Obviously the year isn’t over yet and I’m still reading new to me books. So there’s always the possibility that this list can slightly change. If that happens, I will do an updated list. However, these are my favorites so far for what I read in 2019. This list is in order of when I read them so we’re going from first best to latest.
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We Can Do It, Words from Awesome Women by Summersdale. This is a small coffee table book that I love periodically looking through when I need a little pick me up. It’s nothing but inspirational quotes by successful women and is perfect to look through when you need a little more confidence or a reminder of how great you really are.
The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World by Amanda Little. I had received an eARC of this through NetGalley and loved this. Amanda did a great job of not making it read like a text book and more like a cross between interviews and a novel which I was thankful for. I learned so much about farming, agriculture, science, and many other things I never would have thought of that are involved with the food that we eat and their impact of people and the earth. I’ve always been interested in these sort of things, especially sense I work in the food industry, and this book made me start searching for more to read and think more about the food I cook and eat.
Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung by Nina MacLaughlin. I received an eARC of this through NetGalley and as soon as I finished it I pre-ordered a physical copy. I adored it that much. I went into this book thinking I would like it because of the mythology and I absolutely loved it. MacLaughlin is amazing at having a different voice for everyone in each chapter which is a task in itself because there are so many different characters. This isn’t like the old mythology you’re used to, this is updated to be easier to read and relate to and show just how terrible the Gods were to mortals (women in particular). I loved how even with the horrible punishments that women went through because of acts done to them that they still were strong and had decent outlooks on things after the fact.
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell. This is the first Lisa Jewell book I’ve read and now I have to read everything else she has. I absolutely loved this book. I was on the edge of my seat, I cried, I laughed, I was shocked. I can’t even begin to imagine the fear, sadness, and anger that a parent must go through when their child goes missing and later found dead. While there is one part that I had figured out early on in the story, there was a twist at the end that I did not see coming. I adored the ending and feel that it was perfect and happy. The different timelines and POVs made it even more interesting and were done just the right way as to not confuse the reader.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Another love for me. I didn’t want it to end and found myself slowing down towards the end of the book so I could try and spend just a little more time with Eleanor. I love how she is flawed and starts working on herself and getting over issues in her past. I did not see part of her past issues coming at all and actually spilled a single tear for her at that moment in her therapist’s office. She grew so much throughout the story and I like how it ended with her still working on herself instead of how many books wrap everything up in a neat bow. I was hoping for one thing by the end of the book that didn’t happen but I’m still fine with how things were. I feel it was more realistic. I won’t mention what it was as to not spoil anything. Overall would definitely recommend to everyone
Cinder by Marissa Meyer. This is the first book in The Lunar Chronicles. I haven’t really read much science fiction in the past and this was a nice little introduction to the genre with a Cinderella retelling. I absolutely loved this book. I hated when I had to put it down in order to go to work or run errands. It had all the emotions for me. Happy, sad, angry, surprised, I even laughed a few times. I loved the development of most of the characters. Pearl and Adri didn’t feel like much thought was put into them though and were mostly the same throughout the entire book. Some of the “twists” or “surprises” I saw coming but still enjoyed how they panned out. There was one though that I didn’t see coming and had me looking at them in a different like when I happened and thinking differently on things about them I didn’t like earlier in the book. Not a big fan on how it ended and wanted a little more but I can see why it was done that way. Now I definitely want to get the sequel to continue on with the story and journey.
George by Alex Gino. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Jamie Clayton. First off, fantastic choice in choosing a transgender individual to narrate a book about a transgender child. I don’t read a lot of MG but have been wanting to read more of them. This is an amazing addition to that genre and overall fantastic book. George is about a fourth grader named George who knows he is really a she but doesn’t know how to tell others. In the beginning she is terrified of anyone finding out but as the story moves on she finally tells a few people very close to her. This book had me feeling every emotion under the sun and I was so upset when it finished because I wanted more time with George/Melissa. Many times I wanted to scoop George up, give her hug, and tell her everything will eventually work out and to just be strong. There aren’t enough novels out there about transgender children and what they go through and this definitely sets the bar high for any others to come. You get a better understanding of what it’s like to be them and what they go through. This may also end up as one of my top 10 favorite books ever.
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author, which I think helped make this so amazing. Part of me felt like if there’s a Hell, that I’m going there for laughing from a book about mental illness while the other part felt like if you don’t laugh, because that was the part of the intention with this book, that you’ll go. I could not stop laughing while listening to this and many times people would stare at me while I was out and about because of it but I don’t care. This was great. It’s the first time I’ve ever read anything about mental illness that properly used humor and didn’t read like a textbook. I was lucky to find a physical copy of this when I went to my library’s book sale last week so at some point I will be reading it that way so I can see all of the pictures that she mentions during the audiobook. I feel that will add even more to my experience. Again, highly recommend to everyone because we all know someone who has some form of mental illness whether it be anxiety, depression, bipolar, etc. I will be looking for her other works and she is now one of my auto-buy authors
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. I heard many good things about it and they were all true. I now need to buy a physical copy of this to see the laid out because I listened to the audiobook. I loved this. It was like listening to this girl’s life as a slam poem. It’s been a while since I last read any poetry and it was a nice change from what I’ve been reading. I felt for X and her struggle as well as her brother and loved how it ended on a good note. Because I didn’t grow up with religion or the type of cultural upbringing X did, it was interesting seeing what it was like. I think I’ll look for more of her works to see if they’re anything like this for a nice change up from my normal novels.
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Overall I absolutely loved it. The writing style was done in a way where you feel like you’re in the head of someone dealing with addiction and withdrawal, so it can be a little difficult to get through if you have no experience in the sensations. I was a little upset with how it ended but not enough to effect my overall love for the story.
What were your favorite reads this year? Any of them make it to your all time favorites? Let me know.