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Top Five Books to Read in 2019 by Natasha Lefler

Happy New Year!  It’s that time of year, when the chilly weather leaves us longing for hot cocoa and the warm comforts of the indoors.  Of course, one’s options are limited in terms of things to do when stuck inside for long periods of time, so what do you do?  I say have a chat with someone famous and learn about their life, save the world, visit a haunted house, or even go back in time.  Sounds impossible, right?  It’s not if you find the right book!  Nothing is better on a cold, snowy day than curling up in my favorite over-stuffed recliner and exploring the wonderful worlds a good book can take me to.  With so many great books available, it can get overwhelming trying to choose the right one, so here are my top 5 picks for books to read in the New Year.

5.  Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

This book and its sequels have been out for a while now, and have been made into a popular television show.  Claire Randall, on vacation to reconnect with her husband after both had served in World War II, accidentally slips through time, landing in the mid-1700’s.  An incredible beginning to a series that only improves as it progresses, Outlander follows Claire through the dangers of the 18th century, being accused of witchcraft, and falling in love with an unlikely person.  It is an action-packed read that you just cannot put down.

4.  Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House by Alyssa Mastromonaco with Lauren Oyler

Not into fiction?  This book co-written by Barak Obama’s former White House Deputy Chief of Staff is for you.  In this part memoir, part how-to manual, and part self-help book, Mastromonaco shares her experiences working in support of the highest office in the land.  Mastromonaco pulls no punches, sharing the good, the bad, and the cringeworthy in a way that will have you laughing out loud the whole time.

3.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Wait a minute, this is a kid’s book, isn’t it?  I beg to differ.  Anyone who knows me knows I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan.  I have read each book many times.  The thing is, they never get old.  September 2018 marked the 20th anniversary of the release of this book in America, and the world has really never been the same since.  I recently started reading this series to my son, and I’m still finding things I’ve missed.  The Harry Potter series is a great escape into the world of fantasy and magic that reminds us of the importance of friendship and teamwork.

2.  Engines of Empathy by Paul Mannering

Imagine a world where rather than gasoline, coal, or other finite resources, things were powered with empathic energy.  You would have temperamental toasters and cars that don’t run when their feelings are hurt.  This is the world of Charlotte Pudding in Engines of Empathy.  Her life is turned upside down with the arrival of Vole Drakeforth who drags our reluctant heroine on an adventure to uncover family secrets.  This book will make you laugh, cry, and laugh some more.

1.  The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

President Jonathan Duncan is in deep trouble, facing Congressional hearings for his refusal to explain his motives for reaching out to a notorious terrorist.  Little does any else know, the President’s actions were an attempt to save not only America from a disaster, from the likes of which, the country, even the world, may never recover.  Patterson’s gripping style and Clinton’s unique voice work closely together in The President is Missing to create a thrilling story that will leave readers on the edge of their seat right up until the last page.

Natasha Lefler

Kristen Pierce