Fall season hit with such force that I never had a chance to share about my reads in the past few months. Instead, I thought I would share my favorite books of 2019.
I somehow managed to read 43 (!) books, which is a record for how insanely busy most of the year was. If you find that you never have time to read, plan a Sabbath day, and turn your phone off. It’s amazing how much time you have when you’re not wasting it on social media!
BOOKS THAT WERE HARD TO FORGET:
Educated // Tara Westover
This memoir haunted me from the moment I finished the last page, in a good way. Tara’s recollection weaves through surviving an emotionally + abusive family in Idaho. Her parents are wrapped up in cultish ideas, some of which are exacerbated by her dad’s bipolar disorder. It’s a fascinating read about feminism, religion, and education.
Homegoing // Yaa Gyasi
This book was one of my all-time faves from the past few years. It was THAT good. The story follows two African lineages dating back to the 1600s (or earlier? can’t remember). Each chapter jumps to the next generation, exploring the difficulties of racial injustice in each century. The writing is truly a gem and eye-opening to the privilege that most of us have.
The Immortalists // Chloe Benjamin
Four kids find out their future from a fortune-teller, and this awareness affects their life decisions. It’s a fascinating concept, and the storytelling is phenomenal.
Pachinko // Min Jin Lee
Not going to lie, when I first saw the cover, I was not looking forward to diving into this book. However, I was hooked after the first few chapters. The story chronicles generations of a Korean family during the colonization era in the late 1800s through the 1900s. It was a part of history I never knew, and the storytelling is vivid.
Wild // Cheryl Strayed
I gobbled this book up in a few days. Cheryl’s memoir is not only truly unbelievable with the events that transpire, but the way she uses words is like a song. Wild reflects on her trauma of losing her mother and mirrors it with her adventure of backpacking the Pacific Coast Trail.
The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna // Juliet Grames
This was another top favorite of the year. The novel tells the tale of Stella who experiences seven or eight “deaths” in her life, starting from childhood in Italy through the end of her life in America. I finished the book feeling like it had to be real. The storytelling was that incredible.
Daisy Jones and the Six // Taylor Jenkins Reid
I 100% thought this book was a memoir until halfway through. I went to look up the music and quickly realized that this was a book of fiction. The book is told in reporter fashion as a band in the 60s/70s starts to take off. The dialogue is believable and the interchanges help the book move at a fast pace. I finished this in a few days because I couldn’t put it down.
BOOKS THAT WERE HELPFUL:
A Beginner’s Guide to Investing // Alex Frey + Stocks for the Long Run // Jeremy Siegel
Neither of these books is exciting, but they were immensely helpful for understanding the stock market. If you’re starting to learn the world of investing, this is a good place to start.
Keep Going // Austin Kleon
Austin Kleon is one of my favorites, and this book was just as great as his former bestsellers. It’s a wonderful book to read when you’re stuck in a rut creatively.
Oh Crap! Potty Training // Jamie Glowacki
This is only relevant for the parents out there, but I 100% recommend this if you’re in that phase of life. Kitt was trained in three days. I couldn’t believe it.
BOOKS THAT WERE EASY, ENJOYABLE READS:
Salt // Nayyirah Waheed
A beautiful book of poetry.
The Huntress // Kate Quinn
A WWII-era novel that follows a Nazi-hunter attempting to find “the huntress.” The book flashes back and forth between the past + present, making the story hard to put down.
Lies // T.M. Logan
A great murder-mystery with a huge twist at the end. I read it in a day on vacation.
The Only Woman in the Room // Marie Benedict
This novel is based on a fascinating piece of WWII history that I had never heard of before. The book follows Hedy Lamarr through her marriage to a wealthy munitions seller in Vienna + acting career during WWII in America. On top of being wildly successful as an actress, she also was responsible for contributing to science in a big way.
Where the Crawdads Sing // Delia Owens
I think I enjoyed this novel more because I live in North Carolina. The story tells of an abandoned child who survives on her own in the swamps of the Outer Banks. Intertwined in her story is a murder, a love story, and a plethora of nature.
Circe // Madline Miller
I’m not normally into Greek Mythology, but this story sucked me in.
Recursion // Blake Crouch
I’m also not normally into sci-fi, but this was just barely sci-fi that it seemed almost realistic. It’s a fast-paced thriller that I finished in a few days.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo // Taylor Jenkins Reid
Taylor Jenkins Reid is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. The novel depicts a wealthy, aged actress retelling the stories of her love life to a reporter.
My Sister the Serial Killer // Oyinkan Braithwaite
A quick thriller that can easily be finished in a few days. The title speaks enough to the synopsis.