As we wait out this pandemic and practice social distancing, I finally found the time to reflect back on the books I read last year. Thanks to Bookstack, I don’t have to remember which ones I read - its all tracked for me in the app. In 2019 I read 25 books! Maybe not a lot to some people, but I consider that a nice accomplishment. I usually aim for about 25-30 per year.
Here’s the list in chronological order:
- Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan
- Fortunate Son, by DJ Rhoades
- Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan
- Proteinaholic, by Garth Davis, M.D.
- The Fighter, by Michael Farris Smith
- Conspiracy, by S.J. Parris
- The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom
- Glory Over Everything, by Kathleen Grissom
- The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
- This Year is Different, by Bob Sturm
- Not a Sound, by Heather Gudenkauf
- Missing Pieces, by Heather Gudenkauf
- These Things Hidden, by Heather Gudentkauf
- Git for Humans, by David Demaree
- Make Time, by Jake Knapp & John Zertatsky
- Educated, by Tara Westover
- Little Mercies, by Heather Gudenkauf
- The Man They Wanted Me to Be, by Jaren Yates Sexton
- Unlearning God, by Phillip Gulley
- Soil, by Jamie Kornegay
- Cave of Bones, by Anne Hillerman
- The Ploughmen, by Kim Zupan
- Lovability, by Brian de Haaff
- Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan
- Things That Make White People Uncomfortable, by Michael Bennett
The Top 3
Consipiracy, by S.J. Parris
Definitely the best book I read last year. This book is the last of a 5-book series based on the historical figure Giordano Bruno, a 16th Century monk turned philosopher, professor and solver of murder mysteries. A little bit of history, a bit of religion and philosophy mixed with murder and intrigue - what’s not to like. Bruno will forever be one of my all time book characters.
The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom
Young Lavinia is an immigrant servant who finds herself indentured to a wealthy plantation owner in Virginia in the middle of the 1800s after her parents died on the journey from Ireland across the Atlantic. While she is notched a wrung above the slaves that are knit into the fabric of the plantation, she identifies with them, befriends them and grows to love them as her new family. This book is a unique look at pre-Civil War slavery, immigration racism, class struggles, and familial bonds.
Educated, by Tara Westover
This book is crazy. Actually, Tara Westover’s upbringing was crazy. In her amazing autobiography, she details the incredible odds she overcame to leave her family and earn a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. She was raised by extremely fundamentalist “survivalist” parents who allowed her very little interaction with the outside world and no formal education. She scratched and clawed her way out of the ignorant, backwards thinking of most of her family, her father in particular.