Best Books of 2019

Best Books of 2019


Wow, 2019, you really threw me a curve ball. Back in March when I read Daisy Jones & the Six, I said it was highly unlikely any other book could come close to it…and I was 99% sure it had locked up my #1 Book of 2019 slot. 

Then, Morgan at Avid Reader Press sent me The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11. It wrecked me in the best possible way and is a book I think every single American absolutely needs to read. And, on top of being super important, it’s a riveting read. So, much to my surprise, Daisy Jones & the Six was knocked off its pedestal.

Also, 5 debuts are on this list (45%)…which is a great year for debuts!

If you’d like to hear more about my reading year and Susie from Novel Visits‘ and my picks for a number of superlatives categories (coming in a bonus podcast episode for patrons), you can support the podcast for $5/month on Patreon.

Finally, I’ve brought back the high school yearbook-style “Superlatives” from previous years (2018, 2017201620152014)!

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

Best Books of 2019

My #1 Book of 2019

The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M. Graff (my review)
Most Emotionally Gut-Wrenching

Book Every American Must Read
Most Likely to Be Taught in Schools
Book I’m Giving to Most People for Christmas
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

The Rest of the Best Books of 2019

Ask Again, Yesby Mary Beth Keane (review)
Best Family Drama
Most Recommended Novel
Best Teen Relationship

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (review)
Best Historical Fiction

Best Bawdy Women Characters
Best New York City Book
Best Voice 

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (review)
My #1 Novel of 2019
Novel I Almost Didn’t Read
Most Electric Chemistry Between Main Characters

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I Miss You When I Blinkby Mary Laura Philpott (my review)
Best New Addition to my “Women Who Get Women” Club

Book I Most Related To
Best Book About Marriage and Motherhood

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Miracle Creekby Angie Kim (my review)
Best Debut

Best Mystery / Thriller
Best Book that Book of the Month Put on the Map
Best Book About Caregiving

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

The Dearly Belovedby Cara Wall (review)
The Novel That Snuck Up on Me
Best Handling of Faith
Best “Quiet” Book

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

The Dutch Houseby Ann Patchett (review)
Best Inanimate Character (the house)

Best Dysfunctional Family Novel
All-Time Favorite Author
Best Step-Parent Revenge Plot
Best Villain

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin (review)
Best Sibling Novel
First 5 Star Book of 2019

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

The Other’s Goldby Elizabeth Ames (my review)
Most Creative Plot Elements

Best Campus Novel
Best Ensemble Cast

Most Divisive Book of My 2019 Favorites
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Wild Gameby Adrienne Brodeur (my review)
Best Memoir

Most Dysfunctional Mother / Daughter Relationship
Most Vivid Setting
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

More Best Books of 2019

Eight 2019 Books That Deserved the Hype…and Five That Didn’t
Best Debuts of 2019

What were your favorite books of 2019?

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Best Books of 2019

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  1. Love the superlatives!

    Posted 12.12.19 Reply
    • Alison Holliday wrote:

      Me too. I have my phone always ready with Goodreads open!

      Posted 12.12.19 Reply
  2. Alison wrote:

    I love these lists Sarah!
    It’s the most wonderful time of the year !

    I’ve read all but the Dutch House and the Dearly Beloved but both are near the top of my list.

    I listened to Only Plane in the Sky on my daily walk in the fall. It could easily also earn the Most Likely to Have Your Neighborhood Wonder If You’re Ok . I cried every day. So good!

    Posted 12.12.19 Reply
  3. I always love seeing your best of the year list, Sarah. As we already know our lists are going to have a lot of overlap, but enough different to keep it interesting. As I finalize my picks, I think I’m going to have to go with 12. There were just too many great books this year!

    Posted 12.12.19 Reply
  4. I love these best-of lists! Your superlatives are a fun way to do this. The only one of yours that I didn’t read was Wild Game, and all of the others were candidates for my own list–not surprising that we overlapped on a lot of them. I love seeing which books stand out for people after a whole year of reading.

    Posted 12.12.19 Reply
  5. I’m heading to Goodreads to check these out. I’ve heard of most of them, but I haven’t read any of them.

    Posted 12.12.19 Reply
  6. Excellent list – I always find something to add to my reading list from your Best Books of the Year list. I’ve only read Daisy Jones & The Six – which is also on my “almost didn’t read it” list! I’m also picking up Miracle Creek this year (hopefully).

    Posted 12.12.19 Reply
  7. Love the list. Daisy Jones and Ask Again, Yes we’re definitely my top two reads I’d the year. Though now I need to read The Only Plane in the Sky!

    Posted 12.13.19 Reply
  8. Great list! Thanks for sharing it

    Posted 12.14.19 Reply
  9. Liz Dexter wrote:

    Great list – I never make one until the very end of the year as a book invariably sneaks in to that time period and makes it onto my list! I had only heard of Daisy Jones out of these ones, which is interesting.

    Posted 12.14.19 Reply
  10. Catherine wrote:

    We’ve got similarities here, but then there are the ones where we are on opposite sides!

    I started Only Plane and am getting hooked. But it very similar to Fall and Rise which also came out this year. Both are personal accounts from a wide variety of people. I’m curious as to how Only Plane got all the attention.

    Posted 12.15.19 Reply
  11. Melissa wrote:

    I LOVED The Only Plane in the Sky, Ask Again Yes, The Dearly Beloved, Daisy Jones & the Six, and Wild Game, too! Great picks!

    Posted 12.16.19 Reply
  12. Helen wrote:

    I couldn’t agree more about The Only Plane In The Sky. For Christmas I gave copies to all of the young people in my life. I also sent them a link to your podcast episode with Garrett Graff.

    Posted 12.31.19 Reply
  13. Romi wrote:

    Oooh I’ve only read 4 of these, need to get to work! City of Girls was in my top 5, loved that book so much 🙂

    Posted 1.5.20 Reply

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