Books Read in 2019 and the “Best of” Winners

As the year comes to an end, let’s all reflect on all the wonderful books we’ve had time to read this year!

As you can probably tell by the list, I like to read. And I like to read widely. From biographies, to young adult, to fantasy, to philosophy — I love it all. Below is the order of books I read this year. You can probably tell when I got tired of a genre and needed to try something new.

Believe me when I say this was an unusual number of books for me to read in just a year. I had a lot of time traveling with audiobooks and physical books, and I had a job for several months where I listened to audiobooks while I worked. Needless to say, these past three months I’ve slowed down a lot. I can already tell this upcoming year won’t be as big of a list!

Have you read any of the books listed below? What books did you read this year? List out your book winners or want-to-read(s) in the comments below!

I’ve also written several reviews for the books listed below. Check out their links!

Books Read In 2019

  1. Wild, Cheryl Strayed
  2. The Solitude of Prime Numbers, Paolo Giordano
  3. The Baron in the Trees, Italo Calvino
  4. Lord of Shadows, Cassandra Clare
  5. The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye, A.S. Byatt
  6. Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger?, Sherry F. Colb
  7. Eye of the World (WoT #1), Robert Jordan
  8. The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson
  9. Roots of Yoga, James Mallinson and Mark Singleton
  10. The Great Hunt (WoT #2), Robert Jordan
  11. If You Could Be Mine, Sara Farizan
  12. Queen of Air and Darkness, Cassandra Clare
  13. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Philip K. Dick
  14. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman
  15. Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbit
  16. Storm Front (Dresden Files #1), Jim Butcher
  17. Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
  18. Fool Moon (Dresden Files #2), Jim Butcher
  19. The Magicians, Lev Grossman
  20. The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron
  21. Ready Player One, Ernest Cline
  22. The Poet X, Elizabeth Acevedo
  23. The Story of Owen, E.K. Johnston
  24. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
  25. The Magician King, Lev Grossman
  26. Finding Ultra, Rich Roll
  27. Over Sea, Under Stone, Susan Cooper
  28. Dragon Reborn (WoT #3), Robert Jordan
  29. On Writing, Stephen King
  30. Akata Witch, Nnedi Okorafor
  31. Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi
  32. Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan
  33. The Magician’s Land, Lev Grossman
  34. Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
  35. The Dark Is Rising, Susan Cooper,
  36. D.I.Y. Magic, Anthony Alvarado
  37. The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger
  38. The Green Mile, Stephen King
  39. Love Wins, Rob Bell
  40. White Cat, Holly Black
  41. The Power, Naomi Alderman
  42. Grave Peril (Dresden Files #3), Jim Butcher
  43. Red Glove, Holly Black
  44. The Shadow Rising (WoT #4), Robert Jordan
  45. Black Heart, Holly Black
  46. Greenwitch, Susan Cooper
  47. The Awakening, L.J. Smith
  48. The Struggle, L.J. Smith
  49. The Fury, L.J. Smith
  50. The Wise Man’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss
  51. Odd Thomas, Dean Koontz
  52. Forever Odd, Dean Koontz
  53. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
  54. We Are Okay, Nina Lacour
  55. A Gift of Magic, Lois Duncan
  56. Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer
  57. The Kiss of Deception, Mary E. Pearson
  58. Good Omens, Terry Pritchett and Neil Gaiman
  59. The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
  60. The Heart of Betrayal, Marry E. Pearson
  61. The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman
  62. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert
  63. You Are a Badass at Making Money, Jen Sincero
  64. The Biblical Clock, Daniel Friedmann
  65. You Are a Badass, Jen Sincero
  66. Project Tau, Jude Austin
  67. Writing Magic, Gail Carson Levine
  68. We Are Voulhire, Matthew Tysz

Best Book to Movie Adaptation – Odd Thomas

Odd Thomas

If you’ve never seen this move starring Anton Yelchin (Star Trek), you should definitely check it out. It was on Netflix the last time I watched it. What’s great about this movie is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it also maintains a pretty cohesive and entertaining story. Basically Odd Thomas can communicate with dead people. But he also can see these strange creatures that bring about bad luck and death. It’s really funny, very charming, and both the movie and the book made me cry.

Best Fantasy – Eye of the World

Eye of the Word

When I started this book, I didn’t know how much I’d been missing a grand fantasy series. Little did I know I’d be strapping in for another 14 books (and a prequel). I haven’t finished the series yet, but this one is by far my favorite. It’s fast-paced, nostalgic of those old fashion epics of yore, and creates a very unique world. It’s also being made into a TV series, so definitely read this first book before it comes out!

Most Inspirational Read – The Artist’s Way

The Artist’s Way

I’m usually pretty skeptical of how-to or self-improvement books, but this one really spoke to me. I’ve been hearing about it for a long time by a variety of different creatives that I follow on podcasts, YouTube, etc. So I finally gave it a go. This book is so helpful and encouraging for people who feel like they’ll never be creatives and make money. It also gives fantastic, practical advice for getting through creative blocks.

Best Fiction – The Solitude of Prime Numbers

The Solitude of Prime Numbers

I went through a phase of wanting to explore “classic” Italian literature and ended up reading this book among the few I selected. It was one of those rare times when I couldn’t stop reading, and when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about this book and how much I wanted to know what happened next. I’m usually not a huge fan of realistic fiction or pretty dry storylines, but there was something almost mystical about the writing. If you’ve ever read The Sun Is Also a Star, you might like the dynamic that is created in this book between the two leads.

Best YA Book – The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go

I was recruited to read this book by a teacher who wasn’t sure if it would be okay to let her grade school students read. It was pretty violent and had some swearing, but the structure, voice, and story were so strong and engaging that I couldn’t put it down. Every spare second I had, I found myself gravitating back to this book. It does a lot of unique things with the white space of the page, and I think that it’s a great addition to the YA world.

Best Short Story Collection – The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye

The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye

If you’re tired of the same fairytale stories of helpless girls and misogynistic knights, this collection of stories will be perfect for you. It’s a bit of a story within a story, but it also gives new twists to stories that feel a little familiar. I’ve never read Byatt before this book, but I’m definitely interested in reading more of her works.

Weirdest Series – The Magicians

The Magicians, Lev Grossman

If you’ve ever seen American Horror Story and felt like it was trying too hard to be edgy for the sake of being edgy, you might feel the same about this book series. Honestly, though I liked the first and kind of liked the second, this series got out of hand and wacky way too fast. Set in a boy’s Narnia-dream-world come to life, this book series pushes sexual tension, the cost of magic, and realistic wizard schools to the extreme. Interesting, but definitely not my favorite read this year.

Best Writing Book – On Writing

On Writing

Coming in a close second to my favorite audiobook of the year, this book was super inspiring as a writer. I’ve read only a few of King’s books, but hearing him talk about his experiences as a struggling writer, while also being highly entertained was a highlight of my day. Seriously, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to grow in their writing. I also highly recommend listening to the audiobook, as Stephen King reads it himself.

Best Theological/Philosophical Read – Love Wins

Love Wins

While my philosophical reads this year were pretty limited, the few that I read were very insightful. This book really made me question my beliefs about heaven and hell — especially regarding if hell even exists. Even if you don’t necessarily consider yourself a Christian, Rob Bell writes in a very approachable and inclusive way. Annnnd this book basically got him excommunicated from the church. So it’s definitely filled with controversial ideas.

Best Audiobook – Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone

Audiobooks are usually hit or miss with me, as they can often be read so poorly. But even more often, reading them out loud reveals all of the book’s flaws. But in this case, I would recommend listening to the audiobook over reading the physical book. Firstly, the reader (Bahni Turpin) was fantastic and made hearing the names of places and people much easier than reading them. Secondly, there were several times where characters chant or sing songs. And Bahni sings. Actually sings. It gave me literal chills. There was one part near the end where this happened and I started screaming with excitement in my car. Yes, I know I’m a nerd.

Most Anticipated Sequel – The Kingkiller Chronicle Book 3

The Name of the Wind

These might be the longest books I’ve ever read in my life. And while you can’t really say that they’re action-packed, this slow-burn fantasy series is so addicting and hypnotic that I couldn’t put it down. The only problem is everyone has been waiting for the third and final book to come out for several years past its promised released date. I know that I will be super hyped to read the conclusion, and if you like really scientifically grounded fantasy with great bard-like storytelling, you should definitely read these two.

Special Mentions

Practical Magic – It wasn’t awarded above, but its one of the best magical realism novels I’ve read. It’s definitely worth the read. If you like to imagine how real witches live in our world and want something similar to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants at the same time, this one’s for you.

If You Could Be Mine – this deserves a mention just for being incredibly unique and powerful. It follows the story of two young Muslim girls as they wrestle with feelings for each other and how to survive in a society that strictly forbids their relationship. Definitely a book worth considering if you want to see a different perspective than most YA books.

Conclusions

Well, that’s it for this year! What books did you read in 2019 or have planned to read in 2020? I would love to know your tops for the categories I’ve listed above. Have you read any of the books I’ve read this year? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

One Comment on “Books Read in 2019 and the “Best of” Winners

  1. Pingback: Book Wrap Up (April): Slow and Nostalgic Reading in Quarantine – Cornfields in LA

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