Book Chat

Favorite Books of 2019 (and what I read in December 2019)

Wow, another year in the books!

2019 was a bit of a blur, but aren’t they all? This year I read 32 books, which happens to be how old I am: maybe next year I’ll make it to 33! I’m so glad I keep up with this blog so I can look back and see that I actually read quite a few books even if it didn’t feel like it. I may never read at the same pace as my pre-motherhood days, but I’ll take it.

A friend on Instagram asked what my favorite books of the year were, which  is always a hard question to answer! But I looked back through the archives and these 6 stood out:

Last Christmas in Paris, by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb (review below)

Evvie Drake Starts Over, by Linda Holmes (August)

Becoming, by Michelle Obama (January)

Normal People, by Sally Rooney (September)

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, by Lori Gottlieb (September)

Daisy Jones and the Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid (June)

Also, just for fun, a little IG story template courtesy of @EveryDayReading that was a fun roundup for 2019:

And now to finish up another year of reviews with a recap of what I was reading in December!

 

December 2019 Thoughts

Finished:

L’Chaim and Lamentations, by Craig Darch

Start date: 12/1/2019
Finish date: 12/2/2019

Genre: Short Stories
Source: Mom
Rating: 4 stars

This collection of short stories examines a slice of life for several different characters, all full of life and humor. The jacket description says it better than I can:

“Their stories span across place and time, but they are bound together by their shared historical, cultural, and religious backgrounds. The inherited trauma of the Jewish people informs Craig Darch’s characters as they toil, flail, and often flourish.”

Last Christmas in Paris, by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

Start date: 12/3/2019
Finish date: 12/14/2019

Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: @EveryDayReading
Rating: 5 stars

I loved this sweet romance told in letters throughout WWI, a perfect seasonal (or any time) read if you’re looking for something heartwarming that will also make you cry (definitely reminiscent of my favorite WWI novel, Rilla of Ingleside by LM Montgomery). The character development was great, and you could tell it was well-researched, with storylines covering propaganda, women’s efforts, treatment of PTSD, etc. I bet the audio version with British narrators would be fantastic; maybe next time – this is the type of book I could reread, a rare thing these days.

Conversations with Friends, by Sally Rooney

Start date: 9/22/2019
Finish date: 12/21/2019

Genre: Fiction
Source: IG/backlist
Rating: 3 stars

Whew, I still admire Rooney’s writing style but this was quite a bleak love story following two friends and their affairs with older married couple (and each other). It took me a while to warm up to the distant, cynical characters but eventually it become absorbing. (Side note: it was very weird to be the same age as the married man having an affair with the main character, a college student, and to know that the author was born in 1991. It’s like when you start to notice that celebrities are younger than you.) Well-written but some of the kinks with pacing improved in her second book, Normal People, which was my favorite by far.

Read my thoughts on Normal People here.

Currently Reading:

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

Start date: 12/22/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Source: Library

l’ve heard about this book for a couple years and finally picked it up from the library. It’s easy to feel like being an introvert is a condition to overcome but the author delves into the advantages.

Books read in December: 3
Books read in 2019: 32
Currently reading: 1

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the last month of 2019!

 

The Amateur Librarian is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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