2019: 8 Favorite Books

2019: 8 Favorite Books | Organized Mess

I read a lot in 2019 but there were a handful of books in particular that I really enjoyed and loved. I already have a lengthy number of books on my reading list (like, The Witches are Coming by Lindy West and How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell) for 2020 but these were my 8 favorites of 2019, 

8. Marlena by Julie Buntin
Fiction/Young Adult
Favorite Quote: “When you grow up, who you were as a teenage either takes on a mythical importance or it's completely laughable. I wanted to be the kind of person who wiped those years away; instead, I feared, they defined me.”

Marlena is a story based around a 15 year old girl who moves to a new town and falls into the wrong crowd because she's desperate to make new friends. The story is mostly centered around her relationship with her neighbor, Marlena. The book goes back and forth between her teenage and adult years to show how the choices we make when we're young shape us into who we'll become as adults. 

8 Favorite Books I Read in 2019 | Organized Mess

7. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Memoir/Self Help
Favorite Quote: “I know that blowing off a workout, a date, an afternoon to organize your closet, or some previous commitment to yourself doesn’t seem like a big deal—but it is. It’s a really big deal. Our words have power, but our actions shape our lives.”

There were a few parts of this book I was able to relate to more than others. She has a few chapters centered around faith (I'm not religious) and children (I don't have any) so those parts weren't for me but there were plenty of others that were. Each chapter starts with a lie that Rachel Hollis once told herself on why she couldn't be successful and she addresses it head on with actionable items to overcome those lies. She motivates and inspired the reader to get started on their goals and I appreciated that the book included action items. 

6. The Myth of the Nice Girl by Fran Hauser
Self Help/Business
Favorite Quote: “Remember to draw a line between being nice in a strong way and simply being a people pleaser.
Nice: Positive, yet honest and straightforward.
People pleaser: Sweeping things under the rug to avoid making waves.”

This book felt incredibly helpful for me. It focuses on the double standards of women in business. Basically, if you're nice that means you're weak or if you're tough that means you're a bitch. The book focuses on how to play to your strengths and cultivate confidence from your "niceness" and how to push past it when you need to without losing yourself in the process. I think this book can be helpful for anyone, but I definitely recomend it to those who work in a male-dominated workplace or industry.
  8 Favorite Books I Read in 2019 | Organized Mess

5. The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
Favorite Quote: “I think that’s what the people who change our lives always do. They give us permission to be the person we secretly really long to be but maybe don’t feel we’re allowed to be.” 

The Female Persuasion focuses on the main characters life, Greer, from 18 to her early 30's. The book showcases how mentorship can help bring out the best in even the shyest people and how relationships can shape your future. I really enjoyed how this book didn't just focus on Greer's romantic relationships but also her work and friend relationships as well. 
  8 Favorite Books I Read in 2019 | Organized Mess

4. The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
Favorite Quote: “I hope you find a love like that–one that is all-consuming and powerful that makes you feel like you're going slightly mad. And if you do find that love, embrace it. Hold onto it. When you give yourself over to love like that, your heart will get bruised. It will get battered. But you will also feel invincible and infinite.”

A sweet, heartbreaking, sentimental love story between two people who find themselves together on a day that changes everything. If you love love stories, I recomend this one! 
  8 Favorite Books I Read in 2019 | Organized Mess

3. Normal People by Sally Rooney
Favorite Quote: “Generally I find men are a lot more concerned with limiting the freedoms of women than exercising personal freedom for themselves.”

Normal People follows the relationship between the two main characters, Connell and Marianna from high school to young adulthood. They both attempt to live separate lives but always find their way back to one another. This was one that I just couldn't put down. It was smart, funny and sentimental. 
  8 Favorite Books I Read in 2019 | Organized Mess

2. You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein
Favorite Quote: “You know what? You had a rough weekend, but people are basically good. They really are. We’re all just on this crazy blue marble together.” 

You'll Grow Out of It is a collection of true short stories by comedian, Jessi Klein and it is HILARIOUS. Like, laugh out loud funny. And the best part of it? So much of it is relatable. There was a chapter dedicated to Anthropologie and one on Barre and I was almost embarrassed by how strongly I related. But not only were there funny moments, but also real moments like when Jessi writes,  “This is the lament of older women, and ultimately of all old people—that you become invisible. It is especially hard for women, though, whose entire lives have been spent spinning around the idea that if no one is staring at you, you’ve somehow failed.”  
8 Favorite Books I Read in 2019 | Organized Mess

1. Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
Favorite Quote: “We pretend to want things we don't want so nobody can see us not getting what we need.”

This book focuses on the the sex lives of 3 women in different regions of the country. Goodreads describes it as "the deepest nonfiction portrait of desire every written" and as "a groundbreaking portrait of erotic longing in today’s America, exposing the fragility, complexity, and inequality of female desire with unprecedented depth and emotional power." Female desire is a topic that isn't discussed very often, so it was a breath of fresh air that this topic was discussed with so much frankness and openness throughout the book.