A Year In Review: Books Of 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all! I’d debated whether to post today or tomorrow, but I figure it’s best to keep the usual schedule (since we don’t really celebrate Christmas anyway), so here’s the business of the day: a look back at all the books I’ve read in 2019. I had so much fun doing this last year so I decided to give it another go this year. Here we go!

Best books you read in 2019:

– Children’s fiction: the only book that can be in this category is The Owl Service (and even then it’s a bit of a stretch), but I didn’t like it, so none.

– Crime fiction: I only read one crime fiction book this year, Damsel in Distress, but it wasn’t great either.

– Classics: does Douglas Adams’s Mostly Harmless count as classics? I think it does.

– Non-fiction: Midnight at Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham. I never thought a non-fiction book could keep me up at night.

– YA: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. It’s dark and twisted and unique.

– Sci-fi/Fantasy: I’m changing last year’s “Dystopian fiction” into Sci-fi/Fantasy because I think it’s a much broader category. Anyway, my favorite sci-fi/fantasy book this year is Thud! by Terry Pratchett.

Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2019: Bad Blood by John Carreyrou. I didn’t expect a book about a Silicon Valley scam to be this absorbing, but I found Elizabeth Holmes so fascinating – what was she thinking? How did she pull that off? It goes to show that it doesn’t matter what your book is about, as long as you have great characters.

Book that you read in 2019 that you recommended most to others: Midnight at Chernobyl

Best series you discovered in 2019: Wayward Children (starting with Every Heart a Doorway) by Seanan McGuire and The Anomaly Files (starting with The Anomaly) by Michael Rutger. Both series are relatively new (each only has two books), but I’m interested to see where they’re going to take the story.

Favorite new author you discovered in 2019: Michael Pollan. I read two of his books this year and he’s quickly becoming my favorite food writer.

Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love but didn’t: The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux, The Perfect Summer by Juliet Nicholson, and Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller. Each of them is about something I love (train travel, British history, dystopian sci-fi), and each of them turns ou to be really, really boring.

Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre to you: The Gown by Jennifer Robson. I don’t read a lot of chick lit, but this one is sweet and has a historical element, which is nice.

Book you read in 2019 that you’re most likely to read again: Cooked by Michael Pollan.

Favorite book you read in 2019 from an author you’ve read previously: Every Heart a Doorway and Thud!

Best book you read in 2019 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else: Bad Blood, from a recommendation on Reddit.

Favorite cover of a book in 2019: These two.

Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2019: The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. It made me think more about food and our relationship with it.

Book you can’t BELIEVE you waited until 2019 to read: The Owl Service.

Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it: Not reeling so much, and not just a single scene. I just really want to discuss the entirety of The Owl Service or The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay, because I had no idea what the hell is going on.

Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2019: Ove’s friendship with his neighbors in A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

Most memorable character in a book you read in 2019: Jack and Jill in Every Heart a Doorway.

Genre you read the most from 2019: non-fiction.

Best 2018 debut: I didn’t read any “debut” book, and the only book I read that was published in 2019 is City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, which I didn’t like enough to put on a “best” list.

Book that was the most fun to read in 2019: Cooked, Bad Blood.

Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2019: A Man Called Ove.

Book you read in 2019 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out: Geisha, a Life by Mineko Iwasaki (I guess it got overshadowed by Memoirs of a Geisha, but I’m not surprised because it’s a snooze-fest.)

Total number of books read in 2019: 37 (with some rereads).



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