A great reading year for fiction and nonfiction – check out these recommended reads!

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It’s been a great reading year and the perfect time to share the books I’ve enjoyed. I’m ready to curl up with a good book, are you?


Leaving the Beach by Mary Rowen

The story of a young woman and her search for happiness. Set in the working class town of Winthrop, Massachusetts, readers get to know her in alternating time periods—in the 1970s and ‘80s as an awkward teenager and college student, and in the 1990s as a young adult.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Highly recommend this terrific story of complicated family dynamics. You’ll want to read it all at once to know how it works out!

Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington

Debut collection of 13 coming-of-age stories, set in Houston, and told mainly by one character. An uncensored look at a struggling population with a hopeful finish. One of Barack Obama’s Top Picks of 2019.


The Beneficiary – Fortune, Misfortune, and the
Story of my Father by Janny Scott

Interesting biography of Robert Montgomery Scott, written by his daughter Janny Scott. A history, spanning four generations of a wealthy family that settled on what’s called the Main Line outside of Philadelphia.

Honor Girl – A Graphic Memoir by Maggie Thrash

Young Adult graphic memoir about the author’s coming-out experience at a summer camp in the mountains of Kentucky.

How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in
Thirteen Animals
by Sy Montgomery

The more Sy Montgomery studies animals and nature, the more she knows that humans have a lot to learn about the creatures that share our world. In this book, she describes her unique relationships with 13 animals and what they have taught her.

What good books did you read in 2019?

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10 thoughts on “A great reading year for fiction and nonfiction – check out these recommended reads!

  1. As so often, I haven’t read any of these, despite reading daily – there is so much out there and in my library. William Faulkner’s ‘As I Lay Dying’ is as good as any of those I have read this year.

  2. Thank you, Barbara, for including LEAVING THE BEACH on this list. Wow, what great company it’s in! I’ve read a couple of really interesting and captivating mysteries this year, including Bonnie Hearn Hill’s THE RIVER BELOW, and Clea Simon’s WORLD ENOUGH. Also, a terrific memoir, Sandra Miller’s TROVE. Here’s to another great year (and decade!) of reading!

    1. Hi Mary and thanks for these recommendations. Since I run a mystery book club for my library job, I’m always looking for new books for our group to read. There are so many great memoirs out there these days – I’ll be checking out Trove too! Happy New Year!

  3. Leaving the Beach sounds wonderful — apparently I missed your review earlier this year! The time period and the description makes me think I’ll definitely be able to relate to this book.

    Happy New Year!

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