I’m very aware that most “New Years resolutions” are abandoned by February, but if you read my bullet journal blog post, ya’ll know I am hyper organized with my goals this year. One of my 2020 goals was to read one book per month.
I used to love reading as a kid. I was a voracious reader, blowing through so many books my mom was driving me to Costco and Barnes & Noble weekly to pick out my next read. I’m honestly so thankful my mom was so encouraging of my reading habit. As an adult, it’s been a little trickier to find the time to read – but I hate excuses. “Not having time” is never an excuse for me – “not having time” really means “it’s not a priority.”
Sorry for the slap in the face with a little real talk there, but it’s true! You don’t “not have time to read” – it just isn’t a priority right now. For 2020 I’m being super vigilant about making reading one of my priorities.
With that said – I read some amazing books in 2019 that I think everyone would totally enjoy and find entertaining in the new year!
Here’s my list of super entertaining books I’ve read recently.
Ready Player One is a page turning science fiction (but like, not really) book that is packed with adventure and mystery. There are so many twists and turns in this book that I don’t want to give away, but essentially it depicts an Earth that is so ravaged (and depressing) that humans use a virtual reality game to escape. Everyone on Earth plays this game. Everyone.
The twist? This game can have a winner – but no one has been able to solve the puzzles. The prize? BIG TIME – you effectively “own” the virtual world. The stakes are high (no one wants the “bad guys” to win) and what happens inside the game often bleeds into reality.
You’ll have to pick up the book to find out what happens. But trust me – it’s a thrill ride and one of my fave books I read in 2019.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz was easily the most impactful and touching book I read in 2019. This book follows the story of a Jewish man forced to do the tattooing of his fellow prisoners at Auschwitz. The story itself is incredibly compelling (and true!), but what really hits home is the constant ironic pain and rewards he identifies by working in a more elevated status within the camp. By being the tattooist, he’s awarded special privileges and extra safety – but at the expense of effectively working for the enemy and tattooing fellow prisoners.
My husband is Jewish and his grandmother is a Holocaust surviver – this book really reminded me how my husband wouldn’t even be alive today if it wasn’t for the pure will to survive his grandmother had. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a powerful story of love – and a deep dive into the experience of Holocaust survivors that should be treasured, remembered, and never forgotten.
Washington Black tells the story of, you guessed it, Washington Black. “Wash,” as he’s called, is a 12 year old slave living on a brutal sugar plantation in Barbados when he meets the brother of his owner, “Titch.” Titch is a scientist who effectively frees Wash and takes him on a whole host of adventures (this is my attempt at not spoiling the book for you).
I’ll be honest I think I enjoyed Washington Black not because there was any big bang of adventure or huge plot twist (although there are plenty of these), but because the book really dove into the pain, suffering, and brutal reality of the slave trade. I personally don’t think there are enough books that tell these stories (even if the actual characters themselves aren’t “real”). Although Washington Black is fiction, I don’t think the picture painted of slavery was fiction at all.
Washington Black is also a beautiful story about male friendships and the painful world freed slaves often lived in, forever feeling somewhere between “owned” and “free”.
My Friend Anna tells the true story of con artist and faux New York socialite Anna Delvey. My Friend Anna is actually written by one of Anna’s victims – a “friend” (loose term, because man did she screw over this friend) she scammed out of tends of thousands of dollars. Anna’s story is one of a real life sociopath and hustler that posed as a socialite only to be found out as a total fraud.
The story of Anna Delvey is honestly interesting primarily because it really happened. I enjoyed reading My Friend Anna for the same reason I’m obsessed with true crime podcasts – my mind is just truly blown at the (sometimes disturbed) human psyche.
I dedicated an entire blog post to my newfound love of Stoicism – it’s truly life-changing. I’ll let you pop over to that post to read more, but The Daily Stoic is my Stoic “devotional” – you read one page per day of a thought provoking passage or prompt. I’m obsessed with this book, I read it religiously every single day. The Daily Stoic really sets the tone of my morning and keeps me focusing only on the things that matter.
I’m actually currently about half way through this book right now and have been really enjoying it. Catch & Kill tells the story of how the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke. If you love true crime and a little mystery, you’ll find this story fascinating.
What books are on your current reading list? Drop ’em in the comments below!
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