Now that it’s 2019, I want to share what I read last year. Here’s what I read, in order of how I read it. Have questions? Have suggestions for my 2019 reads? Leave me a comment!
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
This was the first book I read in 2018, and once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. It took me a total of four days to read. It kept me on the edge of my seat, even though I didn’t expect it to. The characters were great and it had enough twists and surprises without being overdone.
How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
Ah, Matt Haig. I love his non-fiction, and I’d heard great acclaim for this book before it even came out. This book is great and lived up to said acclaim. I love books with time travel, and this has that but in a very different way. I won’t ruin, because you should read it, but this story that spans centuries only took me about two days to read. It’s that good.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Holocaust Literature is one of my favorite genres. This book was very different than any others I have read about this terrible piece of history, but it was a good read. Obviously you’ll want to keep your tissues handy as it did bring me to tears.
Elanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I absolutely loved this book. The way it was written and the characters were so good. It was funny while also being filled with other emotions.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This was a rough read. Not because it was poorly written but exactly the opposite. In a world where people are shot because of the color of their skin, this book was gut-wrenchingly real. It brought all the stories from the news into my hands and gave them full stories and voices. Though fiction, this story is real and happening all over.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
This may be my new favorite book of all time. It’s got storytelling and an adorable relationship between grandmother and granddaughter. It’s by the same author as A Man Called Ove which I also absolutely loved. If I haven’t already raved to you and told you to read this book, you should.
Am I There Yet? The Loop-de-Loop Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood by Mari Andrew
Are you an adult? Are you still trying to figure out just exactly what being an adult is? This book is for you. With beautiful illustrations and clever, concise words, this book was a gift to my soul. Mari Andrew (who you should go follow on Instagram, now. Click here to do it) shares pieces of her life, which are also pieces of all our lives. This is a great book to gift a new college grad, or a 25 year old…or 30 year old…or someone who is in a rough season….or yourself.
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
This book was not what I was expecting, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Backman did it again with deep characters, twists and turns, and this time a place I fell in love with. Trigger warning for rape, which happens to be some of the central conflict of the book, so take that into consideration before you pick it up.
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
This past year I wanted to read more poetry, and multiple friends suggested Rupi Kaur. It looks like a quick read, and it can be if you don’t let it settle into you, but I highly suggest you do. Her words are few but they are deep and strong.
The Storytelling Edge: How to Transform Your Business, Stop Screaming Into the Void, and Make People Love You by Shane Snow and Joe Lazauskas
This book was more for work than my personal life. The title makes me want to cringe, because the book is better than how sales-pitch-y it sounds. Using psychology and other resources, the authors show how important using story is for your business.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
This behemoth of a book has been on my shelf for many years, but I decided to tackle it in 2018. It dragged at parts, but I stuck with it and I’m glad I did.
Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig
I have been waiting for a follow up to Reasons to Stay Alive since I finished it a few years ago, and I got it with this book. Haig’s writings on mental health are so important. I feel like he takes words out of my brain and makes them cohesive for others to read while also saying wonderful things I never would have thought of.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Yer a wizard, Harry. It had been too long since I’d re-read these books, so I started from the beginning.
The Life and Wisdom of Gwen Frostic by Sheryl James
Gwen Frostic is a Michigan gem. After taking a solo road trip on a whim this summer to visit her studio, I decided I wanted to learn more about this woman who has been a part of my life since childhood. My mom, grandma, and I would visit her studio/shop any time we went “up north,” which was usually once a year. A short biography, because Gwen lived a relatively private life, but it was a gift to read just a little more about Michigan’s nature-loving friend.
Notes from a Public Typewriter by Michael Gustafson
I picked this book up while traveling with a friend in Northern Michigan. It caught my eye because A) Typewriter B) Michigan typewriter. It’s a collection of notes left on a typewriter in a bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A fun read.
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
Another book that’s been on my shelves for a while that I finally picked up. I was hooked from the beginning of the story and couldn’t help but keep reading to find out what happened (I know, I know, I just described pretty much every good book, but I don’t want to spoil anything, okay?).
Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed
I was excited for a new Cheryl Strayed book…but I should have read closer that it was a collection of quotes from other things she’s done…that I’ve read. Nevertheless, it was a great quick reminder of the wisdom, joy, and lovable ass-kicking Strayed writes.
The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
I fell in love with each and every character in this book. I wanted it to go on forever. If you like music at all, more specifically vinyl, you’ll enjoy this read.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
I’ve been excited about this book since she first announced she was writing it. Michelle is an incredible writer, and I loved reading about her life. The things she overcame, the things she learned, and the things she accomplished. I miss having her in the White House, but I am glad she continues to do good in the world.
(P.S.: I wasn’t paid or compensated in any way to write these reviews. I just really like books and want to tell the world about them.)