Favorite books of 2019 - Let’s Just Read!

Polling our conference presenters

by Samantha Hoffman

I love getting book recommendations from people I know, so I polled the presenters for Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference, coming up on March 21-22, 2020.

Early-bird pricing ends on December 31st.

The question was: What is the favorite book you read in 2019, and why would our readers like it? 


Here are some of the picks from our esteemed presenters. Happy reading!


Jacquelyn Mitchard recommends The Great Believers by Rebecca Mekkai. "Perfect for people who want serious literature that is also a laugh-and-cry emotional ride."
We're honored that Jackie will be the keynote conversation at our conference dinner on Saturday, March 21st. In addition, she'll participate on a fiction panel, and you'll have the chance for a one-on-one session with her.

Tim Storm recommends Circe by Madeline Miller. "Perfect for people who like Greek mythology and/or like to fantasize subtle ways in which power structures can be turned on their heads."

Tim will be doing a session called Tension on Every Page, and another with Ann Garvin on what writers can learn from sports psychology.


Jerry Brennan recommends Speedboat by Renata Adler. "Perfect for people who want a book that's hilarious and beautifully written, yet impossible to describe in a coherent fashion."

Jerry is with Tortoise Books and will participate in the small press panel.


Renee Rosen recommends The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott, for people who love a stunning debut.
Renee will present a session on revising and editing your work like a pro.


Jay Amberg recommends Lavinia by Ursula K Le Guin. "Perfect for people who enjoy historical fiction, especially based on The Aeneid."
Jay is with Amika Press and will participate on the small press panel.


Emily Victorson recommends Not Without Laughter by Langston Hughes, a vivid exploration of growing up and growing strong in a racially divided society.

Emily is with Allium Press and will participate on the small press panel.


Cyn Vargas recommends Black Card by Chris L. Terry, perfect for people who love music and the search for self.

Look for Cyn's conference session, Your Inner Critic: How to Shut Him Up, Shut Him Out, and Invite Him In.


Christina Rodriguez recommends With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo. "Perfect for people who love young adult fiction, stories featuring Latinx characters, and stories about cooking and family."

Christina will be moderating the poetry panel.


Rick Kaempfer recommends Everything Solid Has a Shadow by Michael Antman. "Perfect for people interested in compelling novels about love, the mysteries of memory, the meaning of dreams, and triumph over trauma." 
Rick is with Eckhartz Press and will participate on the small press panel. He will also moderate a panel on how to get free publicity.

Brendan Sullivan recommends Grant by Ron Chernow. "It's perfect for people who love American history, and want to learn more about the very human man who saved the Union, and the times in which he lived."
Look for Brendan's session on creative techniques that will keep the ideas flowing.

Patricia Ann McNair recommends What We Build Upon the Ruins, by Giano Cromley. "Perfect for people who like the brief intensity of short stories as well as the satisfaction of an extended narrative akin to a novel."
Patty will be a presenter at the conference for the third year in a row! Meanwhile, watch her TEDx talk here.

Parneshia Jones recommends Watch Us Rise by Ellen Hagan and Renée Watson. "Perfect for those of us finding our voice and learning what it takes to empower the hearts and voices of others. We all need this book!"
Parneshia will participate on the poetry panel.


What's the favorite book YOU read in 2019?

Check out the rest of our presenters, and get registered before early-bird pricing ends on New Years eve.

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