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8 Books You Should Pick Up | The Best Of My Goodreads 2019

Goodreads Picks 2019
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Firstly, I’d like to congratulate myself on exceeding my self-set Goodreads challenge for 2019. My original goal may have been a mere 12 books, but that’s only because I wanted to be realistic. I used to be able to read that many in a month, but over the last few years reading for pleasure has sadly taken a major backseat. Once I started consciously making time for it again, I realised how much I’d missed it.

It turns out that I’ve read a total of 17 books throughout 2019, with 5 days to spare. Some of these have entertained cosy nights in whilst others have tucked up neatly into hand luggage, accompanying me on my travels to Paris or the Dominican Republic. If you’re in need of some literary inspiration then look no further. All of the below are worth picking up and adding to your own Goodreads ‘want to read’.


When Barack Obama was announced as the new American president, I remember feeling triumphant. As a white girl from the British countryside, I had no real right or reason to be moved, yet I was. I’m neither qualified or relevant enough to talk about why I think that the Obamas are one of the best first families to grace the Whitehouse. I can, however, recommend this book.

‘I’ve been lucky enough now in my life to meet all sorts of extraordinary and accomplished people. What I’ve learned is this: all of them have had doubters. Some continue to have roaring, stadium-sized collections of critics and naysayers who will shout I told you so at every little misstep or mistake. The noise doesn’t go away, but the most successful people I know have figured out how to live with it, to lean on the people who believe in them, and to push onward with their goals.’

If I was asked to name an inspiring woman, Michelle Obama would be one of the first names to come to mind. The story she tells comes across as incredibly genuine yet equally empowering and she touches on so many important topics. From gun violence, education, and race issues, to the difficulties of being a hard-working mother and wife to both a presidential candidate and then to a president.

If you’re looking for an interesting, thought-provoking and inspiring read, pick this up.

Michelle Obama, Becoming
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Memoirs from an ex-NHS Junior Doctor. Despite a serious aversion to all things medical, I was utterly gripped (and shockingly not nauseated) by this book. It’s a startlingly honest account of working for the NHS and it manages to tease out almost every emotion.

Heartbreaking, hilarious, wince-inducing and outrageous are all words that immediately come to mind. This Is Going To Hurt also acts as a major reality check to anyone who woks typical hours at a typical job.

I found his humour a little try-hard to begin with but soon warmed to him. A read I’d recommend to absolutely anyone, particularly those who are interested in politics surrounding the NHS or medicine as a discipline.



After hearing how much I loved This Is Going To Hurt, my parents gifted me this for my birthday. Initially, I was a little worried that the whole medial memoirs trend may be a ‘once you’ve read one, you’ve read them all’ type deal. I was wrong.

This offers a whole other perspective. Touching on sexism in the workplace amongst other important topics, I enjoyed this in a completely different way. There’s a little less humour and a little more of life pre-NHS career, the decisions leading up to it and personal life.



I’m surprised at myself that this is the only thriller I’ll be recommending as the best of my Goodreads 2019. I read a few, but I didn’t like the others quite enough to actively recommend them. This, however, had me gripped from the first page to the last. I felt that every character was relevant and every plot twist came as a surprise.



One of the best books I’ve read. Ever.

If you already follow my Goodreads, you may have picked up on my new found love for Jojo Moyes. I’ve read a few of her books now and the rest are on my TBR list. The Girl You Left Behind is entirely unique and the effortless transitions between two different time periods are so cleverly written. Keep your tissues at the ready, this one’s a tear-jerker.


Goodreads Me Before You Books, Jojo Moyes
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My Goodreads review of the first of these books, Me Before You, is two words: ‘Utterly heartbreaking’. It’s within the last third or so that this gets really good. A controversial storyline written with consideration and without a rose-tinted perspective.

Honestly, after such a dramatic ending, I didn’t understand the need for the storyline to continue. Although I view After You as a good book in its own right and still enjoyable, it was slightly anticlimactic.

I liked the third book, Still Me more and actually appreciated the second book in retrospect because of it. Once I’d gotten over the most moving storyline, I started to appreciate that I was following the protagonist, Louisa Clarke, through grief, life after love and everything that comes with it.

Although I’d recommend each one of these books in a heartbeat, I do want to note that the series is quite chick-flicky. A few times I found myself thinking ‘that would never happen’. Ultimately though, it didn’t deter me from reading on and immensely enjoying every word. I turned the final page of the last book with sadness, I’ll miss Lousia Clarke.


I’d sincerely recommend adding these to your ‘want to read’ on Goodreads. If you don’t have Goodreads then I sincerely recommend getting it. If you do, then you can follow mine here. I’ve found it imperative in encouraging me to read more often and it’s lovely to be able to track your reading and look back at your favourite books.

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  • Reply Jules

    Thanks for these suggestions!!

    December 27, 2019 at 5:21 pm
  • Reply Nancy

    Oooh! Congratulations on reading 17 books! It is amazing how everything adds up over time. I hear a lot of great things about Becoming. I need to read this one of these days! Michelle Obama is such an inspiring figure. Oooh, I work in a male-dominated environment – The Language of Kindness can be something I look more into. Thanks for sharing all of your fave reads of the year! Happy New Year!

    Nancy ♥

    December 27, 2019 at 11:51 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! Isn’t it just? Both amazing books- I hope you love them if you get around to checking them out x

      December 29, 2019 at 2:18 pm
  • Reply Deborah Kos

    I love to read business books. I have Becoming by Michelle Obama on my reading list. I know this book will be very inspiring.

    December 28, 2019 at 3:15 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I really hope you love it as much as I do! It’s one of my favourite reads of 2019 for sure x

      December 30, 2019 at 5:15 pm
  • Reply Melissa Kacar

    I loved reading Becoming by Michelle Obama! She’s such an inspiring woman who continues to make such a positive impact in the world! I read the first two books in the Me Before You series, but I didn’t even know there was a third one! I loved the first one and sobbed at the ending, but I didn’t love the second as much. I do wanna check out the third one though, because I want to see what happens next! Thanks for sharing your recommendations, I loved reading this post! Happy Holidays! 🙂

    December 28, 2019 at 5:31 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I’m so glad you did too- it was one of my favourite reads of the year. I felt the same about the second book but I liked the third more! Thats so great to hear, thank you x

      December 30, 2019 at 5:13 pm
  • Reply Ashleigh

    I have been hesitating on picking up ‘Still Me’ since I didn’t enjoy ‘After You’ as much as ‘Me Before You’ but I’m pleased to hear that it is still a good read. I will need to put it on my 2020 Reading list!

    Ashleigh |

    December 29, 2019 at 10:22 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I had the exact same thoughts after reading After You! Still Me is definitely better though (but still not as good as Me Before You)! x

      December 30, 2019 at 5:09 pm
  • Reply Lea-Mai Carter

    Got some of these on my to read list, can’t wait to read Becoming by Michelle Obama, heard nothing but good things about it x

    January 5, 2020 at 9:45 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Oh I absolutely loved it- I hope you like it just as much x

      January 7, 2020 at 10:09 am
  • Reply katy gilroy

    Becoming is still on my list! Definitely going to get it now x

    January 7, 2020 at 2:39 pm
  • Reply Amy

    This is going to hurt has been on my read list for ages, I keep waiting for it to drop to 99p on the Kindle.

    January 18, 2020 at 8:30 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      It’s so entertaining and enlightening- definitely worth a read! x

      January 21, 2020 at 12:40 pm

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