2019 books

in 2018 i read 102 books (more or less) i'm not that great at keeping up with them, like, i think i read all seven harry potters again, but didn't put them on the list ... cause i read them while reading other things .... but i read them at the beginning and didn't want to go back and add them in ... haha ....

anyway .... here goes 2019. aiming for 100. even if i don't make it, i'll read a lot! 

1. sadie by courtney summers .... i started this on new years eve day ..... a runaway on a revenge road trip .... written as partly a podcast and true crime sort of thing .... young adult ... 

2. the fire witch (the coven: elemental magic book 7) by chandelle lavaun .... i've enjoyed this YA series.... this book was light on some of my favorite characters ....and some of the plot points were super YA immature ..... but i still enjoyed it very much and looking forward to book 8 one day.

3. harry potter and the sorcerer's stone .... first book ... my favorite .... such a well done story establishing a brand new world

4. harry potter and the chamber of secret .... second book .... needed light easy reading.

5.nice girls don't have fangs
6.nice girls don't date dead men
7.nice girls don't live forever
8.nice girls don't bite their neighbors
... all by molly harper .... these are  a vampire series (you might have guessed) .... clearly i liked them since i read all four quickly in a row ... quite funny. and i like vampires.

9.the heist ... by janet evanovich (who i LOVE) .... not her stephanie plumb series (no team for me , i love moretti AND ranger) .... this was good .... an fbi agent who teams up with a con man to catch other con men ....

10. the girl who drank the moon by kelly barn hill ... a newberry book ... a novel ... about a girl who is accidentally given magic .... but is really about what people do for love.

11, half a heart by karen mcquestion ... a heartbreaking book (that turns out ok) about a child who runs away from an abusive father..... quite good.

12. beneath a scarlet sky... SO GREAT ... by mark sullivan ... excellent. world war 2 in italy ... i just LOVED the characters .... and the story was riveting and torturous and wonderful and terrible. excellent book.

13. the swing of things .... was recommended to me ... and i wish i remembered by whom! ... yikes, very racey ...

14. infinity net, the autobiography of yayoi kusama ....  i love yayoi kusama's art very much ... i love that her art is really coming from some neuroses and mental health issues, yet she perseveres anyway .... this autobiography is not riveting .... it took me weeks and weeks to get through it, stopping and reading other books along the way .... but i am glad i read it ... and she does speak to me as an artist ... do what you love, even if it is repetitive and weird.

15. alice's adventures in wonderland ILLUSTRATED BY YAYOI KUSAMA ... see above .... i hadn't read the complete original work by lewis carroll since high school, and now i own this most beautiful edition. great book. classic.

16. 11/22/63 by stephen king .... slow to get into .... VERY long ... reading for wedn. book club ... still reading at this writing....

17. we are all made of stars by rowan coleman..... sweet sad book .... about a hospice nurse .... and how she helps the dying write letters to those they leave behind .... very well done. great book. excellent book club discussion.

18. shanghai girls by lisa see ... WOW .... epic story of two young women from shanghai, there affluent life there, their journey to the united states and their lives here. wonderful and hearbreaking. great book.

19. once we were brothers by ronald balson .... GREAT book .... ww2 flashbacks as a possible nazi war criminal is being revealed in current times. super story telling. so well done. loved it.

20. harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban
harry potter and the goblet of fire ... least fave HP book ... but i still love it.

21. march book 1
22. march book 2
23. march book 3 .... all by john lewis and two others ..... EXCELLENT graphic novels about john lewis's experiences in the civil rights movement. everyone should read this to remember where we were, how far we've come, and that we should not be taking steps backwards in freedoms.

24. after the change .... by michael j moore .... post apocalyptic ... i like the story, but it was terribly edited with misspellings and such .... very distracting to have so many mistakes .... i liked the main characters and this notion of the apocalypse.

25. winter hours, poems and prose by mary oliver ..... she died recently and this came across in kindle deals .... and it was lovely. she was lovely.

26. the forgotten hours by katrin schumann ..... a young woman's father is being released from jail .... and her memories, sorting out the truth, of what he had done .... liked a lot.

27. vinegar girl by anne tyler .... re read from last year or maybe the year before .... found it on my shelf and couldn't really remember it ..... classic anne tyler oddball characters. charming.

28. girls night out by liz fenton .... girls trip to mexico and someone comes up missing ... suspense .... 

29. she would be king by wayetu moore .... magical realism .... a smart, weighty book that was a little hard to get into/follow/ understand ... .in the middle i did some research ... and it helped me understand and enjoy the rest of the book ... this is a critically acclaimed book by a liberian woman who fled the country with her family at 5 .... liberia has an odd history as it started with repatriation to africa of emancipated slaves from the united states .... there is lots of supernatural, some legend, some violence on a southern plantation ..... a delicate weaving of three separate stories ....

30.. the book of delights by ross gay .... jp recommended this to me .... national book award .... book of thoughtful, beautiful essays ... reading currently

31. BEST BOOK TITLE EVER: catalog of unabashed gratitude by ross gay .... reading currently .... reading just the first poem was profound ... it was an ode to a specific fig tree .... and it was like reading a fully fleshed out short story about this grand fig tree moment. so good.....

32. shortest book ever: the curious case of benjamin button by f. scott fitzgerald (how did i not know that?) .... my last kid is reading it (she read it in one sitting) for school .... she's in a fab senior english class that is on lit and film .... so she'll watch the movie too .... she and i had a discussion this morning on magical realism ....which this is .... and it is not escapism.... the realism is that there's good and bad .... unlike, say harry potter, which is fantasy with escapism .... or so she says. i was trying to pin her down on what my take away is supposed to be from this book ... but i'll have to wait till she's had a couple class discussions to get the literary critique.

33. salt to the sea by ruta sepetys .... wow .... a very difficult read .... tragically sad but so well done and compelling! ... ww 2 .... a disparate band of war refugees are on the move, trying to get to safety while not entirely trusting each other .... yet another look at the tragedy of ww2 through a story that i've never heard anything like ....

34. ride the wind ... but lucia st. claire robson .... a 30 hour audio book!!! that's a lot of bang for your buck ... i love listening to long books and reading short ones! .... this is about pioneers and comanches and kidnapped white children who are integrated into native american tribes ..... epic and detailed and meandering and i love it. (not especially literary or suspenseful ... just a good story where i've gotten emotionally invested into loads of characters)

35. the tattooist of auschwitz by heather morris...... a story of a holocaust survivor .... with survivors guilt ... worried that he'd be seen as a collaborator rather than the victim he was. well done.

36. the perfect child by lucinda berry. wow. suspense thriller. yikes. scary and great.

37. alas, babylon by pat frank .... was one of the first nuclear age apocalyptic novels ... written in the 50s. it was excellent. did not read as an old book. i listened to it on audible ... must be a new production. it was SO very well done. i loved it. one of my favorites to listen to in a long time. great.

38. emma by jane austen .... classic .... i didn't love it as much as i thought i had when i read it young ..... but i did enjoy it.

39. dreams of joy by lisa see ... sequel to the excellent shanghai girls .... sneaking back into china through the bamboo curtain ... the ramifications of communism on a family. very well done.

40. spinning silver by naomi novik .... sort of a fairy tale ... magical realism and rumplestiltskin and three disparate heroines trying to get by in a difficult world .... all with a happy ending and all pretty well tied up at the end ... which you know i love. happily ever after more or less.

41. whom the gods would destroy by richard powell.... maybe my fave book of all times... first read it as a teen ... my brother owns that copy and i used to read it when i'd go visit him .... then i bought an old library copy off eBay maybe a dozen years ago .... cleaned a book shelf and found it .... and had to read it .... i'll finish the bookshelf tidy later, i guess.. haha .... it is about the trojan war from a trojan boys perspective .... he is captured by the greeks. love it.

42. the sweetness at the bottom of the pie ... by alan bradley ..... a young girl becomes a sleuth when she finds a man dead in her garden .... murder mystery only cuter. and funnier.

43. born a crime by trevor noah! wow! excellent book. the author read it himself on the audible version i listened to. well done. highly recommend to anyone/everyone.

44. the road beyond ruin by gemma liver... ww2 book... i think it was very good ... but i think i've given myself ww2/holocause fatigue. ..... need to read lighter for a bit.

45. clockmaker's daughter by kate morton .... a little too long ... a little too convoluted ... i wanted to ike it more than i actually did. not bad ... but not great for me.

magdalen rising by elizabeth cunningham.  i LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. takes history you know and fleshes out the missing part. jesus is 12. mary magdalen is his best friend/soul mate. love.
(going to read the passion of mary magdalen next ... book 2 of the maeve chronicles ... i have high hopes to read all four in this series. I LOVE series.

47 ... the immortalists by chloe benjamin .... wedn. book club book (it's in this list out of order cause i didn't want to change all the numbers. doh! .... really good book... if you knew when you were going to die, would it change how you live (spoiler:yes, yes it would change you. haha) .... four siblings, great character development ....

48.the love season by elfin hilderbrand .... set in nantucket .... the weaving of a story between past and present ... complicated love ... foodie story .... great summer read

49.the fallen witch, coven, academy magic 1
50.....the hidden witch, coven academy magic 2
(waiting for three to be released at the end of july) .... chandelle lavaun has a series called the coven that i loved .... and now is a kindle unlimited whole series ..... YA witch books.
and a novella:
51. the city witch, coven school of magical arts .....

52. the ladies room by carolyn brown.... the church ladies' bathroom ... where to hear bad secrets .. haha ... very light, very easy read, very nice.

53. where the forest meets the stars by glendy vanderah ..... for th. book club ... i LOVED this ... lost little girl who says she's from another galaxy ... finding love and safety ....

54...the parental toolbox by dayna guido .... still learning ... good section on communicating

55...the parallel process by krissy pozatek ... more parenting.

56...the seagull reader: poems .... found it in the house and have been reading a couple poems each day (evening ) ... not sure which kid read it for which class

57...fences by august wilson ... a play .... another book found in the house ... read by a kid for a class ... made me wish for an english professor to discuss it with

58. the last guest house by megan miranda .... medium good ... not really well edited but a good  story premise .... thriller in a small town ....

59...ceramics, a potter's handbook by glenn nelson and richard burkett .... trying to read it straight through ... but also using it as a resource book to learn/look up the things that i'm struggling with (mostly related to firing )

60...piecing me together ... by renae watson ... YA fiction .... young black girl who lives in poverty and goes to private school on scholarship .... and the friction between her worlds.

61...the tenderness of wolves by stef penney  ... set in the time of trappers and homesteads ... a mystery ... some romance ....

62...a quiet life in the country by t e kinsley .... a lady hard castle mystery ... book 1 .... pleasant .. not sure i loved the characters enough to read the whole series ..

63...husbands and other sharp objects ... marilyn simon rothstein .... light ... funny ....

64...pretty girls dancing by kylie brant ... serial killer ... psycho thriller .... had me.

65....a place for us by fatima farheen mirza .... for book club ... about an indian family .... how people are more similar than different in spite of cultural differences

66.....pachinko ... quickly reread it for a book club... still excellent and epic

67....where the crawdads sing ... quickly reread it for a book club ..... not as good when you know what's coming .... but great book.

68....caraval by stephanie garber ... my youngest is going to college ... this is her college room mate to be's favorite book .... i liked it too .... epic and mysterious and clever ..... though i'm so convoluted i'm sure i missed some bits.1

69....circe. by madeline miller ... i loved this .... circe was one of the stories in the odyssey ... he went to her island and stayed for too long .... she turned the horrid sort of men into pigs .... and this is the rest of the story. loved it.

70 ... lord of the butterflies by andrea gibson .... poetry as political editorial at its finest. just excellent.

71... aimless love by billy collins .... a reread for me .... sweet and easy and lovely and so very good ....

72... don't call us dead by danez smith .... a political/personal collection by a black man .... and a rebuke of our status quo of devaluing black men. heavy. hard to read. i usually pick joyful or thoughtful poetry ... well ... i guess this is thoughtful ... or maybe thought provoking ... but it was hard to keep reading. in a powerful and i want to look away sort of feeling....

73. the sun and her flowers by rupi kaur .... such a beautiful poet!! with powerful, wonderful poetry.

74. beast girls and other origin myths by elizabeth acevedo. ADORE... adore.... love... love .... tiny little perfect book .... go dash out and buy it ....

75. a big new free happy unusual life by nina wise ... the cover says: " self expression and spiritual practice for those who have time for neither " ... well ... i have time for both ... and work on both .... but am in a slump/struggle/spell ..... so read this book for a reboot to retrain my brain .... highly recommend

76. southern lady code by helen ellis ... funny book ... collection of essays. hysterical. very good, worth reading

77. wild embers, poems of rebellion fire and beauty by nikita gill .... "you cannot burn away what has always been aflame" .... well worth reading the whole collection ... i love page 12 and page 88 best.

78. a poetry handbook by mary oliver .... i wrote some poems.... but mostly i just read poetry .... i'm trying to learn .... i like to write ....

79. collage without adhesives by jonathan talbot ... a reread .... but it is skinny and easy to read and i always pick up a new idea ... or a tip i've forgotten ..... i need to get back to it after some months of not collaging.

80... no nonsense buddhism for beginners by noah rasheta .... concepts, teachings and practices .... for beginners .... i feel like i've been reading about buddhism, being the me version of a buddhist for a long time ... but i'm not like awesome at it .... maybe i'll always be a beginner.

81. the words i want you to keep by gaby compres .... LOVE .... sometimes this book gets buried in a pile ... and when i dig it out again i feel like i've won a prize .... usually i keep this book on the end table of the orange couch so i can read one of the poems any old times. LOVE.

82. original fire by louise erdrich .... poetry ... and she's a novelist .... and a native american ... and i love her.

83... lady susan by jane austen .... i think this is originally a short story but i have it in a stand alone book .... maybe one of my kids read it for a class? or i think one must have, otherwise how did i run across it in my house? ..... very jane austen ... lots of commending and regarding and downtrodden women trying to marry up ....

84...the passion of mary magdalen by elizabeth cunningham ... book two in the series. i LOVE it. historic fiction, i guess .... fleshing out m.m's story parallel and intersecting jesus' story.

85....after the fall, before the fall, during the fall by kristin cashore .... post apocalyptic sci-fi with some problem solving time travel .... great premise .... would like more of the after story now.

86. reread.... beneath a scarlet sky for my wedn. book club .... read it fast ... but still loved it.... very well done.

87. reread .... before we were yours by lisa wingate .... for my oldest book club .... sad .... since i knew what was going to happen, i didn't love it as much .... but still think it is a great book.

88.miracle creek by angie kim .... thursday book club book ... a good one ..... a mystery of sorts ... but really great character development .... a little bit of unreliable narrator ..... totally a life is not black and white sort of book ...

89.bright dark madonna ... BOOK 3 of this series i ADORE by elizabeth cunningham .... mary mag after jesus ..... and she's still hanging out with mary the mother of christ.....

90.the mermaid's sister by carrie anne noble .... magical realism ..... really enjoyed it ....

91.the poet x by elizabeth acevedo .. national book award winner for YA lit .... poetry ... beautiful.

92. idaho: a novel ..... by emily ruskovitch  ... this is a psychological thriller ... but not really thriller ... more like psychologically nosey ..... a child dies .... and the dad's new wife wants to figure out what's up with that ..... really good ... nuanced characters....

93. the most fun we ever had by claire lombardo ... great book ... completely disfunctional family with four daughters .... intricate portrayal of all the different interconnected relationships. really enjoyed the audio version.

94. allie and bea by catherine ryan hyde .... i listened to this book and really enjoyed it .... an old lady and a young girl both need someone and reluctantly accept the help from each other.....

95. wild witch, coven academy magic book three
96. the frozen witch, coven academy magic book four
97. secret witch, coven academy magic, book five
all by chandelle lavaun. i've loved this YA witch series.

98. an american marriage by tayari jones.  excellent book. made me sad for the state of the world. excellent social commentary.

99. this is how it always is by laurie frankel .... read it with my book club .... about a family going through the transgender journey with their child .... all of the characters rang true .... some of the plot devices seemed heavy handed or unbelievable ... but i loved it very much. i wish all children going through such a thing had such an open minded family.

100.our better angles by jonathan reckford .... j.r. is a friend of ours .... and works for habitat for humanity .... and these are feel good stories of his time working there.

101.red robed priestess ... book four in the series on mary magdalen by elizabeth cunningham. i LOVE them.

102.the most fun we ever had by claire lombardo .... a family saga ... cute couple, four daughters, LOADS of secrets and twists. enjoyed it.

103.clan of the cave bear
104.valley of the horses
105. the mammoth hunters
(and i'm ending the year with plains of passage so it will be my first book on my next year's list)
all by jean auel. i read these in my teens and twenties ... and have reread and listened to them multiple times since then .....

106. varina by charles frazier .... this one is way out of order .... i think it was a november book club book ..... varina was jefferson davis's wife .... on the wrong side of history in the civil war .... interesting ....

my fave books of 2019 were the mary magdalene series.
lots of witch books
more non fiction that previous years.
lots of poetry ... more than probably actually made the list.

Susie Padgett Sadler Elizabeth Drewry Beck I always check out you blog for title suggestions 😁
My favorites were probably Boom Town, Last Time I Lied, Lilly de Jong, Pretending to Dance, Dream Daughter, Where the Crawdads Sing and Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer....and one I got from you, Inside Out and Back Again

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