Reading a book is one of my favorite hobbies! Having a good mix of current fiction, classics, memoirs, and helpful non-fiction titles is important to me. I read on my Kindle Paperwhite as well as physical books I get from many different stores. I love the ease of shopping at Amazon but also want to support independent book stores. I also enjoy getting books from Book of the Month.
After having one of the best reading years of my life last year I decided to set a couple harder goals for this year. My main goal is to read at least 52 books and I want to read the books I already own. I am not saying I won’t buy any new books but I want the majority of the books I read this year to be ones from my personal library (which is pretty extensive).
- Celine by Peter Heller– A wonderful mystery that takes you through Wyoming & Montana
- A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily P Freeman – A beautiful manifesto with inspiration and practical tips to help you create art in whatever medium you are called to
- The Stationary Shop by Marjan Kamali – A heartbreaking and beautiful story of a woman living in Iran during the 1950s and then moving to the United States. The descriptions of food in this book are so wonderful! Made me want to try Persian Cuisine.
- The Vandeerbeekers of 141st St by Karina Yan Glaser – We read this as a family read aloud. Everyone loved it. The story takes place in modern day Harlem where a family just found out their lease isn’t being renewed right before Christmas.
- The Dutch House by Ann Patchett – I loved this family drama and now I want to read all of Ann Patchett’s books (this was my first). It felt like a friend was telling you their story over the course of a few evenings.
- Falling Free by Shannan Martin – This memoir is so inspiring and convicting as Shannan tells the story of how God moved in their lives in unexpected ways.
- First Impressions by Charlie Lovett – This was a fun book inspired by Jane Austen but I liked The Bookman’s Tale better.
- Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship by Ruth Chou Simons – The art in this book is so beautiful and the words were so convicting! I highly recommend this for your devotional reading.
- Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – I really appreciated the author’s demonstration of the power of words and the way she was able to talk about race and how we treat each other through this story. It is written like a historical fiction but with a sci-fi twist. I don’t want to spoil it for you but it was a unique storytelling. I am glad I read it even though it had a slow start.
- Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan – I really enjoyed this historical fiction. I have been a fan of CS Lewis for many years and this book really fleshes out Joy’s side of the story and their relationship.
- Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson – This was a super quirky and fun, quick read. The premise of the story is that a friend needs the main character to come be a nanny for the summer for her step-children that will be coming to live with them. The catch is that the children literally catch on fire when they are upset or angry! I loved how this book explored unconditional love, motherhood and class issues. One warning though: the author uses the F word a lot! I didn’t appreciate that aspect but the story was wonderful.
- The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by JRR Tolkien – We enjoyed this classic as a family read aloud.
- Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty – This was a great character driven story. If you love big character development even if its a slow plot you will enjoy this one. The setting is an Australian health resort. It has an exciting twist about half way into the book.
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott – I read through this book extra slowly so I could take in all of her great insights and practical advice for writing and life in general.
- A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay – This was a quick weekend read. I love how Katherine Reay weaves so many literature references into her books.
- The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes – If you love historical fiction this is a great one. It is the story of travelling librarians in the late 1930s in Kentucky and the power of friendship and literacy.
- Don’t Overthink It by Anne Bogel – I have followed Modern Mrs Darcy for years and this book has so much practical advice. I highly recommend it!
- Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
- Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout These book are written as short stories about different characters in a small town in Maine that is some way cross paths with Olive. It really is a study of ordinary people’s lives and how much the relationships with their families growing up make or break them and how love can heal. I liked that the stories were from an older person’s perspective. Reading these books made me want to love my family better.
- Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski & Amelia Nagoski This book has a ton of great practical tips and a lot of things to really dig in and think about. I am not a feminist and I don’t agree with everything in this book but I found it to be very thought provoking.
- Recursion by Blake Crouch This was a well written book but the timing was off for me. I don’t want to spoil the story. It is an intriguing story line.
- The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo I connected to this book on so many levels as it explored the inner lives of each family member and the choices they made. I love books that let you in to multiple people’s perspectives about the same events. This is a long one at 533 pages but I enjoyed my time with this family. I would rate this Mature because of language and sexual content.
- The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall One of my favorite reads this year so far. It explores the lives and faith of 4 people through the challenges of life in a way that doesn’t minimize doubt. It was definitely a page turner! I highly recommend it!
- Writers & Lovers by Lily King This is a coming into one’s own story that I really appreciated. If you love books or writing this book has so many fun details. I would rate it mature.
- Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald It was a compelling story with some twists I didn’t expect. The story takes place from the 1920s to 1940s in Grand Central Station.
- Lovely War by Julie Berry Another one of my favorites of the year! A long but satisfying story covering love, war, music, friendship, racism, feminism and so much more through the lives of 4 young people during World War 1.
Book Lists from Past Years
Here is the Book list for 2019
and the Book list for 2018