Oprah. Reese Witherspoon. Emma Watson. Sarah Jessica Parker. Florence Welch. Shonda Rimes. They have more than just wild successes in common; they’re bibliophiles with regular book club picks. Then there’s your friends’ favorite books. Then there’s the headline-grabbing releases. And if you’re
anything like me, you take a screenshot of a bookstagrammer’s recommendation and make a mental note for the next time you have a reading window. There’s more than 600 million books sold in the U.S. annually and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with what to read next. My advice? Have a few books at the ready and combine some classics along with your BFF’s recommendations and a best-seller or two that speaks to you. But crack them open when the book speaks to you. Case in point: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens was the bestselling print book of 2019. Though released in August 2018, it struck like a match last year and spent 27 non-consecutive weeks at the top of The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2019 list — and I had no interest in reading it until the very last week of the year.
My reading patterns mirrored the sea in 2019, with ebbs and flows of page-turners in succession followed by weeks when nothing on the nightstand was stealing my slumber (I don’t know about you, but if it’s captured my attention, it’s hard for me to put a book down). In sum, my 2019 reading list brought a host of WWII-era historical fiction (no surprise there), a few “must read” new releases, some undiscovered gems, a pair of celeb book club picks, and a couple of random “meh, this looks good” books (like when I spotted Reject’s Beach on the cover of “The Guest Book,” which turned out to be one of my favorite reads of the year.) My 2019 list, with links to reviews, discussion and more, includes:
If you have a favorite book you consider a must read, let me know here or at @newportstyle.