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The only other thing that brings me more peace and joy than writing, is reading. At the beginning of 2018 I read somewhere that the most successful people read about 60 books a year. Since I had a library card, an iPad, and about a 35 minute commute each way, I thought that was a pretty good goal for me to set as well. Unfortunately my library card expired in October, and I didn’t make much effort to go and get it renewed. (Side note: NYC library really needs get all the way up with the times and allow me to simply renew digitally).
Because of this I only got about half way through my goal. To be fair, I probably wouldn’t have hit the 60 books by December 31st, since I my pace slowed down greatly during the summer time. Even though I didn’t reach my goal, the 30 or so books I read this year weren’t all life changing, but definitely interesting in their own right. I increased my vocabulary, I learned new fun facts to share with my friends. But most importantly I was able to travel to new worlds and temporarily escape my smelly train commute. Reading places me in the minds of the authors and gives me so many different refreshing perspectives on all types of topics.
I’m excited to dive into a plethora of new books in 2019, so I decided to share the top 12 I’m most looking forward to reading (as soon as I get my library card re-activated). And if you’re looking to randomly get me a gift… because why not… I’d love hard copies of these books (or any books really) to add to my new library in progress.
Must Read Books To Read In 2019
1. “Becoming”- Michelle Obama: Do I even need to really sell this to you? I’m actually currently reading this book right now on my commute to and from work, and it is already changing my life. I was fortunate enough to go and see her at the Barclays Center in NYC during her book tour. It was with out a doubt, one of the best talks I’ve ever attended, and the book is one of the best I’ve read. And I promise I’m not just saying that because I’m love everything about her, it’s so well written and filled with nuggets of truth that are deeply hidden within you and dying to come out.
2. “Well Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves”– Gloria Edim: If I wasn’t already following this Instagram page, I still would have been drawn to this book simply by the title. This book is a curated conglomerate of amazing black women writers. It is an inspiring collection of essays that I fully intend on incorporating in my classroom for the sprig semester as the side by side supplement to “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas.
3. The Testaments- Margaret Atwood: If you’re a fan of “The Handmades Tale” series on HULU or a fan of the first book by the same title, than you are in for a nice little treat. Margaret Atwood is releasing the followup novel in September 2019 (though you can pre-order your copy on Amazon now) set three years after the ending of the first book. It only took her 25 years to continue the story of Gilead but we will certainly be waiting for it at the door with open arms.
4. On The Come Up- Angie Thomas: If you loved “The Hate U Give” than this text will be right up your alley. Angie Thomas is releasing her Sophomore book in February 2019 (also available for pre-sale purchase on Amazon) focusing on another young powerful female protagonist.
5. Training School For Negro Girls- Camille Acker: I don’t know when I fell in love with this particular type of genre, but now that I’ve discovered my love for it I just can’t get enough. This text does not follow one story line/ one character instead provides short bursts of different scenes with different women handling the variants that life throws at them. I enjoy that we don’t get 100% clear endings to their story line, as it leaves so much up for interpretation and sparks great amounts of conversation.
6. Things To Make And Break- May Lan Tan: This book was randomly recommended to me by the library app, and I was so happy that I downloaded it to my iPad. It is so well written, and disturbing and heartbreaking and wonderful all at the same time. In similar style/fashion to Training School for Negro Girls, as you will encounter a character in one chapter and never hear of them again for the entirety of the book. You will not get much back story, and if you do it will be just enough to tantalize and stimulate your interest only to leave you confused and baffled by the end. All of this which I loved!
7. Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay- Phoebe Robinson: After reading her first book “You Can’t Touch My Hair” this year, I was enthralled by what this dope queen had to say in further texts. She was one of my key motivators to finishing my own book (which hopefully will be out in the early part of 2020… pray for me ya’ll). So when I saw that her second book was coming out I was excited to see what more she had to say, and how many times I’d be cracking up on the train ride.
8. Good Day Goals- Randi Rossario: I started following Randi on Instagram a few months ago when I stumbled upon her randomly and couldn’t stop watching her daily segments of real and authentic advice. Then come to find out that she packaged her good day goals into a nice neat book that I could read on the train and I was sold. Her positivity is refreshing without being over bearing and as the self proclaimed Millennial In Debt I am happy to find the Millennial Life Coach!
9. Step Up, Step Out And Shine- Africa Miranda: I met Africa Miranda back in 2014 when she moved back to NYC and I’ve been a fan of hers ever since. She is such a positive light in the blogosphere but she is much more than that. Her book shows what it means to step into who you are no matter how messy it may be and develop all aspects of who you are! That is by far one of the best and hardest lessons to learn!
10. If Beale Street Could Talk- James Baldwin : I know the movie came out and has received great acclaim, but I like to read the book first before I watch any cinemographic representation. So yes I know I’m a little late, but this is absolutely on the top of my list. I’ve been reading James Baldwin for the last two years and it’s not something easy for me to dive into, but once I do I’m captivated and want to engage in all sorts of conversation. I hope this text does the same!
11. The Source of Self Regard- Toni Morrison : I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, so I usually judge them by their titles. This title alone was enough to be captivating for me. Beyond that fact it’s Toni Morrison, who I’ve also struggled to read for as long as I can remember. This text however offers something different than what I’m accustomed to reading form Morrison. This text is a nonfiction source of what happens to us when we question our morals. With several essays and speeches I am excited to grapple with the questions this is sure to create.
12. Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History- Blair Imani: If this title is not enough to grab you the cover sure should! This is a celebration of everyone involved that takes us from our past all the way to our present. Seventy people are celebrated within the text and their contribution to liberation and more.
What books are on your list for 2019? Share them with me so I can add them to mine as well!
Until next time,
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.