My 5 Star Reads of 2019

The following titles are the ones that deserved my coveted 5 star rating, because they engaged me, excited me, and enlightened me. Will these books be for you? Maybe, maybe not. But I’ll still tell you to read them :).

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I really liked Michelle’s message that she is always “becoming”. She’s always learning and evolving as a woman, a wife, a mother, etc. Her sense of self is inspiring. If you’re a fan of Michelle, then I definitely recommend checking this one out, especially the audiobook as she narrates it herself.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X is the story of Xiamora Batista, a teenager living in Harlem who is navigating what it means to be a woman both under the religious thumb of her mother and within her Harlem neighborhood. When Xiamora discovers slam poetry, her world is changed. Written in prose, this one is a MUST LISTEN TO on audiobook, as Elizabeth Acevedo narrates it herself in the style of slam poetry.

Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman by Lindy West

*@thelibrarylush is my former social media handle

Am I biased because we share the same unique name? Maybe. But Lindy narrates her collection of essays on what it’s like to be big, loud woman in a society that wants to make women small and quiet. Infuriating and enlightening.

Notorious RBG: the Life & Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik

This was a reread for me, but this time I listened to it on audiobook. To be honest, RBG reminds me of my beloved granny with her quiet strength and stoic poise, which is why I think I am so drawn to her. The audiobook was just as good as reading a physical copy, minus missing out on the illustrations and pictures. Still 5 stars.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Bri, a former underground rap legend’s daughter, wants to follow in his footsteps. She has to make it if her family is going to survive. Angie Thomas knocks it out of the park with the writing, and Bahni Turpin knocks it out with the audiobook narration.

Educated by Tara Westover

This one was HYPED UP last year, and with good reason! With a father that was distrustful of the government, Tara Westover grew up lacking the education most people take for granted. Educated is the story of how she overcame her zealous father to work toward and earn the education she so desperately wanted. Engaging and fucking bonkers. *Note to my father: thank you for not being crazy.

How Long ’til Black Future Month by N.K. Jemisin

Exquisite. I don’t really know how else to describe this one. A collection of both science fiction and fantasy short stories that were poignant and mesmerizing. The audiobook featured different narrators for each story, which I think added a nice touch. My first N.K. Jemisin, but it definitely won’t be my last.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Frederik Backman

I absolutely adored Frederik Backman’s A Man Called One, so I knew I had to read anything else he comes out with, and this one did not disappoint. The story of a lonely girl who’s only friend is her granny, and the grand adventure her granny leaves her when she passes. The audiobook narrator does a fantastic job encompassing all of the different characters, and I think my favorite voice was Granny. Definitely made me miss mine.

Invisible Women: Data Bias In a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Perez

As my Goodreads review says, “fuck the patriarchy”. But seriously, this is research on how women, HALF OF THE POPULATION, are ignored when it comes to science, technology, government, architecture, healthcare, etc. Insightful and INFURIATING.

Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments! And if you would like to see what I’m reading throughout the year, let’s be friends on Goodreads!

Until next time!