50 Books for 2019

I last wrote about books I read back in October of 2016. In the approximately 12 months previous, I had read 17 books. In 2014, me, the self proclaimed book nerd, struggled with a goal of 12 books in the year. Well, we all know I am a podcast junkie. And my listening is what fuels many of my training runs. Since 2015, I have added audio books to my running fuel. I’m still reading a Kindle First book every month through my prime membership. I still like to get books from the library. I reread books on my shelves at home. All in all, I have read or listened to 50 books this year.

I use several apps for all my electronic reading and listening. I have an Audible subscription for some of the newer releases I listen to on my runs. I have the iCloud Library and Libby apps with access to books with my library card. I also have the Kindle app for my Kindle First books, and sometimes even Advanced Reading Team books. To compile the list of books, I went into the history of each app. I am not even going to try to put them in the order in which I finished them this year. I just want to share the titles, authors, and one thing about each book. Something I loved, I learned, I implemented, a take away from each book. There is no point in reading a gazillion books if you don’t grow and change with each one. This is also why I find rereading books important, you can learn something new each and every time.

Let’s dive in, in no particular order, without any more hesitation.

The Shift by Tory Johnson. Tory Johnson is a contributor to Good Morning America. She lost 60 pounds in a year and the book takes us on her journey. What she changed about her food, her daily life, her thoughts. She literally shifted her life by shifting the choices she made. I had an updated version, which included stories of “Shifters” who have changed their life because of Tory Johnson sharing her journey.

Boundaries by Doctors Henry Cloud and John Townsend. The doctors set about answering questions on how to set biblical, realistic boundaries in every relationship you have. Your children, your spouse, your job, friends, and even yourself. I feel that I have worked hard with the adage that when you say YES to someone, you are saying NO to something else. I would consider myself to have healthy boundaries. It was still a good reminder for me in that keeping boundaries in place takes some work.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I had to get this book twice because I didn’t get into it the first time I borrowed it. I enjoy reading memoirs of the not so famous, see the lessons they learned. My second attempt made me glad they I tried again. In some ways, I can’t relate to Cheryl Strayed in her mid 20s. In some ways, I totally related to her growth in the book and along the Pacific Crest Trail.

The Giver by Lois Lowry. One of the other books I read mentioned The Giver as a favorite of all time book. Not sure I remembered any of it from my childhood, I picked it up again. Following Jonas’ journey from Sameness to Receiver of Memory was incredible as an adult. While we don’t live in a state of all Sameness, it really made me think about our attempt at individuality yet conformity.

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. For me, this book was a take some and leave some type of book. I truly believe that our whole body is connected, what you eat affects your mental health. I also believe that some people need medication, even with a good diet and therapist. Louise Hay is a little further out than that, she suggests in the book that you can heal your need for glasses by working through a visual “trauma” from 2 years before you started wearing glasses. If you can take some and leave some, it is an interesting read. If you can’t see past untruths in the medical community, you may want to skip this one.

Rising Strong by Brene Brown. I first read this book in 2015 when it came out, and I chose to listen on audio for a refresher. It is a self help book written by a qualitative researcher in the field of social work who tells stories to teach lessons. Kind of like a modern day Aesops Fables. Rising Strong is about vulnerability and Brown weaves very personal stories in, showing her own vulnerability. The reminder to have courage over comfort, to rumble with vulnerability is ever welcomed.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty. I had been watching Big Little Lies on HBO, based on the same name book, also by Liane Moriarty, when someone said they really liked her as an author. I enjoyed the show, as it had a great cast. The book was definitely different for me. Very fantasy like. I found myself wanting to finish to see what happened, but not the same invested, I can’t wait to see where this goes. If that makes sense.

Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success by Steve Harvey. This book is considered a follow up to Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, which I didn’t read. While the book is touched upon in the beginning of this one, I didn’t feel it was a pre-requisite. I enjoyed that Steve Harvey basically said, you already have all the tools you need to be a success. This wasn’t a mind blowing book, but a quick read, good reminder, refreshing type of book.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. I have really found myself enjoying all the historical fiction books I read this year. Lisa Wingate’s is no exception. I am at a point in my life where I am no longer content to just know the history book version of our history. Georgia Tann was a real woman, who stole poor children and sold them into rich families. To think about how families were created, and others were utterly destroyed, all based on socioeconomic status, think of all the ways your family (may) could have been affected.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo. The romance genre is not my typical read. The reviews for this book are very strongly positive or negative, odd for a romance book to be polarizing. My thought? Great book! Makes you ponder what ifs and priorities in your life. The book is told from Lucy’s point of view. She meets Gabe on 9/11, where their lives change forever. Gabe goes on to his dream job, while Lucy goes on to be someone else’s wife. Lucy takes us through her life’s journey, and we are able to get mad and sad and contemplative at her.

The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey. I mean, it’s Oprah. Do I need to say anymore than that? Oprah has had the unique opportunity to interview so many people during her career. In this book, she weaves stories and lessons into a framework for a life of success and significance. I did listen to this as an audiobook, and I would like to get a hard copy, as it is supposed to have wonderful illustrations throughout.

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas. I really enjoyed The Hate You Give last year, so when Angie Thomas released another book, I got excited. While romance is not my normal genre, neither is young adult. I feel that Angie Thomas writes current fiction, along the lines of the historical fiction I’ve been enjoying. On The Come Up is about is about a teenage girl Bri, who dreams of becoming a rapper. Her success, however, starts to come for all the wrong reasons. The book follows her journey, through all the frustration and messy.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. This book was a guilty pleasure kind of read for me. The book opens with a fire at the Richardson’s house, and then flashes back to when Mia and Pearl move to Shaker Heights and rent from the Richardson’s. Celeste Ng did a great job of interweaving all the characters. Making them believable and lovable. It was interesting to know who was standing in the yard after the fire at the beginning of the book. I found myself reading it, trying to create inferences that would lead to why the book would end how it had started.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. This book was top of the charts, on all the book clubs, and I was wondering why. So I bought it and was not disappointed. This book was beautifully written. Delia Owens did a beautiful job describing the scenery, probably due in large part to her wildlife scientist job. Kya is the main character in this book, and it weaves through her life, living in the marsh, taking turns for love and murder. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the ending.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. This was a re-read for me. I got so much out of the book this time around. A lot has changed though, I am not the person I was. I have followed Liz’s life the last few years, so I know she too has continued to grow. When she first wrote the book, I was a newly singled mom, back in school for a second career, and 26 years old. I’ve lived a lot in the last 13 years. I’ve gotten married, had a couple more kids, and even changed careers a bit again. I love her growth as she journeyed across the world. She didn’t run away from her divorce, she went in search of herself.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. This was another repeat for me. I honestly chose it for a little spark in my training of others. There are stories of incredible transformations of people’s whole lives, it always comes down to them changing their habits. I like Charles Duhigg’s writing style of using mini stories to share how you can change your habits. A powerful, yet quick read.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I went a mini re-read streak by picking up three in a row here. Paulo Coelho writes about Santiago, a boy who has a recurring, troubling dream. He goes off in search of his “Personal Legend”. I had come across this blog, which made me want to pick this book up again. Instead of sharing my thoughts, I will just give you these already written 10 lessons from the book. So worth the re-read.

Raised by Wolves: Inside the Life and Mind of a Guerrilla Hustler by Carvario H. This book is an autobiography memoir that I cannot relate to, at all. I still found the book very intriguing and inspiring. Cavario lived on the East Coast, including Harlem and started selling cocaine at the age of 13. Sometimes even the average, middle class, privileged white girl can get a little inspired by the hustler who comes out alive and well.

I Am the Central Park Jogger by Trisha Meili. I listened to Oprah’s interview with the Central Park Five and it peaked my interest in the story. I was only 9, but I remember reading about the case and trial. What happened was a huge tragedy to Meili and the men wrongly accused. I came across this title and thought I’d read it. It was a great book. Another in the autobiography memoir that I can never relate to category, but so capivating. Meili is a true example of someone who was a victim of senseless tragedy and was able to continue living an amazing life. Not an easy road, lots of feelings to work through, but she is a victor.

If You Don’t Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons On Your Pigtails by Barbara Corcoran. As you can tell, my memoir season was well read in 2019. I only know of Corcoran from a few episodes of The Shark Tank. I was intrigued to read about her and where her money came from. Every chapter in the book is a lesson her mom taught her, and how it played out throughout her life. The title comes from her waitressing days. The regulars wanted the other girl’s section, and her mom was giving her advice on how to get customers on her side of the restaurant. This was a fun read, and had me thinking about lessons I learned from my parents. Particularly when the lessons weren’t actualized until adulthood.

You Can Thank Me Later, A Novella by Kelly Harms. I actually read Harms’ other book first, so I decided to give this one a try. It was a quick, mindless type of read for me. The story is about a family at Thanksgiving. I lost my grandmother last year, and it has really changed the dynamic at holidays. So I related a bit on that level. Not sure it drew me in so much that “you have to read it too” but it was a light read good for winter break.

My Lost Family by Danny-Ben Moshe. This book was a free offering on Audible, and I am so glad that I gave it a listen. Moshe is a documentary film maker who knew he had two older half siblings. Forty years after they disappeared, Moshe and his mother made contact with them. The book reads like a mystery, as Moshe unravels what happened. My great grandmother was a young Jewish woman in Germany when her family forged baptismal certificates and moved to America. My paternal Grandfather was raised Catholic and never knew about his extended family. I felt a particular connection to Moshe as he discovered family history because I have learned a lot about my family history, and secrets and lies, over the last 10 years. 

Everything is Figure Outable by Marie Forleo. I picked this book due to its popularity. I am a fan of Marie Forleo as I find her funny and knowledgeable. While Forleo didn’t give any groundbreaking new information, it’s packaged in a fun and understandable way. She talks about self destructive thoughts and how to figure out a better way with real life examples. The book ends each chapter with a challenge or questions. While you can get a dose of inspiration just reading the book, doing the work always brings it up a level. 

Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. I first read this book in 2003, and even heard Matthew Kelly speak. I was getting ready to graduate college and had a toddler when I first read this book. So it was refreshing to read it again, later in life. I was born and raised Catholic, and am raising my children Catholic as well. Kelly reads like a lot of the self help books I read, just with a Church twist. Are you thriving? Or just surviving? is a favorite thought of mine from his book.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. This book was made into a movie this year, so I decided to give it a read. My first thought is that this is an interesting book to turn into a movie. Bernadette mysteriously disappears, and her daughter Bee compiles letters and emails to figure out what happened to Bernadette. It was a fun read and I enjoyed it. It just isn’t a type of book that taught me anything or that I related to at all. 

It’s Not What It Looks Like by Molly Burke. This was another free listen on Audible. I am given a few options every month, and can always choose not to listen. I dance for a choreographer who also has retinitis pigmentosa, so I quickly selected this book. I really enjoyed listening to this one because it gave me a little background on the disease. Curiosity on my part, as I can understand a little more about things that have occurred in my friend/choreographers life. To be born with full sight and slowly lose vision is not anything I could relate to. But hearing someone’s story helps me empathize more with similarity affected people. 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. This was such a moving book for me. Right after I finished, I went to Boston and saw their Holocaust memorial. I believe it was more movinThe Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. This was such a moving book for me. Right after I finished, I went to Boston and saw their Holocaust memorial. I believe it was more moving to me because of that. In school, we are given a very watered down truth of major historical events. To read a biographical account from Auschwitz, I just think more people need to educate themselves on what it was really like. This man was a prisoner and also a worker in a Nazi training camp. To truly understand how something like concentration camps happened, it helps to hear the stories of those who were there. May we never forget the horrible things humans have done, and may we learn enough to never repeat. Kindness always wins.

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand. This historical novel was actually informational for me. Hilderbrand’s novel was about a fictional family but it included things that really happened in 1969. It is sounding like I love history and didn’t pay enough attention in school. The plot line was easy summer read, and it was set on Nantucket Island which was fun to imagine.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. This one is Gilbert’s new novel. I know I said this wasn’t a chronological list, and I know this is out of order. Reading this one made me want to reread Eat, Pray, Love. I follow Liz on Instagram and always love the way she words things, so I was intrigued that she was writing fiction again. Vivian is the book’s main character, and the story is told from her perspective as she looks back on her life. Set in the 1940s, it is about her life and love and lust and booze and NYC theater. It’s another great summer read and touches about woman’s sexuality and going after your dreams. 

The Dead Drink First by Dale Maharidge. When Maharidge lost his father, he turned to a photograph. The picture hung in his dad’s work area. He spent 18 years researching and discovering this side of his father he never knew. This book was similar to My Lost Family, in that it was someone uncovering family history and war. I have an uncle who people say came back from Vietnam “different”, and I only know the man he was post war. While he was my uncle through marriage, I still felt I could relate to the story of uncovering who someone first was, and what they went through that lead to such a behavior change. 

The Wild Heart of Stevie Nicks by Rob Sheffield. I have always been a fan of Stevie Nicks music and voice. A couple years ago we went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I was able to read a bit about Fleetwood Mac’s tumultuous history. This year, Stevie Nicks was inducted again, this time as a solo artist. Rob Sheffield is a Rolling Stone columnist and the book is only available on Audible. It was interesting to hear Nicks story, starting with her childhood. And so much of it was in her voice. I’m looking forward to future Rolling Stone and Audible partnerships.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb. This book was so entertaining, yet thought provoking at the same time. Gottlieb is therapist who winds up in a patient of another therapist. With the help of her therapist, Wendell, she comes to the realization that everyone asks the same questions. This book was very relatable to life, which made it thought provoking. Gottlieb just presented it in a somehow light-hearted way. 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I saw a lot of buzz about this one, which is why I picked it up. It did not disappoint. Eleanor is a bit of a misfit, in an annoying yet endearing way. Some people have compared her to an Aspie. Part of the endearing for me, I felt she could be the Aspie in my life. However, she could really be any introvert person, so we don’t need to always stereotype. Eleanor is fine, until she realizes there is more to life than fine. I don’t want to say too much about the plot, but it is entertaining and surprising. 

Educated by Tara Westover. This memoir was on Barack Obama’s favorite of the year list. I’m not disappointed to of heard about it. The fact that this is a memoir, about a girl born in America in 1986 blew my mind. Without really giving any spoilers, Tara grew up in a survivalist family in Utah. She didn’t even go to school until 17, based in part to her father’s crazed political theories. This year, for me, has been a lot about discovering more about our history, as I was given an often rose colored glasses version. Tara greatly widened her view of the world in part because she was so sheltered from it. She talks about how she had never heard of the Holocaust, and thought Europe to be a country not an entire continent. As a parent, you always want what you think is best for them. Tara shows us that sometimes you can way exceed any expectation your parents may set for you, even if they don’t see the same potential. Being that Tara isn’t much younger than my brother, I found it very eye opening to read just how different one’s upbringing can be within the same country I have grown up in, the opportunities afforded to someone based on where they live can vary so greatly. The underlying message, to me, was about undiagnosed and untreated mental illness. And the effect that illness can have on generations. As this is one of my longest reviews here, safe to say, I find this one a must read. 

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. I had an amazing girls weekend in February. Two of my best girls and I headed to Indy to see Trevor Noah. He did not disappoint. I decided to pick up his memoir, as part of his routine that night was about his upbringing by women. It falls right into my deepening my understanding theme this year. In South Africa, for a white man and black woman to have intercourse, she could be sent to jail for 5 years. When Trevor was born, as a literal crime, his mom kept him mostly indoors when he was young. He grew up in poverty, with a fear of God loving mother who was bent on breaking that poverty and abuse cycle for him. His humor makes the memoir more light hearted than the reality of his situation, but also made it enjoyable to read. Serious yet still humorous, Trevor describes a political climate when people are categorized as black, white, and colored. Sometimes the absurdness of it, Japanese and Chinese are white and colored, but how can an average person looking at you tell which nationality you are, really makes you think about life even here in America. I was barely aware of apartheid and this was a great introduction. 

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. Niequist is a 40 year old Christian mom, which is basically me. A few years ago, I chose Patient as my word of the year. With that, I found myself looking to be more present in the every day moment. In reviews, people talk about how she spoke directly to them. I didn’t have that experience. Mine was more of a reminder to stay true to the path and continue to bring focus back to a patient, and present, mindset. Niequist gives essays and tales on how to be more present, and less perfect in life. I almost wish I found this book when I was in my year of Patient, but I am glad for the reminder as to why I once chose that word, and even though I’m working towards Deeper this year, I can’t forget the steps I’ve taken in the middle. 

It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst. I believe because I read a Christian female author, my book recommendations included TerKeurst’s book. I have to say, this book was just okay to me. I found it heavy on the Biblical teaching and light on her personal situation and journey. Maybe she feels she can’t right a memoir about divorce while still in the process, and maybe I’m off for thinking it would be more of a “this happened and here is how I’ve grown” book. I felt she gave snippets missing the relatable details, so I wan’t able to connect with or empathize with her. I can see how someone going through a moment of it’s not supposed to be this way could take comfort in what she has written, I may have not read it at the right point in my life. 

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mary Hartnett, and Wendy W William. I can say, I have never read about a Supreme Court justice before. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has an incredible view and knowledge of politics and the law. The changes she has seen in our country, in her life and in her time on the Supreme Court can really change one’s perspective on life in America. This Audible listen included excerpts of RBG herself, making it truly in her own words. Some of the book was a little too, technical, shall I say, for my taste but I kept getting drawn back into her life and her experiences and her Supreme Court decisions. 

Dare to Lead by Bren√® Brown. Reading this book was part of what drove me to go back to Rising Strong. I read this book early in the year, and my word last year was Courage. One of her big principles in the book is that Courage is contagious. Brown has a certain style to her writings, where she shares life experiences (her own or others) to teach a lesson about humanity. I don’t have employees or a boss, which seems like who am I going to lead? I am a mother and a volunteer and I am given the opportunity to lead by example in many ways. Brown uses the definition of leader, anyone who takes responsibility for finding potential and processes and has the courage to develop that potential. This book was inspiring for me to get out there and develop potential, in my clients, in my children, even in my friends. This book is also landing itself on my must read 2019 list. 

Mala by Melinda Lopez. Even in my limited Spanish, I knew mala means bad. Lopez tells us that it isn’t you did something bad, but that you are bad to your core. This was actually a one woman play and memoir. Lopez is caring for her 90 year old parents, while also raising her teenage daughter. I am not quite the sandwich generation, but my husband is getting there. My mom is still busying herself taking care of her father. But my mother in law calls for help with things. Mala was an interesting listen as culturally we are different. It was also thought provoking as the tale is really about a life towards death. Not at all in a morbid way, a funny and challenging way. 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I read this book before Educated and before Thomas’ follow up novel. I feel I keep going back to the Deeper theme of my year. While Thomas wrote a fictional story, it is very real to people living in inner cities and projects. We can’t start to do better as a society if we don’t understand where the different sides are coming from. I am glad this is a Young Adult genre, because I think it is important to help the youth of today understand what life is like for others. Systemic racism can’t be understood by those who have not experienced it. Watching Starr Carter balance her home life and her school life gives me a better perspective of what life is like for so many Americans. This book also makes my must read 2019 list. 

The Miracle Morning for Teachers by Hal Elrod and Honore Corder. I am a huge fan of the miracle morning. I go through phases where I am not as good about my practice, but it is truly life changing. Any time I have read a new edition, it always motivates me to go back to a more strict practice. In this book, Hal Elrod lays out the 6 parts to a miracle morning, they include Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing. Elrod and Corder then go on to using TMM in a classroom setting, some science and some logistics. I was fortunate to be on the Advanced Reader Team for this edition. It is not necessary to have read The Miracle Morning before this one, as the authors go into some of the why behind each of the 6 steps. I enjoyed the actual teacher stories, how they are incorporating TMM into their classrooms as well as the changes they have seen in students. It gave me ideas and insights into how I can help clients and my own children by starting to use more of these principles in their daily lives. I encourage you to read any in The Miracle Morning series, I find each helpful even when it doesn’t directly relate to me.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms. This was a Kindle First pick for me. I really enjoyed it, which is why I picked the Audible by her after. On the surface, I have nothing in common with Amy. Her husband returns, after having abandoned the family. Amy goes to New York for a getaway and undergoes a magazine makeover. The novel includes some pretty witty journal entries from her teenage daughter. I think I am at a point in my life where I look around, and my friends all have different from me lives. I really appreciate the differences and it makes it easy for me to read about Amy’s life and imagine some far fetched what if questions, which really heightened my enjoyment of the book. 

Thin Air by Lisa Gray. Jessica Shaw is a private investigator who finds herself in search her own personal history. For a long time, mystery thrillers were my go to. I went a long time without reading as many, so this was a fun read. When I finished, I didn’t get the second book immediately. It is actually taking me writing this out to remember that I wanted to read the second book. I really like detective fiction, and this book takes the reader on quite the thrilling adventure. 

Under Lying by Janelle Harris. Susan and Paul have a house warming party when they move to her dream cottage. Their daughter Amelia goes missing, making everyone a suspect. This was another Kindle First pick and I found it quite entertaining to read. Harris takes us down many turns and twists as secrets are uncovered. Susan flashes back to her upbringing and the death of her brother, adding to the character development. The book is also written in present tense, first person, which took some getting used to. Overall, it was a great read and I’m glad I snagged it. 

Drowning With Others by Linda Keir. Linda Keir is actually the pen name of a duo. I am amazed that two people can write a mystery thriller like this together. The family in the book is from St Louis, where writer Linda Joffe Hull is from. The boarding school is north of Chicago in Glenlake (ahem, Lake County), author Keir Graff is listed as living in Chicago. I have read other novels by Lake County authors and I am always drawn to how I can picture Grayslake, or surrounding town, being the actual scene. This book was no different. Andi and Ian are boarding school sweethearts, where their daughter Cassidy is now attending. A car and body are pulled from the lake after 20 years, Andi and Ian both appear to be suspects, as Cassidy’s journalism class looks into what happened. A fun, quick read, I didn’t want to put this one down until I was done. 

Bad Ass Women Give The Best Advice by Becca Anderson. I am in a women’s business group and they often do book club. I cannot usually meet, so I don’t participate. The stars aligned and book club was scheduled where it fit my day. When I first started reading this book, I realized it was a bunch of quotes. I was like, how can we do book club about quotes? But I ended up highlighting many of the quotes as they really resonated with me. At our discussion, Melissa and I agreed that the excerpts where Anderson gave more background to the quote or person who said the quote was the best part of the book. I would have enjoyed fewer quotes and more stories. This is definitely a book I can randomly open and read a couple lies for inspiration. Well, maybe not the sex chapter. You’ll understand when you read it. I was worried about the book’s direction for a chapter, but in the end, I really enjoyed the compilation. 

The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry. I first started this Kindle First thriller and got excited. I have a friend who’s daughter has reactive attachment disorder, this is a great way for me to read a bit about RAD without it being full of medical jargon. As I finished the book, I will never tell my friend I read it, it was that disturbingly real. Berry is a trauma psychologist, so I feel that part of what makes her books such great thrillers is the option that it could be based on a true story. That being said, this was a book I needed to finish because I couldn’t stop turning the pages. 

Buried Deep by Margot Hunt. This thriller is about a happily married couple, Maggie and James starting out empty nest living, when the police show up at the door. After 25 years, a friend of James who was assumed drowned, was found buried by the campsite where she was last seen with James and friends. Maggie goes about uncovering what really happened, in an attempt to clear James. It seems like several thrillers this year had a similar plot, but I don’t think that they were alike. I really enjoyed all of them.

The Half-Life of Marie Curie by Lauren Gunderson. This is another Audible original play. The writing of this was brilliant. It is the story, conversation, and interaction between Marie Curie and Hertha Ayrton. It was a refreshing way to hear about some of Curie’s achievements, while alongside what her personal life, as a female scientist in 1912 was like. I actually didn’t know anything about Ayrton before listening, it encouraged me to look her up though. I can’t believe that I enjoyed listening to a play as much as I did. While I feel that scenery and costuming of a play would enhance the story, it was told in a manner in which it was ok to just listen. 

Super Attractor by Gabrielle Bernstein. I’ve started many Gabrielle Bernstein books, but I’m not sure I’ve ever finished a book. I appreciate and buy into her message, but I’ve struggled to read her writing. I decided to give Super Attractor a listen, and I’m so glad I did. Bernstein talks about the Universe in a way that is more relatable than Christian writers talking about praying for things. Believing is the first step to doing which leads to getting. She writes about bringing light into your own world and therefore the world around you. This is so in line with one of my favorite Marianne Williamson quotes, It is not light not our darkness that frightens us… Looks like I need to listen to more of Gabrielle Bernstein’s books. 

This has taken me almost 3 weeks to compile and write. I am surprised at the books I had to look up reviews to trigger what I had read. But there you have it, the books I read and listened to in 2019. I can honestly say that some of these books shaped me a bit, or at least reaffirmed things I have been trying to implement. Some books were thought provoking, when I thought they would just be fun or informative. And then there is the just fun. Looking forward, I may need to re listen and read more often, to make sure I have fully absorbed the material. Or maybe the answer is in writing about the books as soon as I read them, to solidify the lesson I learn. No matter what you read, or why you read, it is proven to foster intelligence and increase you’re empathy. So what are you reading? What book are you looking forward to picking up?