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Rachel’s Reads – December 2019

As the year wraps up and there are gifts to be wrapped, I thought it would be fun to continue the tradition started last year to share a few of my favorite books of the year. These were books published in 2019 and several have made it into my giving list. I hope that there will be something to add to everyone’s winter wish list!

Switching it up from last year, I decided to have poetry be its own category rather than forcing it to fit in the non-fiction category. Below are a few of my favorites because, as always, it was hard for me to narrow it down.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn MuirBlack Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer
Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino
Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang
Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

The Crazy Bunch by Willie Perdomo
The Octopus Museum by Brenda Shaughnessy
The Tradition by Jericho Brown

As usual, there are many books that I didn’t get to this year, and after the wonderful response from our subscribers last year with their favorite books, I would love to continue that tradition as well. Please email me or comment on the online with your favorites. I look forward to sharing a list of our subscribers’ choices for the best books of 2019 in my January column.

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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