Hello, hello! This post is a part of #AMonthofFaves 2019, hosted by Girlsxoxo and Traveling with T. All book title links will take you to their information on Goodreads. While you’re there, go ahead and follow me! (Insert winking emoji here)
Hey, all! Since finishing Nonfiction November, I’ve been thinking about what other writing trains I can hop on, and when I saw this on Orange County Reader’s blog this weekend, I thought it sounded like fun. The original announcement post can be found here at Traveling with T.
That being said, please know that I just CANNOT post every two days. Maybe if my little man were moderately more self-sufficient, I could, but honestly I don’t have the time! So I would like to post once a week combining some of my favorite prompts from that week. We’ll see how successful I’m able to be in this endeavor.
The prompts for the first week of December are Popular Books Worth the Hype (and/or Not Worth the Hype) (Dec. 2), Underrated Books We Think Deserve More Buzz (Dec. 4), and The 2019 Favorite Things Edition (Dec. 6). I’m going to be skipping the third prompt because when I read the first two I was like, HOLY COW, I have lots of thoughts. I’ll only be including books that I read in 2019 in this post, just so I don’t get really crazy and make super long lists. Self-control, Alison, self-control.
Popular Books Worth the Hype (and/or Not Worth the Hype)
Popular Books WORTH the Hype
I like to actually refer to this one as Daisy Jones and the FREAKIN’ Six. That’s how phenomenal this book was. I saw it all over Instagram, and I mean that very literally. It was everywhere. So, I picked it as my BOTM book for March of 2019. I know that it seems cocky to say this since there’s a month left of 2019, but I’m pretty confident this is my favorite book of the year. If you haven’t read it yet, I can’t help you.
I’m glad that I read this book! I didn’t know if I would like it or not because it was mythology, and I was pretty sure that wasn’t my bag (see my paragraph about Norse Mythology in my November Reading Wrap-Up for further information there), but I did like it a lot. Again, it was a BOTM pick for me. The really great thing about Circe was that it was a total departure from basically anything else I read, and everyone needs to read something like that every once in a while.
Are there really still things left to be said about this book? It’s really great. A good plot, well-paced, perfect example of setting. There are characters you will fall in love with and characters that you will absolutely hate. It’s historical, but not SO historical that it doesn’t feel relatable (because let’s be honest, that happens sometimes).
This is a memoir; memoirs are not my favorite genre, so you might be surprised to see it featured on this list– I think that demonstrates for y’all how genuinely great this is. Shapiro is vulnerable and honest about a situation that can only be described as difficult. Furthermore, the subject of the book is really current (DNA testing) when you think about all the sales and deals on things like Ancestry.com and 23andMe that pop up around this time each year. It has universal themes like family and belonging, and I think that makes it possible for any reader to have empathy for Shapiro as she describes her experience.
My heart. This book is really cool. I LOVED Kitchens of the Great Midwest when I read it in January, and his follow-up novel did not disappoint. I don’t think you have to be a beer person to like this (but it definitely doesn’t hurt anything). It’s about the American experience, Midwest living, family, struggle, dreams. There’s really something for everyone. I loved it.
Popular Books NOT Worth the Hype
Just, no. I heard so many things about this book before I read it (and tbh, that probably had an impact on my reading experience), but after reading I just couldn’t understand the hype. It was fine; the twist was cool, yeah. But it DEFINITELY wasn’t the best thriller I’ve ever read. Honestly, I was disappointed. I just kept waiting for something that dropped my jaw, and it didn’t have it…sorry.
I feel really bad that I had such meh feelings in relation to this book. I want to support female, Christian authors, but I didn’t like this. I don’t blame the author or the book, I’m pretty sure I’m the problem. Still, I didn’t like it. I was mostly disappointed because I just wanted to read something fresh and new, a perspective that I hadn’t read before. I didn’t find that here.
Underrated Books We Think Deserve More Buzz
You guys, this is the fun section.
This is such a phenomenal book. I know that this book gets a lot of attention in the niche reading community that adores Rachel Held Evans, but I think it deserves more than that in a reading audience. The book’s tagline says “Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again,” and I agree that this book is capable of doing those things for the reader. This is a book written for those who want to know more about the Bible, and it also explains the Bible is still incredibly applicable today. It discusses the inspiration for the Bible and the historical context of the Bible literature. It’s really good, you guys, and it will give you more than a little food for thought.
I realize it might be a little silly to say that Fredrik Backman isn’t getting enough hype considering that he is one of the best well-known contemporary authors. Still, I think that this particular book deserves a little more love. It’s such a sweet story; the overlying theme of fairy tales is just an absolute home-run for me. I loved that the real-life stories of the characters were told in this way, because it gave it almost a mythical quality. The characters are lovable; it’s a great book. Read it. Oh, also, he does that signature Backman thing of making you cry in a way that doesn’t cause you to resent him later. So good.
Kitchens of the Great Midwest
Again, I think The Lager Queen of Minnesota got a lot of hype when it was released this year, but Kitchens of the Great Midwest (a debut freaking novel, by the way) is equally as good. It’s about food, and not beer, so it might even be more relatable for many of you! In a similar fashion to Lager Queen, it centers around a young girl with a dream, following her as she works toward achieving her goals. That being said, this definitely isn’t a *girl* book. Maybe that’s one of the greatest things about Stradal: he writes relatable, realistic women REALLY well.
I don’t feel like this book had LASTING hype, and it deserved it. I saw it all over instagram for about two weeks, and then zilch. In fact, I was at a crowded library book sale where I saw this book (after I’d already read and owned it, or trust me, I would have snapped it right up) and I watched seven people walk to its table and not pick it up!!! What is that?! This deserved not to be passed over at a library book sale, I can tell you that. It’s a beautiful piece of historical fiction, it really is.
This is such a wonderful book. I run out of original adjectives to describe the books I love– I need to be better. There are just so many fantastic elements to the book (you can see my mini-review in my November Reading Wrap-Up). I guess the best way to sell this to you would be to say that it’s historical fiction unlike anything I’ve ever read. Not far from perfect. You’ll love the main character, and it sucks you right into the setting.
That’s all for now. Until next time, happy reading!