One of the many benefits of no longer juggling running a business and selling a business, is I have a much improved work/life balance. I’m still covered in toddler slobber most of the time (don’t want to give you an unrealistic vision of a glossy blow dry, hot yoga and zen) but it does mean I can READ BOOKS.

And what a relief that is. I’ve missed the escapism. And my vocabulary has definitely suffered as a result (not to mention the mostly talking to myself or a 20 month old in my previous work-from-home scenario). I’m sharing my best books of 2019, please do share yours in the comments section below.

My first recommendation is The Cactus by Sarah Haywood. It’s not new – you’ve probably seen it recommended before. But if you haven’t read it yet please do. It’s very VERY witty. And I much prefer it when the heroine is sharp as hell and knows what she wants vs overtly romantic/a victim of her own naivety yada yada.

The book follows the story of 45 year old Susan Green who finds herself in a predicament she was not expecting, and certainly hadn’t planned for. Mostly it is about needing to be in control but circumstances dictate that is no longer an option. It is very astute whilst being heart-warming and unique. Read it.

Next I would recommend When You Read This by Mary Adkins. The plot is centred around a young woman who dies of cancer at 33. It is not particularly maudlin however, and had I not picked it up from the “returns” section of the library in a rush without actually reading what it was about, I may have decided against it, given the subject matter.

I’m so glad I didn’t, it managed to be extremely moving whilst making me laugh out loud. The format is quite different to anything else I have read – the story is mostly told via emails between the heroine’s work colleagues and elder sister and moves effortlessly between the past and the present. I read it in two sittings and I know it is one of those poignant tales that will stay with me for a long long time.

Make the most of every day. None of us are around for ever. Take the risks. If it doesn’t work for you change it. Growing old is a privilege denied to many.

I ordered The Man That Didn’t Call because I had seen so much online praise. I couldn’t help thinking “Perhaps he just wasn’t that into you pet?” but I was pleasantly surprised by the engaging story telling and unexpected twist. It is a very modern love story, with relatable lead characters and absolutely zero cliche or twee.

I found the PR/the marketing associated with this novel didn’t fit with just how entertaining it was “OMG the best love story of the year” and so on. Ignore all that, it’s definitely worth a read.

Best Books 2019?

Please do leave any recommendations for your pick of the best books 2019 in the comments box below, and if you haven’t joined your local library as yet then please please do! I’ve put amazon links in this feature so you can easily read more about the books I’ve mentioned but I’m sure the vast majority of libraries will carry these titles.

You can read more about my personal library adventures in For The Love of library books.

I have recently borrowed Letters To iris, only a few pages in but I’m throughly intrigued so far.