Gems of 2019 and a blog break

It is nearly the end of 2019, and thus time for my yearly list of books that I loved best during the year.

Usually, if a book is good enough to be on this list, I try to review it. But this year I just did not have time to do all the reviews I would have liked to. That makes me sad because it cements my own experience of a book when I review it (as I discussed in How do you remember what you read?), but it’s just the way things are right now. We’ll see how it goes next year.

Speaking of 2020, I’ll be taking a break for a few weeks over the holidays, and plan to be back in early January. But first I want to thank everyone once more for following me on this reading journey. I appreciate you all very much! And I look forward to reading your own year-end favorite lists. Please feel free to link up in the comments.

2019 releases:
Fiction – Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
Nonfiction – Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Other books read in 2019:
Historical Fiction – Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff
Quasi-Historical Fantasy – Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
Fantasy – Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Series starter- Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Romance – Vittoria Cottage by D.E. Stevenson
Horror – Kindred by Octavia Butler
Children’s – Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Biography – Helen Keller by Dorothy Herrmann
Memoir – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Graphic narrative – Ce n’est pas toi que j’attendais by Fabien Toulmé
Spirituality – My Religion by Helen Keller
Rereads – Watership Down by Richard Adams
New to me author – Oliver Sacks
Revisited author – Robertson Davies
Book everyone should read – Daring to Drive by Manal al-Sharif
Preview of a 2020 release – Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor

25 thoughts on “Gems of 2019 and a blog break

  1. You liked Once Upon A River that much? When I reviewed it (June 6, 2019) I said that “The bad guys are all terribly bad and the good guys are practically perfect, and if there’s metaphorical significance to the way tales are told at the very old English inn where the action of the novel is set, it’s nothing we haven’t heard about before.”


    1. For some reason those things didn’t bother me in this case. Go figure. But I agree it would not have been a standout, if not for the fact that I barely read any 2019 releases. And compared to Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte it was a masterpiece.


  2. That’s a super list. Hope you have a lovely holiday period and come back refreshed and renewed to share some more great reads with us. My books of the year list comes out on 1 January and I haven’t started making it yet!


  3. That’s a great selection of categories and books. I read Once Upon a River and Under Heaven this year too and enjoyed Assassin’s Apprentice, Vittoria Cottage and Kindred in previous years. Have a lovely Christmas and enjoy your blogging break!


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