My Favorite Books of 2019
Last year, I read and listened to a lot of great books. Since my commute was 45 minutes each way, I used Audible to listen to a lot of books. My top 5 favorite books of 2019 definitely have something in common – 3 out of the 5 are memoirs. One is a collection of short stories based on her experiences growing up as a Bengali immigrant. I find stories that are true have emotions that feel more authentic and therefore, stay with me longer. If you’re interested in reading my top 5 favorite books of 2018, click here.
Top 5 Favorite Books of 2019
Heavy by Kiese Laymon was a heavy, for lack of a better term, novel to listen to. I listened to this on Audible. The audiobook was narrated by Kiese Laymon and I thought he did a wonderful job narrating his novel. Heavy is a memoir about Kiese’s life and his relationship with his abusive mother, his struggle with his weight, his path to writing, and his experience of racism in America. The most interesting part of the book for me was his relationship with his mother. She is so fearful that unless he is anything but excellent, he will perish or go to jail. Because of this fear, she abuses him in the hopes that this will keep him in line. Fear is a powerful driver. Overall, this is the most courageous and honest book I have ever read. It is a book that everyone should read and probably read multiple times to grasp the depth of his experiences.
Born A Crime by Trevor Noah is a memoir about Noah’s experience growing up as a half-white, half-black boy in South Africa during the apartheid. However, unlike Heavy, Born A Crime feels lighter and happier with some hilarious stories thrown in. Similar to my thoughts on Heavy, Noah’s relationship with his mother was my favorite part of the novel. She is deeply religious and drags him to multiple churches every week. His descriptions of these church goings are extremely funny. Overall, Noah manages to make light of life during an otherwise dark time in history.
Shoe Dog is a captivating memoir about one of the world’s famous brands, Nike. From the beginning of Nike through the IPO stage, Knight tells us about his struggles and successes. This memoir is a showcase of pure grit and perseverance, and the bravery to pursue something without hesitation. Everyone can learn something from this memoir, especially about entrepreneurship and how the road to success is filled with failures, tough decisions, close calls, and lots of work. I recommend this book to everyone!
Unaccustomed earth is a collection of short stories based on the lives of Bengali Americans. Each story comments on how the characters deal with both Bengali and American cultural influences. Through these stories, I saw how similar everyone’s struggles are across all cultures. Affairs, estranged relatives, one-sided loves, and an obligation to the family are all common global themes found in these stories.
Big Little Lies was a really fun and suspenseful novel to listen to on Audible. It’s the story of a girl, Jane, and her son, Ziggy, who move to Sydney. She meets two other women, Madeline and Celeste, at Ziggy’s school and they become good friends. We find out that Jane was raped by someone named Saxon Banks and that Jane came to Sydney to find him. Both Madeline and Celeste have stories of their own. Each have lovely children and supportive (or so it seems) husbands. The way their stories intertwine with Jane’s at the end is shocking. Absolutely worth a read. If you’re looking for a fun beach read, I would definitely recommend this one. It was turned into a TV-series for a reason! The TV series is really great too.
Book List of 2019
- Meditation is Not What You Think by Jon Kabat-Zinn
- Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
- A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa
- The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
- 40 Days to Personal Revolution by Baron Baptiste
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Heavy by Kiese Laymon
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
- In the Woods by Tana French
- The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
- The Eight Limbs of Yoga by Stuart Ray Sarbacker and Kevin Kimple
- The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
- The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
- Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
- Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham
- Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- The Book on Rental Property Investing by Brandon Turner
- Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
- The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas Friedman
- The Art of Invisibility by Kevin D Mitnick
- Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
- How To Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan
- The Universe of Us by Lang Leav
- Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides