Belated Merry Christmas wishes and a very happy 2020!! We had a wonderful Christmas Day and we are off work til January 6 so the celebrations with everyone in our lives are still continuing daily.
I plan to share some of my actual reading stats from 2019 in another post next week but here’s a quick glance at it today:
As you can imagine, it was difficult to narrow done my “best books” from 208 books so far. My best ones were, in many ways, the few books I re-read. I included those at the bottom of this post. Linking up with Steph and Jana today!!!
Here are the best books I personally read in 2019, in no very particular order:
1) The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman – you should read this if you like books about bookworms, a little touch of romance and some self-development. It was a fun contemporary fiction book with a great cast of characters and TONS of quotable lines. I absolutely loved this and my love for it was heightened by reading it along with Kristen and swooning every few pages together. 🙂 Buddy reads are so fun!!!
2) Sherry Thomas’ Lady Sherlock series – I love these books and I am so glad I gave them a chance. They are so well done and interesting and I especially loved them on audio. So far, The Hollow of Fear was my favourite of the 4 I’ve read. They are historical mysteries based on Sherlock Holmes reimagined as a female. Can’t wait to read the next in the series.
3) Truly Devious & The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson – every time I think of this series I burst with anticipation at reading the final book and conclusion to the series in January. IT CANNOT COME SOON ENOUGH. These are YA mysteries with dual timelines and extremely good but they end on massive cliffhangers so I’d wait and binge read them all at once if you can.
4) Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen – This book moved me in a way I might never forget. I still really need to read his other well-loved book, The Man in the Window.
5) The London Celebrities series– I made my way through the last 4 of the 5 books in this contemporary romance series this year and although I really enjoyed them all (and their unique “theatre setting” in London), my favourites were Pretty Face and Headliners (which comes out in Jan 2020).
6) The Friend Zone by Abby Jiminez – this book completely rocked me in a way I did not expect AT ALL. I won’t say much more about it but holy smokes. The sequel comes out in April and I am dying to read it.
7) Becoming by Michelle Obama – I listened to this on audio and I could not put it down. It was so wonderful to hear about her experiences.
8) Atomic Habits by James Clear – another audiobook that I couldn’t stop listening to and basically told everyone I know about it. I actually need to re-read it sometime soon I think – it would be a perfect New Years read.
9) Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend (Nevermoor series book 2) – this second book in the Morrigan Crow/Nevermoor series did not disappoint at all. This series is fantastic.
10) Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman – I keep intending to continue this series but this middle grade book was one of the best I read in that category this year. It was just SO fun!
11) A Better Man by Louise Penny – is it even a “best of” book post from me without a Louise Penny book on there? This 2019 publication was perfect, as usual.
12) A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh – this was a recent edition to this list because I just read it in December but I was blown away by it overall.
13) Every Last Breath and Nothing to Fear by Juno Rushdan – these were HIGHLY readable romantic suspense books. Very fast-paced and different from others in this genre.
14) A Curse so Dark and Lonely and a Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer – I cannot thank the ladies on Currently Reading podcast enough for their praise of this book and then its sequel which led to me also loving it. This Beauty & the Beast retelling was so captivating.
15) The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary – a contemporary fiction/light romance with some deeper moments interspersed. Super cute and such fun characters.
16) Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – this book has been popular with lots of people this year and it was quite a profound reading experience but I definitely enjoyed it.
17) Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane – this book was another one that was completely unputdownable for me even though this isn’t always the kind of book I love. It was highly intense!!! If you ever decide to read this with a book club, I did a whole guide on it 🙂
18) The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller – I cannot, CANNOT wait to read more from this author. This historical fiction/romance with a hint of the paranormal and mystery blew me away.
19) Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston– I love royal romances but this one didn’t sound too appealing to me with all of the political agenda. However, I could NOT stop reading positive reviews of it so I finally gave it a chance and it definitely didn’t disappoint. LOVED these characters and the whole plot.
20) Lethal White by Robert Galbraith – I have mixed feelings about this series as a whole but this one on audio was definitely very well done and I look forward to the next installment sometime.
21) Things you Save in a Fire by Katherine Center – I love all of her books and this one was no exception for me though it didn’t quite top Happiness for Beginners.
22) The Lost Man by Jane Harper – utterly chilling but SO good
23) The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan – this somewhat romantic family drama Christmas book was everything I needed in December
24) Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge– this book was all the rage in one of my online book groups a few years ago and I put it off until this year. It was soooo powerfully written and sucked me right in and I adored the audiobook which is on Hoopla. Short but packs quite a punch.
25) A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – it took me a bunch of library renewals on audio, e-book, and print to get through this but eventually I did and I have no regrets. It is KIND of a very long book with minimal fast-moving plot though, so there’s that to consider if that isn’t your thing
Honourable mentions: The Ravenels series by Lisa Kleypas, Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore, Don’t You Forget about Me by Mhairi MacFarlane, The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes, Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, Britt Marie was Here and Things My Son Needs to Know about the World by Fredrik Backman, The Prenup by Lauren Layne, Wild Aces trilogy by Chanel Cleeton, In Want of a Wife by Noelle Adams (novella), and The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves, The Huntress by Kate Quinn (on audio).
Best Re-Reads of 2019:
Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center – if possible, I loved this even more than the first two times I read it. SO good.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – this was great on audio EXCEPT for the super steamy bits haha
The Winston Brothers by Penny Reid in anticipation of the final 2 books in the series. Duane and Beau for life!!!
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson – this was gorgeous on audio and I love this couple so much
Pride & Prejudice – literally listened to this in the last 24 hours thanks to my new headphones 🙂
HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE illustrated edition with my family (this was the best!!!)
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe with my kids
Anne of Green Gables (Rachel McAdams audio version), Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island (swooooon!)