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Rachel’s Reads – January 2019

As the hustle and bustle of the holidays comes to an end, it is almost as if you can hear the collective deep breath from everyone. The completely immersive exhale of finally having everything done and attended to never quite feels like it lasts long enough. The world ramps up again with resolutions and normality, and it can feel like you never got a moment to just (insert breathe here) be. At the end of a supremely busy holiday season, and the turbulent months before that, the books I want to curl up with now are the ones that make me feel good. Books that remind me of the beauty of humanity, that make me laugh out loud, or make me want to hug the book after I’m done. If you want a break and some “me” time after all of the greetings of the season, here are some fabulous feel-good reads:

  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
  • Intercepted by Alexa Martin
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  • On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman
  • The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore
  • The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
  • The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
  • The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
  • News of the World by Paulette Jiles (a Missouri native)
  • A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
  • The Windfall by Diksha Basu
  • 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino

Thank you all for the fantastic responses to my last article. It was wonderful to hear about your favorite books of the year. There was a wide variety of responses, and quite a few that made me want to pick them up immediately. The top five reader favorites of 2018 were (in no particular order) The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn, Circe by Madeline Miller, My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger, and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. 

Happy Reading!


Rachel became the publisher of The Independent in March of 2017 and then married her husband Jake in May. Their goldendoodle Einstein joined the family last year. Rachel is an avid reader and loves to share book recommendations. (Don’t miss her column, Rachel’s Reads in the Magazine!) She can always be found with a book nearby, especially while traveling (another of her favorite things).


Bailey Pianalto Photography


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