I tried to narrow down my favorite reads of 2019 to a top 3 or even a top 10, but I just couldn't do it! After reading 66 books, I narrowed it down to 18 that stood out to me. Here are the first nine. Click titles to link to Amazon!
1. Educated by Tara Westover - a memoir about the child of survivalists who is preparing for the end of the world. Her parents distrusted the government and the medical establishment and her story is one of hardships and triumph. I, unfortunately, have come across families who are very much like this in my work as an SLP and this was enlightening into the mindset of these mountain survivalists.
2. The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall - a work of fiction about two couples as they navigate love, God and friendships. The husbands struggle with finding their footing as they begin their careers as ministers and the wives work through supporting their husbands and dealing with heartbreak, jealously, and loneliness.
3. Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge - A Walk to Remember meets Castaway in this beautiful debut novel. The storytelling is just SO good and had me feeling all kinds of emotions. A poignant and hopeful story of love and survival and is sure to be a favorite.
4. The River by Peter Heller - This book was just fascinating to me and I didn't want to put it down! It's the riveting story of two college friends on a trip down the river. The suspense was intense and this book was full of everything that makes a thriller so great. I was holding my breath as I turned each page.
5. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi - a biography/autobiography written by an Indian-American neurosurgeon who is diagnosed with stage IV metastatic lung cancer during his final year of residency. This books is a look into his internal struggles during this time and how it changed his relationships with family, medicine, and God. This book was published posthumously and the afterword is written by his wife.
6. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn - This work of historical fiction is based on the real-life network of female spies during the First World War. Gripping adventure intertwined with a coming-of-age story as the characters experience transformation and solve a mystery. I will definitely be checking out more by this author.
7. This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger - A book that stuck with me for days after I finished the last chapter. Two orphaned brothers end up on the run from the law with two young friends. The story of their journey to find home. If you like Where the Crawdads Sing and Before We Were Yours, you will eat this one up.
8. Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid - I put this one off for a while because the idea of a book about sex, drugs, and rock and roll just didn't appeal to me at all! I'm so glad I gave it a chance! Yes, all the above mentioned "activities" are a part of this book, but it really is about the band and how they come together and grow as people and as a band. And the end of this book is just phenomenal! I think it was the perfect way for the book to end. I am looking froward to the movie version and hearing the music that my imagination just couldn't do justice to!
9. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - Sci-fi isn't my typical genre, but this was excellent! Set in the Great Lakes region following a pandemic that wiped out 99% of the population, the survivors are making a new life as they and deciding how to move forward. This books goes back and forth between the pre and post pandemic world.
I'll wrap up here for now and write about my other nine favorites soon! Let me know what your favorite book of 2019 was!