Top Reads of 2019

Since starting a job in the city two years ago, I’ve become a ferocious reader. I often read while I’m on the subway, easily able to get lost in whatever story I happen to dive into. I’ve mastered the art of subway standing (sometimes it feels like a weird form of surfing) and not hanging onto anything by my Kindle. On the rare occasion when I don’t have something to read, the 15-20 minute underground ride feels like an eternity. As 2019 comes to an end, my book tally is 32…down from last year’s high of 39, but still a lot considering the amount of time spent planning the event of the year: #NatConWedding2019. (More on that in early 2020, I promise)

I’ve always enjoyed reading, but during those post-college years it was hard to find the time and drum up interest, especially when Harry Potter and The Hunger Games weren’t necessarily my style (and believe me, I tried on multiple occasions). I’ve discovered that striking a balance between fiction and non-fiction keeps me more intrigued and invested in what I’m reading and that taking a day or two off between books is necessary to let the previous book simmer and settle before cranking up the heat on whatever is next on my bookshelf.

Investing in a Kindle was probably the best purchase I made once I started commuting into NYC (along with noise canceling headphones). And this is coming from a decidedly anti-Kindle reader for many years (guilty!). Having a Kindle has made reading so much quicker and convenient, while also being significantly lighter weight in my backpack than an actual book. I know it sounds crazy, but for this scoliosis gal, having the least amount of weight on my shoulders and back while carrying all my daily work essentials is a goal that I strive for each and every day.

2019 was filled with some very strong reads (not quite as much as 2018, but I failed to write a post about that, so you’ll have to take my word for it), many of which were about running. Shocked by that? I didn’t think so. Here are my top reads of the year – scroll down to see the full bookshelf!

My top fiction reads:

  • Magic Hour, by Kristin Hannah (one of my favorite authors in recent years – I was drawn into this book 100%)
  • House of Salt and Sorrows, by Erin A. Craig (I’m not a big fantasy reader, but I found this story so interesting and thoroughly enjoyed the ride)
  • Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts, by Kate Racculia (very imaginative!)
  • A Woman in No Man, by Etaf Rum (different from my usual reads, but such a compelling, heartbreaking story)
  • Evvie Drake Starts Over, by Linda Holmes (great summertime read)
  • The Girl He Used to Know, by Tracey Garvis Graves (so relatable and couldn’t put it down)

My top non-fiction reads:

  • The Moment of Lift, by Melinda Gates (I put this book on hold on a whim not knowing much about her – an inspiring and empowering read)
  • Running with the Mind of Meditation, by Sakyong Mipham (great for any runner looking for something other than a training manual, but a guide on how running can benefit both your body and soul).

While I fell short of my yearly goal by one book (though I did manage to pubish this post at the 11th hour…#ClassicNatalie), I made 2020’s goal a little loftier at 35 books. Cheers to another year (and decade) of expanding one’s mind and experiencing new stories – and continuing to subway surf while on a Kindle.

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