My top books of 2019

Studious Saturday

It feels surreal to write this but… it’s almost 2020! This year has had some great and not so great moments but one of my favourite aspects to reflect on is my favourite books of the year. Before I started writing this post a few books immediately jumped out without me even having to think too hard. I decided to split my top books into backlist and those published in 2019, similar to last year’s post Studious Saturday: My Top Books of 2018. You can read my thoughts in full for each book in the below links.

Top books published in 2019

Book CoverBook CoverBook Cover

5. Girl, Woman, Other

4. No Way Out

3. The Passengers

2. Twisted

1. The Chestnut Man

There was no doubt for me that The Chestnut Man deserves the top spot on my list; it was dark, original and gripping. However, it was difficult to narrow down the other 3 thrillers as they were all extremely well written. Twisted won the battle for me as it had the most intense plot but The Passengers was equally engrossing as it comprised of a set of especially unique characters. Cara Hunter’s addition to the DI Fawley series, No Way Out, did not disappoint and I felt had to be included in this list. Finally, although I found some issues with the writing style of Girl, Woman, Other, the subject matter was perhaps the most interesting I have read this year and is a book I have been recommending a lot lately.

Top backlist books

Book CoverBook CoverBook Cover

5. Beartown

4. I Am the Messenger


2. Where the Crawdads Sing

1. Changeling


I am happy that I managed to tackle the long list of backlist books this year and even more pleased that several of those books quickly became some of my favourites. It wasn’t easy to pick the top spot between Changeling and Where the Crawdads Sing because even though I loved them both for different reasons, the writing style and setting is very different. However, Changeling ultimately managed to convince me with its slick plot and excellent storytelling. A surprise for me this year was Circe which I read in January for book club and was a wonderful introduction to a new genre. I also decided to read more of one of my favourite authors, Markus Zusak, and it took me a very long time to get over the brilliant ending of I Am the Messenger. Later on in the year I read Beartown, an excellent book that stayed with me for a long time and made me reflect on several aspects of life.

Some of these books have certainly made their way to my favourites to date and I am so pleased for the recommendations, advanced reader’s copies and other opportunities through the book blogging community. I can’t wait to tackle the remainder of my TBR list next year and for even more exciting thrillers and thought-provoking contemporary and historical fiction.

Question time

What are your favourite books of 2019?

17 thoughts on “My top books of 2019

  1. Thank you, Darina, again for a comprehensive and well thought out list of your favourite books of 2019. I will be looking at reading the ones I haven’t had the chance to yet but I must say it would be difficult to beat Cara Hunter really, for me. I still need to get on with girl, woman, other but I am a bit put off by the writing style still.
    An excellent and very informative review again, well done!
    I hope you add many more great books to your “read” list in 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like you had a great reading year – it’s always fun to stray into a new genre and discover you like it, even if it does do awful things to the TBR list! Hope 2020 brings you even more great books! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely! It took me a bit longer to finish books in the fantasy or dystopia genre but I am glad that I stuck along with my original plan to read more diverse books as they happened to be some of my favourites of the year. Thanks, I hope that 2020 is a great reading year for you too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beartown and it’s sequel US Against You was great, very emotional, but hard to put down.
    I loved The Chestnut Man, it was my most favorite thriller in 2019.
    CIRCE was great but didn’t quite really reach the hype for me that everyone else felt about it.
    And the Crawdads was very understated but powerful for me. I listened to the audiobook last summer, and I still sometimes think about it.
    And I just finished Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh and LOVED it. It took me a little to get into the book, but afterwards I was hooked, will be reading his next books for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed these books! Shame about Circe but I understand why it didn’t quite work for many people. And I agree with you about Steve Cavanagh, I’m really excited to read his next books too!


  4. Pingback: My top books of 2020 | Facing the Story

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