“I’m happier on the days when I’m reading a good book,” I remarked to my husband last year.
“Yeah,” he agreed. “I’ve noticed that, too.”
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With the lure of my smartphone and social media, and the ease of switching on Netflix on my Fire TV, I had forgotten how much I love to read really good books.
I’ve always being a reader (hello Spanish and English double major). Thus, once it was apparent to me that reading really good books dramatically increased my happiness, I made a big priority to read more in 2019. My reading goal on my 19 for 2019 list is to read 12 fiction books and 6 non-fiction books. By the end of February, I’d read 3 fiction books and 5 non-fiction books.
One of my biggest challenges is finding a good book to read so I want to share what I’m reading with you for when you need recommendations.
Here’s what I’m reading in 2019.
What You Don’t Know About Charlie Outlaw, by Leah Stewart
I really enjoyed What You Don’t Know About Charlie Outlaw. While I initially read about this book in Real Simple magazine, the cover reminded me of Where’d You Go, Bernadette so that drew me to the book even more! Once I finally committed to reading this book, I tore through it in a couple weeks.
Charlie Outlaw is a famous actor who suffers a public embarrassment and goes off the grid in South America. His trip takes an unexpected turn and Charlie finds himself in a brand new role without a script.
Part adventure, part Hollywood drama, part love story, this book kept me turning the pages.
The Explosive Child, by Ross Greene, Ph.D.
The Explosive Child is the hallmark book for parenting children who are chronically frustrated, inflexible and prone to explosive meltdowns.
Dr. Greene’s ground breaking research proves the ineffectiveness of traditional theories about children and discipline (“he’s just manipulative” and “she needs more discipline”) while providing a manageable framework for how to parent and solve problems with chronically challenging children. Dr. Greene teaches parents how to use collaborative and proactive methods to help children gain skills and reduce frustration.
This is the best book about parenting I’ve ever read and this method of parenting has changed our family for the better.
Tell Me More, by Kelly Corrigan
In Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say, Kelly Corrigan identifies powerful phrases in 12 short memoirs that help undercover the keys to deeper relationship and the truth about life. This was an incredibly moving and easy read, and it opens the door for self-reflection.
I’ll be honest – this one was tough for me to read at times. Coming off the death of my own father in June 2018, my tears flowed freely when I read about her own father’s death. If reading about loss and other hard things isn’t your jam, I’d steer clear of this.
Girl, Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis
I liked Girl, Wash Your Face. I’m a real sucker for inspirational and motivational self-help books. This book has both inspiration and motivation in spades. One of her phrases “Never break a promise to yourself” echoes in my head on a daily basis when I think about skipping my treadmill time.
I’ve read the criticism surrounding Rachel Hollis and know some people think she’s a lot of hype. Let’s be clear: she is in sales, like all motivational speakers. She’s trying to sell you on her ideas like most authors. If that’s troubling for you, skip this one.
Becoming, by Michelle Obama
Becoming is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. I admire Michelle Obama from taking herself from humble beginnings to Yale and then to the White House.
She tells her story as a black woman born and raised in Chicago. She explains repeatedly how her story could have a very different ending if circumstances in her life had been different. She also shows how she used her unique intervals of racial and gender-based discrimination to inform the power and privilege of being the First Lady to contribute to the common good.
As a woman, wife and mother, I found so much of her story relatable despite our differences. I consider this book a must read for modern mothers.
How To Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul, by Ruth Soukup
I read How To Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul once I decided to launch this blog. While I had a background as a blog contributor, I knew I’d need a solid overview of running a blog as a business.
This book has great fundamentals but be aware that blogging changes very rapidly and this will not be a comprehensive guide for starting a blog in 2019. Nonetheless, I wholeheartedly recommend it if you’re discerning starting a blog. Reading it will give you an overview in order for you to see if you’re up to the challenge.
Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
Less is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel about a man who receives an invitation to his ex-lover’s wedding so he embarks on world-tour to avoid the whole thing.
I had a hard time getting into this book. I mainly kept at it because it won the Pulitzer and had incredible reviews. I did appreciate the author’s use of irony and how the main character was sad and charming at the same time. Check out the Amazon reviews before you spring for this one.
Life on the Leash, by Victoria Schade
I’m not a pet person and I enjoyed Life on the Leash, a romantic comedy fiction novel about a dog trainer in Washington, DC. Written by a real-life dog trainer, this novels spotlights the lives of both human and canine underdogs.
I grabbed it at the library based on the cute cover when I wanted a light read. It’s a quick read and would be a perfect Spring or Summer break beach read. Like most romantic comedies, this happily ever after tale doesn’t disappoint.
Party Girl, by Rachel Hollis
I checked out Party Girl after I read Girl, Wash Your Face also by Rachel Hollis. This was Rachel Hollis’ first book and it was rejected by publishers as “too nice.” So I was intrigued about what publishers would classify as “too nice.”
This is another light, romantic comedy read perfect for the beach or camping. If you’re trying to read more, it’s a good alternative to Facebook scrolling while the children are playing because it’s so easy to follow. It tells the story of a brand-new party planning intern in Los Angeles. Think a tame version of The Devil Wears Prada set in Los Angeles. I enjoyed this quick and predictable read.
Free Printable Book List
Having a place to write down the books I want to read has been so important for me. When I have an idea of what to read next, I read more.
There are two pages in the printable file so you can chose the book list that’s right for you. There is one with the column headings already spelled out (Title, Genre, Started, Finished, and Notes) or the one with fewer column headings that you can personalize.
Get the free printable here, write down your book ideas, and get reading!
What have you read in 2019? Leave a comment below.