The 12 Best Books I Read in 2019

I read A LOT of books in 2019.  I haven’t counted them but I can assure you…I read A LOT.  I read many wonderful books, many not so wonderful books and even started reading a few that I never bothered to finish because they didn’t hook me. Here (in no particular order) are my 12 absolute favorite adult fiction (and 1 young adult fiction) books that I read (and LOVED) in 2019. Click on the book cover to purchase the book through my affiliate link (when you purchase through this link, I receive a small commission…xo). Click on my review to read each book’s synopsis as well as my personal thoughts.

What If It’s Us {Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera}

Read my review HERE

The Other Woman {Sandie Jones}

Read my review HERE

Somebody’s Daughter {Rochelle B. Weinstein}

Read my review HERE

A Spark of Light {Jodi Picoult}

Read my review HERE

The Unbreakables {Lisa Barr}

Read my review HERE

Convenience Store Woman {Sayaka Murata}

Read my review HERE

The Most Fun We Ever Had {Claire Lombardo}

Read my review HERE

The Bride Test {Helen Hoang}

Read my review HERE

A Simple Favor {Darcey Bell}

Read my review HERE

The Turn of the Key {Ruth Ware}

Read my review HERE

The Mother in Law {Sally Hepworth}

Read my review HERE

This is Not How It Ends {Rochelle B. Weinstein}

This book isn’t being released until 1/1/20.  I was fortunate enough to receive an Advance Readers Copy and I finished reading just a few days ago.  I. LOVED. IT.  Full blog review coming soon…

Have you read any of the above books?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

My Superhero Mind Giveaway Winners:

Congratulations to the following lucky readers 🙂  Please email me your mailing address (bookcoffeehappy@gmail.com) within 48 hours to receive your autographed copy!  If I don’t hear from you in 48 hours, I will pick a new winner.  A big thanks to everyone who entered!  I have some fantastic giveaways already lined up for 2020, I can’t wait to share them with you…

Tracy (I would love this book to read to my own children AND all to read to in ALL the classrooms I work in! As an instructional coach, I am in so many classes and I think this book would be great for all students!
I love your blog Jenny! Thanks for sharing your love of reading with so many! Happy Holidays to you and your family!)

Becca (My 4 year old niece and my 2 year old nephew would absolutely love this book. One of the best and most meaningful things I do with them is read to them and share my love of books. This would be a great addition to the collection of books they have.)

Jess E (I’d love to have this book for my 2 year old boy/girl twins! It sounds like a great book that will be able to grow with them, teach positive lessons, and to show any and all of their dreams are supported!)

Melissa (At 2 1/2 years old, Addie would LOVE this book. She loves to read and right now she is obsessed with Spiderman so a super hero book would be great. She is a very independent, sassy and strong little girl!)

Kelley (I wish to share this book with my best friends grand daughter Carleigh! I think she would love it. Thank you)

What was your favorite book that you read in 2019? Please share in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

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5 Books to Read for Your Book Club

Last week a friend of mine told me that she recently joined her first book club and said she would be coming to me for book recommendations when it’s her time to choose the selection.  When I first started blogging, I wrote about the reasons why book clubs don’t necessarily appeal to me but I DO know that many of you love them!  If I were to ever join a book club, the following are a handful of books I would choose to share as each of these books could lead to such interesting discussions!

Click the images below to order the books through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

Young Jane Young {Gabrielle Zevin}

This book is such an easy and interesting read and could lead to fascinating discussions. I loved this book and I’m not sure why it isn’t more popular?

Synopsis:

Young Jane Young‘s heroine is Aviva Grossman, an ambitious Congressional intern in Florida who makes the life-changing mistake of having an affair with her boss‑‑who is beloved, admired, successful, and very married‑‑and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the Congressman doesn’t take the fall, but Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins. She becomes a late‑night talk show punchline; she is slut‑shamed, labeled as fat and ugly, and considered a blight on politics in general.

How does one go on after this? In Aviva’s case, she sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. She tries to start over as a wedding planner, to be smarter about her life, and to raise her daughter to be strong and confident. But when, at the urging of others, she decides to run for public office herself, that long‑ago mistake trails her via the Internet like a scarlet A. For in our age, Google guarantees that the past is never, ever, truly past, that everything you’ve done will live on for everyone to know about for all eternity. And it’s only a matter of time until Aviva/Jane’s daughter, Ruby, finds out who her mother was, and is, and must decide whether she can still respect her.

Read my review of Young Jane Young  HERE.

Somebody’s Daughter {Rochelle B. Weinstein}

Everybody should read this book, especially f you are parenting teenagers or soon to be teenagers.  So much to discuss with this one.

Synopsis:

Emma and Bobby Ross enjoy a charmed life on the shores of Miami Beach. They are a model family with a successful business, an uncomplicated marriage, and two blessedly typical twin daughters, Zoe and Lily. They are established members of a tight-knit community.

Then, on the night of the girls’ fifteenth birthday party, they learn of Zoe’s heartbreaking mistake—a private and humiliating indiscretion that goes viral and thrusts her and her family into the center of a shocking public scandal.

As the family’s core is shattered by disgrace, judgment, and retribution, the fallout takes its toll. But for Emma, the shame runs deeper. Her daughter’s reckless behavior has stirred memories of her own secrets that could break a marriage, a family, and friendships forever.

Read my review of Somebody’s Daughter HERE.

The Most Fun We Ever Had {Claire Lombardo}

The ONLY aspect of this book which might scare people off is it’s length.  It’s LONG!  If this is something that might not thrill the members of your book club, you might want to skip this one (although it PAINS me to say that because I truly think this is my favorite book of all time.  It’s amazing.  If your book club doesn’t want to read it…read it on your own time.  Trust me.)

Synopsis:

When Marilyn Connolly and David Sorenson fall in love in the 1970s, they are blithely ignorant of all that’s to come. By 2016, their four radically different daughters are each in a state of unrest: Wendy, widowed young, soothes herself with booze and younger men; Violet, a litigator-turned-stay-at-home-mom, battles anxiety and self-doubt when the darkest part of her past resurfaces; Liza, a neurotic and newly tenured professor, finds herself pregnant with a baby she’s not sure she wants by a man she’s not sure she loves; and Grace, the dawdling youngest daughter, begins living a lie that no one in her family even suspects. Above it all, the daughters share the lingering fear that they will never find a love quite like their parents’.

As the novel moves through the tumultuous year following the arrival of Jonah Bendt–given up by one of the daughters in a closed adoption fifteen years before–we are shown the rich and varied tapestry of the Sorensons’ past: years marred by adolescence, infidelity, and resentment, but also the transcendent moments of joy that make everything else worthwhile.

Read my review of The Most Fun We Ever Had HERE.

Becoming {Michelle Obama}

Although I personally didn’t love this book, I do think Michelle Obama has led an interesting life full of interesting decisions.

Synopsis:

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

Watch my VLOG of me sharing my review of Becoming HERE.

The Unbreakables {Lisa Barr}

Oh this book has so many aspects that a book club could spend hours discussing!  Loved this book!

Synopsis:

The worst birthday ever might just be the gift of a lifetime…

It’s Sophie Bloom’s forty-second birthday, and she’s ready for a night of celebration with Gabe, her longtime, devoted husband, and her two besties and their spouses. Dinner is served with a side of delicious gossip, including which North Grove residents were caught with their pants down on Ashley Madison after the secret on-line dating site for married and committed couples was hacked. Thirty-two million cheaters worldwide have been exposed…including Sophie’s “perfect” husband. To add insult to injury, she learns Gabe is the top cheater in their town.

Humiliated and directionless, Sophie jumps into the unknown and flees to France to meet up with her teenage daughter who is studying abroad and nursing her own heartbreak. After a brief visit to Paris, Sophie heads out to the artist enclave of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. There, for the first time in a long time, Sophie acknowledges her own desires—not her husband’s, not her daughter’s—and rediscovers her essence with painful honesty and humor, reawakening both her sensuality and ambitions as a sculptor.

As she sheds her past and travels the obstacle-filled off beaten path, Sophie Bloom is determined to blossom. Allowing her true self to emerge in the postcard beauty of Provence, Sophie must decide what is broken forever…and what it means to be truly unbreakable.

Read my review of The Unbreakables HERE.

Have you read any of these books?  What other books would you recommend for a book club?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

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One of the Best Books I’ve Ever Read

I knew just from reading the synopsis that I would love this book but I had no idea that it would gain a coveted spot as one of the best books I’ve ever read (quite possibly THE best book I’ve ever read).

If you haven’t yet read this book, you MUST.  Today.  It’s such a beautiful book in every way and I absolutely loved reading it.

I laughed, I sobbed, and I felt everything in between while reading this beautiful story. This book took me on such an emotional roller coaster…I absolutely loved it.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A dazzling, multigenerational novel in which the four adult daughters of a Chicago couple–still madly in love after forty years–recklessly ignite old rivalries until a long-buried secret threatens to shatter the lives they’ve built.

When Marilyn Connolly and David Sorenson fall in love in the 1970s, they are blithely ignorant of all that’s to come. By 2016, their four radically different daughters are each in a state of unrest: Wendy, widowed young, soothes herself with booze and younger men; Violet, a litigator-turned-stay-at-home-mom, battles anxiety and self-doubt when the darkest part of her past resurfaces; Liza, a neurotic and newly tenured professor, finds herself pregnant with a baby she’s not sure she wants by a man she’s not sure she loves; and Grace, the dawdling youngest daughter, begins living a lie that no one in her family even suspects. Above it all, the daughters share the lingering fear that they will never find a love quite like their parents’.

As the novel moves through the tumultuous year following the arrival of Jonah Bendt–given up by one of the daughters in a closed adoption fifteen years before–we are shown the rich and varied tapestry of the Sorensons’ past: years marred by adolescence, infidelity, and resentment, but also the transcendent moments of joy that make everything else worthwhile.

Spanning nearly half a century, and set against the quintessential American backdrop of Chicago and its prospering suburbs, Lombardo’s debut explores the triumphs and burdens of love, the fraught tethers of parenthood and sisterhood, and the baffling mixture of affection, abhorrence, resistance, and submission we feel for those closest to us. In painting this luminous portrait of a family’s becoming, Lombardo joins the ranks of writers such as Celeste Ng, Elizabeth Strout, and Jonathan Franzen as visionary chroniclers of our modern lives.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I spent all summer not so patiently waiting for my turn to read this book. It had been on my radar since last spring and I couldn’t wait for it to be released! However, I ultimately made the classic booknerd mistake and the release date (6.25.19) somehow slipped right through my fingers! Ugh! I was innocently shopping at Costco when I made the unfortunate discovery that this had been released. I took out my phone on the spot and immediately went straight to my library’s website to gain my place on the waitlist. #43. Awful. As you know, I’m a proud minimalist and reaaaaally didn’t want to buy a copy…so #43 on the list for me it was.

Ugh.

I checked that website allllllll summer for updates and slowly, slowly, slowly my name moved up on the list.

**If I would have known how much I was going to love it, I would have just bought the book :)**

It was a happy day indeed when the library called to tell me that my copy was waiting! I wasted no time and started reading that very night.

This review is tough for me to write. How can I put into words how much I absolutely LOVED this book? Hands down one of the best books I’ve ever read. In my entire life. And I’ve read A LOT of books 😉

Warning: This book is LONG. Almost 540 pages. Don’t let that intimidate you! I would have happily read 600 more pages once I finished. How can some 200 page books draaaaag on and yet this 540 page book was completely effortless to read?

The writing in this book was simply beautiful. She was able to tell stories from so many different points of view throughout so many timeframes and continuously connected all of the stories, characters, and timelines together. That takes some major literary talent. Everything about this book absolutely blew me away.

Fans of the television shows “This is Us” and “Parenthood” will LOVE this book. I often think that certain books would make excellent movies but this one would be an AMAZING television series! Or…a book series. There are so many rich storylines and so many colorful characters. I firmly feel as though I’m not ready to say good-bye to the Sorenson Family quite yet.

There were numerous nights when I stayed up way too late reading this book and numerous mornings when I woke up early just to read.  I finished reading last night and have not stopped thinking about these characters (the sign of an amazing book).

Side note: I absolutely loved all of the Chicago references! Street names, places, etc. All of them just added to the wonderful experience of reading this beautiful story.  I currently live in a suburb of Chicago but did live in the city for 8 years.  Best city in the world.

This was Claire Lombardo’s debut book…I can’t WAIT to see what she will write in the future. What she was able to accomplish in 1 book is something many authors never achieve in their entire careers.

Brilliant.

Bottom Line:

Truly one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

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What I Read, What I’m Reading, The Book I Can’t WAIT to Read, and 3 Giveaway Winners!

Happy Friday!

If you follow my Instagram Stories, you already know that yesterday morning I finished reading this book:

LOVED. IT. One of the best books I’ve read in 2019! There will be a full review and giveaway coming soon…stay tuned 🙂

I started reading this one which has been on my list for months:

Have you read either of these? I would love to hear your (spoiler free) thoughts in the comments!

As for the book that I can’t WAIT to read…I’m still waiting.  And I’m annoyed.  I’ve been waiting for this book to finally be released and now that it has…I’m still waiting.  I WANT TO READ THIS ONE SO BADLY!  Ugh.  From my Instagram stories:

Hidden Treasure Giveaway Winners:

Thank you to everyone who entered the Hidden Treasure Giveaway! Congratulations to:

Jackie (I have found lots of goodies to use in my classroom at garage sales.)

Sheri (I found a great glittery silver shirt in college that became my “going out” shirt.)

Valerie (Thanks for helping me learn about this book series – it sounds wonderful! I’ve found so many beautiful books at thrift stores, but one of my favorite recent finds was a 14-DVD set of a treasured British tv show (Larkrise to Candleford). It retails on Amazon for $70 and I paid $2.99!!)

Ladies, email me your mailing address if you are located in the US or your email address if you are located internationally (bookcoffeehappy@gmail.com) and you will receive your signed copies asap!  Enjoy 🙂

I hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with lots of laughter, love…and books!

Xo,

Jenny

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Click each image below to read the synopsis and order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo