When I’m not cooking, I’m reading (or listening to podcasts, but that’s a post for another time). And the more I talk about books with people, the more I realize people WANT TO TALK ABOUT BOOKS! So let’s do it! Lets talk about books in With Two Spoons Reads! Read on for my top 5 picks of what I’ve read in 2019 (so far!)…
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I can’t talk about books with out first talking about book clubs, because I get a lot of book suggestions from my book addicted book club friends! And as everyone probably knows when it comes to book clubs-I’m a huge fan! I’ve started 3 book clubs so far and all of them are going strong! I have a neighborhood book club that has been going strong for just over 10 years. We’ve seen babies born, kids graduate, we’ve cheered on career changes, and been there for the bad times. I started my second book club as a means of meeting other moms. It consists of a great group of moms that have kids in my son’s grade at my son’s school. We all love to read and are a great support system for each other while navigating elementary school life (reminder to my ladies: safety camp is a must do activity this summer, sign up now!). Last but not least, I most recently started a book club for physician moms which has brought together awesome physicians from many different specialties and with many different ages of kids. Bonding over books builds great community! (Interested in starting your own book club? I recently published the recipe for success: read it here!)
But often, people are asking me-well, WHAT SHOULD I READ? And of course that is a hard question to answer because it is so dependent on taste. For book clubs we try to choose a wide variety-a little easy fiction, a little more in depth fiction, a book that ties into the group dynamic (for my physician mom book club a book like In Shock by Rana Awdish, for my second grade mom’s book club we’re doing Screen Schooled by Joe Clement and Matt Miles) and maybe even a book where we can chat with the author via skype or in real life (thanks to Tom Combs, Kimmery Martin, Meghan MacLean Weir, and Rana Awdish for graciously agreeing to share your talents with my in real life book clubs!).
So I thought every once in a while I would give you a top 5 of the books I’ve read recently for With Two Spoons Reads! This current list is my favorite books I’ve read since the beginning of 2019, but rest assured, I’ll have many more coming-my to be read list is SO, SO long right now!.
PS-These are in no particular order!
1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. As Holly is so fond of saying, this one is a slow burn. It is set in the marshes of North Carolina. It is a coming of age story, a survival story, and even a murder mystery. The writing places you firmly into the story, and there were times, looking up from my book, I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t actually looking at marsh instead of my own surroundings. There were times in the middle that I thought it was a little slow, but over all the imagery is gorgeous, the writing is compelling, and there is plenty of discussion material.
2. Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain. I have always liked Diane Chamberlain as an author, but have never been as intrigued by one of her books as I was with this one. I listened to this one on audiobook and the narrator did a great job pulling me in. This is book that centers around the eugenics program in a time of great racial tension. I knew nothing about the eugenics (forced sterilization) program, and was horrified to learn about the government’s role. But this book also highlighted the amazing resilience of the human spirit. Ultimately, although some may not agree with an individual’s choices, this novel highlights why individual rights are to be protected at all costs.
3. A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne. This book is by the same author as my very favorite book ever (“The Heart’s Invisible Furies“). I had really, really high hopes for this one, and it didn’t disappoint-although it is a very different book. This book is more of a thriller, in that it follows a psychopathic main character through his cunning and ruthless quest for fame and notoriety as an author. Masterfully written, this book is another coup for John Boyne, and would be a great discussion for any book club!
4. A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza. Another slow burn, this debut novel follows an Indian American Muslim family through their coming of age. Beautifully written, the story follows siblings through their quest to find their place in the world. The family dynamics are complicated, cultures frequently clash, and ultimately the novel highlights the ties that bind families together-and the ties that pull families apart.
5. Becoming by Michelle Obama. This book. I can’t put it down. Michelle Obama is the most amazing, real, classy, down to earth, intelligent, relatable person (note I did not use the words angry, black or woman-which you will understand if you read the prologue to the book). She has done amazing things to advance childhood nutrition, combat childhood obesity, not to mention demonstrating grace under pressure as the First Lady of the United States of America. This is a woman who is best friend material. And you should read her book stat.
What are y’all reading? Comment below or find us on social media and #WithTwoSpoonsReads!
And for more on books check out Holly’s With Two Spoons Reads piece on how she organizes her reading life! Tons of useful tips for organization as well as new sources of great book ideas!