Happy end of 2019! Time for my favorite reads of the year. I had a wonderful year of reading (finished 106 books!), but I read a little differently than I normally do. Due to an intense year at work, I found myself reading more "easy reads" than more literary masterpieces…fine by me! It did make it hard to narrow down my favorite reads of the year as so many were just easy and fun. But, here are the best of the best:
Favorite Non-Fiction Reads of the Year:
Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson: I love his music and loved reading his Wingfeather Saga a few years ago. While this book is for creatives, I really enjoyed the story from a master storyteller.
Becoming by Michelle Obama: No matter your political leanings, this book is fantastic. Definitely do it on audio.
Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport: If you are wanting to read a book that will help you rethink how you use technology (including your phone and social media), read this one. His ideas aren't new, but he does a great job of putting them together in a fresh way.
Sum It Up by Pat Summit: Wow, this book was fantastic. I followed Pat's career and idolized her as a women's basketball coach when I was growing up. This was the perfect inside look into the life of a legend. Also, a touching look on dealing with Alzheimers.
Kid Gloves by Lucy Knisley: My 8-year-old son is really into graphic novels, which has intrigued me to read some as well. I've been loving them. This is a look at pregnancy, with interesting info and many laugh out loud moments. Give it a go!
Favorite Fiction Reads of the Year:
Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAuntly: A fabulous middle great novel about a girl with a highly unusual gift and her wade into her first year in public school. Loved this one.
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt: A middle grade novel about a girl with dyslexia who doesn't know how to read but has been able to trick previous teachers by acting out. With a new dedicated teacher who finally "sees" her, she begins to figure out herself and her dyslexia. So good.
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn: A tale of World War II, espionage, an unwed pregnant mother, deceit, and going back and forth in time, this book was a favorite and fast read.
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny: A Chief Inspector Gamache book, you'll definitely want to start with book one Still Life (it's slow and you need to just commit to continuing the series), but this book was my favorite so far. Really loved it.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling: I was lucky enough to read this first in the series to my 8-year-old this fall, and it was everything I hoped it would be. We intentionally waited until he was 8, and I am so glad we did. He caught the Harry Potter fever, and I couldn't be more proud.
All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor: What an interesting premise on this middle grade read: a young boy growing up in a prison with his incarcerated mother. Great read.
The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup: I read a handful of suspenseful books this year, and this is the one that I enjoyed the most and definitely stayed with me the longest. Intense, scary, couldn't put it down, and good.
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes: This may have been my favorite read of the year. It takes a while to get going, but the characters are wonderful, the setting and story are fantastic, and I just loved how it all played out.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett: This needs to be listened to on audio; Tom Hanks narrates it, and there is nothing quite like hearing him say the name "Maeve" over and over. This character-centered book had a great storyline, and I couldn't wait to listen a little more.