What I’ve Been Reading in 2019
One of my new year’s resolutions that I’ve actually been able to stick out past January 31st has been my 2019 book pledge! Goodreads does an annual book challenge at the beginning of the year to challenge their followers to hit their own personal reading goals. Originally I put in 12 books, thinking I could manage to read at least one book a month. Before last fall, I was maybe getting in one book every THREE months. Around August or September, I got back on my reading kick and I haven’t looked back! In January alone I was able to read four novels, so I upped my reading pledge to at least 24 books in 2019! As suspected, I had more free time in January, having not returned to classes till the end of the month, but I’m still totally on track to getting in my two books a month!
So here’s what I’ve read in 2019 so far!
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
This was a super interesting one. I haven’t read a mystery novel in a long time, and this one had a lot of southern gothic elements to it. Of course I was inspired to read it after the HBO limited series starring Amy Adams came out last year. Typically I like to read the book before I watch the TV show/movie, and I’m glad I did with this one.
The book is very dark and has some intense themes throughout it. Some of the descriptions of things made me uncomfortable, but when this happens I usually like to reflect a lot on why that is. In terms of the ending, I totally called it about a third of the way in. I was expecting that maybe it was too obvious and I was waiting for another big reveal, but it never happened. (I must just be a great detective) I don’t regret reading it though!
In terms of the TV show, I didn’t love it. It follows the book exactly, so there were no surprises or hooks that kept me invested. Amy Adams still has my heart though!
The Girls by Emma Cline
This was one I’d seen on people’s reading lists forever, and I finally decided to sit down and read it when I found it available at the library. (Side note: I’ve been LOVING my Austin library so much.) It wasn’t until I sat down and really read the introduction on the book sleeve that I realized this was a fictionalized encounter based on the Charles Manson cult, told from the POV of a fictionalized teenage girl about her experience in it. The book dives into how somebody like Charles Manson could’ve been so appealing to emotionally vulnerable young girls, and provides a lens into a time period that feels and WAS so different from our current state.
I will note that it often takes me awhile to get invested in books, but I’m pretty good about not giving up on them knowing this about myself. Once I got past the first several chapters and understood the structure and language of the book, I was sold! I do with the ending would’ve been explored more- it feels kind of abrupt. I probably finished this one in about a week. If you’re interested in true crime and fiction, this is a book for you!
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Marie Semple (5/5!!)
This book was INCREDIBLE- hands down one of my favorite books ever. I don’t know what exactly it was that made me devour it like I did, but I finished this in less than two days. I posted about this book on my Instagram story and I got so many responses from people who also loved it or picked up a copy after they’d seen my post and also finished it in less than 48 hours- INSANE.
The book is told through a mixture of email and note correspondences from different characters and some narration from Bee, the 15-year old daughter of Bernadette Fox. It was a little weird to get into the first few pages, but once you’re in, you’re in deep. I don’t want to give too much away, but trust me and millions of other readers when we say #WorthIt.
They’re also making a movie based on this book that looks really good. It stars Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, and Troian Bellisario to name a few. I couldn’t recommend this story enough!!
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This book fed my introverted heart! I wish I would’ve read this book as a senior in high school or a college freshman. Over the break, I Marie-Kondo’d my childhood bookcases and found this one that belonged to my sister. I’d seen it before and decided to read it since I didn’t have anything on hold at the library. SO cute.
This book covers the first year of college for Cath, an introverted twin who loves writing “Henry Snow” (basically Harry Potter) fan fiction. She explores life on her own, as well as relationships with her twin sister, father, mother, and new friends. It’s absolutely heart warming. Rowell has a lovely way of exploring relationships, especially family tension and young, new love. It was really refreshing after Sharp Objects!
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I heard about this book through a blogger I love- CarlyThePrepster. She’s always reading amazing books and posting her favorites. She raved about this one, so I guiltily ordered it offline with next day shipping so I could start it! (I’ve linked all of these books on Amazon, but I definitely recommend checking out your local public library, used bookstore, or local bookstore before ordering online! There was a huge waitlist at the library on this one, so I caved.)
I will say it was a little hard to get into. This was one of those books where I read the first half over the course of almost a month, then binge read the last hundred pages in a single sitting. Another book for the introverted soul! It was super heart warming and had a big twist at the very end! Also very British. What more could you want?
Ghosted by Rosie Walsh
This is one of those books where the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” comes in to play. I ADORED this book! It was absolutely insane from the very beginning. I picked it up before my New Orleans trip, but didn’t get to reading it until this last week. I finished it in 3 days! The other night, I meant to read a few pages and go to sleep, but found myself awake at 3 A.M still reading. I had to force myself to put it down.
This is another sort of mystery meets hopeless romantic type novels. What marks a good mystery for me is not being able to guess the end, and this one masked it so well- hence, why I kept turning the page over and over again. I couldn’t recommend this one enough.
Basically the concept is- Sarah spends an unforgettable week with a man named Eddie and instantly falls in love, so when he goes on a vacation and promises to call, she believes him. Only he doesn’t. It’s a story about love and grief and secrets and the past!! It’s not cheesy at all.
What books are you loving right now that you’d recommend? Obviously I love a good fiction novel, but I have some excellent non fiction coming up in the new few months that I’m so excited for.
Also- linking a super wonderful article I read today entitled “The World’s On Fire. Can We Still Talk About Books?” As a writer/artist myself, I felt many of the points super touching. Worth the quick read.