The year’s end is fast approaching and my favorite way to recount the past twelve months is to recap what I was able to read over the past year! I like I set a very reasonable goal for myself at the beginning of the year, 12 books for 12 months. (I am an avid Goodreads user and it’s easy to keep track of my books using their yearly reading goal!) Most of these books were book club reads but a handful were just little indulgent pleasures for myself. Some of these books were great, some not, but all were worthwhile because I truly feel that any time spent reading is never time wasted.
Instead of your typical book review style recap I thought I would channel my inner teacher and give each book a grade. My personal grading scale: A, a book that I would consider rereading, would recommend to others, and most importantly its message would stick with me for a while. B, a book that I enjoyed and would consider recommending to others but the memory of this book would not be long lasting. C, a book that was enjoyable but would not recommend. D, a book that I didn’t necessarily enjoy but had its moments and I pushed through to finish.
2019 Reading Recap:
1. Educated by Tara Westover | Grade: B
This book was thrilling, intense, and almost unbelievable at times. I love a good memoir and this one was a gripping story of family, life, learning, and personal growth.
2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett | Grade: A
The messages in this book will stay with me for a long time to come. After I finished reading this book I couldn’t read anything else for a few days, a true sign to me of a book that was well written and had lasting effects.
3. Talking as Fast as I can by Lauren Graham | Grade: C
I love Lauren Graham and Gilmore Girls and I always love a sneak peek behind the scenes of my favorite shows. It was a quick read and lighthearted book. I’ve heard listening to the audio version is hilarious.
4. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens | Grade: C
The characters are compelling and the story is intriguing. I felt like the author was trying to do too much with the plot and some of the smaller story lines felt overwhelming at times. Overall I enjoyed the book and I’m looking forward to the potential movie being made. The nature writing in this book is absolutely beautiful.
5. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han | Grade: C
6. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han | Grade: C
7. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han | Grade: C
I read these books during the summer and they were great books to read while nursing a fussy baby on and off. They were easy to put down and pick up at a moment’s notice. I love how innocent and sweet Lara Jean is and they transported me back to highschool in an adorably nostalgic way.
8. Again, But Better by Christine Riccio | Grade: D
I read this book with a virtual bookclub which was an interesting experience! This book was definitely not my typical genre read and had some interesting twists and turns. The plot wasn’t necessarily deep or long-lasting but it was a fun book to read.
9. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle | Grade: A
A classic that made me love the mystery genre. I love that my bookclub helps me to get out of my comfort zone! I feel like every mystery should take note on how deliciously suspenseful and smart the Sherlock Holmes stories are.
10. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Windgate | Grade: A
As I said before, my favorite genre is historical fiction. This one left me researching for days about the historical elements of the book. It was mysterious, sweet, and sad.
11. Live Big, Love Bigger: Getting Real with BBQ, Sweet Tea, and a Whole Lotta Jesus by Kathryn Whitaker | Grade: A
I read this book for an event at my church and I cannot say enough good things about this author and her message. It was a book filled with encouragement, wit, wisdom, and some sass. I look up to this author in so many ways and truly enjoyed reading her first book!
What an incredible story of faith and the inner workings of how a saint becomes a Saint. It’s a moving account of a true, present-day miracle and made for interesting discussion in my bookclub!
13. Notes from a Young Black Chef by Kwuame Onwuachi | Grade B
I have not read many books via listening to audiobooks but this one changed me. The author narrates his story and hearing his life in his own voice was extremely powerful and moving. I love food and his description of what he cooks and the food of his youth was captivating.
I liked the mix of books I read this year. Some non-fiction, some fiction, always some historical fiction thrown in for good measure. Looking over my list makes me excited to start browsing potential reads for next year. What did you read this year? What are you excited to read next year? Have any good book recommendations to send my way? I would love to hear!