Start Off 2019 Right With These 15 Books

It’s time for my monthly book round up!

Start Off 2019 With These 15 Books

Last month, I started using my “To Be Read” jar. Whenever it was time to read a new book, I would draw a slip of paper from the jar. The biggest thing I realized? Nonfiction may be my genre of choice, but my favorite books of the month ended up being fiction. It was incredible to see what magical books waited for me at the end of my comfort zone.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

This was the first book that I drew from my TBR Jar. Honesty moment: This is a book I would normally never read. I have never been a huge fan of historical fiction but this book managed to change my mind. I was drawn in within the first chapter and it continually held my attention. The Nightingale follows two sisters during World War II. These pages embody love, bravery, and hope. Give The Nightingale a shot, even if historical fiction isn’t normally your genre of choice. Don’t forget to bring tissues. P.S. This book is going to made into a movie later this year, so make sure you check it out before it hits the big screen. You can find The Nightingale here.

Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson

This was a great way to start my year! In Pretty Happy, Kate Hudson discusses how she found balance when it comes to fitness and food. She explains what she has found works for her and her process of self love. This is a lighthearted read that fit in well with my Happiness Project month: Health. You can find Pretty Happy  here.

In Pieces by Sally Field

Now this is my genre of choice. I love reading other peoples stories and I found myself in Sally Field’s story. It is hard to put into words what this memoir made me feel, but if I had to choose one word it would be: understood. Sally field shares the story of her childhood abuse, her complicated relationship with her mother, and her journey to making it on the big screen. Having been molested as a child, my heart felt every word. Such actions touch a person’s soul forever, and it is up to us what to do with the pieces we are left in. This book is raw and real in a way that I wasn’t expecting. If you have been abused, I believe you will find yourself in her words. If you haven’t been abused, you may find a way to understand what victims deal with in the aftermath of trauma. You can find In Pieces here.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I avoided this popular book for as long as I could, but my TBR jar told me it was finally time to give it a shot. Here is the kicker: I really enjoyed it! Sure, it may not be my favorite series I’ve ever read, but it was an entertaining read. I guess now I have to read the second book because of that crazy ending. You can find The Maze Runner here.

Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe

I picked up this book because I recently got into Parks and Recreation. In “Stories I Only Tell My Friends“, Rob Lowe takes us with him as he retells his big roles in Hollywood. I have no doubt you will enjoy this book if you are a fan of Rob Lowe. There was plenty of insider stories and looks at behind the scenes. One thing that I didn’t like was that it felt as if Rob Lowe was just dying to name drop celebrities. He would often tell a story, keep the person’s identity a secret, only to drop their name to end the chapter. But hey, it is a celebrity memoir. Overall, it was an interesting read. You can find Stories I Only Tell My Friends here.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gale Honeyman

TAKE MY MONEY. I listened to this on audible, and now I need to get a paper copy for my bookshelf. Passing through the aisles of Barnes and Noble, I have seen this book hundreds of times in the last year. For whatever reason I never picked it up. I made the error of  judging a book by its cover. I had imagined that it was teen book about a young girl in love. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine follows a socially awkward woman who takes everything quite literally. She likes to be alone and has always been an outsider… except for her weekly phone call with her mother. These calls are spent listening to her mother verbally attack her on everything you can imagine. One day Eleanor meets Raymond, the polar opposite of everything she is comfortable with. This book had be laughing, crying, and deep in thought. This breathtaking novel will keep you thinking for days. Five Stars. You can find Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine here.

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

I wanted to like this, but I couldn’t ever fully get there. To be fair, I have never seen Tiffany Haddish’s stand up and am not extremely familiar with her humor. Some of the stories made me cringe and I just couldn’t connect to it. You can find The Last Black Unicorn here.

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child is a play that takes place 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts. We are introduced to Albus Severus and his unlikely friend, Scorpius Malfoy. I have a difficult time reviewing this book because in some ways I love it. The storytelling is as powerful as ever and Scorpius became the character I never knew I needed. On the other hand, there seems to be a few plot holes and I don’t like how many of the classic characters carry themselves. In fact, at times it doesn’t feel believable. If I treat this story as a separate thing to the originally Harry Potter series, it is wonderful. The magic is still there and I finished it in one day. I think every Potterhead should read it themselves to find what they think. You can find Harry Potter And The Cursed Child here.

How To Stop Feeling Like Sh*t by Andrea Owen

This genre is my jam. I try to always be reading one self help book to keep me motivated and in check with my dreams. This book has made it into my top 10 of the genre. Andrea Owen found herself at her lowest point. Her husband cheated on her, she was struggling with alcohol abuse, and she felt like sh*t. Through emotional healing and self improvement she was able to create a life she actually loved. In this book, Andrea points out 14 self destructive behaviors that women often fall into. There are some really good exercises in here for finding out what you struggle with and how to stop it from controlling your life. You can find How To Stop Feeling Like Sh*t  here.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I grew up watching this movie as a kid, and it was one that I often watched on repeat. The book and movie are pretty similar, except for a change to the ending. I love the concept of carrying yourself well, no matter the circumstances. The main character reminds us how important it is to know our worth and hold onto our dreams despite the troubles we face. You can find it here.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

I finally got the chance to read this poetry book that I have seen in every bookstore for the last couple of years. Having been a poetry lover for many years, this book lived up to every hope I had for it. The way the author was able to accurately describe what it is like to be abused, brokenhearted, and a vulnerable person in this world blew me away. If there is one poem that I related to the most, it is this:

i have

what i have

and i am happy

i’ve lost

what i’ve lost

and i am

still happy


You can find Milk And Honey here.

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan

This book has one simple message: eat real food. It can be confusing to know what to eat in today’s day and age. Should you be vegetarian, vegan, paleo, keto, or another trendy diet? I have been there. The author emphasizes the importance of eating real foods that aren’t full of chemicals. I loved how he refused to endorse a specific way of eating, and he simply guided the reader to eat whole foods that aren’t processed. You can find In Defense Of Food here.

Two By Two by Nicholas Sparks

I have conflicting thoughts on this book. I started reading Nicholas Sparks last year, and Safe Haven has been my favorite of his novels. Two by Two follows a man who is a father to a sweet daughter, London. When his marriage beings to fall apart, he is forced to navigate a life he never expected.  Sparks has a great ability to build depth in his characters and I found this to be an easy read. While there were parts that I enjoyed, I felt unsatisfied by the predictable ending. You can find Two by Two here.

Looking For Alaska by John Green

John Green you never disappoint. The Fault In Our Stars and Turtles All The Way Down are some of my favorite fiction books. They may still hold the top position, but Looking For Alaska nonetheless blew me away.

Miles decides to move to Alabama and chase “The Great Perhaps.” He hopes to find the adventure and purpose that he so desperately craves. Miles also has an obsession with last words. He has memorized almost every well known person’s last words and looks for meaning behind them. When Miles meets Alaska at his new boarding school, he is drawn to her unique personality and sense of mystery. I don’t want to give away spoilers, so it is a little hard to give a heartfelt review. I can say that I was drawn to many of the themes that this book had to offer, and I highly recommend it. You can find Looking For Alaska here.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

WOW! Disclaimer: I am a huge baby when it comes to scary things, so it took me a long time to finally read this thriller. Despite my fears, I decided that it was finally time to see what all the hype was about.  Gone Girl follows a man whose wife suddenly goes  missing. In his state of shock and guilt, his quiet demeanor appears to be apathetic to the outside observer. He is horrified to find out that the police are turning their investigation towards him….The husband is always the suspect right?

While I was reading this book, I had no doubt that I would give it 5 stars. I was constantly on the edge of my seat and trying comprehend every twist and turn that was thrown at the reader. Unfortunately, I really didn’t love the last few chapters of the book. I ended up giving Gone Girl 4 stars, and I would still HIGHLY recommend the book. I have no doubt that you will be entertained. You can find Gone Girl here.

Have you read any of these books before? What did you think of them?

If you are interested in reading more reviews/reading tips, be sure to check out some of my other posts below:

I Read 160 Books In A Year: Here Is What I Recommend | 13 Books To Add To Your Reading List

How I Read 87 Books In 140 Days | September Book Round Up

August Book Round Up | July Book Round Up

April Book Round Up |Create Your Own TBR Jar

Start Off 2019 Right With These 15 Books

  1. What great choices! I read some of them as well, my favorite from the list was Gone Girl, give me a good thriller anytime 🙂 Haven’t read Milk and HOney yet, but it received so much praise that I feel like should!

    1. Gone Girl was took me by surprise, I LOVED IT! I get the hype now:) Let me know what you think of Milk and Honey, it is beautiful 🙂

    1. You will love it! Historical fiction still isn’t my favorite, but this book specifically is incredible.

  2. Wow!! I never thought of a book jar – I absolutely love that idea! Once I get it I have a wide selections of books to choose from. I didn’t know Maze runner was actually a book!!

    1. You should definitely make one! It has been a really fun way to stay motivated:) and yeah it is a book series, and I really like it so far!

  3. Gone Girl is an amazing book and I plan to read The Last Black Unicorn next month. I have seen her stand up and I think she is so freaking funny! I can’t wait to read it lol

    1. There were some stories in there that were pretty funny:) And YES! Gone girl blew me away.

  4. Wow this is such a great list! I have read five of the 15. One of my goals for 2019 is to read more books — looks like we like the same type of books! I can’t wait to reference this list for my next book to read!

  5. I love the Maze Runner series! I tried to get my boyfriend to start it when he finishes a book but he saw the movie first and won’t believe that the books are better, haha. I have yet to read Gone Girl but it’s a book stored in my e-reader so I mind as well get to it eventually.

  6. I’m glad I stumbled upon this! I was looking for new book recommendations and some of these had even crossed my mind : )

  7. I haven’t read any of these. How to stop feeling like sh*** sounds like my kind of book. Putting it on my reading list. Thanks for the insight.

  8. This is a really great list! I am always looking for something new to read. I am definitely going to check some of these books out.

  9. I didn’t know Kate Hudson wrote a book. I love her films! & my genre of choice is memoir, too. I’ll definitely look into the one written by Sally Field. I’ve had Eleanor on my list for awhile, I need to read that ASAP. I keep hearing the best things about it & I think you’ve just helped me bump it up a bit higher! Surprisingly, I’ve never read a Nicholas Sparks but I have read a few John Green’s and oh my gosh, Looking For Alaska was hands down my favorite. <3 I've never read Gone Girl but Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn is also a good one!!

    Loved reading your thoughts on all these books, Jubilee. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

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