Tuesday Topics | What was your favorite book you read last year?

I am glad to link up with  Kookyrunner and Zenaida  for Tuesday Topics today, as I was planning to share my favorite reads from 2019 with you anyway. 

I only read 27 books last year, less than half than the previous year, none of them running books, but that’s ok. Reading is not a competition (at least not for me) and while I always strive to read more, sometimes it just doesn’t happen. I still read some great book last year that I’d love to share with you. I think if I had to pick a favorite one, it would be Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’, but I gave four books 5 stars and then I am adding one of the many 4 star books here randomly (because it stands out for me in my memory. Maybe it should have been a 5 star book for that very reason).

Here are my top 5:

Every Note Played by Lisa Genova

This is a story about a pianist with ALS and the havoc the disease causes for his entire family. His ex-wife, a pianist herself, steps up as his caretaker. The story beautifully written, detail-oriented (we sometimes feel like we’re in the room with him, his thoughts, and his failing body) and simultaneously explores the progression of the disease and the aftermath of his failed marriage and the regrets and hopes he has, as the end of his life is approaching.

Becoming by Michelle Obama 

I loved reading about Michelle’s childhood on the Southside of Chicago and how she met Barack. It was fascinating to read some of the private in and outs of being the First Family and living in that big house on Pennsylvania Avenue, but I especially loved her candor and vulnerability when she talked about her feelings surrounding Barack’s presidency (who knew she wasn’t so thrilled about the idea?), her role as a  mother and First Lady, and the backlash she had to endure. It’s amazing to me how she handled all this with so much strength and grace.

You think it, you’ll say it by Curtis Sittenfeld 

This book completely surprised  me. When I realized that I picked up a book of short stories, I wasn’t sure this book was  going to be for me, but turns out, I loved it. Sittenfeld tackles many relevant topics — social media, class issues, gender roles, political differences, etc. I was particularly surprised by how much she made me care about the characters in just 10 to 20 pages; she did a phenomenal job of developing a story and making me feel invested in a short amount of time. I found all of the stories well executed and my only ‘complaint’ is that I wanted them to last longer and to learn more about the characters. Sittenfeld is a great writer and I highly recommend this book.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

I was a little hesitant when I realized that this book was written in free verse, but turns out, it almost read like a regular book with the freedom to condense and abbreviate otherwise elaborate parts, while still telling a beautiful, emotionally full story. It totally worked and I felt myself enamored by Woodson’s childhood memories and take-aways. I read this book in one sitting (granted, it’s a fast read!) and you should, too.

Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBride 

Transgenderism seems to have been such a hot-button topic last year and this book was a great resource. If a memoir about coming out as transgender isn’t enough in a climate where transgender people still face discrimination and non-acceptance, Sarah McBride takes on Washington politics as an advocate for transgender rights, while falling in love, getting married and losing her (also transgender) husband to cancer at the age of twenty-four. 

I felt myself rooting for her in every aspect of her life throughout the book and hope she’ll continue to spread hope. Through her candid openness and honesty, I feel that I have a better understanding about some of the complexities and nuances of being transgender in America today.

What was your favorite book in 2019? Check out the other books I read and add me on Goodreads to keep in touch.

  1. I think Becoming was probably my favorite book, too. It was one of the first books I read in 2019 and it was tough to beat! I read so many other great books, though, and it was hard to select favorites as I ended up reading 105 (!!!) books! I also loved Bad Blood, Just Mercy, The Sun Does Shine, Ask Again Yes, Shoe Dog, and the Louise Penny books (I finished all the books in her series in 2019 – they get better and better!). If you want to read something running-adjacent, you could try reading “Shoe Dog” – i never thought a book about the story of Nike would be such a page turner! It also shows how running has changed and become way more mainstream than it used to be! I think you’d also like Just Mercy since you liked The Sun Does Shine (I read that based on your recommendation – it was so good!)

  2. I read mostly fiction books last year. You just reminded me that I need to change that! I did read “Roar” which I really enjoyed

  3. I also read Becoming and I really liked it!

  4. Interesting selection! It seems like I will need to read “Becoming” after all! 😊
    “Every Note Played” sounds like a book I would like to read as well. 27 books a year is great!
    I’m trying to get hold of a library here in Cape Town so I can pick up reading again. Currently reading “How Not to Diet”. A more science-oriented book, so I’m taking it slowly. 😊

  5. What a great and varied list. I have heard such great things about Michelle Obama’s book. I need to get my hands on that one.

  6. You only read 27 books last year? Haha, that is pretty great. No way I read that many but I would like to. The problem is that I watch too much TV. :-) Anyway, I also read Becoming and loved it too!

  7. That’s awesome you had quite a few standouts!! Quality over quantity is important, I think. And I still need to read Becoming – but I’m glad you loved it.


    p.s. I’m trying to visit other posts on your blog but I keep getting some type of 500 error. This post finally opened for me to read/comment, so it could just be me.

  8. It’s always so interesting to see how different the reading list of other people is. The last one sounds interesting after I picked up a horrible one on the topic and don’t believe it is at all representative.
    I read a lot of fiction and historic fiction last year.

  9. Ohhh, I don’t think I realized that “You Think It, I’ll Say It” is short stories/essays. I really like her writing, so maybe I’ll have to check that one out.

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