My favorite reads of 2019

I have had a fabulous year of reading. Most of the books that I've read this year have been recent publications and, honestly, I find the quality and diversity of fiction being produced currently to be quite amazing. I do primarily read fiction, although I also manage to work in a few nonfiction books throughout the year.

Trying to come up with a list of my favorite reads of the year was a bit daunting because most of what I have read has been quite good. There have been no real stinkers in the mix. I've had a couple of two-star reads, no one-stars, but most have been three-stars or more.

I had thirty-seven five-star reads this year and I limited my selection process to those, even though I was strongly tempted by some of the four-stars. From that five-star group, I tried picking my favorite book from each month. In the end, I was able to identify a baker's dozen of books that were my absolute favorites of the year and here they are in the order that I read them with links to my reviews of them.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell

Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Inland by Tea Obreht

The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore

Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarozuk

Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Wow! I have only just realized after listing them that twelve of my thirteen favorite reads of the year were written by women. I did have other five-star reads written by men besides Ocean Vuong, but I have to admit my list was heavily tilted toward female writers. Maybe I'll find more male writers to like in 2020! 



  1. This is an impressive list of books. I would like to read most of them. At the very least I hope to get to Daisy Jones and the Six this year. Hopefully 2020 will also be a good reading year.

    1. This year really has been exceptional for the literature produced. We can only hope that trend continues.

  2. Miriam reads far more fiction than I do and I will pass on your list of favourites to her. My single best work of fiction this year was a reread (after close to fifty years) of John Steinbeck's "East of Eden," a monumental work if ever there was one. All the best for 2020, Dorothy, with many good books along the way.

    1. My younger daughter has resolved to read/reread Steinbeck in 2020. It's hard to beat the classics.

  3. I've read 5 from your list, nice! I'm interested in picking up Mostly Dead Things ... and just want to make sure it's not too harsh on animals? I also should read Ocean Vuong's book.

    1. Nothing harsh to animals, only people, and there are bits of dark humor to leaven the more tragic aspects of the family saga. Vuong's book is unique in style and I found it to be a compelling read. If you decide to read either or both, I'll be interested to read your reviews.

  4. Nice choices for your 2019 favorites... I've acquired both Daisy Jones & The Six and The Old Drift. Hopefully, I read both books later this year.


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