Y’all, it’s been a fantastic reading year for me and I’m so excited to share the best books of 2019 (of what I read)!!! I’m reading more than I did last year and I finally feel like I’m learning how to fit reading into my life more in this season of my life — I also listen to audiobooks whenever I can.
Riley lets me have little gulps of reading while she is entertained and my anxiety that I had in the first year of her life has dwindled so that I can actually relax to read.
I’ve just gotten used to being tired (up until the summer sleep was SO hit or miss with her) so I stay up and read most nights. Even when she was sleeping terribly. Sometimes early bed happens but other times I just chance it and read because I NEED it. I’m okay with being kinda tired to sneak in 30 minutes of reading.
I’ve also stopped feeling as guilty to say “hey I’m going to go read for 20 minutes” after dinner when Will is home. When she was so little I felt like there was just so much to do and it was so selfish of me to do that but now I realize how important it is for me to do that sometimes.
But mostly I just don’t sleep.
BUT I’ve read some amazing books and I can’t wait to see what else this reading year has in store for me!! So without further ado — here are my must read books of 2019 (in my opinion from what I read)!
A quick note about my reading life this year — I READ A LOT OF ADULT BOOKS! If you’ve followed this blog for a while you know I used to read mostly YA with some adult sprinkled through but now it’s like completely the opposite. That being said I absolutely want to know what your favorite YA books of 2019 have been so I can prioritize them!!
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Best Books Of 2019
A note about my list — I’m only talking about the 2019 published books I read! Will have a separate post for my favorite backlist I read in 2019 up soon!
My Favorite Books Released In 2019
(in no order outside of the #1 one spot being my definitive fave of the year)
My favorites were very vast in genre and scope which isn’t surprising so much because I read so widely. But I heartily recommend these as books from 2019 not to miss!
Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane: This book was A LOT heavier than I had anticipated but it was SO FREAKING GOOD. If you like literary family drama type books, highly recommend. The story of these two neighboring families and the tragedy that forces the set of kids, who are best friends, apart and impacts them for decades to come was so captivating and emotional. Seriously one of those books where you are like WOAH…I am in deep and am very invested in this story. It was so moving and even better than I had hoped! BUY:(AMAZON / YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE)
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez: Part romance and part cry-your-eyes-out, The Friend Zone was a pleasant surprise for me. It was funny at times (especially the banter-y romance) while balancing the emotional aspects of this book namely infertility and loss. You’ll fall in love with Kristen and her crew, have all the “CAN YOU JUST GET TOGETHER ALREADY??” feelings between her and Josh and feel Kristen’s story of coming to terms with a future she might not be able to have. BUY:(AMAZON / YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE)
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren: I was in a wretched mood when I decided to pick this up and my mood did a 360 thanks to this hilarious romcom about a woman, her arch nemesis who happens to be the brother of her new brother-in-law and a faux honeymoon pretending to be the newlywed couple who couldn’t make it anymore. It was seriously the perfect summer read and bad mood destroyer. So many shenanigans, banter and seriously funny moments in this hate-to-love romcom. BUY:(AMAZON / YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE)
Related: Looking for new books to read? Check out this list of my most anticipated books of 2020!
A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum: I love reading all sorts of stories about women (by women) and especially when they are from a different culture and background than me. This book was one of those eye-opening books that reminded me of the differences yet similarities women face all over the world no matter the culture. This story of conservative Arab American women, living decades apart, was a hard read at times reading about Daya and her mom and learning about what really happened. It’s about family, life-defining choices, strength in the face of hardship and the grasp of the patriarchy on women. BUY:(AMAZON / YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE)
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid: One of my most anticipated books of 2019 from an author I’ve been a long time fan of so thank god it made this list. I’ve ADORED all of TJR’s books as most of you well know around here. I loved how different this one was compared to her other stuff. It’s basically a Behind The Music documentary/biopic but in book form about a ( fake) band in the 1960’s and their story/why they broke up. I LOVED IT SO MUCH. The format was interesting to me (interviews) and I was so swept up in the band and their drama. The format CAN keep you at a bit of a distance from the characters but it didn’t hinder my reading experience but I know some did have a hard time. This book is amazing on audio — one of my top audiobook recommendations. BUY: (AMAZON / YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE)
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett: I went ON AND ON about this one in my review of The Grace Year but if you are craving a brutal dystopian thriller that’s also a survival story, check this out! It was FANTASTIC on audiobook. BUY: (AMAZON / YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE)
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert: This one also gets BEST AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR award from me as the narrator was incredible. I LOVED this historical novel set in theater scene of the 1930’s NYC — the glamour, the exploration of sexuality and just coming of age for women in this time and reconciling society’s expectations of you vs your own. BUY: (AMAZON / YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE)
After The Flood by Kassandra Montag: This literary post apocalyptic novel gripped me in unexpected ways even though it wasn’t a fast paced type story. The world was vivid, the journey felt high stakes but it was this unexpected and raw portrait of motherhood, set against the backdrop of this world, that really made this one soar for me. BUY: (AMAZON / YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE)
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell: My favorite mystery/thriller of this year for sure even though I read quite a few fantastic ones! This one just blew me away until even the very last line — which promptly had my mouth wide open. I switched in between the physical book and the audiobook for this one because I just HAD to know!! BUY: (AMAZON / YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE)
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary: Oh this one stuck with me even more than I expected — a sweet romance with a lot of substance! The premise totally delivered and I loved watching their relationship unfold via the notes they left around the flat. BUY: (AMAZON / YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE)
The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd Jones: This one was super unexpected for me — I picked it up because it had major Halloween vibes and I fell in love with this one by the end and it really lingered for me. A most gorgeous, poignant zombie book that felt fairytale-like. Come for the world-building and gorgeous writing but by the end you’ll have stayed for the characters who slowly make their way into your heart. Also a really powerful book about grief too. BUY: (AMAZON / YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE)
The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker: I read this book in January and it’s still stuck with me. I loved this mesmerizing, slowburn read about an unfolding pandemic. BUY: (AMAZON / YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE)
I really, really loved these books a whole lot!
(click on the book title to learn more)
You can also find all these titles to purchase on Indiebound & support an independent bookstore of your choice!
Also one of my best reads of 2019 was a 3rd book in a series but wanted to note that nonetheless:
Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard: It’s the third book in a series but this is just a reminder for you to GET ON THIS SERIES. If you like YA fantasy, it’s a must. Just go pick up Truthwitch today. This book was a wild ride and an amazing addition to the series and I am dying to know what’s going to happen next. BUY: (AMAZON / YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE)
What were the best books you’ve read in 2019??
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