There is nothing I love more than a surprising read. You pick up a book not expecting much and you are sucked into a special relationship with the characters or the story and even when you finish, you just are so thankful that this book came into your life. Am I overplaying this? Hell no. Thanks to Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm I am inspired to share my Top Five Surprising Reads of 2019. Each one of them came out of nowhere and became so special to me.
Atomic Habits by James Clear was a book I picked up from the library on a whim. I think it was the “tiny changes, remarkable results,” that caught my eye. I did not expect this little book of nonfiction to dramatically alter the way I approach every habit in my life. The idea that all I needed to do was 1% better than yesterday has literally transformed my habits. I credit it with helping me learn to row long distances, play musical pieces I thought might be outside my abilities, and even for being a NaNoWriMo Winner this year. This was my most surprising nonfiction read of the year.
The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson is not a book that I would normally pick up. I wanted to read more variety in 2019 and it was highly recommended by my Mom. This book…well, this book had me on the edge of my seat. In fact, my smart watch kept asking me if I was working out because my pulse was skyhigh! I was not surprised, I was shocked by how much I enjoyed this book.
Star Wars, The Princess, The Soundrel and the Farm Boy by Alexandra Bracken was my most surprising audiobook of 2019. I love Star Wars. All Star Wars fans are just trying to make it through until we can see The Rise of Skywalker. I got the book to keep me company during my commute and found it to be the most beautiful retelling of A New Hope.
Yes Please, by Any Poehler, I must admit, makes me feel guilty. What is it about this actress that I ignored for so long? I love Tiny Fey. I adore Mindy Kahling. Why did I not notice Amy? I listened to this book after hearing people rave (ridiculously) about Parks and Rec and I got it, really, to provide myself with more reasons to not watch the show. Instead, I became a die-hard Poehler fan and obsessed with Parks and Rec. To say I was surprised by how much I liked the book, the actress, and the show is an understatement.
Illuminae has been floating around the edges of my reading and writing for some time now. People are always talking about it. So, I guess I expected it to be good but not live up to the hype. Oh man. I was wrong. This book (the whole trilogy really) raced right to the top of my favorite books of 2019 in such a fantastic way. I read it in October and I am still thinking about the stories and the characters. Whew!
I’d like to give Dot Journaling, A Practical Guide by Rachel Wilkerson Miller, an honorable mention. It’s a really cute cover and a funny read but I was really struck by how much it changed my journaling. Now I am unafraid to just write in the darn bullet journal already. I really never thought I would be so free with it and that is, honestly, surprising to me everyday.
Tell me, please!
What are your most surprising reads of 2019?