I’m just gonna give myself a little pat on the back, because I read 19 books in 2019. And that, by the way, is 18 more books than I thought I’d read at the beginning of the year.
The books I read in 2019:
Me Before You, Still Me, One Plus One, and The Last Letter from Your Lover all by Jojo Moyes. I really enjoyed all of these, even though it turns out I totally missed reading one of the books in the trilogy (“One Plus One” was a stand alone book; I should’ve read “After You” before “Still Me). I’d definitely like to read more from Jojo Moyes in 2020.
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms and Paris by the Book by Liam Callanan. Honestly, I didn’t like either of these books. I grabbed them from Costco, because they looked and sounded great, but I had a really hared time finishing both of them.
Rediscovering an Author
About six months ago I actually rediscovered an author I used to read a long, long time ago (like back in my early high school days, or maybe even middle school). When I found out that Robin Jones Gunn never stopped writing, and had a whole plethora of books with the same characters I knew and loved, I couldn’t start reading them fast enough, so that’s just what I did for the second half of 2019!
While I’m pretty sure they run in the “young adult” category, I also don’t really care, because they transported me and reconnected me with some old friends. Then, I discovered that she actually started writing some more adult fiction, so I’ve started diving into those books now. They’re fast, easy reads, which is exactly what I need and love to read.
This first book, Gardenias for Breakfast, is actually a stand-alone novel for her, and it was great; I loved it.
Then I dove head first into “The Married Years” trilogy (Forever With You, Home of Our Hearts, and One More Wish) featuring Christy and Todd (the two characters I grew up with. I last left off decades ago, when they got married, so it was fun to see them in this next chapter.
THEN!!!! Then Christy and Todd had a baby, so these books were clearly right up my alley. It was so cool to see these old friends become more realistic to me; going through things that I’ve been through. Growing up, they were always several steps ahead of me, but this time, I forged the path first and then got to see how they handled parenthood. Sandy Toes, Salty Kisses, and Sunset Lullaby were all part of “The Baby Years” books.
As I researched what books Robin Jones Gunn had out, I saw that she had some Christmas books, Finding Father Christmas and Engaging Father Christmas, which was perfect timing since I was in the throws of Hallmark Movies after Thanksgiving. Then my mom said she recognized the titles, and (go figure), these two were turned into Hallmark movies! Needless to say, but I loved them. I still need to track down the movies.
You know how TV shows have spin-offs once a series ends? After the Christy Miller saga ended, Robin Jones Gunn already laid the groundwork for introducing us to several other characters, which is there the Glenbrooke Series came to life! I read Secrets, and Whispers, but still have six more to go before I finish this series.
I snuck these two books in the week before the year ended! True to You by Becky Wade was good; I loved it, and can’t wait to read more books by her and the rest in the series. It was chick-lit through and through, and could totally be made into a movie.
The last book of the year was a Christmas gift that I jumped into. The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth was good, and I was intrigued by it until the very end. It veered from the books I read most of the year, so it was a nice change of pace to read a different author.
How do you like to read books?
In a perfect world, I like to read an old-school, actual book. But I also like to read wherever I am, and whenever I have time, which means that—more than often—I go for a Kindle option so I can read it through the app on my phone.
But my big discovery in 2019 was discovering Hoopla, connected to my library, which is a total game changer. I’m sure I’m several years behind in getting this, but I love it.
Reading for me is relaxing and a way to escape the craziness of real life, so I don’t need to pressure myself to read something that doesn’t give me joy.
I’ve tried several times to get into audio books, but I just can’t do them. I also can only read and enjoy fiction. I know those empowering self-help type books are super popular right now, but I lose interest every single time I try reading them, and I’m finally okay with that.
What was your favorite book from 2019?
I’m excited to read more in 2020…maybe even 20 books this year? Did you read anything wonderful last year? Tell me about it so I can add it to my list!