Great Books to Read 2019 Edition and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Great Books to Read 2019 Edition and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Hello there, dear reader and welcome to my latest edition of GREAT BOOKS TO READ. You can see all of the past posts like this one by clicking HERE. Over the years these book recommendation posts have been some of my favorite posts to write. I love reading all of the comments you leave below with your own book recommendations. So, thank you for your participation these many years. 🙂

This past year I have to admit to only reading a couple of novels. My focus seems to have been more on memoir style books and other non-fiction reads. I’m surprised to say that only one of the books recommended below is Historical Fiction, which is typically my favorite genre. I suppose I was in need of a little change. 😉 Hoping to read more historical fiction in the coming months and would love to hear of any you would like to recommend.

To enter the $50 AMAZON GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY leave me a comment recommending one or two (or ten!) books you have enjoyed reading. All genre suggestions welcome. The giveaway will be open from today (September 12th) until Thursday September 19th. Winner will be announced on Friday September 20th. Good luck everyone and thanks again for your participation. Looking forward to your comments.

Now, on to the list…

Daring to Hope: Finding God's Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful by [Davis Majors, Katie]
Daring To Hope: Finding Gods Goodness in the Broken and Beautiful
by Katie Davis Majors

This is the best book I’ve read in many years. I absolutely loved it. It’s a compilation of the thoughts and experiences of Katie Davis Majors who moved to Uganda as an 18 year old young girl, started a ministry and adopted 13 daughters. The writing style is so honest and vulnerable. I appreciated Katie’s generous heart, and her struggle in understanding how God can allow sadness and suffering to happen, even when we are faithful and obedient. I so admire the trust she comes to have in God. Her ability to highlight scripture stories and relate them to modern day life is exceptional. I found myself underlining passages on almost every page. This is a beautiful, important book. I highly recommend it.


A Girl Named Zippy
by Haven Kimmel

After reading a string of emotionally heavy books, this was just what I needed. This hilarious memoir is laugh out loud funny and I couldn’t help but be charmed by the author. She seems to be a “real-life” Junie B. Jones, or Ramona Quimby. Quirky, curious, un-ashamed, and totally endearing. Loved it. A great end of the summer book for sure. I ended up listening to the audio-recording while traveling on a long road trip…which was fun, the author is the reader. Highly recommend.


The Gifts of Imperfection
by Brene Brown

I loved everything about this book. It really spoke to me on so many levels. Brown’s ideas on letting go of perfectionism, understanding our personal worth and training ourselves to enjoy life more are so refreshing. Loved her references to “the hustle for worthiness” that so many of us struggle with. I think I may have underlined more than 50% of the book as I read. 🙂 Such great thoughts to go back to and reference. I highly recommend it, especially for busy ladies trying to “do it all”.


Rising Strong
by Brene Brown

This is just as good as The Gifts of Imperfection (listed above). Some great insights into how to deal with difficult situations in our own lives and with the relationships we have with others. Everything I have ever listened to, watched or read by Brene Brown has been tremendously inspirational. Her cutting edge research into human behavior is so thought-provoking and ultimately life changing. If you haven’t read anything by her, give it a go.


Anne Frank Remembered: The story of the woman who helped to hide the Frank Family
by Miep Gies

I was so impressed with the courage, strength and willingness Miep Gies exhibited during the time she cared for Anne Frank and her family while they were in hiding. Her story was very interesting, her compassion truly inspirational.


My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by [Dray, Stephanie, Kamoie, Laura]
My Dear Hamilton: A novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton
by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

This was a fascinating read about the wife of Alexander Hamilton. I loved her strong, brave character. I was especially touched by the charity work she did in her later years. A very interesting read.



The Soul of Money and it’s companion audio book Unleashing the Soul of Money
by Lynne Twist

These books are absolutely LIFE CHANGING. They have helped me dig into my finances and make some much-needed changes. They aren’t your typical Money Management books, rather the author focuses on our relationship with money and how we can use the flow of it in our lives for good. It’s part story- telling, part philosophy and part self-help, which I found to be very empowering. If you end up reading them, I’d love to hear what your thoughts are. 😉


Life After Darkness: Finding Healing and Happiness After the Cleveland Kidnappings by [Knight, Michelle]
Life after Darkness: Finding Healing and Happiness after the Cleveland Kidnappings
by Michelle Night

Michelle Night was kidnapped and held hostage for 11 years and suffered more than I can imagine. This book doesn’t focus on those years (at great length), rather she candidly talks about what life has been like for her since her rescue. It’s full of hope and love. To say I admire her strength and courage is a grand understatement. Well worth the read.


Send Down the Rain: New from the author of The Mountains Between Us and the New York Times bestseller Where the River Ends by [Martin, Charles]
Send Down the Rain
by Charles Martin

I love Charles Martin and while this wasn’t my favorite of his books I ended up liking it quite a lot, especially the ending. It reminded my a lot of watching the popular TV series 24 (any fellow fans out there?) where you can hardly believe the number of traumatic/life-changing/awe-inspiring events taking place hour after hour when the hero of the story can solve any problem with his cunning mind and exceptionally strong muscles and even though is seems far-fetched, you can’t help but watch. This book is a lot like that. Fast paced, intense, with a hero that can do it all. I loved the plot twists and satisfying ending.

What if It’s True? A Storyteller’s Journey with Jesus
by Charles Martin

This book, also by Charles Martin is part story telling, part personal testimony and conviction of Jesus Christ. In the first part of each chapter he tells one of the New Testament Stories. These familiar stories of the bible really come to life as he imagines what the characters might have been feeling and experiencing as they meet and come to know Jesus Christ. After the story telling sections he goes on very candidly describing how the principles learned in the bible have become personal to him and how he sees his relationship with Christ. It’s a fascinating read and one I felt very drawn to.


An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny by [Schroff, Laura, Tresniowski, Alex]
An Invisible Thread: The true story of an 11-year old panhandler, a busy sales executive and an unlikely meeting with destiny
by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski

I loved this book. I listened to the audio version, which means my teenage sons heard a lot of the book while we were driving around in the car. They loved it as well. Here’s what my boy Aaron (age 13) had to say about it. “I love hearing these kind of stories, it makes you appreciate everything you have.”
Is that not worth having your kids read or listen to it, truly? It is. 🙂

This is the true story about an 11-year-old boy living in New York City who panhandles for money to fund his meals. One day he meets a woman walking down the street who offers to buy him dinner. It’s such a wonderful story, truly. Highly recommend for all ages.











Post a comment!


  1. 1
    September 12, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Loved the The Guernsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society.

  2. 2
    September 12, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Excellent books I have read recently include Running for My Life: One Lost Boy’s Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games by Lopez Lomong, Forty Autumns: A Family’s Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall by Nina Willner, and You Have a Brain: A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. by Ben Carson.

  3. 3
    Sharon McManus
    September 12, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Can’t thank you enough for your book lists. Our book club at church is always looking for a variety of books and your lists supply it. Can’t wait to pass some of these on.

  4. 4
    September 12, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    A couple of books I have enjoyed this year are All the Light We Cannot See (World War 2 historical fiction) Bad Blood (true crime I guess?) and The Story of Arthur Truluv (when you need to remember life is good!)

  5. 5
    Erin C
    September 12, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd
    The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, New Foundland by Jim DeFede
    Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (worth the hype!)
    Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan
    Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy

  6. 6
    September 13, 2019 at 7:06 am

    These are great suggestions! One of my favorites is Angela’s Ashes.

  7. 7
    ShaRee Fotheringham
    September 13, 2019 at 11:03 am

    I love seeing your book list each year. RIght now I am enjoying: The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan.

  8. 8
    Debbie Tappen
    September 13, 2019 at 11:20 am

    I recommend The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose by Oprah Winfrey

  9. 9
    Janene Merrill
    September 13, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    I loved The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah,Beneath a Scarlett Sky by Mark Sullivan, The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (These are all during WW2, most are true stories)
    Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman, if you loved The Help you’ll love this & it’s the authors first book!
    Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. A real tear jerker!

  10. 10
    Amy Terriault
    September 13, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    I loved The Art of Racing in the Rain before they even talked about making it a movie!! ?

  11. 11
    September 13, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    I recommend Grisha: The Story of Cellist Gregor Piatigorsky. That might sound dry as a title, but it is a true love story of a man who had to flee as a young boy from the Bolshevik Revolution, and all he had was his cello, he became a renowned cellist.

  12. 12
    Patricia P.
    September 13, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    I just finished reading The Energy Bus, it was soo good. I love reading and listening to audio books. I love Brene Brown, also. Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt is a new fav! Love your blog and recipes, thank you!

  13. 13
    September 13, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    I loved Daisy Jones and the Six, Where’d You Go Bernadette? (been recommending it for years), It Ends With Her, And The Rosie Project.

  14. 14
    Deena Sinclair
    September 13, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    I really have not read that much this year, but a good beach read for me was The Pact by Jodi Picoult. Thank the for all the great suggestions!

  15. 15
    September 13, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    I love reading book recommendations. Right now I am reading the Alice Network by Kate Quinn and I just finished The Charmed Life

  16. 16
    Cheryl Newton
    September 14, 2019 at 12:36 am

    I am into the second of Shawn Inmon’s series, the Middle Falls time travel stories. I know I’m enjoying it because I have to make myself stop reading, or I’d do “just one more chapter” all night long!

  17. 17
    September 14, 2019 at 9:04 am

    A few of my favorites from the last year are:
    Front Desk by Kelly Yang – This is a fiction children’s book that gives you a window into the life of immigrants, poverty, and family.

    The Little Orphan Girl by Sandy Taylor

    Brooklyn Story by Suzanne Corso

  18. 18
    Erin Tall
    September 14, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    I love you and your recipes, Jamie! All the Light We Cannot See was a great read for me

  19. 19
    Erin R.
    September 14, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    I’ve been enjoying The Naturalist series (waiting for book #4). I absolutely LOVE Andrew Mayne’s writing.

  20. 20
    Tracie Cooper
    September 14, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    I loved reading A Cottage by the Sea by Debbie Macomber. Such a great book by one of my most favorite authors!

  21. 21
    September 15, 2019 at 11:06 am

    In the past couple of weeks I’ve read “Educated” and “The Nightingale”. Can’t wait to get some of your suggestions!

  22. 22
    Kelly D
    September 15, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    I recently enjoyed “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens.

  23. 23
    debarshi das
    September 15, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    this is an awesome giveaway and I enjoyed reading all these books. I hope I win. thank you. 🙂

  24. 24
    Anjanette McNeely
    September 15, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    I loved Refugee by Alan Grantz and Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan.

  25. 25
    Jen B.
    September 15, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    I loved Invisible Thread. What a great read!

  26. 26
    September 15, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    I especially loved reading While My Pretty One Sleeps by Mary Higgins Clark. Definitely one of her older books, but I still really loved it.

  27. 27
    September 16, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    I really liked Skyward by Brandon Sanderson and Soot & Slipper by Kate Stradling.

  28. 28
    September 16, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    I just read The Lost Girls of Paris and I really liked it.

  29. 29
    September 17, 2019 at 8:18 am

    The Help, The Book Thief & The Light Between Oceans

  30. 30
    Chelsey Westergard
    September 17, 2019 at 10:16 am

    I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I put on my headphones and get my housework done while listening to great books. It makes doing the dishes not so bad 😉 Thanks for the book recommendations. I’ve enjoyed The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, Educated by Tara Westover, The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks, The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, With You Always by Jody Hedlund, Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, Hanging Mary by Susan Higginbotham, The Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson …just to name a few of my favorites.

  31. 31
    Jill Miles
    September 17, 2019 at 10:22 am

    My favorite I have read recently was Tending Roses by Lisa Wingate. I think it was particularly poignant because my husband and I took care of both of our mothers in their last years and through struggles with dementia. Also Muddy by Dean Hughes was so good and really made me think about things. The Nightingale and Beneath a Scarlet Sky are still favorites also. Thank you for doing these posts. They are always some of my favorites. I have found some really good books through these posts.

  32. 32
    Brooke S.
    September 17, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Fly Girls is a terrific book!

  33. 33
    September 17, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    A non-fiction book I enjoyed this year was Upstairs at the White House — a fascinating look at first ladies from Eleanor Roosevelt to Pat Nixon. For fiction, Carnegie’s Maid was very good. I’m currently enjoying listening to Finding Dorothy.

  34. 34
    Heidi D
    September 19, 2019 at 8:33 am

    I recently listened to “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker. It had some great information especially for women and took about two and a half hours to read.

    If you are looking for a novel “Circle of Friends” by Maeve Binchy is a great, cozy book, just so fun to curl up with.

  35. 35
    Laura J
    October 9, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    I finally got around to reading “The Help”. I loved, loved, loved it. It’s also an easy read.

    Thanks for the recommendations!

  36. 36
    November 5, 2019 at 2:14 am

    For a person who are literally in dark days like me, Life after darkness is the best one ever. You show me a light of hope and all the bright future in this book. I read once and definitely I will read it again.

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