important and mesmerizing read. Nadia and Saeed, who live in a country on the brink of civil war, decide to escape their country's violence via a magical door that transports them far away... for a price.

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'This is Just My Face' by Gabourey Sidibe

You may know Gabourey Sidibe from her starring role in Precious, or you may know her from her work on Empire or American Horror Story. But when you're done with this book, you're going to feel like you've known her your entire life. Bursting with energy and honesty, this isn't just another celebrity memoir. Sidibe takes you into her world completely, diving into a wide range of intimate topics, including her relationship with her body, her chaotic family history, and even her stint working as a phone sex operator.

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'America: Issue 1' by Gabby Rivera

News of Gabby Rivera (author of the phenomenal Juliet Takes a Breath) doing anything is cause for excitement. But a comic book? Starring a queer Latina superhero? That's too freaking cool to handle. One of the Marvel Universe's most badass characters, teenage superhero America Chavez is finally got her own solo series, and she's taking her butt-kicking ways to a brand new adventure: college.

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‘The Hate U Give' by Angie Thomas

This remarkable YA book is making huge waves, and you don't want to miss it. This is the story of Starr Carter, a teenager torn between the worlds of her poor, black neighborhood and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. When Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend by a police officer and the incident makes national headlines, her life is thrown into complete chaos.

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