• Abigail Woodruff

Top 5 Books of 2018 & Top 5 Books I want to read in 2019

Hello and happy New Year fellow book lovers! I hope that you all had an amazing Christmas season and a wonderful first week of 2019. I had my family over this year for the holidays and might do a little post about some of the adventures that we got up to, and also just started my new job today, so that is why my blogging on here has been so absent/sporadic! Because of the crazy start to the New Year, I thought that I would do my yearly round-up and kick off all in one post. I would absolutely love to hear what books you adored in 2018 and what books you are dying to get to in 2019, so please leave a comment when you are done reading about my plans!

5.) A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

It is certainly no accident that there are so many people that absolutely adore this book, and in fact worship it in some ways. I always feel really hesitant when I read a book that has that much hype surrounding it because there is so much that I am expecting and I do not want it to fall short in any capacity. There were a few things in this book that bothered me right off of the bat and I started to get really nervous... What if this book isn't for me?? But soon enough, Backman delved into Ove's past and my heart ballooned. Never have I felt so connected or empathetic for a character so unlike me. I wanted so much for him and reached the level of crying that is so very rare for me when reading. Any book that provokes such a visceral reaction from me deserves just a little bit more hype!

4.) The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this book when I picked it up towards the beginning of the year, and even though I cannot remember all of the details, I certainly remember absolutely flying through the pages and the sense of dread and disturbance that took over my body as I neared the end of the book. I have never read anything quite so odd and unnerving in my life and I absolutely adored it. One thing that I will say is this is not your typical YA book, and you should probably be aware going in that it examines rape culture quite closely. One of my goals is to get as many people as I can to look into this book because it does not get the recognition that it deserves. If male-female double standards and American rape culture absolutely infuriate you, please check this out.

3.) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Between Shades of Gray was a favourite of last year!! Still highly recommend.

Another Historical Fiction makes my highest loved books of the year and I couldn't be more thrilled. Historical Fiction and contemporary have truly taken me on the most wonderful rides of my life the past couple of years. This year the well-beloved novel "All the Light We Cannot See" absolutely wowed me. The funny thing is, I rated this a solid 4-stars originally on Goodreads, but as weeks started to pass and I found myself thinking about the characters continually, I knew I was going to have to revise my rating. The amount of things that this novel taught me about WWll, the emotion that flowed through me the entire time, and the pure genius of the story itself makes this a top pick.

2.) The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X. R. Pan

I finished this book just a little over a month ago, but I know for a fact that it is one of the most impactful stories that I have read in my entire life, let alone this year. This amazing book is packed with culture, amazingly realistic portrayals of mental illness, and a sprinkle of magical realism that will stay with you forever. It follows a young girl whose mother has just committed suicide. She thinks that her mother has turned into a bird so she goes to Thailand to connect to her mother's family, that she did not know, in order to try and find a connection to the bird, and also as a way to work through the grief, guilt, and other emotions that have completely encompassed her life. It will make you cry and will break you in so many ways, but it will also teach hope and love in the darkest of hours.

1.) I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

This book was MASSIVE in the book community a few years back. In fact I added it to my reading list in 2015... one of the few books that had not been read or deleted from that far back. It follows two twins and each twin has a different time line that is a couple years apart from one another. It is truly, TRULY, one of the best-written books I have ever read. When I finished the book I cried because I had to come to terms with the fact that the characters were not even real. Please please read this book and then come hunt me down for an in-depth discussion.

Forgive my ability to format those photos correctly, but these are the 5 books that are top of my list to read going into the new year.

I NEED to finally get to "Jane Eyre", and I really need to get back to reading classics before I completely forget how to.

"Redeeming Love" will be a re-read for me since it's been probably 6 or 7 years since I read it for the first time.

"And the Mountains Echoed" will mean that I have read all of Khaled Hosseini's books, and if it's a 5 Star read, it means that I will probably have to officially call him my favourite author of all time.

BooksandLala named "Girl Made of Stars" her number one book of the year, and if that's not enough to make you want to read it, the synopsis sounds so unique and like it will probably break you into a million pieces.

And if you want to be broken, I have heard that "A Little Life" is the way to go. So break me, 2019.

Have you read and loved any of these books? Let me know!

Happy reading,

A.C. Woodruff


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