*Due to some sort of technology error, the full post did not save when it was published. If you saw this post previously and it didn’t seem complete, then it disappeared, no worries, it’s now been fixed!
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes – My love for this book is overflowing. I re-read it almost every January, as if it’s a manifesto. Given to me by my sister because of my Grey’s Anatomy obsession, I honestly had no clue what was hiding in the pages. Tales of Meredith and Christina? Olivia’s last Scandal? Not exactly…. I wouldn’t classify this as a self-help book. Instead it is part biography, part self-discovery journey told in the witty and laugh out loud funny perspective of Ms. Rhimes. She’s the Thursday night mogul of network television and the internal battles she’s fought are surprising, reassuring, and incredibly relatable. Every awkward, nerdy, oboe-playing, bookworm should pick this one up.
Becoming by Michelle Obama – January of 2019 was a rough time in my life. Chosen as my companion on a road trip, this book gave me both hope and strength. I chose the Audible version, read by the former First Lady herself, due to the number of hours I’d be spending in the car. So when I say this book was my companion, it truly felt as if she was with me in the passenger seat of my coupe. While her childhood memories and moments as First Lady were intriguing, it was her path as a young female professional that I found to be the most inspirational. Proving that a person’s passions can change over time, and you can be successful down many career paths in the same lifetime. If you didn’t read this last year, please do yourself a favor and pick this one up. Any time I have a doubt or start to second-guess myself, I can hear Michelle’s voice ringing in my ears. Every young career woman needs this on her bookshelf.
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes – May I just say this is one of two books that made me cry in the last five years. Deemed an historical fiction work, it speaks of an abused woman who finds solace in her new job as one of the pack horse librarians. While it’s set in 1930’s Kentucky, its theme of women solidarity is one we certainly should take to heart today. Because of the mountain that is my TBR (to be read) pile, I also chose the Audible version for this novel. The narrator, Julia Whelan, did a phenomenal job with the characters, bringing the characters to life. Thanks to her, plenty of drivers in my town probably think I’m the crazy crying driver. It was beautifully done.
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis – what can I possibly say about this book in order for you to understand its life changing importance? Little girls are raised differently than little boys, which causes women to behave and act a certain way that is different than men. Whether it’s in the workplace or the household, these difference often make us, as women, feel like we’re not enough. Not enough for our boss, not enough for the PTA, our spouse, the kids, our church groups, the list goes on and on. Rachel dives into all the LIES that we grow up believing and dismantles them using her own history. This book belongs on EVERY woman’s bookshelf and honestly, men need to read it too.
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton – This is a love story, although I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as a romance novel because that makes me think of those trashy romance novels my grandmother used to read. Putting this book in a category like that would do it an injustice. Flipping between two time periods, this is the tale of two women whose lives were forever changed by the Cuban Revolution and its aftermath. While this is a fictional work, there’s no doubt that real life details pour from its pages. This certainly opened my eyes about a piece of history where I didn’t know many details, and gave a new perspective to many current event issues such as immigration and refugees. I’ve now added many of Ms. Cleeton’s other works to my shelves.
**I realize I’ve listed out two of Reese Witherspoon’s book picks in my list, so some of you may be thinking, ‘well she just copied that list!’; however, I would argue that while I love and adore almost everything on she releases, the two listed on this blog were my absolute favorites from previous years. That is truly saying something because included were books like From Scratch by Tembi Locke and The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott swoon…. Don’t know what book list I’m referring to? Go check out Hello Sunshine where a variety of genres by almost all women authors are listed!