My Favorite Books of 2019

31 December 2019

My favorite part about the end of the year is reflecting back on all the books I read. I love seeing how much I was able to read and how I have changed as a reader in 12 short months. 2019 wasn't my most successful reading year in terms of the quantity of books I read. But my overall reading experience of 2019 was so special.

This year was the first time I have kept a spreadsheet to record details of the books I read. I wanted to see what my reading patterns are and to see where I need to grow as a reader. I read a grand total of 59 books, which I am more than happy with. I surpassed my Goodreads goal of 50 and found some new favorite reads to recommend.

All of the books I read this year mean so much to me, but when I look back and reflect, there are five books in particular that have stuck with me. These are my favorite books of 2019, and the ones I believe have come to define my reading year.

This book is hands down my number one favorite book I finished in 2019 and is one I want to reread early in the new year. This was my travel book when I was flying to London, and was my commute book when I rode the tram to class every day in France, which makes it that much more special to me.
Following the coming of age of a young boy in Barcelona, a cemetery of forgotten books, and the mystery surrounding a lost author, this book gripped me, and the ending broke me. This is a translated work, but the translation is so incredibly well done and the writing was breathtaking! The characters and themes of this book come back to me all the time, which is always a sign of an amazing book.

I have a feeling that this book is going to be on many favorite-books-of-the-year lists, and mine is no exception. I don't listen to audiobooks very often, but this one blew me away. The full cast brought the book to life, and the interview format made me get so connected to the story.
This book documents the rise and fall of a fictional band in the 1970's. It follows each member through their struggles with drugs, love, and conflict with each other as they created music together.
Taylor Jenkins Reid's characters are what make this book so special as they all become so vivid. I felt for them so much as I followed their experiences. I know this is another book I will continue to think about and read again in the physical format soon. 

This was one of the first books I picked up in 2019 and has stayed with me ever since. This is a historical fiction book with a heavy murder mystery woven in between a coming of age story of a girl living on her own in a marsh. This was the first book I read this year that sucked me in. I couldn't put this book down as I read, and the ending shook me to my core. Delia Owens' writing is so captivating and depicts the beauty of nature so well. I loved following Kya's journey and figuring out what really happened regarding the murder. You can read my full thoughts and reflections on this book in my full review.

This book was one I read slowly over several months. By reading it gradually, I became attached to this book and almost didn't want it to end. This was my favorite classic I read this year and lives up to all the hype I've heard about it for many years.
This is the epic story following Edmund Dantes as he is betrayed and as he works to enact his revenge against those who wrong him. I loved the concepts of morality in this book and the sense of suspense and adventure Dumas was able to create in his writing. Even though this was the longest book I read this year at well over 1000 pages, it didn't feel that long at all.

2019 was the year I realized how much I love murder mystery detective novels. I love Agatha Christie, and Louise Penny is a modern day Agatha Christie, and Armand Gamache is almost a wonderful equivalent to Hercule Poirot. But of course, Louise Penny has her own style to her mysteries and I am obsessed! This book is the first book in the Armand Gamache murder mysteries series that takes place largely in the small town of Three Pines in Quebec. This series is cozy, yet suspenseful, with characters you connect to. I was hooked as I tried to solve the mystery in the first book, and I am dying to continue on with the series to learn more about Three Pines and Armand Gamache.

I have high hopes for my reading in 2020. It's hard for me to make goals without knowing exactly what to expect from a year. But I want to start my decade with continuing to push myself out of my comfort zone with my reading. I want to read books in different categories and genres, different lengths, new authors I've never heard of. I also want to continue to grow in how I review, to be read more critically and to be able to articulate my thoughts on what I read.

I can't wait to see what new favorite books I discover in the new year!

What were your favorite books of 2019? What are your reading goals of 2020?


  1. Where the Crawdads Sing has been on my maybe list this whole year; it looks absolutely beautiful. Count of Monte Cristo is one of my high school best friend's favorite books, and it will always remind me of her <3 I also keep record of stats about the books I read! What do you keep track of? My method is much less organized than yours lol; I have a page in my journal covered with a bunch of pencil tally marks under a bunch of different headings. At the end of the year, I make them into pie charts so I can clearly visualize everything.

    I would say the best books I read this year were We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo, and The Thief Who Knocked on Sorrow's Gate by Michael McClung.

    - Eleanor

    1. I just like to keep track of genre, age range, rating, and other aspects like that. I don't do into too much detail. I like the idea of pie charts! I should try that next year!
      I love We Have Always Lived in the Castle too, and I'll have to check out your other favorites!

  2. I haven't read any of these, but I've heard good things about pretty much all of them. I read a lot of good books in 2019, but my first read of the year pretty much topped the chart: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.

    My goal for next year is to read more of my backlisted/backlogged books! I have so many and I just keep seeing more!

    Hanne ||

    1. I've been meaning to try some Maggie Stiefvater, so maybe I should read The Scorpio Races since you liked it so much!
      I love backlist books! Happy reading this year!