Best Books Read in 2019
With all the "best of" lists popping up everywhere, I figured it was time for ours. Looking back over this year I realized I did a lot of re-reading and escapist reading (hello, vampire romance novels!) but I did do some quality, make-you-think reading, too. My favorites this year were:
1) Circe by Madeline Miller. This tale of the Grecian nymph was brilliantly told and was my favorite of the year, hands down.
2) Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. I went into this honestly thinking I would hate it. Much to my surprise it grabbed me immediately and I could not put it down. The style and structure are crazy, but once I understood what he was doing, I was hooked. Ultimately, it is a story about our humanity, and it brought me to tears in a couple of places. Brilliant.
3) Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb. I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but this was a page-turner.
4) The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett. I loved everything about this book, from the English setting to the Grail lore to the hopping back and forth in time - it just worked. I went on to read four of his other books after this and they were all good, but I liked this one best.
5) The Cuckoo's Calling (and the three books following) by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling. I have never been much of a mystery reader, but now I guess I am. These police procedural/murder mysteries are violent and disturbing, but the relationship between Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott kept me coming back to see what happened next.
6) Warlight by Michael Ondaatje. This tale of WWII spies and a half-remembered childhood was atmospheric and beautifully written.
7) Educated by Tara Westover. This memoir was also gritty and violent, but also hopeful. As a first book it had it's uneven spots, but the story was so compelling I felt it warranted a place on my best of list. Another one I could not put down.
What were your favorite books of 2019?