My 2019 Reading List

Happy new year, friends!

I’m taking a verrrrry simplistic approach to “resolutions” this year. I’ve always struggled with the idea of resolutions and do much better with more of a “to do” list strategy. In past years I’ve made a list of things, large and small, I want to accomplish at some point during the year, and used that as my framework for yearly goals. When I’ve done it, it’s worked quite well for me.

The past couple of years, though, the whole thing has kind of fallen by the wayside. 2 years ago, I can’t even remember if I made a list (#fire). Last year, I tried the whole “one word theme” thing and that didn’t really stick for me. (For what it’s worth, my word was “faith,” and I didn’t remember or focus on it nearly enough for it to be truly impactful, which is a crying shame, but there you are.)

This year, though, I think that I’m ready to get back to my “list” strategy. I’m centering my whole year around one big goal, and am setting some sub-goals that will help me get there. Maybe we’ll get into all of that later…

For now, I’d just like to share one part of my year plan, and that’s my reading list! I have set a goal for a “number of books to read” in the past, and that’s worked fine for me, but this year, I decided to make a specific list to take the guesswork out of what to read next. I asked for some recommendations on Instagram, and got some great responses! Those suggestions, plus my own finds, currently has my list at 36 books. I’m certain the list is going to change, because (a) new releases and (b) book club picks, but I’m not sure if those will replace books on the list or add to them. We’ll see how it goes, but I think 36 is about right for me.

(Side note: as much as I love reading, I cannot for the life of me figure out how people read 100+ books a year. 36 is three per month, and that’s going to be stretching it for me. Anyone know the secret? Don’t say audiobooks.)

So anyway, here’s my reading list for 2019! I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these, and I’d love to hear what’s on your reading list as well!

Books to read in 2019

(books marked with an * indicates Instagram recommendation)

YA Fiction

  • Butter* by Erin Jade Lange

  • The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

  • Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

  • Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

  • Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Self Help

  • Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

  • Grit by Angela Duckworth

  • The Anatomy of Peace by The Arbinger Institute

  • You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey


  • The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

  • Same Kind of Different As Me* by Ron Hall

  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End* by Atul Gawande


  • Story Genius by Lisa Kron

  • On Writing by Stephen King


  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Would you believe I’ve never read this?!)

General Fiction

  • China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

  • Enchantment* by Orson Scott Card

  • The Word is Murder* by Anthony Horowitz

  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

  • The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon (I received this at our book club book exchange. I’d never heard of it but it sounds interesting!)

  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

  • Swing Time by Zadie Smith

  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky* by Mark T. Sullivan

  • Where the Crawdads Sing* by Delia Owens

  • Circe by Madeline Miller

  • Little Fires Everywhere* by Celeste Ng

  • Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel

  • Beartown by Frederick Backman

  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

  • Tangerine* by Christine Mangan


  • Joy in the Covenant* by Julie B. Beck

And that’s it! Like I said, totally subject to change, but it feels good to at least have a starting point.

Cheers to a joyful, fruitful, book-ful 2019!

Oh! And here are some other books recommended via Instagram:

  • A Man Called Ove by Frederick Backman (read it, loved it)

  • The Orphan Keeper by Camron Wright (read it, liked it)

  • Educated by Tara Westover (read it, liked it)

  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (read it, liked it)

  • Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner (WWII is not my favorite subject…this one seemed potentially too intense. But also interesting…I’m torn.)

  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (I saw the movie and it wasn’t love. But I suppose the book is usually better!)

  • What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (One of my favorites!)

  • These is My Words by Sarah Agnes Prine (read it, liked it)

  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (one of my favorite classics!)

  • Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (high/epic fantasy intimidates me! Lol!)

  • Brandon Sanderson — I need to know what series to start with. Also, see fantasy comment above.

I’m seriously so grateful for all the recommendations! If you’ve got more, please share! And maybe I’ll do a post with some books I would recommend to other people for the year…would anyone be interested in that?