2019 Reading List

19This is a list of the books, I read in 2019 that I found to be okay to fabulous. However after participating in writing critique groups for the last 25 years or so. and book clubs for the past 45 years, I appreciate an author’s effort and recognize that different people have different tastes. Therefore the books I found entirely dull or horrible are simply excluded from the list and there is no ranking system among titles. If you choose to read books off my list you will have to make your own decision about what you like.

You will see I like to read in series and a body of work by a singular author. I often do this to try to have a better understanding of the writer and their form of storytelling to figure out what I can learn from their efforts. As you will see from the assembled lis, I don’t just read “fine literature.” I read children’s books, non-fiction, fantasy, science fiction, novels, memoir self help books, romance and history. I read for escape, enjoyment, sometimes for a world where magic or good people can set the world to rights within a few hundred pages. This feels especially important when the real world around me becomes harsh and people act in ways that are unrecognizable to me.

I share this list because I am so often asked for recommendations. I hope you discover something new that delights you among these many authors and their efforts. If you are seeking to purchase some of these titles may I suggest supporting your local independent bookseller as my family owned my hometown bookstore for years. If you don’t have one nearby,  I’d like to recommend a few favorites of mine: Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, NH;  Belmont Books in Belmont, MA; The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY; An Unlikely Story in Plainview, MA; Books and Books  in Key West, FL; Oblong Books in Rheinbeck, NY; Still North Books and Bar in Hannover, NH;  Longfellow Books in Portland, ME; Print, A Bookstore in Portland, ME and Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN.  I’ve found the booksellers in each shop knowledgable and they all seem to have good fulfillment when ordering from them on line. 

The 2019 List




The Reckoning

John Grisham


David Baldacci

A House Among the Trees

Julia Glass


Dan Brown

Truly Madly Guilty

Liane Moriarty

The Heart of a Woman

Maya Angelou

We Are All Made of Molecules

Susin Nielsen

The Best Man

Richard Peck

The Banker’s Wife

Cristina Alger

The River

Peter Heller

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

Alexander  Chee

Sharp Objects

Gillian Flynn

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Hank Green

My Life on the Road

Gloria Steinem

Deliver Us from Evil

David Baldacci

The Light We Lost

Jill Santopolo

Dad Is Fat

Jim Gaffigan

The Binding

Bridget Collins

The Target

David Baldacci

The Whole Truth

David Baldacci

The Hit

David Baldacci

Every Breath

Nicholas Sparks

The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho


Yuval Noah Harari

The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas

Crazy Rich Asians

Kevin Kwan

The Finisher

David Baldacci

On Canaan’s Side

Sebastian Barry

The Fallen

David Baldacci

The Fix

David Baldacci

The Devil in the White City

Erik Larson

The Last Mile

David Baldacci

When Breath Becomes Air

Paul Kalanithi

Memory Man

David Baldacci


Michelle Obama

Days without End

Sebastian Barry

Where the Crawdads Sing

Delia Owens

The Great Alone

Kristin Hannah

In Pieces

Sally Field

The Secret Scripture

Sebastian Barry

Standard Deviation

Katherine Heiny

A Study in Death

Anna Lee Huber

Small Fry

Lisa Brennan-Jobs

A Brush With Shadows

Anna Lee Huber

As Death Draws Near

Anna Lee Huber

How to Fall in Love with a Man Who Lives in a Bush

Emmy Abrahamson


Cheryl Strayed

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead

The Pillars of the Earth

Ken Follett

A Torch Against the Night

Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes

Sabaa Tahir


Jess Kidd

Girl, Wash Your Face

Rachel Hollis

Calico Joe

John Grisham

Small Great Things

Jodi Picoult


Tara Westover

The Rooster Bar

John Grisham

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Barbara Kingsolver

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Gail Honeyman


Dan Brown

Iron Kissed

Patricia Briggs

Frost Burned

Patricia Briggs

The Banker’s Wife

Cristina Alger

The President Is Missing

Bill Clinton, James Patterson

Split Second

David Baldacci

Three Wishes

Liane Moriarty

Rogue Lawyer

John Grisham

The Width of the World

David Baldacci

The Innocent

David Baldacci

The Keeper

David Baldacci

The Wife Between Us

Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Maria Semple

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Marie Kondo

Whiskey in a Teacup

Reese Witherspoon

There There

Tommy Orange

The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho

The Last Black Unicorn

Tiffany Haddish

As Death Draws Near

Anna Lee Huber

Some Luck

Jane Smiley

In the Unlikely Event

Judy Blume

This Side of Murder

Anna Lee Huber

Gray Mountain

John Grisham

Clock Dance

Anne Tyler

Animal Farm

George Orwell


Min Jin Lee

The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm

Christopher Paolini

See Me

Nicholas Sparks

The Husband’s Secret

Liane Moriarty

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

Amy Schumer

In Such Good Company

Carol Burnett

Surprise Me

Sophie Kinsella

An Artless Demine

Anna Lee Huber

A  Grave  Matter

Anna Lee Huber

Mortal Arts

Anna Lee Huber

A Reaper at the Gates: An Ember in the Ashes

Sabaa Tahir


Kieses Laymon *** loved this

Growing Up

Russell Baker

A Court of Wings and Ruin

Sarah J Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury

Sarah J Maas

Black Powder War

Naomi Novik

Throne of Jade

Naomi Novik

Educated: A Memoir

Tara Westover

Love Beyond Time

Bethany Claire

Out of My Mind

Alan Arkin

Wild Seed

Octavia E. Butler

A Court of Thorns and Roses

Sarah J Maas

A Court of Frost and Starlight

Sarah J Maas

One Mind: How Our Individual Mind is Part of the Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters

Larry Dossey

The Handmaid’s Tail

Margaret Atwood

The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher

Lewis Thomas

The Kiss Quotient

Helen Hoang

Unbroken: An Olympian’s Journey From Airman to Castaway to Captive

Laura Hillenbrand

City of Theives

David Benioff

Lord of Chaos: Book  6 of the Wheel of Time

Robert Jordan


David McCullough

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Douglas Carlton Abrams

I Give You My Body: How I Write Sex Scenes

Diana Gabaldon

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English

Natasha Solmons

Telling the Bees

Peggy Hesketh

Kingdom of the Blind

Louise Penny

The Compound Effect

Darren HArdy

The Great Hunt

Robert Jordan

Hello Darkness

Sandra Brown

Nickel and Dimed:  On (Not) Getting By in America

Barbara Ehrenreich

Grief is a Thing with Feathers

Max Porter

A Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

Gabrielle Zevin

Captain’s Fury: Codex Alera

Jim Butcher

The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work and Confidence with Everyday Courage

Mel Robbins

The Orphan’s Tale

Pam Jenoff

A Gentleman in Moscow

Amor Towles

Three Feet From Gold : Turn Your Obstacles into  Opportunities

Sharon Lechter, Greg S. Reid

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So -Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life- Before 8 AM

Hal Elrod

Go for No!: Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There

Richard Fenton, Andrea Waltz

The One: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

Gary Keller

King’s Cage

Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword

Victoria Aveyard

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Patrick Rothfuss

Rather Be The Devil

Ian Rankin

Autumn in Oxford

Alex Rosenberg

The Nest

Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Seven Stones to Stand or Fall

Diana Gabaldon

The Firebird

Susanna Kearsley

The Name of the Wind

Patrick Rothfuss

The Wise Man’s Fear

Patrick Rothfuss

A Little Life

Hanya Yanagihara

A Man Called Ove

Fredrick Backman

The Hidden Life of Trees: What  They Feel, How They Communicate- Discoveries from a  Secret World

Peter Wohllenben


Edward Stewart

We Are All Welcome Here

Elizabeth Berg

Even Dogs in the Wild

Ian Rankin


Maria Turtschaninoff


Stephanie Garber

2 Bodies for the Price of 1

Stephanie Bond

The New Rules of Marriage

Terrence Real

Finding Fraser

KC Dyer

Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story


Secrets of a Charmed Life

Susan Meissner

Flat Out Love

Jessica Park

Call the Midwife

Jennifer Worth

White Night: Dresden Files

Jim Butcher

Proven Guilty

Jim Butcher

Dead Beat: Dresden Files

Jim Butcher

The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern

Hillbilly Elegy

J. D. Vance

The Fires of Heaven

Robert Jordan