One of my goals from 2019 was to get back into reading, along with watching less tv. 🙂 Fortunately, I was able to read 11 books. Unfortunately, I didn’t reduce my screen time. In fact, my dedicated Netflix hours quadrupled during Fall 2019. So there’s that!
I’m super excited about this post, but I wish I had kept an ongoing log of my 2019 book recommendations as I read them instead of trying to recall them now. I’ll remember to do that next time.
Before we dive in, I wanted to share the inspiration behind this post. Do any of you listen to the Bad on Paper Podcast? It used to be primarily focused on young adult books but has expanded into other lifestyle content. The co-hosts are Grace Atwood (The Stripe) and Becca Freeman. If you’re a young adult fan, I highly recommend this fun and entertaining podcast.
After listening to Bad on Paper, I was super inspired to go through Grace’s book recommendations. Bad on Paper also has a monthly book club that you can participate in. Most of my 2019 book recommendations came from Bad on Paper.
My other inspiration is the booksagram community aka Book Instagram accounts. There is an entire community where influencers/bloggers share their book recommendations. I didn’t even know this was a thing! If you’re into books, check out these booksagram accounts. So fun!
- The Spines
- NYC Book Girl
- Carly’s Book Club
- Absorbed in Pages
- Spivey’s Book Club
- Read and Wright
- Ink and Fable
- Bookish Kate NYC
- Bad on Paper
Books I didn’t finish
A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy)
I am a big fan of the Twilight and Vampire Diaries series. I also enjoy watching Vampire Diaries, The Originals (Vampire Diaries spinoff), and Legacies (Originals spinoff), but I could not get super into A Discovery of Witches. It’s well written, and the plot and setting are good, but it’s a lot of detail. I tend to get bored with really detailed descriptions. A lot of people enjoy this but for me, I want to get to the story. Overall, I found this book slow and wanted the romance to be introduced earlier. Ironically, in some amazon reviews, people weren’t keen on the romance being the primary focus (once it finally began) and felt that the female protagonist was a little too submissive to men.
If you’re into fantasy and like books like Harry Potter and other vampire-related content you will most likely enjoy this series. I finished the first book and then started the second book on audio and got pretty far but once I fell off, it was hard to pick back up as there are a lot of characters to keep track of.
Amazon book description: In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Recommend: It depends on if you’re into fantasy and detailed descriptions.
I wanted to like this book, but I am not much of a non-fiction reader. This book was slow, and hard to get into. I did find Michelle’s upbringing very interesting and her career trajectory incredible. I’m embarrassed to say that I have yet to finish this book.
I do think the book is incredibly well written and an important part of American literature but if you’re not a major #fangirl or an autobiography reader, you may not be super into this book.
Amazon Book description: In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.
Recommend: No if you mainly read fiction. Yes if you like Michelle Obama.
Books I Read All the Way Through
This book is entertaining and hilarious! As much as it was popular back in 2015, it’s still relevant and incredibly inspiring for entrepreneurs. I definitely recommend that you read this book and have a highlighter nearby. There are so many gems on how to work hard and climb the corporate ladder. This book will motivate you to work hard and accomplish your dreams!
Amazon Book description: The founder of Nasty Gal and the founder and CEO of Girlboss. Sophia was never a typical CEO, or a typical anything, and she’s written #GIRLBOSS for other girls like her: outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success, even when that path is windy as all hell and lined with naysayers.
#GIRLBOSS proves that being successful isn’t about where you went to college or how popular you were in high school. It’s about trusting your instincts and following your gut; knowing which rules to follow and which to break; when to button up and when to let your freak flag fly.
Young Adult Series
The Selection series (I read 1-3)
This book was described as the Hunger Games meets the Bachelor! I kid you not. I am a fan of both so I, of course, had to read it. Plus, it was constantly brought up on the Bad on Paper Podcast. It’s a fun read that is quick and entertaining.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Amazon Book description: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape a rigid caste system, live in a palace, and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and competing for a crown she doesn’t want.
Then America meets Prince Maxon—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
The Royals series (3 books total)
I only picked up this series after it was frequently mentioned on the Bad on Paper podcast! I should state that this series is not one that they recommend but their Facebook group encourages it.
First off, this book is not for teens. It’s incredibly raunchy, think Fifty Shades of Grey but with young adults. My biggest turn off was the writing, the dialogue of the female protagonist and the male are beyond awful. It’s cheesy at times and incredibly vulgar. The only reason I read all three is that I wanted to know how the series ended.
Call me old fashioned, but I would be appalled if I had teens and they read this book. The main characters are 17 and in high school. I grew up incredibly sheltered and wasn’t even dating at 17 or going to parties. It seems like times have definitely changed and young adults are more experienced than ever!
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Amazon Book description: Ella Harper is a survivor―a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.
Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.
Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.
He might be right.
Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.
The Thousandth floor series (3 books)
Were you a Gossip Girl fan? If so, you’ll like this series. It’s basically Gossip Girl set 100 years in the future. I’ve read 2 out of the 3 books but I was disappointed with the 2nd book as it took a huge departure from the first. In the 2nd book, a bunch of new characters are introduced and the story derails from the original plot. I was getting ready to give up on this series but now I am excited to read book 3.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Amazon Book description: A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose.
Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.
Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.
Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one?
Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.
And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.
Best Book of 2019
The Idea of You
One Direction fan fiction, but you don’t have to be a fan of the boy band to enjoy this. It’s so good! It’s a steamy romance that you won’t be able to put down. I hope she writes a sequel.
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Amazon Book description: Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of an art gallery in Los Angeles, is reluctant to take her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band. But since her divorce, she’s more eager than ever to be close to Isabelle. The last thing Solène expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things.
Great for Female Entrepreneurs
Girl Stop Apologizing
Such a quick and easy read for those who are needing motivation in business. An excellent choice for moms and women in business. Rachel Hollis (author) is excellent at keeping it real and telling it straight. You feel like you’re talking to your best girlfriend.
Amazon Book description: #1 New York Times best-selling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call and lets listeners in on her personal roadmap for success. She knows many women have been taught to define themselves through other people-whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee-instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. Challenging women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to discard, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to believing in yourself.
What 2019 book recommendations do you have? Please share in the comments and also let me know if you’ve read any of these or plan to.
Photography by Studio Salty