2019 book list

So it would seem that this blog has become a place where, if nothing else, I at least keep up with an annual list both of birthday gratitudes and books (mostly novels) read.  You'd think at the very least I could also finally share some of our huge summer road trip and maybe some highlights from the homeschooling year, but what can I say? Instagram makes it so very easy, maybe that's what. Still, I'd like to try a bit more. If for no other reason because I like having this somewhat lengthier and certainly longer-curated chronicle of our days and lives. It always make me so happy to look back through the blog archives.  So as I guess I keep saying, we'll see.

For now though, here's my book list from 2019.  Listed in order read with favorites starred.  As you'll see, once I got to Where the Crawdads Sing, I decided one star wasn't enough so I gave it two.  Turns out I very much liked several books last year, so a few more earned that extra fancy double asterisk.

*A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles

Simple Things, Erin Boyle

Still Me, Jojo Moyes (she's one of my favorite authors, and this was good- she never lets me down, but it wasn't a favorite.  I'm *somewhat* patiently awaiting my library hold copy of Giver of Stars)

*Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, JK Rowling

Wednesday's Children, Kathryn Michaels

Britt-Marie was Here, Frederik Backman

*Us Against You, Frederik Backman (really really like his writing, pretty much always)

*Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, JK Rowling

You Were Made for This, Michelle Sacks

Unsheltered, Barbara Kingsolver (I love her, but I found myself only truly interested in one of the stories being told here- the one from the 1880s-and not so into the modern day story)

Warlight, Michael Ondaatje

Sugar Land, Tammy Lynne Stoner

Victory Garden, Rhys Bowen

*We Hope for Better Things, Erin Bartels

Notes on a Nervous Planet, Matt Haig

The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted, Robert Hillman

*Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman

**Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens (I mean, wow. Totally worth all the attention, I'd say)

*The Girl He Used to Know, Tracey Garvis Graves

Ellen Foster, Kaye Gibbons

*Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly

**East of Eden, John Steinbeck (Grapes of Wrath is in my top ten, probably top five. This didn't edge that out, but my gosh I just love his honest and raw and salty and real writing. So much.)

**Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling (my fave HP. well, maybe tied with book 3...)

The Songs of the Humpback Whale, Jodi Picoult (Maybe not the best choice for a first read of hers, as it left me feeling unresolved and a little pissed and therefore not keen to give her another try. But please tell me if I'm wrong and there's a particular gem out there of hers.)

The Body Lies, Jo Baker

Lost Roses, Martha Hall Kelly (really good, but I didn't love it as much as Lilac Girls)

All the Flowers in Paris, Sarah Jio (so close to wanting to give this a *)

In Another Time, Jillian Cantor

*The Winter People,  Jennifer McMahon (creepy! totally different for me but I liked it!)

*The Book Thief, Markus Zusak (There were a few things I didn't like about the book but overall I was just so moved by it, by certain characters and parts of it, that it must get a star. I mean it guts you, for sure, as most of you probably know because you've probably already read it. Ooph)

Rules For Visiting, Jessica Francis Kane

Last Ones Left Alive, Sarah Davis Goff  (bizarre and apocalyptic- made me want to start training hard core in case I need to fight off monsters or zombies or something, so there's that...)

*Call Your Daughter Home, Deb Spera (so, so good. historical fiction telling the stories of women struggling in the depression era south)

History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund

*The Wolf Border, Sarah Hall

Future Home of the Living God, Louise Erdrich

Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout (I mean, it was really good- I know a lot of folks love Olive. I'm looking forward to the sequel but it wasn't a big standout for me of the year.)

**Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates (I don't really know what to say, but I loved it. There were times it felt a little hard for me to come to terms with magical-realism-meets-the-horror-of-slavery, as though that was a too-light handling of it, but I just thought the writing was so beautiful. One of those books where I'd find myself reading lines aloud because I loved them so much.)

*The Testaments, Margaret Atwood

**City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert (mmmmm so good)

Widow of Rose House, Diana Biller

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All, Laura Ruby (technically still reading, so we'll have to see about stars, but so far so good!)

And there you have it! Happy reading in 2020! I've already got a list going for the year and have a few holds at the library, but I'm always, always looking for recommendations.  What were your favorite reads last year?

Lists from previous years:



  1. I love bookish posts! Mine is on my blog, that I wrote on New Year's Eve. I listed my top picks there. Happy new year!

  2. Oh good- now I have some new books to add to my reading list! I agree, Where the Crawdads Sing and City of Girls were both SO good. I'm reading All the Flowers in Paris right now. One of my favorites from last year was The Lager Queen of Minnesota-- just wonderful! I have A Gentleman in Moscow lined up next... have you read his other book, Rules of Civility? It was another favorite of mine.

    1. I haven't read Rules of Civility (or The Lager Queen of Minnesota) but I'm adding them to my list!

  3. Also- are you on Goodreads? I'd love to follow you!

    1. I am! I'm afraid I don't update it often at all, mostly I just keep track of things here once a year.

  4. Have you read The Indifferent Stars Above? One of my favorites this year!

  5. i looooove reading through your booklists, and it feels really good to read you on here. there feels like less of a rush on a blog. not needing to scroll on to the next or something... hmmm. i'm glad you shared. you have me really excited about harry potter. we have been reading through them... just finished book four. many people had warned us that the remaining books were too dark and not as good as the first four. had me nervous. but since you have rated them so well and have books 3 and 7 possibly tied for favorite! (book 3 is my favorite so far... so that especially excites me.) where the crawdads sing is high on my list as well... i think i'm saving it for early summer though. it feels like a summer read to me... and i always like to read books in the season that they seem to fit... an odd little bit about me. speaking of which... the golden compass books (called "his dark materials") are an excellent winter read. you will love the characters lyra and her dear pantalaimon. that trilogy is at the top of my all-time favorites list.

    1. Hi Jenny! Hurrah for Harry Potter~ honestly The Goblet of Fire was my least favorite (can't exactly put my finger on why) and I very much enjoyed the last three. Especially 6 and 7. Where the Crawdads Sing would definitely be a good summery one, and here you've convinced me to dive into the Golden Compass books, finally.

  6. One more bookish thought-- Since you like Jojo Moyes, you may really like Elin Hilderbrand!

    1. thanks! my favorite of Jojo Moyes' have been her historical fictions, but I've enjoyed her other stuff as well- do you find they have similar writing styles?


thanks for taking the time to read and comment~