book club, book party, book reading, book recommendations, book review

My 5 Best Reads of 2019

Last week on my blog, I listed all of my reads for 2019. My dad looked over the list and said, “But what were your top 5 favorite?” Oh dad, don’t you know that I have absolutely no memory, and that as soon as I finish a book, it’s gone? But, alas, always up to a book challenge, I decided to dig into the recesses of my mind and send out a list of some of my favorite finds from 2019. That’s what book sharing is all about, after all. Here are my favorites – I’d love to hear yours as well!

1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Because, seriously, who didn’t find this to be one of the most beautifully written books. Breathtaking. Truly remarkable. Read it now if you haven’t already.

2. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb. Now, I found parts of this book frustrating and I wasn’t entirely sure that I could trust Gottlieb at every turn. However, with that said, it’s a fascinating look at the art of therapy and at a few of her patients and their experiences.

3. Good Luck with That by Kristan Higgins. I just loved this book. It dealt with such important and difficult issues of self image, food obsession, relationships and self love. And I found it life affirming and well worth the read.

4. The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman. This was a gentle and touching look at one young widow’s struggles putting her life back together. The main character’s development felt realistic and the story line was charming.

5. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. How could it be that I had never heard of the Blue People before this book and that I knew nothing about the Pack Horse library service created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt? Now I do, and I’m a better person for the knowledge. This book is a gem. Incidentally, for anyone who loves this topic, The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes is also about the library service and is also beautifully written.

And because who, really, can narrow it down to just 5, I’m going to include a few other books that I loved for various reasons.

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah. Holy cow this book was a ride. I don’t even want to say too much so that each person can process it without any spoilers. It would make for a very powerful book group discussion.

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center. I loved the main character here, a young, bright woman who finds her entire life turned on its head after an accident. She was fierce, honest and charming.

Circe by Madeline Miller. I taught The Odyssey for many years and loved seeing the story from Circe’s view. I think even someone who doesn’t know the story of The Odyssey well would enjoy this book. And yes, I also read An Odyssey: a Father, a Son, and an Epic by Daniel Mendelsohn. I liked it, but found it a bit too detached and dry to say that I loved it. But the Odyssey cruise that he went on? Now that sounded awesome!

Happy reading in 2020. I would love to know what you are reading, and if you enjoy any of my recommendations along the way!

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