Growing up, I spent days and nights in the back of my closet cuddled up with a big blanket, a small lamp, and a book. I loved reading each story and being taken away to a far off place with characters I felt I knew. I’ve left the comfort of my closet behind, and now you can find me at a bookstore, a coffee shop, or my living room enjoying a bestseller or unknown author. This past year was packed with top reading lists and must-reads, so I have brought you a few of my favorites.
Get cozy, and get to reading.
WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens
This book was a major talking point this past year in most online forums and book clubs, and I understand why. The author’s writing style delivers small punches of information at a time, leaving your mind to find and discover the imagery and mystery on its own. The story is delicately and poetically written, with descriptions so beautiful you can almost smell the sea and hear the sounds of the marsh. Following the life of Kya Clark, also known as the Marsh Girl, the novel spans several decades in a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. Where the Crawdads Sing is a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, a tale of murder, and an ode to the natural world. Kya, abandoned by her parents, siblings, and what feels like the whole world at a young age, is forced to survive alone in the marsh. It’s a place that becomes her life and livelihood — and ultimately, her mother. The reader is taken on a journey of examining the importance of human connection and the secrets that nature keeps. You’re taken back to a time where prejudice is real, where social status matters, but love and kindness prevail. photo courtesy of Target.com, Penguin Group USA, Delia Owens.
BEFORE WE WERE YOURS by Lisa Wingate
Although this book was published in 2017, I didn’t jump on the bandwagon until this past year. I had heard it was a great read but never made it a priority. Well, all good things come to those who wait, and as I finished the last page, I was sure this historical-fiction novel was a literary gift. Wingate tells the tale of a real-life American scandal involving Georgia Tann and the Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage involved in kidnapping and selling poor children to wealthy families all over the country. The novel alternates between the fictional lives of the Foss siblings who grow up living on a shanty boat with their parents in 1939 and present-day Avery Stafford who stumbles upon a dark family secret and her mission to expose the truth. The story takes your heart on an emotional roller coaster, pulling at every string. photo courtesy of BarnesandNobles.com, Random House Publishing Group, Lisa Wingate
GIRL, STOP APOLOGIZING by Rachel Hollis
Every girlfriend I have has posted something related to Rachel Hollis and her girl-power books. I don’t necessarily always go with the tide, but here I am, telling you to read all things Rachel Hollis. Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals was a Goodreads Choice 2019 Winner. The book is about making goals and following them without apologies. Hollis writes that women should be proud of their accomplishments, should have some goals to look forward to, and be encouraged to stick to them. She offers great tips and ideas, and killer pep-talks to start the New Year off with a little more confidence and positivity. photo courtesy of Amazon.com, Harper Collins Leadership, Rachel Hollis.