Best Books of 2019 So Far

Best Books of 2019 So Far


2019 is shaping up to be an excellent reading year so far! I’ve read 43 books and liked 84% of the books I read. My average star rating is 3.95 (although, this is skewed high because y’all know I don’t finish many books I don’t like) and I’ve already read seven 5 star books this year (compared to 8 for the entirety of 2018!).

For the past two years, 50-60% of the books on my June Best Books of the Year So Far lists (2018, 2017) ended up on my overall favorite books of the year lists (2018, 2017). And, I’d be shocked if at least half of the books on this list don’t stand up at year end!

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My Best Books of 2019 So Far

Ask Again, Yesby Mary Beth Keane (my review)
A compulsively readable family drama…

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (my review)
The historical fiction that won me over despite the fact that I’m not into the NYC theater scene…

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (my review)
My current #1 book of 2019…

I Miss You When I Blinkby Mary Laura Philpott (my review)
The 2019 book I relate to most…

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim (my review)
The courtroom drama that’s so much more than a courtroom drama…

Normal Peopleby Sally Rooney (my review)
An intimate love and coming of age story that won’t be for everyone…

Out Eastby John Glynn (my review)
The memoir you think will be a ton of surface-level partying, but is actually heartfelt and emotional…

The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer (my review)
An epic historical love affair based on real life people…

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker (my review)
A slightly dystopian novel about fear, hysteria, isolation, and human behavior in the face of those things when a mysterious disease breaks out in a small, California college town…

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin (my review)
Another character-driven family drama I couldn’t put down…

What are your favorite books so far this year?

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Best Books of 2019 So Far

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  1. I’m in the middle of Ask Again, Yes right now and I’m loving it!

    Posted 6.25.19 Reply
  2. Happily I have quite a few of the books on your list in my TBR stack (Rooney, Gilbert and Reid, and some sample chapters of others – probably on the basis of your reviews!).

    Posted 6.25.19 Reply
  3. Megan wrote:

    My top 3 this year have been A Woman is No Man- Etaf Rum, Behind Her Eyes- Sarah Pinborough, and The Obsession- Nora Roberts. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog this year as well!

    Posted 6.25.19 Reply
  4. Sarah R wrote:

    I just read a great book that just came out that is getting almost no press! It’s called Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg. It’s about a photographer/single mother in the 1950s and 1960s who makes a life-altering decision with her work and the book explores the fall out of that decision for both her and her daughter. It also explores what it was like to be unconventional in the 1950s and 1960s, pre-women’s liberation and pre-Roe v Wade. It’s also told in a unique format – from the perspective of the daughter, the mother’s letters to her friends, and through interviews of people who knew her. I have no idea why it’s not getting the buzz that other books do, but I thought it was fabulous!

    Posted 6.25.19 Reply
  5. The only one I’ve read from here is The Dreamers. I actually completely forgot about it when I was making my own list, so probably not the greatest sign haha. I enjoyed it but for some reason I was expecting a bit more depth or explanation of the sickness. I’m dying to read City of Girls! Everyone seems to love it.

    Posted 6.25.19 Reply
  6. M Couch wrote:

    Hi Sarah, I am sorry to say that I have read half of you the books you have put on your best so far list and I was disappointed in all of them. I just do not understand their appeal at all. I have no 5 star books this year, but my 4 stars include A Well Behaved Woman, The River, Have you seen Luis Velez, Washington Black and The Lost Man. Hopefully I will have more luck in the second half of the year.

    Posted 6.25.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Hi Mrs Couch – I’m thinking our reading taste is different…could it be?!! My mom and I don’t have similar tastes either – she thinks everything I read is way too dark – haha! Because didn’t love A Well Behaved Woman or The River! However, I can see how you’d love The River with all the fishing and camping you did with the boys…I kind of got lost in all the camping detail and jargon. Hope you’re having a great summer!

      Posted 7.11.19 Reply
  7. Ally wrote:

    Read and LOVED Daisy Jones and Normal People
    Read and liked the Dreamers
    Age of Light checked out from the library and my next read
    Last Romantics and IMYWIB on hold at the library
    Planning to buy Miracle Creek, Ask Again Yes, and City of Girls!

    This just made me so excited for my next six months!!!

    Posted 6.25.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      You have so much great stuff coming up…I’m kind of jealous!

      Posted 7.11.19 Reply
  8. Christine Scott wrote:

    So glad I found your podcast and blog! I’m also a mom with elementary age kids and have managed to read 44 books so far this year. Also loved The Last Romantics, Normal People, Daisy Jones and I Miss You When I Blink. Ask Again, Yes is on my pile to read next.

    Posted 6.25.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Thank you so much and I’m so glad to hear that!

      Posted 7.11.19 Reply
  9. Tiffany wrote:

    I also loved Daisy Jones, but I also read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo this year, and I think it remains my favorite Jenkins Reid. It’s a close call though.

    Other favorites this year:
    Save Me the Plums
    Southern Lady Code – Here was the connection that I wanted from I Miss You When I Blink. I think not being a mother put me out of Philpott’s perfect audience.
    Circe – Though not published this year, it’s the best book that I’ve read this year.

    Posted 6.26.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I’ve heard from others who aren’t mothers that Miss You didn’t resonate with them either…and I totally get that! I loved Save Me the Plums as well!

      Posted 7.11.19 Reply
  10. Catherine wrote:

    You have two on here that I haven’t read but have heard about from so many people so will add to my Dec TBR: Ask Again, Yes and Age of Light.

    We do overlap on several but I was not able to get into I Miss You When I Blink enough to stick with it. I put it down two weeks ago at 40% and haven’t thought about it since. She has some great sentences and thoughts, but I felt like there were a lot of motherhood specific essays which I skipped.

    Posted 6.28.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I do think you’d love Age of Light!

      Posted 7.11.19 Reply
  11. I just got Dreamers from the library. It got quite a few mixed reviews so I’m glad to see it made your best list.

    Posted 6.29.19 Reply
  12. Mel wrote:

    Great choices! My Best Books of 2019 (literary fiction) would definitely be Ask Again, Yes and Daisy Jones and the Six, with Normal People and Queenie as runners-up. Nonfiction: Save Me the Plums and Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, with Inheritance as a runner-up. For other genres, I loved Recursion. I did like The Last Romantics, The Dreamers, and The Age of Light pretty well but not as much as the others. I’m skipping Miracle Creek because I hate courtroom dramas. I’m very disappointed my library doesn’t have Out East or I Miss You When I Blink, I’m very interested in reading those. However, I’m excited that I just got to the front of the queue on City of Girls (hardcopy — I first requested an electronic copy but it says I’m 114th in line!)

    Posted 7.16.19 Reply
  13. Sharon Blessing wrote:

    My favorite book this year was The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna. Was wonderful!

    Posted 11.21.19 Reply

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