books that I read in 2019



As a college student, much of my time goes into reading books that are assigned for classwork. However, this year, I made a change. This year I decided to read a few books that were not assigned reading for class. I actually loved this goal so much that I decided to continue this goal in 2020 (check out my 2020: resolutions and aspirations post for more details).

Listen, I loved some of these books and wouldn't recommend others. I listened to some of these on Audible (changed my commute!) and I read the physical copies for others. So, here is my review of each book that I read this year.


If you have any sort of commute or if you travel often, I would highly recommend subscribing to Audible. I used to struggle to read a book a month, but now I find it to be a breeze with the convenience of Audible!


Go to this link to check out Audible: https://www.audible.com/

 

Non-Fiction | Memoir |


1) Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Author: Lori Gottlieb

MY RATING: 5/5


As a person who wants to be a future psychologist, is currently in therapy, and who wants nothing more than to end the stigma around mental illness, this book was a great read! There is a reason that it has been on the bestsellers list since it hit the shelves. Lore talks through a few of her client's lives while also describing what her own therapy looks like.


This story is full of belly laughs, solid truths, and heartbreak. I recommend this read for every human. This book helped me tap into a deep reserve of empathy that I didn't know I had.


Amazon | $19.49

ThriftBooks | $23.88

Barnes & Noble | $20.99

Audible | $24.46 or 1 credit


2) Educated

Author: Tara Westover

MY RATING: 5/5



Educated is a book that will always stick out to me because Tara Westover experienced a life that I can never imagine suffering. This story takes the reader on an emotional journey and I was here for it. Tara takes us on the journey of liberating herself from her family and seeking her own path. Tara was sheltered from public education for most of her childhood. She suffered emotional abuse and physical neglect from her parents. She grew up on the edge of a forest with a father who was a government skeptic. Her family believed in traditional roles for men and women. Tara was raised by parents who had the assumption that she would want nothing more from life than to settle down and marry.


I would recommend this book to anyone who thinks that everyone receives an education in America. This story opened my eyes BIG time!


Amazon | $15.17

ThriftBooks | $9.19

Barnes & Noble | $24.99

Audible | 1 credit


3) An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

Author: Kay Redfield Jamison

MY RATING: 5/5



This is another book that I fell in love with. I read this book twice in 2019 and then am debating on reading/listening through it one more time in 2020. This book helped me tap into some deep empathy reserves as well. Dr. Jamison details what her life has been like since a young child. Dr. Jamison is a highly regarded psychologist, who also happens to struggle with Bipolar II Depression. She writes about her experiences in college; times she floated in mania and time she nearly drowned in depressive episodes.


I recommend this book to anyone who may want a look into what it is like to struggle with mental illness. I have much respect for this book because unlike other dramatized versions of mental illness that are painted in films and literature, this story is raw and gripping and true. I have also heard Dr. Kay Jamison speak in person and I have much respect for her scholarly work and her vulnerability.


Amazon | $10.99

ThriftBooks | $6.29

Barnes & Noble | $14.95

Audible | 1 credit


4) Becoming

Author: Michelle Obama

MY RATING: 5/5



As someone who is obsessed with the Obama's, memoirs, and political TV shows, this book was a perfect indulgence. I love TV shows like Designated Survivor, Madam Secretary, and Scandal, so this book was the real-life TV show for me. Michelle's memoir opened my eyes to the perseverance and sacrifice being the wife of an eager man takes. Michelle sacrificed her dreams and sleep to help make her husband the next president. I loved her vulnerability! She shared what it felt like to be watched non-stop for years.


I recommend you read this memoir if you love politics and aim to gain a deeper understanding of the political sphere.


Amazon | $11.89

ThriftBooks | $11.09

Barnes & Noble | $27.49

Audible | $25.00 or 1 credit


5) Twenty-Two: Letters to a Young Women Searching for Meaning

Author: Allison Trowbridge

MY RATING: 3/5



Twenty-Two was a book that was gifted to me by a dear friend. I enjoyed reading this book over the summer while I was tanning outside, however, I found that this book lacked a larger narrative. I felt like each chapter was choppy. I finished the book not really understanding where the author had taken me. I love a book that takes me on a journey and I felt like I had taken several layovers and never really got to my actual destination.


I recommend this book if you like memoirs and want a summer read.


Amazon | $18.99

ThriftBooks | not available

Barnes & Noble | $24.99

Audible | $16.76 or 1 credit

 

Non-Fiction | Self-Help |


6) Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

Author: Matthew Walker

MY RATING: 5/5



This book has seriously changed my life. Before reading this book, my sleep hygiene was very poor. I thought that everyone's comments about the importance of sleep were lame. However, reading this book changed my perspective on sleep. Sleep is the glue that holds up together. This book dives into research about the brain during sleep, how/why we dream, and how sleep changes as we age.


I recommend this book if you love research like me or if you want some fun facts about sleep for your next post-COVID dinner party.


Amazon | $18.85

ThriftBooks | $16.02

Barnes & Noble | $15.99

Audible | $15.87 or 1 credit


7) How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds

Author: Alan Jacobs

MY RATING: 4/5



This book forces you to think (haha), but seriously. This book walks you through what it means to come to conclusions for yourself. Alan Jacobs calls out poor thought processes and laziness in thinking that occurs in academia and the political sphere.


I recommend this book if you are a student at any level or if you are a writer. This book if a go-to for me. I refer to this book anytime I perform research.


Amazon | $17.34