2019 Books

The annual list of the books I read this year.  My goal was 50 and I read 80 (plus one re-read).  Four and Five star ratings are highly recommended.  Several of these books fit in my Reading Around The World goal. And many were by female authors – on purpose.

Rating      January

5 stars     A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa

5 stars     The House by the River by Lena Manta

3 stars     Marry Me by Sundown by Johanna Lindsey

5 stars     The Queen: Aretha Franklin by Mikal Gilmore

3 stars     Power Moves: Lessons from Davos by Adam M. Grant


5 stars     War Childhood, Sarajevo 1992-1995 by Jasminko Halilovic

4 stars     It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree by A.J. Jacobs

4 stars     In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant

5 stars     Beyond the Rice Fields by Naivo


4 stars     The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure by Rachel Friedman

4 stars     Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival by Dean King

1 star      Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

5 stars     Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali                        by Kris Holloway

4 stars    Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution                        by Caroline Weber

5 stars     The Malta Exchange (Cotton Malone, #14) by Steve Berry

4 stars      The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan

4 stars     A Well-Tempered Heart by Jan-Philipp Sendker

3 stars     The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin


3 stars     Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

5 stars     Married to a Bedouin by Marguerite van Geldermalsen

5 stars     Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa

4 stars     The Beautiful Brain by Hana Walker-Brown

4 stars     A Mind of Her Own by Paula McLain

5 stars     First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung

4 stars     Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

3 stars     Exit West by Mohsin Hamid


5 stars     I Remember Abu by Humayun Azad

3 stars     Fantastic Beasts – The Crimes of Grindelwald by J.K. Rowling

5 stars     Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

4 stars     The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer

5 stars     Elizabeth II: Life of a Monarch by Ruth Cowen

5 stars     Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

5 stars     Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI            by David Grann

5 stars     Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

1 star      Tenth of December of George Saunders

3 stars     The 3-Day Effect

4 stars     A Well-Read Woman: The Life, Loves, and Legacy of Ruth Rappaport                  by Kate Stewart


5 stars     Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love by Dani Shapiro

5 stars     The Sugar Detox: Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Look Years Younger                      by Brooke Alpert & Patricia Farris

5 stars     The Night Tiger by  Yangsze Choo

5 stars     The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai


5 stars     A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell

5 stars     Temptations Darling by Johanna Lindsey

5 stars     Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

5 stars     From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily and Finding Home by Tembi Locke


4 stars     Rage by Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King)

4 stars     Guns by Stephen King

5 stars     Christmas Past: The Chronicles of St Mary’s #8.6 by Jodi Taylor

5 stars     A Perfect Storm: The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #8.5 by Jodi Taylor

5 stars     The Battersea Barricades: The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #9.5 by Jodi Taylor

5 stars     The Steam-Pump Jump: The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #9.6 by Jodi Taylor

5 stars     And Now for Something Completely Different: The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #9.7 by Jodi Taylor

5 stars     A Short Ride in the Jungle: The Ho Chi Minh Trail by Motorcycle by Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

4 stars     The Royal Road to Romance by Richard Halliburton

5 stars     Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

4 stars     Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

3 stars     The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson


3 stars    American Duchess: A Novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt by Karen Harper

2 stars    The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes by Leonard Goldberg

5 stars    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (re-read)

5 stars    The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

3 stars    The Long Walk by Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King)

5 stars    Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi


5 stars    Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia by Jean Sasson


3 stars    You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

4 stars    The Tattoist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

5 stars    Hope for the Best (The Chronicles of St Mary’s #10) by Jodi Taylor

4 stars    Midnight Son by James Dommek Jr

4 stars    You Can Thank Me Later by Kelly Harmes

5 stars    When Did You Last See Your Father (The Chronicles of St Mary’s #10.5) by Jodi Taylor


5 stars    Without a Country by Ayse Kulin

5 stars    Baghdad Without a Map by Tony Horwitz

3 stars    Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

5 stars    Getting Stoned with the Savages: A Trip Through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu by J. Maarten Troost

4 stars    1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

4 stars    The Monk of Mokha by David Eggers

3 stars    Rose of Sarajevo by Ayse Kulin

3 stars    The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

1 star     A Castle in Romagna by Igor Stiks

4 stars    Essentials of English Grammar by L. Sue Baugh

5 stars My Grandmother: An Armenian-Turkish Memoir by Fethiye Cetin

4 stars Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship by Kayleen Schaefer

About alicrain

Wanderlust. Adventurer. Mom. Mentor. Change Agent. Crazy. Servant Leader. Citizen of the World These are all words that describe me - or have been used to describe me. There are many more but we won't get in to those. What is important to know is that at the age of 45, after having a successful career and raising a son, I decided I needed a new challenge and adventure in my life. So I joined the Peace Corps. Portions of this blog were written before this time and chronicle my life during graduate school (again, something I did in my 40s). During my service in Morocco (September 2016 - December 2018) I chronicled my daily life and all it entailed to live as an American female in another country. this is a place for me to capture random thoughts and share my life's journey
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2 Responses to 2019 Books

  1. Lisa Hornung says:

    Wow. I wish I could read as fast as you! I’ve read a few of these and a few I have waiting to be read. My stack of waiting to be read is getting large.


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