December 23, 2019

Best Books of 2019


I can't believe it's less than 10 days until the new year! I'm going to be spend that time soaking up the end of the decade (by enjoying my staycation!), reflecting on 2019 and looking ahead to 2020. Part of reflecting on 2019 always includes my end of the year round-ups for books, music, tv and movies. I'm going to start with books and let me tell you, I'm kind of surprised by my list! It's my most diverse and least YA-centric best of books list I've ever shared and I'm actually really proud of that. It's been important to me to branch out with my reading and I think this list shows that. So without further ado, her are my top 10 books of 2019 (plus some honorable mentions!): 

1. Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton | This was one of my first reads of the year and what a way to kick off January with a 5-star book! I felt so invested and emotional about these characters from the get-go and learned about Cuban history and culture at the same time. I've since read the companion novel to this (When We Left Cuba which also amazing) but this remains my favorite.

2. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid | I was so incredibly nervous to read this! I'm in the minority (with 3 other dear friends) when I say that I hated The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Up until that point I had love, love, loved everything TJR had ever written and I was worried Daisy would disappoint me. It absolutely did not! I loved the storytelling style and how she was able to bring Daisy, Billy and the people around them to life.

3. The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker | This was my first K.A. Tucker book and it left one hell of an impression on me (and led me to read more from her!). The romance was swoon-worthy but what made me the most emotional was the depictions of family and just complicated, messy yet loving relationships. Total tearjerker.

4. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston | America's "First Son" falls in love with the Prince of Wales and I was 100% here for it. It's funny, heartwarming, and romantic but don't be fooled into thinking it's just a fluffy rom-com. It does delve into politics which I didn't expect to like but McQuiston touches on topics that made me emotional, especially considering the political climate these last few years. I cannot wait for more from her but in the meantime, I'll happily reread this!

5. Lovely War by Julie Berry | How Berry decides to tell the story of two epic romances during World War I is one of the most clever I've seen. The lives of these four people are told to us 40 years later by three Greek gods -- Aphrodite, Ares and Hephaestus -- and how they each played roles (big and small) in the outcomes of those romances. It might sound like a strange mix of 95% historical fiction with only a touch of fantasy/magic but it really worked for me.

6. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owen | I wasn't sure if I should believe the hype for this one but I decided to give it a shot and I'm so glad I did. The writing was vivid and atmospheric. I really felt transported to this town and the "marsh" where the main heroine resides. This story stayed with me for days after I finished.

7. The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali | I bought this while in San Francisco because I loved the cover but I thought the premise sounded interesting as well. I read it in one sitting! I could hardly put it down once I started. It's such a beautiful book about first loves, second chances and the power of your memories.

8. Rebel by Marie Lu | I was more than satisfied with the ending of Champion, even though it broke my heart into a million pieces. But I really thought it was the end! When Lu expectedly announced a fourth book, all I could think was -- give me all the June and Day moments and closure that I need. Let's just say the author beyond delivers.


9. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black | I really enjoyed The Cruel Prince and liked The Wicked King a lot but I definitely didn't love this series the way most of my friends did. Then I borrowed Queen of Nothing from the library and it had everything I wanted. Romance (this was my #1 haha), twists that I didn't see coming, fast-paced plot, seeing Jude and Cardan come a lot way from book 1 and did I mention romance? I ended up buying a copy and it's the only one I own from the series.

10. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman | I finally read my first full-length novel by Fredrik Backman and it was glorious. I have a soft spot for curmudgeons with a heart of gold and Ove is exactly that. I fell in love with his character and the people who worm their way into his life. It's funny and moving and I totally plan to read the rest of his backlog now.

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Honorable mentions: 

2020 special mentions:
Both are out Jan 7 and I pre-ordered them; full reviews to come! 

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What are your top books of 2019?

4 comments

  1. I have heard so many amazing things about the Lovely War. Hopefully I'll get to it next year!
    Krystianna @ Volumes and Voyages

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  2. Yay for this amazing list of books! I'm SO thrilled Lovely War made the cut, because that book is just absolutely brilliant :D And of the ones I haven't yet read, I'm most curious about The Stationery Shop and Rebel (of course)!

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  3. We have so much overlap in our favorites! I totally agree re: Daisy Jones, RW&RB, A Man Called Ove, Queen of Nothing, and The Simple Wild! I'm so excited to read Where the Crawdads Sing soon and I just added The Stationary Shop to my wish list!

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  4. Co-signed re: Daisy Jones! One of my most recommended books this year.

    I also loved QoN (that whole series ;_;). I'm super curious about Rebel but I feel like I should probably re-read the original trilogy first.

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