I’m late to the game on this, but I wanted to let all the books soak in after I read them and give them a fair chance of evaluation which can only come with time.

I knocked out 50 books in 2019 which isn’t too shabby with publishing 5 on top of that. Anyone who writes knows you read your own books about a hundred times each so that can be a tough balance to find sometimes! I was scrambling at the end of the year to catch up to my goal since reading was neglected for several of the months while I wrote/edited. I love the accountability of the Goodreads Challenges for that exact reason. I can’t set a goal and NOT reach it, so it’s good for me.

What’s interesting in the selections that I’m about to reveal, is that my favorite reads of 2019 aren’t necessarily all of my 4 or 5 star rated books, but they’re the ones that stuck with me that I think about long after the book has ended. That’s always the sign of a great book in my eyes.

So, here we go, my favorite reads of 2019.

All titles below are linked to Amazon.

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Note that these are not in order of favorites, but I do have one that stole the number one spot (and is listed first) which is The Giver of Stars.

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

This story was beautifully written and captivated me to a time in rural Kentucky. It’s about a group of women who dedicate themselves to getting library books into the hands of people who have never read, and the trials and challenges with their personal relationships. I didn’t want it to end.

The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

I HIGHLY recommend this motivating book for all writers, mothers, introverts, women- everyone. I didn’t know much about Shonda Rhimes before, but fell in love with her persistence and awareness of the limitations she was putting on herself.

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Very gripping, great balance of characters to keep you guessing and the storyline was less predictable than similar books. I also love the main character’s strength and power. This is part of a series that I have yet to read but plan to this year.

Overdue Life of Amy Byer by Kelly Harms

Highly recommend this book for moms especially. Read it while on a getaway with my husband in Seattle and got sucked into the story so much that I felt like I was in NYC. Loved everything about this one! Funny, sweet, and a good mom-escape.

Making Faces by Amy Harmon

I love Amy Harmon and her characters so this was no different. A sweet story of friendship and overcoming our insecurities to recognize the beauty that someone else already sees in us.

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

Here’s my second Amy Harmon recommendation of 2019. A haunting love story that crosses from modern time to 1921 in Ireland and about the family circle that results.

Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts

This is book #2 of the Chronicles of the One series. Book #1 had me hooked, but this one was even better. A destroyed world that’s filled with magick and terror, clashes between light and dark, as Fallon Swift, once ordinary, has been deemed as The One the world has been waiting for to fight the evil forces.

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Told in alternating Then and Now chapters, it tells the lost story of childhood sweethearts and their sudden reconnection in life after a decade apart. This one probably has my favorite romantic interest of any book I’ve read. Yes, I have a crush on a fictional man.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

A captivating story about a dysfunctional yet loyal family and their escape to a very remote area in Alaska. A survival tale at its finest. Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite authors and knows how to tell a beautiful story.

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

Another story about the remote areas of Alaska. You can’t help but fall in love with the main character’s transformation as she discovers a brand new side of herself, influenced by the blood that helped create her. My favorite are all the supporting characters, though.

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

This is truly a novel that I feel like any adult man or woman could enjoy and see the redemptive power within. It takes place over the course of a few decades with one specific period of terrible tragedy and focuses on the power of love and forgiveness over time and the development of people throughout.

You are a Badass

You Are a Badass Collection by Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero is hilarious. I would hands down recommend this book and her other, You are a Badass at Making Money, for anyone looking to elevate their life and take it to the next level. She breaks down the importance of believing in yourself and your abilities to be your own determiner of the amount of money coming into your life in an enjoyable, relatable way.

A New Earth

A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle

This has become one of my favorite nonfiction books that I’ve ever read and I plan on putting it on an annual rotation and gifting it to many people. It’s really helped me understand more of the role of the ego and how it affects me on a daily basis– even in parenting. The thing is, even if you’ve read some of the same new age concepts in other books, the way he presents the information is a great challenge as to whether you’re applying what you may already know and putting it into practice or not. I can honestly say this book completely changed me.

Brain on Fire

Brain on Fire – Susannah Cahalan

This book chilled my bones and stuck with me long after the last page. This is Susannah’s real-life story of the scary, unknown medical condition that happened to her– once a “normal,” young woman– that completely changed her into one that could barely function and her journey throughout– and the amazing difference she’s made after. It forces you to view mental and physical medical conditions in a brand new light and leaves you wondering how much goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

I loved this book because it was such an interesting, layered story that showcases the strength in people’s perspectives in guiding their actions and how challenging it is for them to view situations through the lens of others, especially when they are personally affected. It also displayed the struggles of a mother’s love from multiple different angles and what that fierce mama bear love looks like in ways that may even be viewed as anything other than love.