I love looking back at the year and assessing, recapping what we did, while also planning ahead for the new year. I especially like going through the books that I’ve read (well, listened to), and choosing my favorites. In all honesty – I go through so many books, that many times I can’t remember what I just read, once I get started on something new. I read about 80 books this past year! But I’ve also found that with reading so much, the really good ones are the ones that stick in my mind. The ones I really remember and carry with me. Those are the ones I’m going to share with you today – My Favorite Books of 2019.
Some of these I might have shared over the course of the year, but I know I haven’t shared all of them. But for now, you have them all wrapped up in one place. This post contains some affiliate links.
I have read a lot books historical fiction and non-fiction books that take place during the Holocaust, and The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale Sokolov. As the title indicates, he was selected to tattoo the identification numbers on prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp. This story, like so many others that I’ve read, have shown that surviving the Holocaust took bravery, a willingness to break the rules, and a certain amount of luck. This book contains all of those things and is one that is a love story as well. A beautifully written book and a captivating story.
This book is one of a series, and I was so glad to hear that there were more books after I read the first one! I don’t typically read books from this era, but my goodness, it was fascinating. Sarah Prine is one tough woman, and this book is based on her journal entries for this period. She’s tough, strong-willed and smart (even though she wasn’t in school). A true testament to the work of women during the pioneer days.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is in a category all its own, really. It’s a book about a therapist and her patients, as well as this therapist’s experience with her own therapist. This book follows her working through her own issues, while counseling others as they confront their own struggles and life altering events. It’s witty, funny and heartbreaking all in one book.
In the reviews of this book, they liken The Cactus to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, and there are similarities in the two main characters of each book. The women are both quirky, highly structured and literal, and completely endearing all at once. I loved the main character, Susan Green, in this book. She looks at life from a highly matter-of-fact perspective, where things make sense (or they should make sense at least). Life doesn’t always go as planned, and her journey through losing her mother, and becoming one herself, is one I thoroughly enjoyed.
There is something about books that have a bit of an apocalyptic twist that capture my attention (and also leave me wanting to be a bit of a prepper). One Second After is one of those books. It’s about what happens to the country after an EMP (electro magnetic pulse) – a weapon that is unleashed and the result is that we are left with no electricity, and it also basically destroys anything with electronics (phones, cars, computers, etc…). You basically get thrown back to what feels like the Dark Ages. It’s riveting and terrifying, and part of a three part series. And yes, I read all three in the series.
I’m a little slow on the uptake right now, but I just realized that Fredrik Backman wrote both A Man Called Ove and Britt-Marie was Here (both of which I read). My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry is another great story of a grandmother and her grandson. She passes away and leaves a series of letters for her grandson that lead him on a journey of learning, understanding and loving his grandmother even more after she’s gone.
This book is one that was in my wish list for awhile, and kept popping up as a book that I might like. After hearing some great reviews of The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell in another book group that I’m in, I decided to pull the trigger. I’m so glad that I did! If you listen to the book, there was some criticism about the narration, as the author narrates it. I usually like the narration to be left to the professionals, but I got over it and it didn’t ruin the book for me by any means.
This book is about a boy who was born with red eyes, and earned the nickname “devil boy”. It takes you through his life as a child through his adulthood, and the struggles he dealt with and overcame. His parents are also key to this story (I loved them as well, and they remind me of my own parents in some ways). It’s heartfelt, funny and sometimes heartbreaking, but worth the journey. I loved the characters in this book, and was sad to see it come to an end.
The fact that The Dutch House is narrated by Tom Hanks is already a win for this book, as he is a superb narrator. But, the book is equally captivating with well-developed characters that you grow to know and love. The story follows two siblings and the story of their lives surrounding the Dutch House – a home that their father purchased as a surprise gift for their mother. I can’t do this book justice in describing it, you have to read it for yourself (or listen to it, which might even be better).
I have discovered that Jojo Moyes is a really versatile author. Many of you know Moyes from her book Me Before You, but The Giver of Stars is something altogether different. It’s a well rounded story about the women who are behind the traveling library in rural Kentucky during the time of the Depression. These women were literally delivering books to people on horseback. It’s a story of great friendship, determination and perseverance to continue providing this service and sharing the gift of reading to those who might not otherwise have access.
I hope you find my favorite books of 2019 helpful if you love to read as much as I do. Are any of these books on your list of favorites? What are some of your favorites of the year? I’d love to add them to my wish list!
If you’d like to check out some of my other favorites, see these links below: