Most Memorable Reads of 2019

December 31, 2019

Most Memorable Reads of 2019

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books Read in 2020 and Girlxoxo and Traveling With T for Month of Faves: Favorite Books Read This Year.

Top Ten Memorable Reads:
The List and The Categories

I mostly love the angst of creating top ten lists! It can be a daunting task! First, let me remind you that this list is subjective. It’s compiled of books I’ve read this year (there are always so many more great ones that I didn’t get to), and each one has made it onto this list because reading it was a memorable, emotional experience and gave me a “book hangover.” I’m presenting my list this year in two formats: in list form and in categories. the categories part is a bit more comprehensive because I provided some runners up. Titles are links to my reviews. Although most titles in this post were published this year, a couple were not.

Thanks for sharing great reads with me this year!

Top Ten Memorable Fiction Reads of 2019: The List

(see categories below for runners up and additional selections)

  1. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

2. The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

3. Ribbons of Scarlet by Kate Quin et al.

4. Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

5. The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

6. The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

7. If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais

8. This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

9. The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali

10. The River by Peter Heller

Most Memorable Nonfiction

The Girl With Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee

Finding Chika by Mitch Albom



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December 2019 Reading Wrap Up

December 30, 2019

December 2019 Reading Wrap Up

December 2019 Reading Wrap Up

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

December was a busy and fun month but also a slim reading month. I read a total of five books, and I DNF two (which is always a frustrating use of time). Find all my December reads listed below in order of Star Rating and preference. Keep in mind that I normally recommend five- and four-star reads on the blog; three-star reads receive mixed reviews from me for various reasons; and two-star reads are books that were not for me. One star reads are usually shelved as DNF.

My favorite read of the month is The Beekeeper of Aleppo. This is closely followed by The Girl With Seven Names.

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


 The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

5 Stars (4.5 rounded up). Historical Fiction. A compelling story of love, loss, hope, and compassion. My full review here.


The Girl With Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee

4 Stars (4.5 rounded to 4 on Goodreads). Memoir. Page-turning and compelling. My full review here.


More to the Story by Hena Khan

4 Stars. Middle Grade. The heartwarming and wholesome retelling of Little Women (diverse read). My brief Goodreads review here.


The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

4 Stars. YA Free Verse. For fans of On the Come Up. Not yet reviewed.

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2019 Reading Challenge

December 13, 2019

MMD 2019 Reading Challenge

“Reading is a Sport”

2019 MMD reading challenge

Image Source: Canva

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Completed

I always enjoy the Modern Mrs Darcy (MMD) yearly Reading Challenge because it’s so doable! The categories generally match what I’m reading anyway and are broad. I don’t enjoy challenges that are too long or that require me to read books based on the color of the cover or a certain word in the title.

MMD 2019 reading challenge

My Results

A book I’ve been meaning to read…

84 Charing Cross Road and the sequel (The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street) by Helene Hanff


A book about a topic that fascinates me…

Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin
My Review

leadership in turbulent times


A book in the back list of a favorite author…

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner
My Review.

A Fall of Marigolds


A book recommended by someone with great taste…

Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson (recommended by Modern Mrs. Darcy)
My Review.

meet me at the museum


Three books by the same author…

Susan Meissner: A Fall of Marigolds, Secrets of a Charmed Life, The Shape of Mercy
My Review of A Fall of Marigolds.


A book I chose for the cover…

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
My Review.

Amal Unbound


A book by an author who is new to me…

Hum if You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais (after reading it, I knew I also wanted to read her new release If You Want to Make God Laugh)
My Reviews here and here.


A book in translation…

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman (originally in Swedish)
My Review.

Things My Son Need to Know About the World


A book outside my (genre) comfort zone…

Recursion by Blake Crouch

recursion


A book published before I was born…

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim
My Review.



QOTD!

Did you complete a reading challenge this year?



The New MMD 2020 Reading Challenge

Are you participating? Click the link above to sign up.

MMD 2020 reading challenge



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

Winter 2019 TBR

(Dear followers: I’m sorry about how many times you’ve seen this post in your inbox or reader….I experienced a major publishing glitch with this post!)

December 12, 2019

Winter Reading Season TBR (2019)

winter 2019.2020 TBR

Image Source: Esther Hanten on Unsplash

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

For winter, I have four out of ten nonfiction titles on my TBR because of the wonderful recommendations I noted during Nonfiction November! I’m not a seasonal reader, but I’m eager to hunker down with some great nonfiction selections this winter!

I never plan more than ten titles for my quarterly TBR lists because I need to leave time for mood reading and review commitments. These ten books are a priority on a much longer general TBR.

What is your most anticipated read this winter?

I’m linking up today with Girlxoxo and Traveling With T for Month of Faves: Winter Reading, and also with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Winter To Read List.

 


Winter 2019 TBR

Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga

Seven Fallen Feathers

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Gift Ideas: Everyone Gets a Book!

December 11, 2019

Give a Book as a Holiday Gift!

book ideas for gift giving dec 2019

Background Image Source: Canva; Center Image Source:  Andreea Radu on Unsplash 

TTT That Arsy Reader Girl ChristmasI’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for a December Freebie. I decided to dedicate my Top Ten Tuesday Freebie to books you might give as GIFTS! And….ahem…there are a few more than ten! (You’ve been warned!)

As you plan your holiday gift giving, you might be looking for book recommendations. Check out a few of my FAVORITE suggestions below!

Some of these are fairly new releases while others are a few years older. All titles are Amazon affiliate links. Many of these books have been reviewed on the blog and my available reviews are linked.

Books Men Might Enjoy

(I’ve also read most of these!)

The River by Peter Heller (wilderness survival, thriller) My review.

The Boys in the Boat:Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin (baseball memoir, Boston Red Sox fan) My review.

Grant; Washington: A Life; or Alexander Hamilton (all) by Ron Chernow (narrative nonfiction biographies) My husband recommends these.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (social justice) My review.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles (histfic, western, movie coming in 2020) My brief review.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman (sports, hockey, intense issues, competition, community, family) My brief review.

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman (poignant, reflective, meaning of life, novella) My review.


Books Women Might Enjoy

(my husband has enjoyed a few of these!)

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (marriage and family, *a favorite of the year*) My review.

(more…)

Popular Books Worth the Hype #amonthoffaves

December 2, 2019

 Popular Books Worth the Hype

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

I’m linking up today with Girlxoxo and Traveling With T for Month of Faves: Popular Books Worth the Hype.

a month of faves

I realize that no two readers read the same book and that a title on my list for deserving the hype might be on your list for not deserving the hype! The following are books that I connected with emotionally and left me thinking “wow!”  In no particular order, these are ten books (recent reads and fairly recent releases) that in my opinion are worth the hype (titles are links to my reviews):

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

The Dearly Beloved

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

a place for us

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali

The Stationary Shop

If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais

If You Want to Make God Laugh

(more…)

November 2019 Reading Wrap Up

November 30, 2019

November 2019 Reading Wrap Up

November 2019 Reading Wrap Up

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

November was another mostly satisfying reading month. I read a total of seven books, and one of them was 500+ pages which I think should count for two! Find all my November reads listed below in order of Star Rating and preference. Keep in mind that I normally recommend five- and four-star reads on the blog; three-star reads receive mixed reviews from me for various reasons; and two-star reads are books that were not for me. One star reads are usually shelved as DNF.

My favorite read of the month is Finding Chika by Mitch Albom (for its emotional impact). This is closely followed by The Stationery Shop and Ribbons of Scarlet.

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


 Finding Chika by Mitch Albom

5 Stars. Memoir. Tenderhearted, poignant, heartbreaking, and memorable. My full review here.


The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali

4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 on Goodreads). Romantic Historical Fiction. Page-turning and compelling. My full review here.


Ribbons of Scarlet by Kate Quinn et al.
(this was also my 100th read of the year!)

4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 on Goodreads). Well written and researched historical fiction. My full review here.


The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

3.5 Stars. Love and recommend the narration by Tom Hanks! My full review here.

(more…)

Nonfiction Books and Racial Injustice: #NonficNov

November 11, 2019

Nonfiction and Racial Injustice #NonficNov

I’m eager to participate in Nonfiction November this year hosted by Doing Dewey, Julz Reads, What’s Nonfiction, Sarah’s Book Shelves, and Shelf-Aware. During November, you will notice one nonfiction focused post each week:

Weekly Topics:

My Year in Nonfiction

Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings

Be the Expert (today’s post)

Nonfiction Favorites

Nonfiction TBR

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Nonfiction and Racial Injustice

Nonfiction November is an opportunity to reflect on the year, to celebrate and appreciate nonfiction, and to share recommendations.

Today for Nonfiction November hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, I am sharing five books (plus one TBR) in a subgenre that I have read and can recommend. These are my favorite recommendations for books on the topic of racial injustice. I chose them because they each share a personal story and help build my understanding of racial injustice. Can you add to this list?

Please join me for Nonfiction November!

Nonfiction Recommendations on the topic of Racial Injustice:

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

Killers of the Flower Moon

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

just mercy

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth of Other Suns

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (a personal experience) (MG)

Brown Girl Dreaming

We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success by Sampson Davis (The Three Doctors) (MG)

we beat the street

TBR:

Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga

Seven Fallen Feathers.jpg

***UPDATE: THANKS!

Many of you have left recs in the comments here and on my instagram account, so I’m compiling them here:

Recommendations From Readers:

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People to Talk About Racism by by Robin DiAngelo 
Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life, Freedom, and Justice by Anthony Ray Hinton
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
They Can’t Kill Us All:Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery
The Undefeated by Kwame Aleander (picture book)
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (poetry)
Dear Church: A Love Letter From a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S. by Lenny Duncan
Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color by Andrea Ritchie
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness by Michelle Alexander and Cornel West
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Bryan at Still an Unfinished Person Blog posted a list of books on the topic of race in America here.

….list in progress….



QOTD

I know you can help me add to this list!
I’d love to hear your suggestions for a nonfiction book that addresses the topic of racial injustice.



Fall TBR Update

Four more…



Happy Reading Book Friends!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings: #NonficNov

October 5, 2019

Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings #NonficNov

I’m eager to participate in Nonfiction November this year hosted by Doing Dewey, Julz Reads, What’s Nonfiction, Sarah’s Book Shelves, and Shelf-Aware. During the month of November, you will notice one nonfiction focused post each week:

Weekly Topics:

My Year in Nonfiction

Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings (today’s post)

Be the Expert

Nonfiction Favorites

Nonfiction TBR

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Fiction and Nonfiction Book Pairings

Nonfiction November is an opportunity to reflect on the year, to celebrate and appreciate nonfiction, and to share recommendations.

Today for Nonfiction November hosted by Sarah’s Bookshelves, I have ten fiction/nonfiction book pairings to share with you! Can you add to this list?

Please join me for Nonfiction November!


Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
paired with
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow


The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
paired with
Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh


America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (MG)
paired with
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham


Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini
paired with
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas


Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
paired with
Before and After: The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children’s home Society by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate


Far From the Tree by Robin Benway
paired with
Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro


Learning to See: A Novel of Dorothea Lange by Elise Hooper
paired with
Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits by Linda Gordon


Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan
paired with
A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis


The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
paired with
Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to end Slavery by Eric Metaxas


The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi
paired with
The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg


QOTD

I know you can help me add to this list!
I’d love to hear your suggestions for a fiction/nonfiction pair.



Fall TBR Update



Happy Reading Book Friends!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

October 2019 Reading Wrap Up

October 31, 2019

October 2019 Reading Wrap Up

October Reading Wrap Up 2019

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

October was a satisfying reading month. I read a total of nine books, and I am happy to report that several were memorable. Find all my October reads listed below in order of Star Rating and preference. Keep in mind that I normally recommend five- and four-star reads on the blog; three-star reads receive mixed reviews from me for various reasons; and two-star reads are books that were not for me. One star reads are usually shelved as DNF.

My favorite read of the month is The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer (even though I gave This Tender Land a full five stars).

Did we read any of the same books?

Titles are Amazon affiliate links and my available reviews are linked.


 This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

5 Stars. Well written (literary fiction quality), poignant, heartbreaking, and memorable. My full review here.


The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer

4.5 Stars. Emotional and heartwarming. My full review here.


Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

4.5 Stars. Well written YA historical fiction. My full review here.


The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland

4 Stars. (ARC) The feelings and experiences of a heart transplant patient. My full review here.

(more…)