Books I’ve Read in 2019 – Part 2

In August I posted a list of the books I’d read in 2019 to that point. Some I’d actually started in 2018 and merely completed in 2019. You can see that post here.

Also, I share a great deal on Instagram about the books I read. Sometimes in my feed, sometimes in my Stories. If you are interested in books, I invite you to follow along on IG!

Between that post and the end of 2019, I read 15 more books.

I’ve never set reading goals before because I love to read and don’t need a goal to keep me reading. However, this year I am working towards a goal, one I offered my kids as well. I shared on my personal FB page as well as Instagram.

Basically, I offered $100 for 100 books read by the end of 2020. Or $10 gift card for 12 books by the end of the year. It can be a variety of audio and physical books, below grade level or on grade level. I believe there is value in all of it. To help us keep moving toward our goal, we broke down our yearly goal to weekly goals of 2 books a week. Each person who meets their weekly goal earns additional screen time or an ice cream or something small like that. We are notorious for starting strong with new systems and giving up within a few weeks, so I hope not this time around.

I’m using Everyday Reading’s reading log to give us a visual tracker. It’s a fun one! And speaking of this reading log and Everyday Reading, which I just discovered on Instagram, I’m stunned by how much some people read. I was proud of my 30 books this year, but others read 100s of books!!! Some over 200 in one year!


Simply Tuesday

First, I’m an @emilypfreeman fan through and through. Somehow she always writes exactly what I’m pondering and processing, and the Lord aligns the timing of when I read/listen to divinely meet me.

I listened to this one through Christianaudio as they offer one free audiobook a month. Such a great deal!!

The only thing I wish is that it was Emily herself reading the audio. If you listen to #thenextrightthing podcast you understand this.

I listened while on a social media fast, which was lovely. I journaled so much through this book.

As I sat in my car at #chickfila waiting for Jacob to get off work, the audio stopped and I wondered what happened. The book was over, yet I wasn’t ready for it to end. I was convinced my audio was missing a few chapters. So I went online to find the table of contents. It was true, the end had arrived.

But that’s what Emily Freeman does, writes beautiful words in a way to lead you exploring on your own. She doesn’t instruct you, she is a co-journeyer (is that a word?).

Her books have this invisible thread from one to another. Each leads to the next so gracefully.

Skip College


This was a surprisingly insightful read. Even if you are a big college degree supporter, I recommend this book. It was a fast read, full of ideas to ponder and consider. As I have one launching in 2 years, I’m glad I read this one.

“Tens of millions of Americans owe a combined $1.5 trillion in debt for student loans. Much of this staggering expense has been unnecessary; attending college is more of a tradition — a cultural rite of passage than a necessary step towards a successful career, justifying its steep cost.

As countless entrepreneurs and creative hustlers have shown, there is a path to success outside of the institutions of so-called higher learning. Allow us to show you the way.”

Little Book of Hygee

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this sweet read! I listened through Overdrive. I first read an article about Norwegians’ love of winter. This spurred me on to read this book. I’m now creating my own little hygee in my home.

“Why are Danes the happiest people in the world? The answer, says Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, is Hygge. Loosely translated, Hygge?pronounced Hoo-ga?is a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. “Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience,” Wiking explains. “It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe.”‘



Water from my Heart

Absolutely loved it. The 3rd of his books I’ve read and I think he’s my favorite fiction writer as of right now. When you read this, do NOT skip the epilogue. Best part of the entire book.

Where the Crawdads Sing

The writing was out of this world, but it took me half the book to decide to keep reading. I felt it was a slow read, but for some reason I couldn’t put it down, which was quite odd. The further into the book I journeyed, the more I liked it. When I finished, I was glad I did and counted it one of my favorite reads of the year. It was a different kind of book for me to be sure.

“Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.”

The Mountain Between Us

Another Charles Martin book I fell in love with. Hard to put down. His books keep you turning the page. I loved everything about this story. I did hear the movie is not true to the book and lacked the purity the book portrayed. No surprise with Hollywood!


A Ring of Endless Light

I didn’t love this one. I intended to read to my boys and found myself grateful I didn’t. Much about death and teenage love that I didn’t care to focus on.


Send Down the Rain

Again, Charles Martin. Simply fantastic. I have never disliked one of his books to this point.


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (childrens)

I can’t believe I’d never read this book. I read it aloud to one of my boys and we thoroughly enjoyed it. So funny and fun to read!!


Last Christmas in Paris

I absolutely adored this book. It’s set during WWI, which I’ve read little of. It was written as letters written back and forth. But what I really enjoyed was the Audible version. There are simply some books that are best enjoyed as a listen, and this was one of those for me. The narration was superb!!!

Noel Street

I’m a big fan of Richard Paul Evans. I read nearly all of his Christmas books. It’s easy reading, which is what I enjoy during the Christmas season. I don’t mind the predictability one bit.


A Redbird Christmas

This was a really sweet, light read. Perfect for a Christmas book.

Little House in the Big Woods (childrens)

I’ve read this one a couple of times and like it more with each read.

A Night Divided (young adult/childrens)

This would be on my must read list for sure. It was an amazing read aloud. But I would’ve enjoyed it even without my boys listening.

It’s 1961, the Berlin Wall went up overnight. Britain, America, and France controlled the western half of Germany and 1/2 of Berlin. Russia controlled the east. A family ends up physically separated.

This passage right before the wall went up trapping the Germans in the east got my attention.
“At first it didn’t matter much to us. Most people shopped, worked, or visited just as they always had, and crossing the border wasn’t much more difficult than crossing the street. But Russia’s promises of a better life under Communism weren’t happening. As the west repaired its war damages, ours remained like unhealed scars. Their shops were full, and ours constantly faced shortages. They were growing stronger, while we leaned on Russia like a crutch, pretending to be every bit as strong.”

Between Two Shores

I didn’t love this like I did Mark of the King. I struggled with the characters and it didn’t keep me turning the pages like the first book I read by Jocelyn Green. But you may love it and I will continue reading her books as I love her style and historical fiction is my favorite.

Here’s to more reading!!!

One thing I’m happy about with my year of reading is more fiction! I lean towards nonfiction as I love to learn and grow. But fiction is simply good for my soul.

I’ll be posting my upcoming 2020 reading list on Instagram so check there for what I plan to read in the coming weeks.


PS. This post includes affiliate links. When you purchase through links on my site, you help cover the costs to run this blog. I greatly appreciate your support!!

PSS. If you don’t currently have and Audible account, I highly recommend it. Through Audible I’ve found some of my favorite books. Some narrators are simply out of this world and the books come to life in ways they wouldn’t otherwise.