Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Best Books Read in 2019

I read some really enjoyable books in 2019, and a lot of titles — in part because I didn't stay in my lane. 

I read a lot of graphic novels, courtesy of My Library's ample "Graphic Novel" section. It's suspiciously close to the YA section and the Teen Center, but that doesn't slow me down. In fact, it speeds me up: kids these days have the coolest stuff!


I read some picture books and chapter books. First of all, I don't know why more adults aren't hooked on Mr. Putter and Tabby. (Maybe they are and I just haven't learned the secret wink.) At any rate, people of all ages can appreciate an elderly man and his older cat who get into scrapes with his elderly neighbor and her good dog.


I read The Odyssey in audio, print, graphic novel, and e-book — and discovered that not all booked deemed "classics" stand the test of time, and may not have deserved that recognition in the first place. My opinion was reaffirmed when I read a book about classics recommended by a scholar. (Lolita, anyone?)


Of the dozen books chosen by my book club in 2019, I read 11. I am not yet ready to read Beloved — and I say that after reading the Schmoop chapter-by-chapter discussion of that tome. When the teacher says, "You might need to sit down for this one," they're not kidding.


You'll find about a dozen or so series on this list, from Mary Poppins and Carter & Lovecraft to The Sixth World and Chronicles of the One. Not to mention Themis Files.


My favorites? 

  • The Ends of the World: I didn't expect to be as affected by a story about prehistoric world endings, but it makes me see the future very differently. Now where I plan to live in my advanced years is changing.
  • The Fifth Risk: I love government, and I am so happy for this love letter to federal government function and service. My favorite part was the very last story.
  • Born a Crime: I knew about apartheid, but I didn't know apartheid. Now I do.
  • The Deep: So original, so moving, and very well-read.
  • Letters from Skye: I was riveted, and moved, and couldn't wait to gift this book to my best reading buddy (who doesn't listen to audiobooks, but I thought this may change her mind).
  • Two series: the Themis Files and the Sixth World: How creative, imaginative, and cautionary. Literally out of this world, and grounded — at the same time.


Least favorites? 

  • 10 Years Younger. I need to stop reading pop-help books.
  • Where the Crawdads Sing. I have a love/hate relationship with this beautifully written book. I loved it immensely until the last two pages.


Here is my list of 2019 reads, which includes print books πŸ“–, children's books πŸ‘§, audiobooks πŸŽ§, graphic novels πŸ–Ό, e-books πŸ“², and library books πŸ€“.  I think I captured all of the categories, but if I didn't think a book necessarily stayed in its lane, I may have skipped that emoji. 



  1. They Called Us Enemy πŸ“²πŸ–Ό
  2. Toil and Trouble πŸ“²
  3. Literary Feast πŸ“–πŸ€“
  4. A Hanukkah Treasury πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ‘§
  5. A  Box in the Basement πŸ“–
  6. A Confused Hanukkah πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ‘§
  7. Born A Crime 🎧
  8. Twisted Twenty-Six πŸ“–πŸ€“
  9. A Christmas Carol 🎧
  10. The Library of the Unwritten πŸ“–
  11. Together for Kwanzaa πŸ“²πŸ€“πŸ‘§
  12. Kevin’s Kwanzaa πŸ“²πŸ€“πŸ‘§
  13. A Lot Like Christmas πŸ“²
  14. Dead Letters: An Anthology of the Undelivered, the Missing & the Returned  πŸ“²
  15. Our House πŸ“²πŸ€“
  16. The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy 🎧
  17. The Deep 🎧
  18. Read My Pins πŸ“²
  19. The Devil and the Deep πŸ“– πŸ“²
  20. Dear Girls 🎧
  21. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous πŸ“²
  22. The Word Collector πŸ“²πŸ‘§
  23. Recursion πŸ“–
  24. Herbert’s First Halloween πŸ“²πŸ‘§

  25. Paperbacks From Hell πŸ“–πŸ€“
  26. All My Friends Are Still Dead πŸ“²
  27. Ninth House πŸ“–
  28. Gift From the Sea πŸ“–
  29. Where the Crawdads Sing πŸ“–
  30. K is for Knifeball πŸ“²
  31. I Was Their American Dream πŸ“–πŸ€“
  32. Letters from Skye  πŸŽ§πŸ“²πŸ€“
  33. Spike the Dinosaur πŸ“²πŸ‘§
  34. I Could Pee on This Too πŸ“²
  35. Fortunately the Milk πŸ“–πŸ‘§
  36. Sorry I Barfed on Your Bed (and other heartwarming letters from Kitty) πŸ“²
  37. Only Human πŸ“²
  38. Rupert Can Dance πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ˜‰
  39. Mr. Putter and Tabby Smell the Roses πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ‘§
  40. Sheets πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ–Ό
  41. The Testaments πŸ“–
  42. Mr. Putter and Tabby Hit the Slopes πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ‘§
  43. You wouldn’t want to be sick in the 16th Century πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ˜‰
  44. Mr. Putter and Tabby Turn the Page πŸ“²πŸ‘§
  45. The Nickel Boys 🎧
  46. Summer Hours at the Robbers Library πŸ“–
  47. Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery - the graphic novel adaptation πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ–Ό
  48. The Someone New πŸ“–πŸ‘§
  49. Waking Gods πŸ“²
  50. Never Split the Difference 🎧
  51. Vincent πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ–Ό
  52. The Confessions of Max Tivoli πŸ“²
  53. City of Ghosts πŸ“² πŸ€“
  54. Anything is Possible πŸ“–
  55. Martina the Beautiful Cockroach πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ‘§
  56. Probable Paws (Mystic Notch Book 5) πŸ“²
  57. Severance πŸ“–
  58. The Last Dragon πŸ“–πŸ€“ πŸ–Ό
  59. Maneater Vol. 1 πŸ“–πŸ€“ πŸ–Ό
  60. Underground Airlines πŸ“²
  61. Ghosted πŸ“² πŸ€“
  62. The Lost Gutenberg 🎧
  63. Nine Perfect Strangers πŸ“–
  64. Beowulf on the Beach: What to Love And What to Skip on Literature’s 50 Greatest Hits πŸ“–πŸ€“
  65. Storm of Locusts πŸ“²
  66. The Lost Man πŸ“²
  67. Dogs of War πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ–Ό
  68. The One Hundred Nights of Hero πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ–Ό
  69. The Odyssey: Graphic Novel πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ–Ό
  70. The Odyssey πŸŽ§πŸ“–πŸ“²
  71. Sleeping Giants πŸ“²
  72. A Family Secret πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ–Ό
  73. Sabrina πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ–Ό
  74. The Phantom Tollbooth 🎧
  75. Early Riser πŸ“–
  76. The Hug πŸ“–πŸ‘§
  77. Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble πŸ“–πŸ‘§
  78. History vs Women: the defiant lives that they don’t want you to know πŸ“–πŸ€“
  79. Good Omens 🎧
  80. To Kill a Mockingbird: the graphic novel πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ–Ό
  81. The Bad Seed πŸ“²πŸ‘§
  82. 10 Years Younger: 21 Surprising Techniques to Turn Back Time πŸ“²
  83. I Won’t Cut My Hair πŸ“²πŸ‘§
  84. Illegal πŸ“–πŸ–Ό
  85. Why we love cats πŸ“–
  86. Talk to the tail ‘cause the whiskers ain’t listenin’! πŸ“–
  87. Stitches  πŸ“²πŸ–Ό
  88. Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants πŸ“–
  89. Mousetronaut πŸ“–πŸ‘§
  90. The Ends of the World 🎧
  91. Ruby and Baby … an unlikely friendship πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ‘§
  92. Library Lion πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ‘§
  93. The House With a Clock In Its Walls πŸ“²πŸ€“
  94.  Evicted 🎧
  95. Dear Fahrenheit 451 πŸ“–πŸ€“
  96. Year One πŸ“–
  97. A Memory of Wind πŸ“²
  98. Carter & Lovecraft πŸ“²
  99. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo πŸ“²πŸ‘§
  100. The Minimalist Home πŸ“²πŸ€“
  101. I See a Bear, But… πŸ“²πŸ‘§
  102. Sisters πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ–Ό
  103. A Higher Loyalty 🎧 πŸ€“
  104. The Library Book πŸ“–
  105. Educated 🎧
  106. Uncommon Type (dnf) 🎧
  107. Everything is Teeth πŸ“–πŸ€“
  108. Forbidden Films πŸ“–πŸ€“
  109. Becoming 🎧
  110. Trail of Lightning πŸ“²
  111. Three Sisters, Three Queens πŸ“²
  112. We Don't Eat Our Classmates πŸ“²πŸ‘§
  113. Smile πŸ“–πŸ€“πŸ–Ό 
  114. Mary Poppins Comes Back πŸ“²πŸ‘§
  115. Mary Poppins πŸ“²πŸ‘§
  116. Mary Poppins πŸ“²πŸ‘§

I don't often re-read, so the first book of the year being a re-read was a little ironic — but after seeing "Mary Poppins Returns" in the theater three times, I couldn't resist. 


I've provided links to the reviews and discussions related to the books, for your reading enjoyment. I also discussed some of the books on Instagram @fromonebooklover and Twitter @from1booklover.


Did you read any of these books? What did you think? Let me know, and tell me what you read!