Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Books Read in 2019 #MyYearInBooks

So....about this time last year, I received a challenge from an unexpected source. A now-fifth grader, who really likes to read, announced that she was going to out-read me in 2019. (Her family are our dear friends, so this seemed like a pretty normal thing. Oh, and her parents are also rabbis...we do hang out in packs.)

Challenge accepted. After all, I can read 80 books in a year. I can beat a fifth grader, right?

It has actually turned out to be harder than you think! My young friend was very determined (and she might have a little more time on her hands than I do). A few weeks ago, we were neck-and-neck at 80ish books. I've been texting with her mom, and I'm excited to see her list for this year. It's been a lot of fun knowing that I was in competition with someone else, considering that I mostly just read for the fun of it! Also, I've been trying to decide how badly I want to win....Last night, we had a FaceTime call in which I conceded....and she continues to read on, hoping to hit her goal of 100 books (when we spoke, she was at 96). Since I have only hit 100 one year, I am totally impressed.

Winter Break was a great time to ignore everyone read all the books...but I didn't beat my young friend. I'm sure you're wondering what was on her list, and since she handwrote it, it will take us a little longer to share it. But hopefully it's coming!

Okay, so onto MY book list. I've had a great time with the reading thing this year, and perhaps inspired by my fifth grade friend, I read a lot of wonderful young adult and middle-grade fiction. There's some great stuff out there. I'm particularly intrigued by the diversity of relationships portrayed in these novels, and the gravity of the issues in these "kid" books.
  1. Dear Evan Hansen by Emmich, Val  
  2. The Boy, the Bird & the Coffin Maker by Woods, Matilda  
  3. Small Spaces (Small Spaces, #1) by Arden, Katherine  
  4. I Have Lost My Way by Forman, Gayle  
  5. The Alice Network by Quinn, Kate  
  6. Girl Made of Stars by Blake, Ashley Herring  
  7. The Button War by Avi
  8. Refugee by Gratz, Alan
  9. There There by Orange, Tommy  
  10. Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Auxier, Jonathan  
  11. All Three Stooges by Perl, Erica
  12. We Were the Lucky Ones by Hunter, Georgia  
  13. The Lost Girls of Paris by Jenoff, Pam  
  14. The Library Book by Orlean, Susan  
  15. Red, White, Blue by Carpenter, Lea
  16. The Girl They Left Behind by Veletzos, Roxanne  
  17. The Heart's Invisible Furies by Boyne, John
  18. Before We Were Yours by Wingate, Lisa  
  19. The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt: A Tyranny of Truth by Krimstein, Ken  
  20. Two By Two by Sparks, Nicholas  
  21. Night of Miracles (Mason, #2) by Berg, Elizabeth
  22. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by Grann, David
  23. The American Agent (Maisie Dobbs, #15) by Winspear, Jacqueline  
  24. Marilla of Green Gables by McCoy, Sarah  
  25. All American Boys by Reynolds, Jason
  26. The Huntress by Quinn, Kate  
  27. The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood, #1) by Albert, Melissa  
  28. What the Wind Knows by Harmon, Amy  
  29. The War I Finally Won by Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker  
  30. The Bookshop by Fitzgerald, Penelope
  31. The Latte Factor: Why You Don't Have to Be Rich to Live Rich by Bach, David
  32. Lost For Words by Butland, Stephanie  
  33. The Scent Keeper by Bauermeister, Erica  
  34. Wishtree by Applegate, Katherine
  35. Not Our Kind by Zeldis, Kitty
  36. Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Shapiro, Dani  
  37. The Farm by Ramos, Joanne  
  38. Red, White & Royal Blue by McQuiston, Casey  
  39. The Peacock Emporium by Moyes, Jojo  
  40. Holy Lands by Sthers, Amanda
  41. Antisemitism: Here and Now by Lipstadt, Deborah E.
  42. Love & Gelato by Welch, Jenna Evans
  43. The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Hillman, Robert
  44. The Waiting Room by Kaminsky, Leah  
  45. Jerusalem Maiden by Carner, Talia  
  46. The New Girl (Gabriel Allon #19) by Silva, Daniel
  47. The Tobacconist by Seethaler, Robert
  48. The Guest Book by Blake, Sarah  
  49. Five Feet Apart by Lippincott, Rachael  
  50. Evvie Drake Starts Over by Holmes, Linda  
  51. Ask Again, Yes by Keane, Mary Beth  
  52. The Girl He Used to Know by Garvis-Graves, Tracey  
  53. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Morris, Heather  
  54. The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Grames, Juliet  
  55. The Testaments by Atwood, Margaret  
  56. The Third Daughter by Carner, Talia
  57. Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Evans, Rachel Held
  58. Scythe by Shusterman, Neal  
  59. Graveyard Shakes by Terry, Laura  
  60. Everything is Figureoutable by Forleo, Marie  
  61. Resistance Women by Chiaverini, Jennifer  
  62. Viva, Rose! by Krawitz, Susan  
  63. Kindred by Butler, Octavia E.
  64. The Truth About Leaving by Blitt, Natalie  
  65. Red at the Bone by Woodson, Jacqueline  
  66. The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1) by Hoang, Helen  
  67. The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient, #2) by Hoang, Helen  
  68. One Day in December by Silver, Josie  
  69. The Deserter by DeMille, Nelson  
  70. The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl by Gad, Marra B.
  71. I'm Not Dying with You Tonight by Jones, Kimberly
  72. White Bird by Palacio, R.J.
  73. How to Be an Antiracist by Kendi, Ibram X.  
  74. The Gifted School by Holsinger, Bruce  
  75. Pet by Emezi, Akwaeke  
  76. The Downstairs Girl by Lee, Stacey  
  77. The Dutch House by Patchett, Ann
  78. The World That We Knew by Hoffman, Alice  
  79. Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family by Albom, Mitch  
  80. The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Robson, Jennifer  
  81. The Starless Sea by Morgenstern, Erin  
  82. Someday We Will Fly by DeWoskin, Rachel
  83. Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2) by Shusterman, Neal  
  84. The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3) by Shusterman, Neal  
  85. Foolish Hearts by Mills, Emma
  86. This Adventure Ends by Mills, Emma
  87. Dry by Shusterman, Neal
  88. On the Come Up by Thomas, Angie  
  89. Things You Save in a Fire by Center, Katherine
  90. The Giver of Stars by Moyes, JoJo
  91. White Rose by Wilson, Kip
It's always so hard for me to choose favorites but a few that I would recommend....

Fiction recommendations:
The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Farm
The Gifted School
The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding
Evvie Drake Starts Over
Red, White, and Royal Blue

YA/Middle Grade Recommendations:
The Scythe Trilogy
On the Come Up (same author as The Hate U Give)
All Three Stooges
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
Dry (but it might freak you out and also make you very thirsty)

Non-fiction/memoir recommendations:
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
Antisemitism: Here and Now
The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl
How to Be an Antiracist
The Latte Factor: Why You Don't Have to Be Rich to Live Rich (totally biased on this one - it's by my cousin David!)

I've tried to diversify my authors/topics this year, and I'm open to suggestions! I have a natural bias toward books with a Jewish theme, obviously, but I really like opening my mind to new ideas, new stories, new cultural worlds. 

I'm looking forward to starting new lists for 2020...I keep track of my books on Goodreads - follow me there. What do you think I should read in 2020? What are you going to read? What was the best book you read in 2019?

Previous years' book lists are here (can you believe I've been doing this book-post thing for this long?)