What I Read in 2019 (And My Top Five Books)

At the end of 2018, I set myself the goal of reading 30 books in the following 12 months. Although I’m not quite going to hit that target, I’m glad that I made reading a priority again this year.

It’s encouraged me to put down my phone more often and get lost in a book, to find little pockets of time to really focus on something.

As I’m reflecting on what I’ve achieved this year, I thought I would share a list of the books that I read in 2019 – you might find some interesting titles that you’d like to pick up in 2020!

I’ve also picked out my 5 favourite reads from this list and shared why they were so important, captivating or eye-opening to me.

Have you read any of these books before – and what did you think? Or are you planning to read any on the list? Let me know in the comments below!

My 2019 Reading List

  1. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
    (I’ve mentioned before but I begin almost every year with this book!)
  2. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
  3. The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown
  4. Lost Connections by Johann Hari
  5. The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris
  6. Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin
  7. The Pyschopath Test by Jon Ronson
  8. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
  9. DO Pause by Robert Poynton
  10. Them: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson
  11. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
  12. DO Fly by Gavin Strange
  13. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
  14. Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin
  15. I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell
  16. Come Closer by Sara Gran
  17. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle (Currently reading)
  18. How to Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price (Currently reading)
  19. Plant-Based Beauty by Jess Arnaudin (Currently reading/using)
  20. So Sad Today by Melissa Broder (Currently reading)

My Top 5 Reads in 2019

  1. Lost Connections by Johann Hari

    Lost Connections gave me a whole new perspective on mental health and how we understand the causes of mental illness. Johann Hari explores a much wider understanding of how different elements of life and society impact our feelings of wellness, other than the traditional messages we’re told about MH.

    It helped me to have a much clearer and more objective view of my own, and others’, mental health and the things that I could do to help myself.

    It encouraged me to make positive changes to my lifestyle, rather than just sitting back and accepting that my mental health was a biological process that I have little control over.

  2. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

    As soon as I started this book, I could not stop talking about it to anyone (and everyone) who would listen. It’s such an interesting, accessible look at how and why we sleep. You don’t need to be scientifically minded to understand this book as the writing style is very clear and engaging.

    If you want to understand more about the inner workings of the mind, body and how they relate to sleep (as well as advice on how to improve your own sleep habits) then I highly recommend picking this book up.

  3. Come Closer by Sara Gran

    This is a regular re-read for me. Once I pick up this book, I find it very hard to put down again.

    The story follows Amanda through some odd changes in her thoughts, personality and life that become more insidious as time goes on.

    It’s a really atmospheric and dark book with an ominous, creeping sense of impending danger – which is what I really love about it.

    The simple style and short chapters lends itself so well to the growing sense of unease that isn’t immediately apparent but becomes increasingly obvious as you continue through the story.

  4. I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell

    This is a beautiful and breathtaking look back on the staggering number of ‘brushes with death’ that Maggie has encountered in her life.

    Not only did I love the poetic, flowing way in which Maggie writes but it was incredibly interesting to understand how someone can move through such potentially, or indeed, traumatic events and come out the other side with a grasp on how they have impacted their wider life.

    As each chapter goes on you’ll find yourself questioning how ALL of this could happen to one person! It’s not a bleak read, but neither is it overtly life affirming in a sickly-sweet way. This is a reflective book that highlights the quiet power of human resilience and the will to survive.

  5. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

    I started my year with this book and I can confidently say that it’s stuck with me throughout the whole year. Although I love the self-help genre, it can be difficult for every idea or suggestion to really stick with you and cause positive action in your life but TMM has definitely done just that.

    Far from just helping me to wake up earlier in the mornings, the book’s ideas have helped me to be much more proactive in making positive changes to my daily routine and, as a result, the rest of my life. Even when I have slipped up, as people often do, I’ve been able to get back on track thanks to the simple but effective steps.

    If you’re looking for something to help you kick-start a positive attitude to your day (or your 2020!) then I recommend picking this up for a great January read.

What was your favourite read of 2019? Are there any books you think I would enjoy reading in 2020?

Share you thoughts and recommendations below. I’m always looking for books to add to my TBR list!

6 Comments

  1. I have read “Why We Sleep” this year. Like you, I found it very interesting and accessible. It definitely emphasises clearly all the many reasons we as a whole society should prioritise sleep more. Both for ourselves and for our kids.

    I have been creating the habit of waking up earlier for a while now and found it has had a great impact on my day and my life. I plan to read the Miracle Morning in 2020 and your review has inspired me to definitely prioritise it for the beginning of the year.

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