Monday, February 3, 2020

What I read in 2019

Okay, the title is a bit misleading. I'm sure this isn't everything I read, since some I checked out from the library or read a physical copy of, but these are the ones I have a record of reading through my Kindle app and through NetGalley. (I also reread the whole Harry Potter set each year, but I won't add those in!) I'm going to start with the Net Galley books first. (I read books before they are published to review for you so you can get excited about new releases!)

Follow Me: 
This book kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. It is also the reason I want to put a sticker on my laptop's camera. The novel follows a successful social media star/blogger who has someone who takes the "follow me" a bit too far and becomes more of a stalker than a follower. It'll keep you guessing, and will definitely have you questioning your own online habits! I recommend this one if you like fast paced reads with modern plots. Publish date: February 25th!

My Best Friend's Royal Wedding: 
This was exactly the kind of book I love to read: Spunky heroine, flawed but lovable hero, romance, and just enough of a farfetched storyline to keep it fresh and fun. I love books that take me to faraway places and give you a fun peek into a life you'll never lead (hello royals! haha) If you enjoy lighthearted romances, you'll like this one! Publish date: Jan 29th! Snag this one now. :)

The Clutter Free Home:
I read a lot of books on decluttering, if you read my blog, you'll know that creating a cozy home is top of my priority list as a stay at home mama. I recommend this one to anyone who needs to know where to start. Lipp's makes the amazing point that while it seems that small changes can't make a difference, all of these small tweaks combined actually can make a huge difference. She also teaches about how decluttering isn't a one and done, but an ongoing way of life. The book does a step by step that works in any size space, with any number of rooms because they are actionable tasks. One of my personal favorites is her idea about dedicating each space to its purpose. My favorite takeaway was her idea to "display a quotation, Bible verse, or some kind of sign that focuses my family as we use the space."  The author chose Lewis and Tolkien quotes in her home, and for that reason alone I know we would get on fabulously. If you need a bit of help decluttering your home, this book will be great for you. Publish date: February 11 2020!

Paris Never Leaves You:
This was a very interesting historical novel. I read it very quickly over our Christmas vacation. The book was a bit of a gut check for me personally because the main character has a little girl named Vivian who they call Vivi, and so do I. And considering the novel takes place during WWII era, that tells you everything you need to know about the state of this little girl's life and it wrung my heart out. On the positive side, this novel had a completely different plot and surprises than the typical WWII/Holocaust novel. I don't want to ruin anything, but I do wonder how the story's events would be received by the Jewish community. I didn't find the main character particularly likable, which is rare for me.  Typically I can't help but like every character whose head I find myself inside! But maybe that was the issue... she kept her secrets from everyone... the reader included.
I'd recommend to people who enjoy WWII era novels, and would appreciate a departure from the usual plots of those novels. Publish date: June 2nd 2020

Now onto the novels I read through my library's EBook check outs!

Becoming Mrs. Lewis: 
This was one of my favorite novels I read this year. I didn't know as much about Lewis as I thought I did, because his personal life is opened up in this novel and so much of it was new (and sometimes a bit shocking to me!) I loved the novel and would definitely recommend it, especially to Lewis fans or Christian women. (There is a lot of deep theological thought being discussed between Lewis and Joy)

Black Heels and Tractor Wheels (Pioneer Woman's Love Story):
I have a few of Ree's cookbooks and I always enjoyed her little blurbs about the food before each recipe so I thought I'd like her book too. The writing style got to be a bit much for me as it went on, but overall it was pretty funny and entertaining if you're a Pioneer Woman fan and like romance novels. If you aren't, skip it.

The Great Alone:
I talked about this novel in my September favorites post. I'm just going to copy and paste what I said here...This book was really interesting. Between the Alaskan wilderness, bizarre family dynamics, interesting characters, and a twisty plot, this one is sure to suck you in. It's hard to tell you much without giving away anything, but if you enjoy character driven books you will most likely enjoy this one. It is a GREAT book for a book club, and my book club is actually discussing this one later this month. I can't wait! 

Carnegie's Maid:
I didn't know a thing about the Carnegies until I read this book. It was a fairly captivating read from beginning to end and definitely falls into the realm of historical fiction. It was almost a love story... but it makes sense why it couldn't end up finishing like one. If you like novels with a glimpse into America's past and you find yourself with an opportunity to read it, I'd encourage it!

Before We Were Yours:
This was another TOP book this year for me. It grabs you early on in the novel and never lets go. It is based on true events which is going to horrify most people, but I think its good to know the history of our country... the good and the bad. The novel follows a family of kids who were taken by people who made a living selling kids to rich families to be adopted. Any description on my end won't do it justice, so just read it, okay?

The Tattooist of Auschwitz:
This novel was alright, but I preferred the sequel. I know a lot of people enjoyed this novel a lot, but I think I've read Holocaust novels that were just better done. Here is a copy of the review I did on her second novel Cilka's Journey back in September....
This is a companion novel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz (which I’ve also read) and I definitely liked this one a bit better. This is based on a true story, which is totally going to break your heart, but most of the day to day events are fictionalized. Cilka, a Jewish girl, was in the concentration camps. Survive or die was her constant refrain, and she chose to survive. While at the camp she was forced into being a prostitute of sorts for the enemy (this is not a spoiler, we knew this from her first novel) at the end of the camps, she is deemed to have collaborated with the enemy by sleeping with them (ahem being raped is more apt) and is sent to a labor camp in Siberia. Unfair. That is mostly where this story takes off. It’s a story of resiliency, friendship, family, love, forgiveness... everything you would expect. But it’s also unexpected in that I just never knew what would happen next. Highly recommend this- it’s an extension of the holocaust WW2 historical story that I didn’t know. 

I'm not sure what I expected from this novel... for one I thought it was a YA book, but when the first chapter used the F word to denote sex, I declassified it as such immediately. If you are into mythology you might enjoy this one. I am not, and it wasn't a favorite of mine.

I Owe You One:
This is a novel by one of my favorite authors. I thought this was a cute, lighthearted romance, and was definitely a fan. If you want something light and sweet, pick this one up right away.

This memoir has had a lot of buzz and I think it is merited. I read this one for my book club (late, so I didn't get to discuss. my mistake!) It is really fascinating to see into the lives of people who live very differently than most... off the grid, with paranoid family members, and different religious traditions... I'm certain it took some courage for her to write it. I would recommend this novel!

This is a classic that I'd heard enough about to be intrigued. The plot starts a bit slow but certainly picks up speed. It has a spooky feel that makes it a perfect fall read and a nice twist that will make you want to discuss with someone. I'd be happy to have it be me if you read it!

The Handmaid's Tale:
Another classic I wanted to check off my list, especially after seeing all the trailers on Hulu for the show. This book wasn't difficult to read and is as interesting as any dystopian novel. It kept my attention easily! I wouldn't exactly recommend it around though. *shrugs shoulders* I can tell the author and I wouldn't see eye to eye on a lot of things, so I'll just leave it at that.

The Lying Game:
I always want to love Ruth Ware's books. They have great premises, and interesting plots, but somehow they always fall short of the expectations I put on them.... I think this might be my favorite of the 3 and 1/2 novels I've read of hers though if that means anything.

The Lake House:
Loved this one. I would recommend it for anyone who likes the fast paced thriller type novels, but it isn't too intense, like the kind that make it hard to sleep. (For instance BA Paris' book Behind Closed Doors was a complete page turner but it messed me up for weeks...) I liked the imagery and the plot and the resolution.

A Simplified Life:
This was a friend's recommendation and I really liked it. Isn't just about simplifying your house but all aspects of your life. I think this is one I could happily have a printed copy of. Definitely recommend for people looking for less!

All We Ever Wanted:
I love this author, but this isn't a favorite of mine from her novels. I think it's a very timely topic (cyber bullying) especially for parents of teens. I wasn't overly satisfied with the ending, so it isn't one I'd particularly recommend with the abundance of awesome books out there. (including her Something Borrowed and Something Blue duo)

The Girl Before:
This is another thriller, and I think people who are fans of books in the Girl on the Train vein would appreciate this one. It is a quick read that I enjoyed, but isn't a favorite.

The Last Anniversary:
I love this author and enjoyed this book a lot. I also read her other new book "9 Perfect Strangers" this year, but didn't add it into my round up. (Like I said, I know I read more than the 20 or so on this post.) I liked this one and would recommend it to fans of Liane Moriarty or people who enjoy books on families with a bit of a secret!

Sharp Objects:
While not as famous as her Gone Girl novel, this one has definitely gotten some buzz because I guess its an HBO show. For lack of a better word, this one is creepy. If you don't mind some strangeness and like a bit of thrill, you might enjoy this one. If you prefer happier stories, this one is probably not for you.

The Home Edit:
One of the most helpful books to me so far on my home journey! I talked about it a lot in my post about my pantry HERE.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with my mix of memoir, fiction, classics, and non-fiction. I can definitely get in a fiction rut, because it's my favorite.
What's the best book you read this year?
xoxo, Love.Haight

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you!! <3

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...