Happy (almost) fall, y'all! If you've been following on Facebook or Instagram, you know one of my personal goals for this year was to read more. After finishing grade school and going straight into college (with lots of heavy reading courses), I had kind of lost my love of books. With a goal to get back my beloved hobby, I have been reading so much this year! Here's a recap of what I've read so far in 2019 - with many more on my TBR (to be read) list at the end of the post! I hope this list inspires you to find a new read as the weather gets cooler and perfect for a warm blanket and a good book.
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All of the book titles featured in this post are shoppable; simply click on the title to shop on Amazon!
This is How it Always Is: 4.25/5 stars (currently on sale on Amazon!)
This story really captured my heart. The main character, Claude, has an unusual life, and the way it impacts the people he loves and meets made me think about things in a new light. It is a timely, well-written easy read with a powerful message about inclusivity and acceptance.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: 3/5 stars
Super unpopular opinion here, but this book wasn't a huge life-changer for me. It took a while for me to get into the story, and I had a hard time keeping going as the story unfolded. I liked the overall plot, but just couldn't totally get "into" it. A lot of people absolutely adore the story, which I totally get (especially when rereading the synopsis!!!), but it just wasn't my favorite this year.
Educated: 5/5 stars
Absolutely, without a doubt, my favorite book of the year thus far. The memoir of Tara Westover, the story is truly amazing and leaves you thinking (and talking) about it for weeks, and months, to come. I have shared it with my parents, my in-laws, and my best friend. Even if you aren't a "memoir person," this is seriously a must-read and will make you laugh, cry, and think in new ways.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz: 5/5 stars
If you didn't know, I am a huge history nerd... and the WWII era is my absolute favorite to read, study, and learn about. This story of love and triumph of good over evil is based on true events, which makes it all the sweeter. I've read a lot of books over the years about the Holocaust, and this goes down as one of my most favorites.
What Alice Forgot: 3/5 stars (on sale on Amazon!)
This was my first book by Liane Moriarty and I enjoyed it! It took me about halfway through to really get "into" the book, but once I was in, I could not put it down. The story is heartwarming and though it's a novel, provides relevant and timely lessons about the importance of being present, and makes you think about what would happen in your own life if you forgot everything in an instant.
Handle with Care: 4/5 stars
Jodi Picoult is one of my most favorite authors, and for good reason. I am always interested in medical topics (but could never be a doctor/surgeon because blood freaks me out), so it's the perfect opportunity to immerse myself in that world for just a little while! This story about a young girl with a rare disability really makes you think about how far you would go to protect the people you love. Also, there was a major plot twist that I did not see coming... and it left me with a major book hangover!
The Valedictorian of Being Dead: 4/5 stars
Another memoir here, and another really great read. I picked this book up at Target one afternoon after finishing a book and not having another at the ready to begin, and I really enjoyed it! Heather, the author, paints a picture of the power of hope and how that can prevail over even the darkest desperation, and again, the medical study behind it all was truly fascinating. If you or someone you love has suffered from mental illness, I highly recommend this one.
Something in the Water: 3/5 stars
This was one of the first books I read this year, and it was just okay. At first, I thought it was going to be great, but as the plot unfolded, it became more and more far-fetched (which is great if you're into that kind of thing!). Overall, I definitely wouldn't call this a "must read," but if you're stuck in an airport and it's your only option... it's at least okay.
Where the Crawdads Sing: 4/5 stars
Another huge crowd favorite, and another one of Reese Witherspoon's picks! I loved that this book was set in North Carolina and the story is really sweet and well-written. It did take me a while to get into, but about halfway through, I was hooked! The story combines a coming of age with an interesting murder twist, and highlights the importance of friendship and support in forming the people we will become.
The Silent Patient: 3/5 stars
Another unpopular opinion here - this was not what it was hyped up to be, for me! I am a member of Reese Witherspoon's online book club, and people were talking like this was the best book of the century... so I gave it a try. I kind of got bored by the plot, and at the end, the twist that everyone was so riveted by seemed really far left-field, for me. If you're into more suspenseful reads, you might really love it - a lot of people did!
All the Light We Cannot See: 4/5 stars
This story is also set in WWII and features two main characters, whose lives it goes back and forth between, and ultimately intertwines in an unexpected way. The story of a French girl and a Nazi boy, it is beautifully written and descriptive. I did find it to be a little on the long side, but was sad when it was over!
And now, onto my TBR list for the remainder of the year (and possibly next year, since it's getting really long!)...
Alrighty, friends! I hope this has been an informative roundup of books to reach for in the days ahead. I just got an account on Goodreads (totally free!) and it's been so helpful for keeping track of what I've read and want to read, as well as keeping me from reading the same things twice! You can click here to follow me on Goodreads so we can be inspired by each other's progress!