The Best Books I Read in 2019

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best books of 2019

I know, this is late. But honestly, I’m at the point in life where if something I produce (blog posts, offspring, a well-meant birthday card) isn’t two weeks late, then something’s wrong

I read 36 books in 2019! My most ever. I have to say I’m really proud of myself–so proud, in fact, that I think I’m going to write a blog post with my advice on how to read more books. Maybe next week (or in two weeks). 

My goal for 2020 is to hit around the same number, but we’ll see. 

Anyway, I’ve been bad about getting my “In-Flight Reading” posts up each season this year, so I wanted to do a quick round-up of my favorite reads from last year. 

Fiction

The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion

I included this on one of my posts earlier in the year, and looking back at my 2019, it still stands out to me. The Rosie Project is cute, the writing is clever, and the narrator is laugh-out-loud hilarious in an unintentional way. 

Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens 

This suspense novel really lived up the hype for me! I couldn’t put it down and recommend it to everyone. All of my girlfriends who have read it are obsessed, too. 

Normal People – Sally Rooney

I was hesitant to pick this one up because it felt a little YA to me at first, but I’m so glad I did.  Sally Rooney’s writing is concise and profound, and I fell in love with the characters, who were relatable and complex in so many ways. 

Daisy Jones and The Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid

This book is SO interesting and well-written. I am not really a music person–much less a 70’s rock person–but I was hooked from page one. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a genius. She wrote this book in documentary form, so the reader gets to see each band member’s different perspective on how things went down. 

One more thing: the audiobook is INCREDIBLE. I mentioned loving this book on my IG after I read it, and one of my mom’s besties recommended I listen to the audio version and she was SO RIGHT. Highly recommend. 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Annie Burrows 

This is a perfect book. Set after WWII on the island of Guernsey in the UK, this book feels like a warm cup of coffee and a Barefoot Dreams blanket. I loved it so much that I might re-read it. (And I’ve never re-read in my life besides Gone with the Wind-once in middle school and then once again in high school when I realized I may have missed a few key elements, lol). 

The Dutch House – Ann Patchett 

I love Ann Patchett so much that I would read her grocery list if I could. The Dutch House details a family history and centers around an enormous, unique house in Pennsylvania. This was a beautiful book and left my book club with tons to talk about. 

Non-fiction

Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy – Anne Lammott 

Ann Lammott is an angel among us. I love her writing, perspective, and light way of walking through life’s toughest issues. Hallelujah Anyway is about finding beauty and faith even when it doesn’t make sense to. 

Essentialism – Greg McKeown 

This book spoke to my soul. In a world full of noise and overachievers on hamster wheels, Greg McKeown talks about the importance of doing less but doing better. In my opinion, this book can be applied to almost every area of life. This might be another re-read in the future. 

Educated – Tara Westover 

Educated is nonfiction but reads almost reads like a thriller. Tara Westover’s life and upbringing is so unbelievable that I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t fiction. I talked about this one earlier in the year, and it’s super popular, but it deserves to be mentioned here again. It is SO good. 

The Prodigal God – Tim Keller 

Tim Keller is my favorite theologian, and this book is my favorite of his that I’ve read. It had been on my TBR list for years before I finally decided to open it this summer. He uses the parable of the prodigal son to illustrate the gospel and how Jesus loves us. It was rejuvenating and refreshing and encouraging for me just when I needed it. 

Tell Me More – Kelly Corrigan

I believe I discovered Kelly Corrigan through Jen Hatmaker, and she is a crack up. In Tell Me More, Corrigan walks through twelve  things she’s learned to start saying more–things like “No” and “I love you” and “I was wrong.” I loved this book so much and found myself sending excerpts to friends and folding corners of pages back to revisit later. 

Stillness is the Key – Ryan Holiday 

I’m not sure who loves Ryan Holiday more in my house between myself and Tyler, but for good reason. He is thoughtful and straight to the point, and this is my favorite book of his by far. He talks about slowing down and finding stillness amidst the craziness of our lives. There’s a lot more to it than that, but I love how he walks through this concept with a practical lens and uses history to back it up. 

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