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  • Writer's picturemelindabrasher

Highlights of my 2019 Reading List

Here are the best books I read in 2019, based purely on my enjoyment

1) The Other Side of Lost, by Jessi Kirby, a YA novel about a girl who takes a day hike to honor her dead cousin and ends up thru-hiking the John Muir trail. Made me simultaneously want to try and not want to try a long-distance backpacking trip.

2) The Simple Art of Flying, by Cory Leonardo, an absolutely beautiful story about an unhappy anthromorphic parrot trying to protect his sister. Probably my favorite book of the year. It's a middle-grade novel (yes, I've been reading a lot of them), but totally appropriate for adults.

3) Timmy Failure: Mistakes were Made, by Stephan Pastis, a funny middle grade novel about a hilariously inept neighborhood detective kid. I read this in my quest for other books to recommend to my library kids who love Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It really fit the bill.

4) Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World, by Vordak the Incomprehensible (and Scott Seegert). A very funny middle grade primer on how to be the bad guy and deal with pesky superheroes. Very tongue-in-cheek.

5) Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. No real plot arc, but absolutely engrossing. I loved learning about how they did daily tasks back then.

6) The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah, a darkly beautiful character-driven novel that takes place in Alaska and REALLY takes place there.

7) Spaceman of Bohemia, by Jaroslav Kalfař, a literary sci-fi story set both on a solitary near-future space journey and in small-town Bohemia around the Velvet Revolution. A really great book for someone interested in Czechia, as I am.

8) Denali's Howl, by Andy Hall, about the worst climbing disaster on America's highest peak. I don't know if this really counts, since I listened to it as an audio book, but it sent me off on a quest for more mountaineering books/ audio books / documentaries.

9) Good Morning, Midnight, by Lily Brooks Dalton, about astronauts who come back to an Earth gone dark. It's great literary science fiction…despite its too-abrupt ending.

10) Packing for Mars, by Mary Roach. Non-fiction about space travel. Both educational and funny.

11) The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome; A handbook for time travelers, by Jonathan W Stokes, a funny, interesting, and accessible way to get history into the brains of kids.

12) A Dog's Purpose, by W. Bruce Cameron, a sweet book about a dog and his people—told from the dog's perspective. Okay, I think I was just in the perfect mood for this, but I absolutely loved it.

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