books entertainment

Reading List 2019

Books I read, with favorites towards the top:

Daemon by Daniel Suarez. Luke read this when it first came out, loved it, raved about it, and I just kind of let the suggestion slide off my back. This spring he decided to re-read it and I gave it a whirl as his urgings were too strong to ignore. Oh. Boy. It’s good. Like, really, really good. Techno-action-thriller with a lot of surprises and a story that just propels forward easily. Hard to put down. Thought provoking. Fun. Just read it.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. While Daemon was exciting and fun like a Bad Boys flick in print, Where the Crawdads Sing was exceptionally emotional, deep, nourishing for the soul. I was crying yet couldn’t put it down (which, admittedly, is rarely what I seek in an entertainment medium). It is deserving of all the press, hype, and praise it’s received.

Freedom(TM) by Daniel Suarez. The sequel to Daemon, this book will immediately be on your to-read list once you finish the precursor. Overall a great book with many of the elements that characterized the first. It didn’t feel quite as action packed but not necessarily in a bad way as the progression of the plot felt natural. I still cannot believe these books haven’t been made into a movie series yet. C’mon, Hollywood! Keep up!

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. A friend recommended this book to Luke, actually, as a book with fascinating parallels to their youth experiences in connection with Young Life. However, I found it strikingly relevant in contextualizing my own experiences with a mother convinced of the inevitability of apocalypse. Some parts were domestic violence heavy and a bit hard to get through. Some parts were flat out hilarious. Some parts urged reflection for me personally. Some parts were sad and some hopeful. All in all, glad I read it. Ironically, I’m not sure I walked away feeling I understood Mormonism (as some internet reviews of the book had suggested). Maybe that’s just me…

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Set primarily during WWII, this was a serious book that pulled at the heartstrings. A refreshing take on the tolls of war for the “women at home”. A side to the Holocaust never really discussed in any of my schooling years. This book left me feeling thankful for the life I’ve been privileged enough to live and more acutely aware of why peace is prized.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. When I think about my socio-economic upbringing and the schools I attended I cannot help but believe my peers and I would have been well served to have this book as a part of our required reading. An “approachable” book for (young) adults to explore white privilege and racism in modern day America.

Congratulations, by the Way by George Saunders. If you feel nostalgic for Baz Luhrmann’s Sunscreen song, this is the “book” for you. It’s really just a graduation speech that has been printed in “book” form, presumably to make it all the more giftable for new grads… definitely what they want most. It did make me think of my mother.

Normal People by Sally Rooney. This book was popping up everywhere earlier this year. On reading lists around the internet, highlighted as a staff favorite in bookshops, given screen time on talk shows… I don’t get what the big fuss was all about.


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