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 📖, children's books 👧, audiobooks 🎧, graphic novels 🖼, e-books 📲, and library books 🤓.  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 📲🖼
  2. Toil and Trouble 📲
  3. Literary Feast 📖🤓
  4. A Hanukkah Treasury 📖🤓👧
  5. A  Box in the Basement 📖
  6. A Confused Hanukkah 📖🤓👧
  7. Born A Crime 🎧
  8. Twisted Twenty-Six 📖🤓
  9. A Christmas Carol 🎧
  10. The Library of the Unwritten 📖
  11. Together for Kwanzaa 📲🤓👧
  12. Kevin’s Kwanzaa 📲🤓👧
  13. A Lot Like Christmas 📲
  14. Dead Letters: An Anthology of the Undelivered, the Missing & the Returned  📲
  15. Our House 📲🤓
  16. The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy 🎧
  17. The Deep 🎧
  18. Read My Pins 📲
  19. The Devil and the Deep 📖 📲
  20. Dear Girls 🎧
  21. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous 📲
  22. The Word Collector 📲👧
  23. Recursion 📖
  24. Herbert’s First Halloween 📲👧

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

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!