6 Must Read Books of 2019

This is to the books I read in this tremendous roller coaster of a year (in an electrifying kind of way) you helped me through finals week, on 6 hr flights, and in a ubiquitous way. I present the most treasured books for 2019. 


          Now whether you aren’t into books or prefer audiobooks, I recommend at least viewing some of the adapted movies for novels like The Girl on the Train, and Harry Potter (Of Course!), and Pride and Prejudice (Heck even zombies). For those only interested in Brown authors –  if you haven’t heard of Percival Everett -Catch-up for sure! His novels represent a form of literature many people felt wasn’t “Black Enough” he is Brown people’s true missionary for equality and individualism.

I enjoyed every journey a novel takes me on. From England during the 18th century. To nearly being killed by dementors and a tree, then sleeping in a withered boat with a man convicted of murdering seven people. If you decide to read or purchase a book, let me know how you like it!


1| The girl on the train by Paul Hawkins

I will be honest; this book started off slow for me. Not that I need flying off trains in the first few pages, but character development took some time. I put it a few times before my stubbornness to never leaving a book incomplete took over. And I LOVED IT! I was on the edge of my seat and ripped a couple of pages in pursuit of knowing what happened next, and when I put it down, I was satisfied. Am I the only one that seeks that feeling? Of exiting the world of your book – London, autumn and rainy, trying to solve a crime our character is too drunk to remember. Then turning the last page and feeling comforted by the adventure you’ve just implored on. If you enjoy a novel that will make you want to rip its pages, but also finish simultaneously, this is one for you. If you don’t – watch the movie and scream at that inside.




Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck daily. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life-as she sees it-is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.


And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?”

2| Lethal by Sandra Brown

I discovered Sandra Brown a few years ago, and have been marking off a few of her novels since then. Lethal is one of those books that pulls at your heartstrings, and if you’re an emotional crybaby like myself – you’ll find yourself crying, holding your breath, and cheering for your team a few times. If you’re a fan of the mystery genre, this novel and others on her list are worth reading.  



“In LETHAL Honor, Gillette discovers the ‘sick’ man in her yard is Lee Coburn, a man accused of murdering seven people the night before. He promises Honor that she and her daughter won’t be hurt as long as she does everything he asks. She has no choice but to accept him at his word. But Honor soon discovers that even those close to her can’t be trusted. Claiming that her late husband possessed something valuable and dangerous, Coburn convinces her that he must find it before it falls into the hands of The Bookkeeper, a merciless crime boss who will stop at nothing until they are all dead. Now from Washington, D. C., to coastal Louisiana, the desperate trio runs for their lives from the very people sworn to protect them while unravelling a web of corruption and depravity.”

3| Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson

If you’re a fan of novels with multiple speakers often represented as chapters or just books about bat-shit crazy serial killers – Then join the team! Her Every Fear takes you through the mind of three people and their wicked thoughts. I like books that include many insights – brings the fullness of the story to you. However, similar to the novel The Girl on the Train, it starts extremely slow and feels spoon-feed. Nonetheless, the storyline is fantastic and builds up beautifully and you won’t be disappointed.


The danger isn’t all in your head
Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, especially after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life. But soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbour has been murdered. The danger Kate imagines isn’t nearly as twisted and deadly as what’s about to happen. When her every fear becomes very real. And much, much closer than she thinks.


4| Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Literature classics are apart of my bucket list, so I knew my day was here when I had to read Pride and Prejudice. A woman writing books about a young girl that isn’t your typical girl in London was groundbreaking at her time when women weren’t writing as notability as today. If you are a Shakespearean like myself and crave a traditional love story, this is your treasured book for 2020. Inserting the thought the marriage is more than just a lock on your life financially, but for the sake of sharing your being with another person. It is truly a fantastic read you’ll cherish forever.


Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency. She is Battling through the hearts of two men who want to marry her.

5| Erasure by Percival Everett

I grappled on to every word written by Percival Everett I thought I could taste them. The smoothness of his writing enables your mind from veering into other thoughts and fixates you on the words instead. He speaks on a topic that many won’t reveal to be accurate but is as real as the racism we face. The measurement of a brown person authenticity to what is stereotypically, ignorantly associated with our culture and people. To ask someone born of melanin skin to portray themselves in ways that only promote “Blackness” in a more “Positive” light is selling ourselves to the opposer. Percival details these emotions in his novel, and it erupts something inside of you that will refuse to die. This novel made me cry, curse, cry while cursing and laugh too. I highly recommend reading this novel and all his others!



Thelonious “Monk” Ellison’s writing career has bottomed out: his latest manuscript has been rejected by seventeen publishers, which stings all the more because his previous novels have been “critically acclaimed.” He seethes on the sidelines of the literary establishment as he watches the meteoric success of We’s Lives in Da Ghetto, a novel by a woman who once visited “some relatives in Harlem for a couple of days.” In his rage and despair, Monk dashes off a book meant to be an indictment of Juanita Mae Jenkins’s bestseller. He doesn’t intend for My Pafology to be published, let alone taken seriously, but it is—under the pseudonym Stagg R. Leigh—and soon it becomes the Next Big Thing. How Monk deals with the personal and professional fallout galvanises this audacious, hysterical, and quietly devastating novel.

6| Harry Potter Series book 1-4

I embarked on my childhood again and decided to read the infamous Harry Potter books being curious. I had gained the full seven-book collection and was able to have all books in my possession. Let’s just say I read books 1-3 in seven days that’s a total of 791 pages in 7 days. I was thrilled! The books were far more advanced than I assumed and brought me back to grade-school. I transferred to the world of Hogwarts and fell in love with the entire Wizarding World. This is a fantastic book series for any age group, and I have heard the audiobooks are just as good, so that is an option.


We follow Harry Potter the boy that lived, through seven years of his life. In the magical world of Hogwarts and all surrounding communities. With his two best friends Ron and Hermione, the trio go on quests and dangerous adventures to save his new world. All while continuing their studies, and still being typical teenagers. This is the illustrated version, so we have beautifully drawn images to accompany our readers who bring a different perspective on the wizarding world


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Melissa Philippe, or Mel, is the founder and creator of Da Modern Mama. An organisation built around the advocacy and support for POC maternal health. After being an English educator for 8+ years, Mel decided to devote her time to being a speaker and advocate for women of colour. With degrees in English, Writing and literature while being a doula and certified Montessori educator and an Adult and Child Psychologist focused on development and neuroscience. It's allowed her to learn from both sides of the fence and use the same practices in our family. Melissa is also a multi-award-winning author, writer, educator, parent coach, and keynote speaker. - Melissa Philippe (Laura Valentine)

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