My Favorite Books of 2019

From the “Better Late Than Never” Department

In between games of Typing Maniac, I’ve been outlining my next posts and it dawned on me that I’ve never shared my favorite books of 2019 list on this blog.

As usual, I had a plethora of titles to recommend. Click here for the complete printable list on a Google doc. I had written about some of them in my post from a year ago so if you need a refresher, check Recent Reading for 2019.

Below I’ve highlighted a few more titles with a reminder that clicking on the highlighted book title will take you to the Goodreads entry or my review.

Perfect Book Group Choices

Hands down, my favorite novel of the year was The Dearly Beloved. One concern I’ve heard from readers is this might be too “faith-based,” but it’s not. Quite frankly, if I hadn’t been sent an early copy with a personal note from the publisher, I probably wouldn’t have read it. The author presents the religious topic from four different viewpoints with much fodder for discussion. Read my GoodReads review for more details.

Olive, Again is the sequel the Pulitzer Prize winner, Olive Kitteridge, and again features curmudgeonly yet somehow endearing Olive as she navigates life and old age.

Crime Fiction

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson is a riveting domestic psychological thriller featuring a cat-and-mouse game between two women trying to outguess each other’s next moves. It was definitely twisted in all of the good ways.

As I said in my Goodreads review, I’m not saying much about Tarryn Fisher’s The Wives lest I spoil it but if you’ve ever heard the term “unreliable narrator,” you’ll be on the edge of your couch trying to figure out what is real and what isn’t.

J. A. Jance never ever disappoints me when it comes to writing about J. P. Beaumont (“Beau”) and I loved every minute of the 24th entry in the series, The  Sins of the Fathers. I always add the caveat that if you’ve never read this series, read the first title, Until Proven Guilty, and then feel free to skip around but don’t go too far astray as Beau’s development is a major component of the story.

Narrative Nonfiction

Mortician Caitlin Doughty’s previous book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, is one of my favorite books about cremation–OK, it’s the only book I’ve read about life in a crematory, but it’s still fascinating although at times it can be a little stomach-churning. Her latest book, Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs, addresses questions from children about death and dying and not only did I find it fascinating, but I also loved the whimsical drawings throughout.

Ever since I read Nickel and Dimed, I’ve had a fascination with “immersion journalism” where the author reports on what goes on behind-the-scenes of any type of industry.  If you’re interested in what life is like working in an Amazon warehouse, customer call center, or even a busy McDonald’s (it’s more interesting than you might think), pick up On the Clock by Emily Guendelsberger.

Even if you don’t give a whit about grammar, words, or how language should be properly used, read Dreyer’s English for the snark and humor. I’m not one to read a book from cover to cover on how to correct your grammar but Dreyer is hilarious and I devoured every word.

Stay tuned as my next blog post will focus on a bunch of memoirs I’ve read over the past few months.

By now many of you have probably seen this clever grouping of book titles, but if not, it’s worth reading through it.

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1 thought on “My Favorite Books of 2019

  1. Thanks for more recommendations Robin! Now that we are in the spring season, I am spending a great deal of time birding and not as much reading. I see a few here I will make note of. The collection of books on the bookcase looks interesting. The only one of those I have read is On The Beach – which you recommended awhile back. I still think about that book.


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