SLIDER

My Year in Books {2019}


It's hard to believe that another year – and decade! – is about to come to a close. Before it does, I want to take a moment to look back at the past twelve months. Since 2015, I've done a series of posts that I call "My Year in ______" to share my favorites from each year. It's one reason I love blogging in December so much. There were so many things I loved about 2019, but today it's all about the books! • Books in 2016, 2017, and 2018

In 2019, I've finished 207 books. That's only 15 books less than last year – which was the most I'd ever read in a year since I started tracking it in 2011! According to Goodreads, that's been approximately 80,306 pages so far (not counting all the pages I've read to my son)... and there's still a chance I'll sneak in another book or two before 2020 officially starts. At least I hope so! I almost held off on writing this post for that very reason.

Every year I break up my list of favorites a little differently. When I looked at this year's list, it worked best to sort my favorites by genre. But with that breakdown, I ended up with 21 favorites. Oops? That is only 10% of what I read, however, so I hope you'll bear with me! But if I had to narrow my list down to Top 10, you'll see a red heart () following the titles that would make the cut. Clicking on any title will take you to my review for the book, if you want to know more about why I loved it. Here's to finding new favorites in 2020!

Contemporary


1. Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center While it doesn't hold a candle to Happiness for Beginners (for me), this was just what I needed at the time I read it. I loved the theme, and the ending left me with a smile.

2. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan The first book didn't wow me, but the sequel and conclusion were just so much dang fun! I flew through both books and was delighted by the drama, the setting, and the sheer excess. 

3. The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta  – I've been so impatient for Jimmy's story, and this was worth the wait. The way it explored family, community, and identity stayed with me long after I closed the last page.


4. Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane ♥ – If you make me tear up on an airplane, you've more than earned your spot on my list. The heroine's journey was so moving, and I was rooting for her every step of the way.

5. American Royals by Katharine McGee This book combined two things I love (American history and royalty) in such a clever and creative way. It had all the drama and romance that I wanted, and now I just need the sequel!

6. The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary ♥  I was expecting something light and fluffy, and instead I got something with so much heart and depth. This was the perfect book to read on my flight to London and then rave about to Kelly

Fantasy


7. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow ♥  What a debut! The lyrical writing made the magical premise shine, and it made me so happy to be a book lover who can explore other worlds any time I choose. 

8. Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers ♥  The series extension that I didn't know I needed! I love the original trilogy, and this dualogy is already shaping up to be just as excellent. A great combo of politics and personal drama!

9. Circe by Madeline Miller  – I know almost nothing about Greek mythology, but Miller made her heroine so compelling that I couldn't stop listening to this story. This is one I'm extra excited to re-read in the future.

HISTORICAL


10. Lovely War by Julie Berry ♥  My very favorite book of the year... and the only one on this list that I haven't reviewed. It was so original and perfect that I want to keep it all to myself and make everyone around me read it. 

11. We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter ♥ – My first read of 2019, and the perfect book to kick off a new year of reading. It set the bar high! I still can't believe it was inspired by the true story of the author's family. 

12. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee I expected to read a few pages and set this one aside, but it completely surprised me. I loved the people in this generational saga and learned so much about Korean and Japanese history. 


13. The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton – I'd sworn off Morton after hating one of her books, so I'm totally shocked that I read this and that it's making my list. The writing and slow unraveling of this mystery won me over!

14. Lady of the Eternal City by Kate Quinn – With the exception of the second book, Quinn's Rome series had me absolutely hooked! The setting, the research, the characters, the writing, the emotion – I could praise it all.

15. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid ♥ – It's hard to put into words all the reasons I loved this book, so I'll let this do the talking: I loved it so much in January that I re-read it in November. A top five of 2019, for sure. 

MYSTERY


16. Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson – I'm delighted that Jackson tackled a new genre with ease. This one never went in the direction I expected (yay surprises!) while being exactly what I wanted from a domestic thriller. 

17. Miracle Creek by Angie Kim ♥ – Nothing about this summary drew me in, but almost everything about it stayed with me long after I'd finished reading. This one was paced and plotted in a way that worked perfectly for me.

18. A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn – My favorite in the series so far! This has the best slow burn, and the mystery was quite enjoyable, too. I loved how the setting heightened the suspense (and romantic tension). 

ROMANCE


19. Luck of the Draw by Kate Clayborn – I loved the friendship at the heart of this series, thought all three packed an emotional punch, and couldn't stop reading once I'd started. All three are great, but this one was my favorite.

20. The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez – If you're looking something that's hilarious, romantic and "grab your tissues" emotional, this is it. I particularly loved the way it handled one storyline that I rarely see in books.

21. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren – This was the romantic comedy of my dreams (hate to love! fake dating! deeper themes!) and one that I'll almost certainly be re-reading via audiobook in 2020. 

What was your favorite book of 2019?
Are any of these on your list? Or on your TBR pile?

1 comment

  1. First off - I loved that you shared more than 10! There are a few of my fave reads on here too - Daisy Jones and Circe ... and a few that I need to add - Kate Quinn (I loved her Mistress of Rome series and need more of her), and Courting Darkness - I haven't read enough fantasy this year. And I'm totally inspired by the amount of books you read. Reading more is one of my goals next year.

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