Top Reads of 2019

I know I’ve kind of vanished from blogging.  Still here, just super busy.  I did manage my GoodReads goal of 24 books this year and am bumping it up to 36 for 2020.  Here are my top reads from the past year, in no particular order:

IMG_20200101_173326009.jpg[Not pictured: Bird Box by Josh Malerman.  Read the Kindle edition on my phone.]

  1. Bird Box by Josh Malerman: I had seen exactly 5 seconds of previews for the movie and accidentally stumbled on a list of “scariest books we’ve ever read”.  This was on the list and it said it was way scarier than the movie.  Of course I would read the book first anyway, but that intrigued me, because movies have the advantage of visual effects and sounds for scare factor.  Read straight through this and was totally freaked out in a very enjoyable way.
  2. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: I had some Barnes & Noble gift cards and was browsing the website’s section of YA books because they are easy reads and usually pretty good.  I’d never heard of this one, but it starts out with two teens in a clock tower, potentially ready to jump, so I was curious.  This book saved my life.  I can’t go into detail without spoilers, but trust me that it was so good I ended up buying the pocket version and the Spanish version as well (reading it in Spanish is a goal for next year).  There’s also a movie coming to Netflix in February so read it now to be prepared!
  3. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott: Another book from my YA kick, this one was already out as a movie when I read it.  I didn’t really know what I’d think, but I had a friend whose son has cystic fibrosis and she wasn’t sure if she could handle reading it, so I read it to give her my advice on whether to try or not.  It would have been intense for her, I think, but worth it, in the same way that I push my way through books about suicide and self-harm.
  4. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow: Aaaaaaand….here’s the book on self-harm.  I wish I could get everyone I know to read this.  There are a number of really bad books out there that include characters who self-harm and they just don’t get the motivations right.  This one does.  It should…I knew within the first chapter that the author was writing from personal experience.
  5. The Mindful Mom-to-Be by Lori Bregman: I went through a long span of baby fever this year and was reading everything I could on pregnancy and childbirth.  This book had a lot of great information for those who want to get through pregnancy and childbirth using natural remedies, birthing methods, etc.
  6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: I actually saw the movie first, something I rarely do, and was terribly confused reading the book due to the movie covering the whole trilogy.  So putting that out here: if you’ve seen the movie and want to read about that, you’re committing to a trilogy.  I totally loved the inclusion of pictures of the peculiars throughout the book.
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Yes, I made it to 39-years-old without reading what is typically a high school English assignment.  You see, my school had remedial English, English, and college prep English.  Instead of reading the same material but processing it at different levels, we were assigned completely different material, so basically anything that was considered a universally assigned book by the world of my teen years?  Not assigned to me.  I really was just tired of not getting the references made in pop culture, and someone gave me this book, so I went ahead and read it and was shocked to find out it was actually GOOD unlike so many of the “classics”.

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