5 Books to Read and Recommend in 2019| Reading Goals

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Only five books to read and recommend in 2019?  Don’t worry, this is just the beginning, there’s a lot more to come, but putting a book list together gives a sense of order to my reading goals.

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There are so many interesting books I want to read this year that if I didn’t write them down, I would get totally lost and completely distracted. I don’t want to spend to much time searching for books and then not have enough time to read them.

“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”

– J.K. Rowling

So, after browsing my favorite sites and blogs, I narrowed it down to the five books  I’ll read first, once I’m finished reading them I add another five to my list. One of the reasons I picked these particular books is because there’s a lot of buzz around them and I wanted to be able to be in the conversation when the discussion started. I also love recommending good books to my friends!

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive

by Stephanie Land

This memoir about a single mother struggling to support her daughter on minimum wage grabbed my attention as a book to read considering the current political climate regarding this issue. Not to mention it reminded me of Educated, Wild and Braving the Wilderness all books that I loved.

cover of Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive

From the jacket:  At 28, Stephanie Land’s plans of breaking free from the roots of her hometown in the Pacific Northwest to chase her dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer, were cut short when a summer fling turned into an unexpected pregnancy. She turned to housekeeping to make ends meet, and with a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible, Stephanie worked days and took classes online to earn a college degree, and began to write relentlessly.

She wrote the true stories that weren’t being told: the stories of overworked and underpaid Americans. Of living on food stamps and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) coupons to eat. Of the government programs that provided her housing, but that doubled as halfway houses. The aloof government employees who called her lucky for receiving assistance while she didn’t feel lucky at all. She wrote to remember the fight, to eventually cut through the deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor.
Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it’s like to be in service to them. “I’d become a nameless ghost,” Stephanie writes about her relationship with her clients, many of whom do not know her from any other cleaner, but who she learns plenty about. As she begins to discover more about her clients’ lives-their sadness and love, too-she begins to find hope in her own path.
Her compassionate, unflinching writing as a journalist gives voice to the “servant” worker, and those pursuing the American Dream from below the poverty line. Maid is Stephanie’s story, but it’s not her alone. It is an inspiring testament to the strength, determination, and ultimate triumph of the human spirit.

The Silent Patient

by Alex Michaelides

I love a psychological thriller, and this book looks like it’s going to deliver a good story. It comes highly recommended and is on the NYTimes Best Seller list.

Cover of The Silent Patient

From the jacket:  Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him.

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An Anonymous Girl

by Greer Hendrick & Sarah Pekkanen

There’s something about the cover of this book that drew me in, and I’m not sure what that says about me, but it looks good. I loved The Wife Between Us also written by this duo, so I’m hoping this book is just as much a page-turner.

Book cover of an Anonymous GirlFrom the jacket:  Looking to earn some easy cash, Jessica Farris agrees to be a test subject in a psychological study about ethics and morality. But as the study moves from the exam room to the real world, the line between what is real and what is one of Dr. Shields’s experiments blurs.Dr. Shields seems to know what Jess is thinking… and what she’s hiding. Jessica’s behavior will not only be monitored, but manipulated. Caught in a web of attraction, deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly. From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, An Anonymous Girl will keep you riveted through the last shocking twist.

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The Lost Girls of Paris

by Pam Jennoff 

Last month Pam Jenoff was a guest speaker at our local library to promote her latest novel The Lost Girls of Paris. This was the second time I’ve heard her speak, the first was for The Orphan’s Tale, so I was really excited to learn about her new book. She has such an interesting life story, and she so accomplished.  If you haven’t seen an author on tour, you should put it on your list of things to do. It’s so much fun!  You get to ask the author questions and learn the back story of why the book was written, which gives you a better understanding of the book before reading it. Visit her author page, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. I always go with a friend and have drinks afterward.  Anyway, the book sounds terrific and of course, I got an autographed copy which I can’t wait to dive into.

Cover of The Lost Girls of Paris

From the jacket:

1946, Manhattan

One morning while passing through Grand Central Terminal on her way to work, Grace Healey finds an abandoned suitcase tucked beneath a bench. Unable to resist her own curiosity, Grace opens the suitcase, where she discovers a dozen photographs—each of a different woman. In a moment of impulse, Grace takes the photographs and quickly leaves the station.

Grace soon learns that the suitcase belonged to a woman named Eleanor Trigg, leader of a network of female secret agents who were deployed out of London during the war. Twelve of these women were sent to Occupied Europe as couriers and radio operators to aid the resistance, but they never returned home, their fates a mystery. Setting out to learn the truth behind the women in the photographs, Grace finds herself drawn to a young mother turned agent named Marie, whose daring mission overseas reveals a remarkable story of friendship, valor and betrayal.

Vividly rendered and inspired by true events, New York Times bestselling author Pam Jenoff shines a light on the incredible heroics of the brave women of the war and weaves a mesmerizing tale of courage, sisterhood and the great strength of women to survive in the hardest of circumstances.

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 Lost Roses

by Martha Hall Kelly

Martha Hall Kelly is one of my favorite authors, and I absolutely loved The Lilac Girls, so I’m super excited to start The Lost Roses. This is another Author website you should visit, it’s packed with information about the book and gives you extra insight into her writing.

Cover of The Lost Roses

From the jacket: It is 1914, and the world has been on the brink of war so often, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia: the church with the interior covered in jeweled mosaics, the Rembrandts at the tsar’s Winter Palace, the famous ballet.

But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortune-teller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming, she fears the worst for her best friend.

From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg and aristocratic countryside estates to the avenues of Paris where a society of fallen Russian émigrés live to the mansions of Long Island, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways. In her newest powerful tale told through female-driven perspectives, Martha Hall Kelly celebrates the unbreakable bonds of women’s friendship, especially during the darkest days of history.

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What books are you looking forward to reading?

Happy reading,


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