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FINAL 2019 READS

January 3, 2020 No Comments

Not sure if your noticed, but I have been missing from the blog for some time now. A lot has happened over the past few months, but rather than droning on about why I went MIA, I figured I would dive back in. To wrap up 2019, I wanted to share the books I read (and loved) from September through December.

The last few months of the year left me little time to sit down with a book in my hands. This led me to get most of my reads in via audiobooks which, as I have mentioned before, are a great way to get the reading experience on the go. With that being said, here are the my final reads of 2019.

SAPIENS by YUVAL NOAH HARARI

This book….oh this wonderful book!

I ended up listening to this one on Audible since I had a few credits waiting to be used and I am so glad I did. It made it easier to rewind throughout chapters so I could really grasp onto the concepts that are discussed. This book is big and I mean that in a sense that it makes you think on a bigger scale than you likely do in your everyday life. It dives deep into the evolution of humans and how we got to where we are today. It also studies how our actions today are driving where we will be in the future (heads up – it’s looking grim thanks to our abuse of the environment around us).

This book is clever and compelling. It makes you question the laws and rules and reasons that you live by and it does it while slowly blowing your mind. I honestly thought I would struggle with a book based so heavily on science, but I really enjoyed this read and would recommend it to any and everyone.

DEAR GIRLS by ALI WONG

Ali Wong is one of those comedians that I cannot get enough of. She makes me laugh – genuinely laugh – all the time. She is also a badass female who proudly pushes her culture and opinion on everyone. I love it. This book, dedicated to her two very young daughters, is a true representation of her as a person. There’s a lot of deep and awesome stuff happening on the inside, but it’s is layered under hilarious and raunchy matter.

This was a quick and easy read, but one that I really enjoyed. Ali’s commitment to her family, women, and her craft is refreshing. Reading through Dear Girls took me back to the days I first discovered Mindy Kaling’s books and realized what a real-life girl crush felt like. A must-read – especially for all the ladies out there.

WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS by CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian author who is often praised for her work and it is for very good reason! I read We Should All Be Feminists when it first came out and loved it so much that I picked it up for the second time. This book hits home now more than ever considering the fragile state of topics like women’s rights in today’s society. This book, which questions the true definition of feminism, uses Adichie’s own experiences to highlight the discrimination that women face all accross the world. This book also perfectly brings to light how dangerous it is (for both men and women) to have such a great gender divide within our society. 

This is a quick, but necessary read. One that packs a punch even with its limited number of pages. I highly recommend that all women and men check this one out!

BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by TA-NEHISI COATES

I have been holding onto this book for most of 2019 and finally devoured it…and in just one sitting. It is a quick read, but this book is still incredibly powerful. Written by famous author & journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, this is a letter to Coates’ son and explores the fear that he (and other) black people have felt throughout their lives. 

I really wanted to read this book to get a better understanding/perspective that someone of color has. We all know the violence and discrimination people of color face – even to this day. However, it was incredible to see the pain that Coates has experienced laid out on the pages. This book lends insight to the childhood of Coates and the exploration of black culture as he made his way into Howard University and throughout his adulthood. I can say with confidence that this book is nothing short of exceptional and a must read!

MAYBE YOU SHOULD TALK TO SOMEONE by LORI GOTTLIEB

I have to admit that what brought me to this book was all the attention it was getting online. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see what all the hype was about. Let’s just say I am sooooo dang happy that I did. This is easily one of my favorite books that I have read all year!

While I have never gone to therapy myself, I have always been in awe of it and tend to read about psychology any chance I get. Lori did this book proud and really made you feel all the emotions that come with mental health. This book is raw, real, and filled with the hard realities of life. It most certainly is not a light ready as you experience loss in one chapter and love in another. The stories that you hear will touch and I promise you it will be a beautiful read. I enjoyed how each chapter was dedicated to someone’s story and how you were able to revisit their stories throughout the book. 

The book does a good job of displaying the traumas that can bring a person into the therapist’s office. Lori uses this book to touch on topics such as regret, grief, love, and relationships and each is addressed in a way that is relatable and makes you really feel what that person is going through.

EDUCATED by TARA WESTOVER

Since completing this book, I am downright angry with myself for leaving it on my to-be-read list for so long. This book was more than I expected and I honestly did not want it to end. I knew that the premise of the book was relating to Tara’s lack of education early in her childhood (her first time in a classroom is at age 17), but I was happy to learn that her story went beyond education. Tara uses this book as a way to recount her childhood under Mormon parents who were survivalists and siblings who, along with Tara, were isolated from mainstream society.

Tara’s story is compelling and heartbreaking all in one. There were times I had to stop and remind myself this was a memoir and not fiction. While some of Tara’s family have pushed back against the memories she shared, I felt Tara did a good job continuously reminding people that this was her side of the story. She notes experiences that she does not recall and references times that her siblings had to remind her of details. Above anything, Tara’s ability to go from home school (or the lack thereof) to earning a doctorate from Cambridge is inspiring and motivating.

HEAVY by KIESE LAYMON

I honestly do not know where to start with this book. I guess in short I can say that this is one of the best books I have ever read. I know this because like some of the other ‘best books I have ever read,’ this book made me feel all of the feelings. It moved me and it made me want to never stop listening to the words that Kiese Laymon read through the speakers of my car.

This memoir truly is heavy. It is deep and raw and so damn pure. Kiese’s way with words is brilliant and I already have his other works on my to-be-read list for 2020. This book is a letter to his mother and it tackles everything from sexual abuse, physical abuse, addiction, and more. It is not a light read by any means, but it is worth every moment you invest. Needless to say, you won’t be surprised when you see this on the list of my top reads from 2019.


What have you been reading lately? Share your favorite books of the moment in the comment section below!

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Hey there! I'm Rachel & this here is my little spot on the internet. For the past eight years, I have used this space to share my love for traveling around the world, but I should warn you: I occasionally share my love for everything else on here too (including all things puppies because..... puppies). tysm for stopping by! Read More

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