As the world gets ready to celebrate the end of one of the most challenging years in recent history, I can't help but look back at the last twelve months and feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to the authors, poets, and writers who helped me make it through. I am hoping to leave a lot of things behind when the clock strikes midnight, but I'm going to make sure that the best pieces of advice I read in 2017 follow me into the new year.
It's no secret that 2017 was a trying year, not only for Americans, but for people around the world. Their were heartbreaking mass shootings and devastating natural disasters, deadly plane crashes, and chaotic political turmoil. When the ball drops on December 31, there won't be many people sad to say goodbye to the year that brought us Hurricane Maria, Tom Petty's death, and The Emoji Movie, but there will be plenty of readers that are grateful for the amazing books published this year that helped them understand, process, and get through it all ― myself included.
No matter what the last 12 months seemed to throw at me, there was a book there to help me face the problem. When I felt helpless and confused following the election of Donald Trump, there was a chorus of writers' voices to help guide me away from angry defeat and towards proactive resistance. When I was faced with tough relationship questions or immersed in family conflict, there were comforting stories and relatable narratives that made me feel less alone. When I felt lost in my own writing, the words of experienced authors were there to show me the way. No matter what disaster life cooked up this year, the antidote could always be found on my bookshelf.
The last 12 months may have been rough, but thanks books and their talented authors, it wasn't a complete loss. In fact, because of to the 15 best pieces of advice I read in 2017, it actually became one hell of an inspiring year.