If it’s cold out, you can guarantee I’m going to bed early so I can get all snuggly under 8,000 blankets and read until WAY too late. In case that sounds delightful to you, here are my favorite books for 2019.
All of my favorites seem to fall into two categories – collections of personal essays and relatively easy reading, lady narrator fiction. They aren’t ALL new releases, so a quick trip to your library should be fruitful.
It’s really easy for me to only read (watch tv shows, listen to music, exist with…) about people that look like me, so I made a conscious effort to throw in a couple surprises. That said, Amateur Hour by Kimberly Harrington is my favorite in this category. It’s a book about motherhood that speaks so straight to my soul I couldn’t read it straight through. I had to take days off between and sit with her essays for a bit. If you are a middle-class mom, you definitely should check this one out.
Speaking of books every white lady you know read, yes Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis is on my list of favs. I’m trying so hard not to like her (cough, jealous, cough), but this book spoke some truths. So many books in this genre are fluffy. This one keeps reminding you to get off your bum and, as she says repeatedly, do the work. If you need a kick in the pants, read this.
Of course, you’ve probably read Michelle Obama’s Becoming by now. If not, get on it. How about Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish? Unlike other books I read by comedians this year, Tiffany’s comedy comes through the page in an entertaining, not grating, way. Learn about her background and be glad life has finally given her a break.
My last book in this category was The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane von Furstenberg. We all know DVF as a fashion icon. This book gives the behind the scenes in a very similar fashion to Becoming. Both women worked extremely hard to get into their positions, but they also made sure to use every connection and privilege to do the next thing. You sometimes forget these kinds of women are real humans. These books helped.
Best of Fiction
I had a lot of fun with my fiction books as of late. My favorite was Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton. This beautiful, descriptive book emersed me in a history lesson I didn’t realize I was taking. Read it to be entertained and to learn about how Castro came to lead Cuba. Fascinating.
The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman was another history lesson by way to story-telling. If I get down to it, World War II fiction is a genre I keep reading. This was my favorite of that kind of book in recent history. (The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is my all-time favorite.) Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate was a startling read about mucked-up people in American history. Turns out separating children and parents isn’t a new past time. I hate to say this book entertained me given its storyline, but it definitely was a page-turner.
Severance by Ling Ma was my favorite “make you think” book of the year. If you enjoyed Station Eleven, definitely check this one out. I liked it better. Finally, my favorite total chick lit of the year was The Regulars by Georgia Clark. I read it all in one sitting. I don’t read romance novels, so I’m sure I blushed A LOT while reading this, but the story is great.
What are you reading these days? I’m always looking for new things to add to my list!