Top 10 Books I Read in 2019

I’ve read so much this year, and I’m quite proud of myself for it. I may still gravitate toward the same few genres (young adult, fantasy, and mythology), but I also got a bit out of my comfort zone by delving into more graphic novels and a few nonfiction books too.

Narrowing down my top ten books was quite difficult, because I read so many excellent novels this year! And putting them in order was even harder. Really, it would be better to consider all of these as tied for first place.

Note: This list features only books I read this year that were new to me, regardless of when they were published. Also, if I read more than one book by the same author, I only counted my highest rated book by them; that way the list has more variety instead of being exclusively three or four authors.

10. They Called Us Enemy

George Takei; Graphic Novel

This graphic novel serves as a memoir and a call to action against injustice. Seeing how Takei experienced the Japanese American internment camps and the aftermath of that act of racism is so moving and important.

Check out my full review of this book here!

9. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Mackenzi Lee; Young Adult Fiction

This hilarious, slightly anachronistic historical romance was a total delight to read—excellent characters, wonderful themes, and a fast-paced, unpredictable adventure. Plus some great representation in terms of race and sexuality. I read this twice this year and adored it both times!

Check out my full review of this book here!

8. Red, White & Royal Blue

Casey McQuiston; Romance

This is an engaging, adorable love story between a fictional First Son of the US and the Prince of Wales. It completely swept me off my feet!

Check out my full review of this book here!

7. The Starless Sea

Erin Morgenstern; Fantasy/Literature

I hardly know how to describe this atmospheric, beautiful, strange adventure in an underground library. But I loved the setting, the characters, and the story. A brilliant book.

Check out my full review of this book here!

6. Good Omens

Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett; Fantasy

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to read this odd but amazing novel. Very British humor, very British characters, but a lovely message of hope for all humanity. Plus, I adore the two main characters to pieces!

Check out my full review of this book here!

5. The Tyrant’s Tomb

Rick Riordan; Middle Grade Fantasy

What? Riordan is on this list? I bet no one is surprised. But he just continues to impress me with the Trials of Apollo series—so much diversity and heart and relatable characters, with an adventure that leaves you aching for the final book.

Check out my full review of this book here!

4. With the Fire on High

Elizabeth Acevedo; Young Adult Fiction

While I loved Acevedo’s debut The Poet X, I found this one to be even more enjoyable. It’s empowering and interesting, with a great message about family and responsibility, from a powerhouse of a writer who’s become one of the people I’ll automatically read.

Check out my full review of this book here!

3. A Conjuring of Light

V. E. Schwab; Fantasy

Schwab is one of the best fantasy writers working today, and this conclusion to the Shades of Magic trilogy is my favorite book of hers I’ve read. Incredible character development and worldbuilding, plus an intense climax and satisfying conclusion.

Check out my full review of this book here!

2. Dreyer’s English

Benjamin Dreyer; Nonfiction

Being a grammar geek, I had such a fun time reading this funny, detailed, informative guide to grammar by an important figure in publishing. Anyone and everyone should read this.

Check out my full review of this book here!

1. The Prince and the Dressmaker

Jen Wang; Young Adult Graphic Novel

If I had to describe this in three words: adorable, uplifting, heartfelt. The story is moving, the characters are lovely, and the message of self-acceptance and friendship is SO sweet.

Check out my full review of this book here!

And that’s all she read!

I would also like to include shout-outs to two books by people I know personally: Unnecessary Sorrow by Joe Hight, and Black Was Not a Label by Kathryn H. Ross. Please go read them both!

Some stats: I read 52 new-to-me titles this year, not counting rereading several Rick Riordan books and many other old favorites. My current to-read list is 127 titles, which is exactly the number it was at last year so… just looking at the numbers, it’s like I made no progress. Oh, well. Still, here’s hoping 2020 is just as excellent a year for reading as this year has been!

Happy New Year!

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