2019 may have been a hard year in life, but it was a gooooood year in books. I even *gasp* read more novels than anything. Drop out of multiple semesters of grad school, get a case of mono, and watch your need for a good novel sky rocket.

As always, here are my favorites & recommendations at the top, with a full list below. 2020 has already started with some great reads – but what else should I add to my list?? What was the best book you read last year?

Best Novels

  • An American Marriage This book is devastating & beautiful & a needed read. It follows a newlywed couple as a wrongful conviction blows apart their marriage. It’s a raw look at incarceration, people on both sides of the jail cell, race, fidelity, and love.
  • The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle This is, BY FAR, the most fascinating murder mystery I have read in years. I could not put it down and could not stop raving about it. It’s like a mix of Sherlock Holmes and Downton Abbey and Inception all rolled into a novel. But, fair warning, you need to be fully engaged (and maybe a notebook of clues) to get through it – it’s not a light, easy read.
  • Little Fires Everywhere This book was all the rage in 2017 – as it should have been. I was late to the game, but am still as in love as everyone else. It follows a mom and daughter in small town America, their clash with a rich family, and life throughout the town. It’s interesting, witty, keeps you guessing, and beautifully written. I am counting down the days until the Hulu adaptation.
  • Ayesha, At Last I will go on record and say this is the best Pride and Prejudice rewrite ever. It’s set in a Muslim community in Canada, has some modern twists that are done really well, and is just a fun time.
  • The River A friend recommended this as a weekend read, and although I expected a good book – I was not ready for the poetry in the pages. An adventure in the wilderness, you’re transported to life in a rugged canoe – but with surprisingly beautiful prose. It’s the best page-turner I read this year, and a beautiful story about friendship.
  • The Huntress This is your cliche three different stories surprisingly (not) intersect into one set in – you guessed it! – WWII. But it’s done really, really well. It’s not the best written novel you’ll read this year – but it keeps your interest to the very last page.
  • The Poisonwood Bible I feel like it’s a sin to not mention one of my ALL TIME forever forever favorites. I ended 2018 (cough started 2019) rereading.


Most Gifted (as in… the books I gave as gifts the most this year)

  • Scary Close I’ve said it before: I read this book every year. It has yet to get old, and has yet to not teach me something new. It’s the best therapy you can get for $15 – this I swear by. RJ also read it this year – which was fun to unpack together, and then we promptly bought it for just about everyone we knew.
  • Miracles and Other Reasonable Things Bessey is my forever favorite author – I pre-ordered this basically the second it became an option to. But this book was different – in it she discusses a car accident, the life long effects on her body, miraculous healing, and the painful everyday moments. For anyone with life long medical problems or a body that doesn’t always work properly (um, everyone?) – this book is a tender friend. And for anyone who doubts when God doesn’t show up in the big ways, or is confused when He does and then doesn’t – it’s a beacon of hope. I started buying it for friends when I was still halfway through it.

Best Memoirs


One thought on “2019 Book List

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