If you didn’t already know, I am an AVID reader. I love books. My bookshelves are full, and I think Ryan might lose his mind if I go to another library book sale and bring home MORE books.
My goal for 2019 is to read at least 50 new books. It’s almost February, and I’ve already read four books. I need to read about four each month to meet my goal, but I also need to have at least started to read a fifth book by the end of each month in order to meet my goal. Phew! That’s a lot of reading!
I read a variety of books—Romance/Women’s Fiction, YA Fantasy, Dystopian, Historical Fiction… you name it, and I’ve probably read a few books in that genre. I also read a lot of Indie authors because I’m going to be an Indie author here in a few months, so I like to support others!
Today, I want to share some of my FAVORITE books/authors with you, as well as some books I’ve read recently that are amazing!
First of all, I love any book by Mary Alice Monroe, Mary Kay Andrews, Nancy Thayer, or Elin Hildebrand. These women write “beach reads”, which are what I love the most (they’re about 60% of what I read and they’re also what I write). Anything that reminds me of the beach makes me happy, and I love the human emotion that these stories evoke. Mary Alice is a “local” author who lives on Isle of Palms, and I’ve met her many times. I’ve also recently discovered Hannah McKinnon who also writes “beachier” books, and I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read of her work so far.
For Young Adult reads, I’m a fan of Veronica Roth, Sarah J Maas, Stephanie Garber, and Holly Black’s books. All of them know how to create stories that draw you in and keep you turning the pages as quickly as you can.
I don’t read a TON of historical fiction, but Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is hands down some fantastic writing. That woman has spun such an incredible story and created such vivid, beautiful characters with so much depth and emotion. I’ve read the first three books in the series, but I do own them all. (Also, I recommend watching Outlander on Starz. It’s so, so good.)
I’m also a huge fan of classic authors like Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Louisa May Alcott, and Lucy Maud Montgomery. Their books are timeless, especially Little Women. I’ve read it at least twenty times, but I try to read it at least ONCE a year.
Wow. I had way more author recommendations than I realized! Before I wrap this post up, I do want to share several books I’ve read recently that have just blown me away.
- Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. I decided to read this book because I knew I was going to hear Wingate speak at a local event, and I wanted to know more about her work. This story was heart-wrenching and beautiful, and I simply couldn’t put it down. The story is fiction based on the true story of Georgia Tann, a woman in Tennessee who ran a “children’s home” where she essentially kidnapped and stole children away from their families and “adopted” them out, while pocketing the majority of the money for herself and treating these children abusively from 1920-1950. It’s a sad story, but it’s definitely a story that needs to be told, and Wingate did it beautifully.
- One Day In December by Josie Silver. My coworker gave me this Bridget Jones’ Diary-esq book for Christmas, and I finished it within a few days. It was funny, heartfelt, and an uplifting story about how sometimes life all goes all wrong only to work out in the end.
- Caraval by Stephanie Garber. If you’re into YA Fantasy at all (one of the most underrated genres, in my opinion), you need to read this book. I got swept away by the world of magic and intrigue, and I kept trying to figure out the mystery of it all. This book has it all: romance, mystery, magic, well-described gowns… I LOVED IT! Oh, and did I mention that I met Stephanie Garber at YALL FEST in Charleston in November? And got my copy of the book signed? Cause I did!
Next up on my reading list: Beach Music by Pat Conroy, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, and A Court of Mist & Fury by Sarah J Maas.
I hope you enjoyed my recommendations, and if you have a question about any of the authors or books, or you want to share your favorite authors with me, be sure to comment below! Also, would y’all be interested in reading book reviews from time-to-time? Be sure to let me know!