The Books I Read In 2019

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In 2018 I read 228 books. In 2019 I am going to end up around 40. Why such a discrepancy? In 2018 I was sick, injured and depressed. 2019 saw my physical health improve, as well as my mental health. I didn’t need to spend as much time escaping into a book. I also read different types of books this year. Instead of short, easy-to-read romance and suspense, I read more memoirs, self-help, and well-written fiction. 

I’m going to list all of the books I read as well as a sentence or two with my review. I’d love to hear what you read this year, and your recommendations for me in 2020.

  1. It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered by Lysa TerKeurst – This book just didn’t speak to where I was in life when I read it. Thankfully I wasn’t feeling the disappointments of the previous year. Great for someone who is in a bad place and questioning their faith.
  2.  The Simple Faith Of Mr. Rogers: Spiritual Insights From The World’s Most Beloved Neighbor by Amy Hollingsworth – This was a little boring and hard to get through. I love Mr. Rogers, probably more than the average bear, so I already knew him better than this book described.
  3. Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier by Tom Kizzia – The true story of a family of 17 that moved to the Alaskan wilderness to teach their children survival and preserve their conservative Christian ways,  or at least that’s the image they tried to portray. Horrific abuse, twisting the Bible to conceal all sorts of criminal activity, and a man who held his family hostage – this was a difficult read but well-researched and interesting.
  4. Homebody: A Guide To Creating Spaces You Never Want To Leave by Joanna Gaines – I skimmed this book. Love Joanna Gaines, especially since she has gone more Boho and less shiplap, but this is a book geared towards her clients with much larger budgets than I have.
  5. A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools For Intentional Living by Emily Ley – This book was a very surface regurgitated version of every other book you’ve ever read about simplifying. Maybe better for someone just starting out on a simpler path.
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  10. Her Last Second Chance, Her Last Make-Believe Marriage, Her Last First KissHer Cowboy Billionaire Bull Rider and Her Cowboy Billionaire Batchelor by Liz Issacson – I used to really enjoy this author’s earlier series for mindless romance, but these weren’t very good.
  11. Natural Disaster by Ginger Zee – All I knew about Ginger Zee before I read this book is that she had been dating a famous storm chaser. This was a fairly formulaic but interesting little memoir.
  12. Pretty Mess by Erika Jayne – I like the Real Housewives, what can I say? This seemed really disingenuous, like she was trying to to rewrite her actual story.
  13. Dangerous Prayers: 50 Powerful Prayers That Changed The World by Francesca Resta – LOVED this book. It is gorgeous – would make a great coffee table book, and the prayers are truly life-changing.
  14. The Lover by S. Doyle – Adults marrying 16 year olds never makes for a good book.
  15. Kaitlyn and The Highlander by Diana Kinghtley – There have been some truly amazing time-travel books involving hot Scotsmen. This was not one of them. Beyond terrible.
  16. My Life In Shambles by Karina Halle – This book was forgettable. As in I barely remember it.
  17. Whispers On The Wind by Caroline Flyffe – This is another one where I was fooled because I liked another book by the author. This was so bad I cringed while reading the terrible dialogue between the unlikeable characters.
  18. The Substitute Wife by Cici Cordelia – A pen name of Cici Cordelia should have been my first clue that this would be unreadably terrible.
  19. Wild Montana Sky by Debra Holland – Again, forgettable.
  20. Starry Montana Sky by Debra Holland – This story started out with promise but completely fizzled into cheese and bad writing.
  21. Montana Dawn by Caroline Flyffe – This isn’t the best book ever, but it did have a unique story.
  22. The Billionaire’s Email Order Wife by Vivi Holt – I think you already know from the title how bad this one was.
  23. Vegan Under Pressure by Jill Nussinow – Can one really read a cookbook? This one has a ton of info about Instant Pots and vegan cooking in general. Great for someone just starting out or if you are in a recipe rut.
  24. I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening): A Guide To Grace-Filled Political Conversations by Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers – I was on the launch team for this book by the hosts of Pantsuit Politics. Every member of congress should read this.
  25. Hinch Yourself Happy by Sophie Hinchcliffe – If you follow me on Instagramme on Instagram you know how much I love Mrs. Hinch. She is a cleaning sensation from the UK who has found joy in cleaning and maintaining her home. This is a very uplifting. light read.
  26. The Simple Home by Rhonda Hetzel – I wanted this book for quite a while so I finally treated myself to it. Its a comprehensive guide on how to set up and maintain a self-sufficient home. It’s broken down by months, so you can focus on each aspect. I plane to go through this book again in the new year. 
  27. Where The Forest Meets The Stars by Glendy Vanderah – This book had a very unique story line. There were some weak points in the plot but overall this was a good read.
  28. Belleweather by Susannah Kearsley – I’m a long-time fan of Susannah Kearsley’s, but her books are either straight out amazing or unreadable. This book fell somewhere in between. If you are a fan of well-written historical fiction along the lines out the Outlander series you’ll enjoy this.
  29. Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – Rarely do books live up to the hype for me. This one did. My only complaint was the rushed ending. Must-read.
  30. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah – This was the first Kristin Hannah book I have picked up but it won’t be the last. It took me a minute to get into it, but once I did I couldn’t put it down.
  31. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate – A touch read, and can be triggering if you have experienced the foster care or adoption system, but so good!
  32. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – I had no idea what to expect with this book. It was a little weird, but good if you’re in the mood for something different.
  33. A Man Called One by Frederik Backman – I had heard of this book but didn’t know what it was about. I loved everything about it. Possibly the best book I read this year. I laughed, I cried. Can’t wait to see the film adaptation.
  34. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine bu Gail Honeyman – I listened to the audiobook version of this and it took me a bit to even be able to understand the thick accent, but I am so glad I stuck with it. A tale of the underdog coming into her own. Loved it.
  35. Atomic Habits by James Clear – I loved this book. Quite possibly the most effective self help book I have ever read. I’ve already noticed huge changes by putting some of his suggestions into practice. 
  36. Educated by Tara Westover – I heard so much buzz about this book I had to read it. I could relate to her childhood having grown up in a weirdo, homeschooling, abusive home, but many parts of her story rang a little hollow for me. It feels more like a fictional tale based on someone’s life story rather than a true memoir.
  37. The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos – This is the first historical fiction I have read in the WWII era that surrounds Bucharest. Beautifully written, but heartbreaking.
  38. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly – This was a good book. Very hard to read about the atrocities centered around the Ravensbrück concentration camp, the only all-female concentration camp. My complaint is some of the characters were weak, and the way they were all thrown together was sloppy.

What did you read this year? I would love some new recommendations!



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Hi! I'm Melissa!

Melissa is a former hairstylist of 20 years who has a passion for living a simply creative life. She loves inspiring others to pick up a planner and get their lives organized, to clean out a closet and minimize their clutter, and to clean up their physical and mental space to lead their most fulfilled life. She is newly single, a mom, soon to be grandma and crazy dog lady who constantly rewatches The Office.



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