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 4:25 am

    I’m currently reading the Harry Potter series with my daughter. I know I know…it’s been oversold and hyped for years…but seeing it through her eyes has been magical.

  2. 2
    Denise P Beasley
    September 12, 2019 at 6:25 am

    If you’re into memoir right now, I’d highly suggest Regina Calcaterra’s Etched in Sand. Heartbreaking and moving!

  3. 3
    Ronette Hofeling
    September 12, 2019 at 6:30 am

    Muddy by Dean Hugh’s
    The Orphan Keeper by Cameron Wright

    • 4
      Linda Kohler
      September 12, 2019 at 10:19 am

      Almost bought Muddy the other day but decided I needed to read the latest Fire & Steel first. Saints is excellent, also

  4. 5
    Robin B.
    September 12, 2019 at 6:39 am

    I just read “Small Fry” by Lisa Brennan Jobs. It’s an interesting look at the Apple creator from the view of his first child and their on/off relationship.

  5. 6
    September 12, 2019 at 6:46 am

    Finding Normal by Dr Jeff Huxford. True story of a doctor that had a traumatic brain injury and how he was (thought)he was a Christian, but now realizes how much more there is to being a true Christian.

  6. 7
    September 12, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Krueger, was one that I read recently and enjoyed. Good fiction, but also some food for thought. Thanks for the recommendations! I always read a couple from your lists.

  7. 8
    September 12, 2019 at 7:03 am

    Educated by Tara Westover
    Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

  8. 9
    September 12, 2019 at 7:12 am

    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. The beginning of a fun series!

  9. 10
    September 12, 2019 at 7:32 am

    I just finished Gail Miller’s memoir…”Courage to Be You!”. Loved it!!??

  10. 11
    September 12, 2019 at 7:41 am

    The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth
    The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
    The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J Ryan Stradal

  11. 12
    Maureen Howell
    September 12, 2019 at 8:10 am

    Karolina’s Twins is one of my favorites by Ronald Balson

  12. 13
    Barbara Hammond
    September 12, 2019 at 8:55 am

    The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
    The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

  13. 14
    Judith D.
    September 12, 2019 at 9:03 am

    I have enjoyed reading books by Beatriz Williams, especially Along the Infinite Sea. I’ve also enjoyed historical fiction by Elizabeth Camden.

  14. 15
    September 12, 2019 at 9:29 am

    The Volunteer: One Man, an Underground Army, and the Secret Mission to Destroy Auschwitz

  15. 16
    Sara Adams
    September 12, 2019 at 9:31 am

    I have always liked amy book by Kate Morton.
    I am currently reading “Smart but scattered Teens.”

  16. 17
    September 12, 2019 at 10:02 am

    Seven at Sea by Eric and Emily Orton is a great one.

  17. 18
    September 12, 2019 at 10:10 am

    I love finding new books. Thanks for sharing! My favorites I read this year so far are:
    Flavia De Luce Series by Alan Bradley
    The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan
    Maisie Dobbs Series by Jacqueline Winspear (seriously they are all amazing!!)
    Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin
    Hope you love them as much as I do!!

  18. 19
    September 12, 2019 at 10:20 am

    A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story by Donald Miller was thought provoking and made me want to live a better, more purposeful, more meaningful life.
    Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey was a fun, quick read. Some parts were inspiring and a lot of parts made me laugh.

  19. 20
    Alison Kiesz
    September 12, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Some of my favorite books that I have read in the past past year are:
    The River by Peter Heller
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
    Educated by Tara Westover
    Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton and

  20. 21
    September 12, 2019 at 10:59 am

    The Nightingale was one of the best books I read in my book group this past year.

  21. 22
    September 12, 2019 at 11:37 am

    Thank you for the recommendations! I always love your lists and I look forward to starting some of these. My favorites recently have bee Daisy Jones & The Six. I listened to the audio version and WOW it was so entertaining, I could not stop listening. I recently read A Woman is No Man. That one is a must read! And Evvie Drake Starts Over. I am currently reading the Outlander series! Love love love it. I have The Gifts Of Imperfection, but haven’t started it yet. I can’t wait! Thanks!

  22. 23
    September 12, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Crazy rich Asians
    Movie is also good
    It is a trilogy

  23. 24
    September 12, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
    The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah
    The Overdue Life of Amy Byerly by Kelly Harms

  24. 25
    Jennifer Petersen
    September 12, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    This is always one of my favorite posts you do! Thanks for all the great reading suggestions. A couple of my favorites this year have been
    Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
    Soot and Slipper by Kate Stradling.

  25. 26
    September 12, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

  26. 27
    Margaret Matlock
    September 12, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    The Last Year Of The war by Susan Meissner
    A Women’s Place by Lynn Austin
    Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin
    From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

  27. 28
    September 12, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    A good read is Cheaper By the Dozen. Much better than the movie.

  28. 29
    September 12, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    The Chain by Adrian McKinty
    Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

  29. 30
    Lindsay Merrill
    September 12, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    Here’s some recent favorites:
    – $2.00 a day (by Kathryn Erin)
    – The Magnolia Story (chip and Joanna Gaines)
    – Essentialism (Greg McKeown)
    – Becoming (Michelle Obama)

  30. 31
    Samantha Bringhurst
    September 12, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    An amazing memoir is Escape by Carolyn Jessop. It’s about her experience growing up as a polygamist in Colorado.
    A great historical fiction book is Lilli De Jong by Janet Benton.

  31. 32
    leslie quiggle
    September 12, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Hi. Thank you for the book lists. It’s always fun to get others suggestions. Loved “Anne Frank Remembered”. I have just finished and highly recommend Georgia Hunter’s 2018 book “We Were the Lucky Ones” Couldn’t put it down!

  32. 33
    Sally Smith
    September 12, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    The Indifferent Stars Above – narrative nonfiction about the Donner Party. Loved the details about the brain and body on survival mode and the descriptions of Utah, which made it so real.

  33. 34
    September 12, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    I will definitely be checking some of these books out. Thank you for the list! Right now I am reading a book by Carol Mason called “After You Left”. It’s an Amazon first reads, so I thought I would give it a try. I am going to make a list of books to read from the comments. Thank you!

  34. 35
    Paula Snyder
    September 12, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Some books I have loved recently incluce: Ealinor Oliphant is Just Fine, Island of Sea Women, Educated, and Brain on Fire.

  35. 36
    Heidi Fry
    September 12, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Some of my favorites this year are: Educated by Tara Westover, The Seven 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, and The Cactus by Sarah Haywood.

  36. 37
    Natalie Tycksen
    September 12, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    Divine signatures by Gerald Lund and Insight by Sheri Dew. So good.

  37. 38
    Esther Whatley
    September 12, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Anything by Greg Iles, most recently, Cemetery Road.

  38. 39
    September 12, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    I’m into self help books- I’d recommend Mindset.

  39. 40
    September 12, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Usually we have many “reads” in common but this year there’s just one, An Invisible Thread. I truly enjoyed Tara Westover’s memoir: Educated. Where the Crawdad’s Sing and The Great Alone were good. I HIGHLY recommend the audio version of Daisy Jones and the Six was entertaining, but some parts may not be for young ears. My favorite read this year was The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell. I laughed. I cried. I cringed. I smiled.

  40. 41
    GB Knaub
    September 12, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    I loved The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
    recently read another one of her books On Mystic Lake

  41. 42
    Linda Guerrini
    September 12, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Thoroughly enjoyed The Guernsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society.

  42. 43
    Linda Guerrini
    September 12, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Thoroughly enjoyed The High tide Club.

  43. 44
    JoAnna Gill
    September 12, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    The best book I’ve read recently is The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton. It is the true story of his life on death row after being falsely accused of murder. Instead of being depressing, this book is so inspiring. I highly recommend it!

  44. 45
    Chris Lindner
    September 12, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Winter Loon: Susan Bernard
    Before We Were Yours: Lisa Wingate

  45. 46
    September 12, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Left to tell. It’s an amazingly hopeful story about a survivor of the Rwandan holocaust

  46. 47
    Nicole E.
    September 12, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    I love your lists! One of my favorites this year was “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way – Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered” by Lysa TerKeurst. It helped me through my husband’s cancer diagnosis followed by my own breast cancer diagnosis, surgeries and treatments. This also helps friends go through hardships.

  47. 48
    September 12, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    I absolutely loved the book The Murmur of Bees. It takes place early 1900s in Mexico about a family and a most amazing boy who the find a abandoned and care for.

  48. 49
    September 12, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    I’m reading the Kindness project about a guy who travels across the world strictly based on the kindness of others

  49. 50
    September 12, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    Visions of Glory by John Pontius, a life altering book! An anonymous man tells of his experiences of dying 4 separate times and the visions that he is shown from his spirit body.
    The Power of Habits
    Where the Crawdads Sing ??
    The Essentialism.

  50. 51
    Peggy Milbrandt
    September 12, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    They Poured Fire On Us From the Sky. I just finished this booked about three of the Lost Boys of Sudan. Heart wrenching what they went through.

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