Audiobooks are exploding and nothing could make this reader happier!  Not only does it make it easier to read more books, I can get a new book almost any time I need it. Whether I download it from one of the library’s apps for free (Libby or Hoopla) or splurge on Audible, a new book to pass the time while I cook or drive is always available. If you need an easy last minute gift or the perfect way to pass the time driving to grandma’s house, these Book of the Month selections from 2019 are exactly what you need on audio.

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Daisy Jones & the Six by Tara Jenkins Reid:Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six: The band’s album Aurora came to define the rock ‘n’ roll era of the late seventies, and an entire generation of girls wanted to grow up to be Daisy. But no one knows the reason behind the group’s split on the night of their final concert at Chicago Stadium on July 12, 1979 . . . until now.– Goodreads.

As a huge fan of super groupie Pamela Des Barres and the Sunset Strip era of the late 60s and early 70s, this book hooked me by page 3. I read it in the paper version first. Then because I loved it so much and with the promise of a FULL cast, I listened to the audio version. Written as a series of interviews, it’s as though this book was meant to be listened to.

 Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams:Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah in this disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different in its place.” –Goodreads

Queenie’s journey to self-awareness while navigating the traps of being a black woman in middle-class London is both humorous and infuriating. It’s hard enough figuring out how you are at 25 without adding in sexism and racism. Entertaining and thought provoking, it will give you something to talk about over lunch with your niece.

A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum: “This debut novel by an Arab-American voice, takes us inside the lives of conservative Arab women living in America. In Brooklyn, eighteen-year-old Deya is starting to meet with suitors. Though she doesn’t want to get married, her grandparents give her no choice. History is repeating itself…” – Goodreads

Three generations of women try to do the best they can for themselves and the ones they love within the boundaries of their culture and their circumstances. Jumping back in forth in time can be a bit confusing at first, but it’s worth staying engaged as the connections become clear. This book gives insight into a culture most Americans aren’t familiar with yet the complexity of families is universal.

 Normal People by Sally Rooney:At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school soccer team while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal.” –  Goodreads

There was a lot of hype about this book when it first came out. I can’t say it lives up to it but I am glad I read it. At first, I wasn’t sure I cared about this strange relationship but I came to see the haunting sweetness of this modern love story.

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There are two Book of the Month selections for 2019 that are on my TBR list (and on hold from the library.)

 The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates:Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.” – Goodreads

I am a huge fan of his non-fiction so I was pleasantly surprised to see Ta-Nehisi Coates making a foray into fiction. I’ve heard this book compared to The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, a book a enjoyed very much. If you’re a fan of magical realism, check out this book with me.

 Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane: “A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the bond between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, the daily intimacies of marriage, and the power of forgiveness” – Goodreads

This debut novel found it’s way on my TBR list via one of my favorite podcasts, What Should I Read Next. If you’ve never listened to WSIRN, the host Anne Bogel is a delightful bookish matchmaker who uses what her guests have read and loved to make recommendations on what they should read next. I can’t listen without adding one or two books to my own TBR list. You might want to tune into the December 31 episode, when my conversation with Anne airs. (Yes, me!) She gives me three picks to make me reading life just a little bit better. (I’ll share my thoughts on the books Anne recommended to me on my own podcast, Fit in 417, in January so subscribe now!)

A membership to Book of the Month or an Audible subscription also make great gifts for any reader, including yourself. If you’d like to give yourself a little something special besides books, I also suggest joining the 12 Days of Fitmas. It’s my free program to give you the tools you need to keep thriving through the holidays. You get one email per day for 12 days with quick workouts, practical nutrition tips and motivational moments. Click HERE to join.


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