what i’ve been reading in 2019

As I’ve done for the last several years, I’ve tried to capture the essence of each of the books I read this year in as few words as possible.

  1. Far from the Tree (fiction, by Robin Benway): separated biological siblings discover a deeper understanding of family
  2. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry (fiction, by Fredrik Backman): a precocious 7-year-old goes on a modern fairy tale scavenger hunt adventure, devised by her eccentric granny
  3. The Panama Hat Trail (non-fiction, by Tom Miller): following the entire process of making a Panama hat leads to travel all over Ecuador, and memorable stories about the people and places involved
  4. The Great Alone (fiction, by Kristin Hannah): a family moves to Alaska to live off the land, but the father’s post-POW mental state declines and everyone’s love and survival is tested
  5. Educated (non-fiction, by Tara Westover): after an unconventional and sometimes dangerous upbringing in a large rural Mormon family, a young woman tries to merge her insights from a prestigious education with her conflicted love for her family
  6. Hate Hurts: How Children Learn and Unlearn Prejudice (non-fiction, by Caryl Stern-LaRosa and Ellen Hofheimer Bettman): information and advice from the Anti-Defamation League to help parents to understand and stop prejudice in their children, with age-specific tips
  7. James and the Giant Peach (fiction, by Roald Dahl): the title really says it all
  8. A Place for Us: A Novel (fiction, by Fatima Farheen Mirza): Indian Muslim immigrant parents raising their kids in California face unique cultural challenges over the years
  9. We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World (non-fiction, by Malala Yousafzai): Malala shares heartbreaking and inspiring life stories from refugees around the world
  10. The Bluest Eye (fiction, by Toni Morrison): racist culture ruins a girl’s life
  11. A Street Cat Named Bob (non-fiction, by James Bowen): a street cat wanders into the author’s apartment building and helps him turn his life around

Some books on deck for 2020 are White Fragility (by Robin DiAngelo) and The Bean Trees (by Barbara Kingsolver). Do you have any book recommendations?

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