Favorite Books of 2019

I certainly had an amazing year of reading in 2019. Due to subbing from October to December, my final three months of reading was pretty limited, but thank goodness for audiobooks, I was able to feel like I was always reading.

I read 141 books according to my book journal. This includes all the children’s books I read as well. Goodreads only had me at 139 because two of the books I read were not on goodreads.com.

This year’s breakdown includes:

Adult: 67 books

Children’s: 74 books

Fiction: 71 books

Nonfiction: 70 books

For Review: 101 books

For Own Enjoyment: 40 books

Audiobooks: 19 books

5 Star Books: 20 books

I really am amazed that I read so many fabulous books. Surprisingly, most of them were what I would call contemporary or literary fiction, even though historical fiction is typically my favorite. I was also surprised by how nearly equal my fiction to non-fiction book ratio was.

Without further adieu, here are my favorite books from 2019. Not all of these books were published in 2019, but I read them in 2019. Clicking the title of the book will take you to either my review or mini-review of the book.

Favorite Books of 2019

THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR by Susan Meissner

I seem to always love Susan Meissner’s books, so this one, that begins in Iowa was no surprise to me that it made my list. Historical fiction fans or those that like dual time periods will love this one.

THE MOST FUN WE EVER HAD by Claire Lombardo

I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing Claire Lombardo just as her debut novel was coming out. Who knew it would be the best-seller that it has been? This family drama was so fun to read, yet emotionally revealing as I identified with the characters. I’m so excited for Claire as the rights have also been sold for a TV series. There will be more great things to come from her I am sure of it!

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens

There isn’t really much more that I can say about this novel that hasn’t already been said. I loved this so much and it has been added to my all-time favorite books! It’s THAT GOOD!

I’D RATHER BE READING by Anne Bogel

If you don’t know Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy or What Should I Read Next? fame, then you aren’t really a book lover. Her book is perfect for book lovers to read and feel validated by all their crazy emotions that can erupt when reading a great book. It’s a must-read for all book lovers.

DAISY JONES AND THE SIX by Taylor Jenkins Reid

So far, I haven’t been disappointed by a single Taylor Jenkins Reid book and this one was one of her best. I listened to this one on audio and it just made me so happy (even though it isn’t the happiest of stories). I loved the all-star cast and I really felt like I could envision this whole story. Such a great read/listen.

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman

I didn’t expect to like this one as much as I did. Eleanor is quite quirky and funny and I just loved how smart and honest and witty this novel was.

I MISS YOU WHEN I BLINK by Mary Laura Philpott

This collection of essays related to my real life so much. Philpott has a great way of sharing real-life honestly and as well as light-heartedly. I listened to this one on audio as well and I would like to reread a physical copy as well.

DEAR MRS. BIRD by AJ Pearce

First of all, the cover jumped out at me. Then once I read the synopsis, I thought I’d give it a try. But, I wasn’t really hearing anything about it in the book sphere. I listened to this one on audio, which I loved since it is British. The story was funny, witty, nailbiting, and shocking. It fit my historical fiction box as well as my women’s fiction box. It really was a delightful read and I’ve recommended it several times since finishing it.

THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF SAM HELL by Robert Dugoni

Apparently Dugoni is a well-known author, but I had never heard of him before. This was one of our book club choices this year. It was chosen by someone else in the group and it was FANTASTIC. I am constantly recommending this book. The story is compelling, heartbreaking, and so hopeful. You will think you are reading a true story. Great for book clubs or individual reading. I guess I never wrote about this book on my blog. Somehow I missed it.

WHERE’D YOU GO BERNADETTE by Maria Semple

This was obviously on my list for a while, but with the movie coming out, I bumped it up to the top of my reading stack. I devoured it. Like Eleanor Oliphant, Bernadette is quirky, honest, hilarious, and witty. I loved the mystery and the characters. I laughed and cried and dropped my jaw several times. I have yet to see the movie, but it’s on Dish On Demand, so it will be happening soon!

Favorite Children’s Books of 2019

REFUGEE by Alan Gratz

This juvenile fiction shines the spotlight on immigration in an approachable, yet heartbreaking way for middle-grade readers. Working at school, I saw the novel a lot and then I started hearing about it on podcasts so I decided to give it a try. I listened to the audiobook. Since the book tells three stories of kids in three different countries and generations, there are three different narrators. I really loved this story and think Gratz shares the horrors, the hopes and dreams, and the realities of those trying to flee war or other unsatisfactory conditions in their homeland.

THIS BOOK IS GRAY by Lindsay Ward

Lindsay Ward is a fabulous children’s author and her newest was a huge hit with me. I love children’s books that also teach a lesson and tell a story in a funny and memorable way. Teaching kids that it is ok to see things in a new perspective or that it is okay to stand out in a crowd, make this book a winner. Plus it’s a fun read-aloud!

I USED TO BE FAMOUS by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie

After their first book, I AM FAMOUS, came out, I figured there would be a second not too far behind and I was right. This follow-up is just as delightful and is perfect for parents to read to a future big brother/sister.

FROM AN IDEA TO DISNEY and FROM AN IDEA TO NIKE by Lowey Bundy Sichol

Both of these books were so good, I couldn’t leave one off my list. These chapter books introduce kids to the stories behind the companies. What it took to start them, the people behind the scenes who made the company the conglomerate that it is today, and all the secrets you may not know about them. The information is given in bite-sized amounts and kids will read these books and want to follow their dreams too!

Honorable Mentions:

THE RED ADDRESS BOOK by Sophia Lundberg

SAVE ME THE PLUMS by Ruth Reichl


Seven of these books were sent to me by publishers. I’m am so blessed to be able to read and share books that I love with others. Reading brings me joy, but sharing the books I love with others is the icing on the cake! Here’s hoping your year is full of joyous reading. If you have read or decide to read any of these books, let me know in the comments!

Check out favorites from previous years:

FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2018

FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2017

FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2016

FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2015

FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2014

FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2013


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1 Comment

  1. bermudaonion (Kathy) on January 9, 2020 at 1:39 am

    I’ve only read 4 of those books but do own a few others. Several more were added to my wish list. I hope 2020 is another great year for you.

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