Favorite books of 2019

I am a voracious reader and read over 50 books in 2019. Some books are for research for my own writing. Other books were a selection for book clubs I belong to.

I have a picked just a few favorites as I do every year for you to consider if you are looking for your next good read. I review every book I read and if you want to follow my reviews throughout the year, be sure to click “follow” on my Goodreads profile and you will be notified of each review shortly after I post one.

 

This Tender LandThis Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The author describes the book as a tale of four orphans who set sail together on an odyssey. And what an odyssey it was! I was hooked from the beginning. Each part was unforgettable. My heartstrings were often pulled hard as I became attached to each character. I covered my eyes or cried a few tears or cheered wildly. The author wrote with such compassion for humanity but showed the dark side too. A thread of hope was present throughout, which I appreciated.

 

EducatedEducated by Tara Westover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book will probably be one of the best of the year and I read an average of a book a week. I experienced a wide range of emotions. Unchecked and untreated mental illness coupled with physical and emotional abuse were horrific. Not allowing school or medical care was incomprehensible. Needless suffering and isolation from the rest of the world was shocking. It was also compelling, inspiring and hopeful that anyone could escape such conditions and thrive. Bravo Tara Westover!

 

Where the Crawdads SingWhere the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this story! It was written with vivid words that brought the marsh girl and her surroundings to life. Suspenseful to the end. Even though I have finished the book, I still keep thinking about it days afterwards. Deserving of acclaim and I wholeheartedly give it a thumbs up.

View all my reviews

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Lighter Living: Declutter. Organize. Simplify.

Lighter LivingLighter Living is now available.

Colorado book stores that carry Lighter Living:

Breck Books and Boulder Bookstore.

You may also buy on IndieBound.

Lighter Living is also in paperback or Kindle on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

You may find professional reviews on BlueInk Reviews as well as Foreword Reviews.

Clearing clutter is much more than cleaning out a closet crammed with things or getting rid of the contents of boxes piled in your basement, attic, or storage unit. Most of us have unfinished business that might make us feel like we walk around dragging a heavy ball with a chain connected to our ankle. When you declutter and possibly downsize, you can free yourself of weighty matters that tie you down physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

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Meaningful End-of-Life Books

I never thought I would enjoy reading books about death. I participate in a virtual book group entitled A Year of Reading Dangerously-Exploring Death and The Afterlife Through Books (we do not meet in person). Each month we read a book that has something to do with dying, death, the afterlife, grief and other related aspects of the end-of-life. At the end of the month, the moderator interviews the author and listeners have a chance to ask questions. Recordings of the interview remain accessible to those who missed the call. There is also a Facebook group associated with the book club. [Read more…]

Tips for Writing Book Reviews

It is a gift to authors when you write positive, honest book reviews. A bad review stings as well. Be thoughtful in what you say in your review. If you only slam the book, that does not help the author improve. If there is one thing you can praise even if you did not like the book, be sure to mention it.

In writing a positive review, here are some tips:

Think about and then write some stand out points you gleaned from the book. What section was most valuable to you and why? Did you become inspired to take some type of action as a result of what you read? Did the book provoke emotion in you? Why might someone else enjoy or benefit from the book? Be specific; vague statements of praise are rarely helpful to discerning, prospective readers.

Make sure you review more than one author or Amazon will think you are biased. I know two people who were banned for life from writing future reviews on Amazon because they had not written reviews for more than one particular person. Share the love!

Most reviews can be kept to 2-5 sentences, which does not take much time. You can write a much longer review, but it may not be necessary and be considered a rant. [Read more…]

A Chance to Say Goodbye: Reflections on Losing a Parent

A Chance to Say Goodbye: Reflections on Losing a Parent is available on AmazonBarnes and Noble and Indie Bound.

Gold Winner in “Aging Family” and Honorable Mention in “Life Journey” Human Relations Indie Book Awards, 2017. Bronze Winner in “Mature Living/Aging” Living Now Book Awards, 2017. Finalist in “Health: Aging/50+” Best Book Awards, 2017. Finalist in “Death and Dying” National Indie Excellence Awards, 2017.

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Throughout the years, Lisa and her dad had a tenuous relationship. In her youth, she was disappointed and angered by his behavior, distancing herself from him and blaming him for the sudden end to their intact comfortable family life. As a young adult and after her father’s sudden heart attack, Lisa was given a second chance to heal their relationship. Over the next three decades they became closer, enjoying time together, including travel. When her dad entered his eighties, and while still raising her own children, Lisa found herself unprepared for his steady health decline. Suddenly, she was thrust into the role of overseeing his care as he began to experience increasing disability and the beginnings of dementia.

Not having prepared for or anticipated such a role, Lisa floundered as she attempted to address his ever-changing situation. The closeness and healing they had achieved was challenged as her father resisted conversations about his failing health and his care, exacerbated by a western medical system that fell short to prepare them for the end of his life.

A moving tribute to a remarkable man and a daughter’s experience of losing her dad, A Chance to Say Goodbye gives rise to reflections about what is important in living and dying.

Purchase online Amazon

Purchase online Barnes and Noble

Praise for A Chance to Say Goodbye:

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