On My Bookshelf

Happy New Year, folks! Once again, I’ve committed to reading more books this year (my resolution is 20 books in 2020). Last year was a great year for me in terms of discovering new books and hitting my reading goal. I followed a variety of online book clubs including Hello Sunshine, Crime by the Book, and Book of the Month Club and reached out to friends who I know are avid readers for suggestions. Looking back, I realized, I read a ton of great books in 2019 that I continue to suggest to others.

If you’re looking to add to your own reading list, consider one of the following. Or, if you have suggestions of your own, leave them in the comments section below!

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

born “I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done in life, any choice that I’ve made. But I’m consumed with regret for the things I didn’t do, the choices I didn’t make, the things I didn’t say. We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most.”

Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime might be one of my favorite books to date. The book is written as a series of personal essays recounting Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid in South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show. Trevor was born to a black Xhosa mother and a white Swiss father at a time when a biracial union was punishable by five years in prison. His memoir tells the story of a defiant young boy who struggles to find himself in a world where he was not meant to exist. He talks about his desperation to fit in as a mix-raced child, his rebellious days as a teenager, and growing up with a devoutly religious mother.

Even though his upbringing was completely different than my own, I found his stories to be not only inspiring but relatable. His narrative is raw, compelling, and even comical. What I loved most about his memoir was his relationship with his mother; a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty and abuse she endured throughout her own life.

If you’re looking for a book that you won’t want to put down, grab a copy of Born a Crime. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.


One Day in December by Josie Silver

december“You tread lightly through life, but you leave deep footprints that are hard for other people to fill.”

Imagine Bridget Jones meets Something Borrowed. That’s One Day in December. Laurie does not believe in love at first sight, not until one day in December when she spots a handsome stranger outside of her bus window. The two share no exchange other than intense eye contact, but Laurie finds herself completely head over heels for this unknown man. For a year, Laurie searches every bus stop and cafe in London hoping to see him again. But she doesn’t. Then, as fate would have it, the two “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend, Sarah, introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. Her boyfriend is Jack, the handsome stranger from the bus.

One Day in December follows Laurie, Jack and Sarah for the next ten years – through friendship, heartbreak, jealousy, and acceptance. I wanted an easy read and this book was exactly what I needed. The story is heartwarming and the characters are likable. I also enjoyed that the chapters alternate between Laurie and Jack’s point of views. If you need a good pick me up, buy One Day in December. 


Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens

craw.jpg“She knew the years of isolation had altered her behavior until she was different from others, but it wasn’t her fault she’d been alone. Most of what she knew, she’d learned from the wild. Nature had nurtured, tutored, and protected her when no one else would.”

Where the Crawdads Sing tells the story of Kya Clark, a recluse, abandoned by her parents, siblings, school system and the entire town  of Barkley Cove, North Carolina. At a young age, learns to live on her own in the local marsh, finding solace in Mother Nature. It is not until a young boy, Chase Andrews, from town befriends Kya that her lonely existence is shaken. But when that same boy is found dead a few years later, the locals immediately suspect Kya, the so-called “Marsh Girl.”

Where the Crawdads Sing is a true coming of age story with a mysterious twist. The narrative alternates between past and present, illustrating both Kya’s evolution into adulthood and the investigation of Chase’s murder.  The story is beautifully written; Delia Owens’ description of the marsh is so detailed that you can see the the book’s setting as you read the novel. I’ll be honest, the story starts off a bit slow but once I got a third of the way in, I could not stop reading.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s