As far as reading goes, this year felt pretty normal for me. But looking at my top 5 for the year, I realized: this is the first time my favorite books have all been nonfiction. I must be getting old ;)
All of these books have a common thread of change, though, and I think the story-telling elements and anecdotes of personal experiences are what set them apart from what I traditionally think of as "nonfiction." I'm nosy - and the stories in these nonfiction books are just as compelling as my favorite fiction books.
So, let's get right to it! My top 5 in no particular order:
Plastic-Free by Beth Terry. I started going off the deep end with my "environmentally friendly" ways back in 2007 when I found No Impact Man, and started reading Beth's blog around that same time. While I didn't necessarily read this book for the suggestions, I ended up gleaning a few tips anyway and enjoyed hearing more about Beth's personal struggles she faced because of her plastic-free goal.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Loved this book! Gretchen considers herself a pretty happy person, but she still wonders if she could be happier. This book chronicles her 12 month project to become a happier person (spoiler alert: it works!). Part of her challenge was starting a blog, which I also enjoy.
Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman. Pamela is raising three children with her husband in France and notices several differences between how French children and American children behave. This book fascinated me (in part because I'm not yet a parent) and I really enjoyed reading ideas on how to raise children in a less-stressful way. I wrote more about it here.
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. I don't consider myself a runner (probably ran a grand total of 5 miles this entire year), but I found this book powerful. This book is full of people accomplishing amazing feats with their bodies and I loved the overarching message of and yours can, too.
Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. One thing I haven't changed in my efforts to be green is birth control and I read this book to remedy that. Plain and simple, this book is a guide to natural birth control. On the flipside, it helps couples who want to get pregnant, too. Absolutely amazing :)
Any thoughts on my top 5? What are your favorite books of 2012?