Best Books January-May 2024

Today, I am sharing my favorite books so far in 2024. It is a list of the best books from January through May 2024.

a stack of favorite books from 2024

I don’t think Grace or I have done a list of favorite books part way through the year before, but I thought it would be fun to do it this year.

I have read forty-nine books so far in 2024. I usually read around a hundred books a year, so that is about my normal amount.

Last year, I read one hundred and twenty-three books, which was a record reading year for me. I should hit around one hundred books this year, but I doubt I will have another record-reading year.

When I was putting together this list, I realized I have not had many five-star fiction reads this year. At least compared to most years.

I was hoping to choose five fiction and five nonfiction books for this list, but so far this year, I have only had three five-star fiction books.

I have read a lot of fiction that I liked but not loved.

Here is the list of my favorite books so far in 2024.

Favorite Books In January – May 2024

I shared a brief review of each book. For a full review, click on the title, which will take you to my full review and thoughts on the book.


The Great Alone book

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah has been in my to-be-read stack for several years. I was determined to read it before reading Kristin Hannah’s latest book, The Women. I am so glad that I finally picked it up.

The Great Alone is set in Alaska during the 1970s. A former Vietnam War POW moves his wife and daughter to Alaska, hoping to escape the pain and scars of the war. But will Alaska’s dark, cold climate allow him to do that?

The Great Alone is a tough read. It shows how war and other circumstances bring out the worst in people. Many felt this book was over the top with the drama and emotions. I thought it showed a realistic side of life that we often don’t want to admit exists.

This is not for you if you like books that end with a pretty bow, but if you like books that cover tough topics that make you think about life, I think you might enjoy this one.

A Shadow In Moscow book review

A Shadow In Moscow by Katherine Reay is a historical fiction book set in Russia during The Cold War.

This book features spies, the KGB, and the CIA, and it also includes a lot about Russian history and culture.

I loved this part history, part mystery book. It is one of my all-time favorite Katherine Reay books.

The Berlin Letters book review

The Berlin Letters by Katherine Reay is another Cold War book I read and loved this year.

It is a Cold War novel set in the 1960s, when The Berlin Wall went up, and the late 1980s, when it came down. 

This book covers so much history about the building of The Berlin Wall and the events that led to the wall coming down.

The dual timeline in The Berlin Letters is so well done. If you are like me and were raised in the 1980s and early 1990s and remember when The Berlin Wall came down, I think you will enjoy this one.


Undaunted Courage book review

Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose has sat in my to-be-read stack for years. I am so glad that I finally picked it up.

I was afraid this book about The Oregon Trail would be boring, but it was not boring at all.

Lewis and Clark were brave explorers, not afraid of the unknown land before them. They took on a task that not many would, and this book shares their story.

This is a big book, so I thought it would take a while to get through, but I read it in just a couple of weeks.

The Sniper book

The Sniper by Jim Lindsay is the story of the Marine during Vietnam, who held the record for the most confirmed sniper kills. He is known as the greatest Marine marksman of all time. Yet, very few people know about his story.

Although this was not the best-written book, I thought the story was amazing. This is mainly because not much has been written about the Vietnam War. More stories like this need to be told.

So many books have been written about WWII, but not nearly as many have been written about Vietnam. We need to change that with books like this.

The Egg and I

Betty MacDonald’s memoir The Egg and I, published in 1945, was a fun read for me.

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where this book takes place. Although I grew up years after it was written, I could still relate to much of this book.

She does a great job describing the culture and the weather of the Pacific Northwest.

If you love memoirs, especially backlist ones, you might enjoy this one.

Elisabeth Elliot book next to a plant

Becoming Elisabeth Elliot by Ellen Vaughn will be one of my top Christian reads in 2024. It is the second book in a two-volume biography of Elisabeth Elliot.

I read and loved the first book, Becoming Elisabeth Elliot, a couple of years ago, so I knew that I would enjoy book two. I did. I loved book two more than book one.

I wrote a very long review of this book, which you can find here, so I will keep this one short.

If you are a Christian who has read many Elisabeth Elliot books, I think you will enjoy this one. There is a lot in this book that will surprise you. It did me, but it also made me appreciate Elisabeth Elliot more. It showed me the true work of God’s grace in her life.

Lit book review

Lit by Tony Reinke is another nonfiction Christian book that I loved. I have not done a full book review of this one, but I need to do one for a Sunday reading post.

The tagline for this book is A Christian Guide To Reading Books, and it is that, but it is so much more.

I wasn’t sure what I would think of this book, but I ended up loving it.

This book articulated some things I have been thinking about regarding the online Christian book and the book influencer world.

Reading should challenge us, making us think about what we believe and why we believe it. Books and literature do not have to be Christian to do that.

If we narrow our reading too much, we lose sight of the true benefits of reading and learning. Yes, we should be careful what we read. We should read Christian books, but we can also glean a lot from reading other books as well.

If you like books that make you think, especially about what we put into our minds and why, I think this is one you will enjoy.

What books have you loved so far this year?

2 thoughts on “Best Books January-May 2024”

  1. How fun to meet you via Michelle this morning, Lynn! Looks like we’re tracking on some of the books we love. Looking forward to connecting in the months ahead. I sense a bit of a kindred spirit connection.

    • I am so glad you visited! Michelle’s interviews have been so fun. I enjoyed doing it, but I have also found some great people to follow through her. I love the series that she is doing. It is always fun to talk books with others.


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