If You Want To Make God Laugh by: Bianca Marais (Putnam) – Pub Date: July 16, 2019
This was a strong contender for my favorite fiction book of the year (find out what I chose as my favorite on Tuesday!). It narrowly missed the top spot! I like to think of this book as one that sneaks up on you…around the halfway mark, it really takes off and before you know it, it’s 2 o’clock in the morning and you’ve finished the book. These are my favorite kinds of reads – the ones that make time disappear. It’s been months since I read this book and I still catch myself thinking about it at least once a week. It just has staying power and I adored it! (I take every opportunity I can get to mention this book!
After the Flood by: Kassandra Montag (William Morrow) – Pub Date: September 3, 2019
What would you do to survive if suddenly the entire world was underwater? I certainly wasn’t expecting to love this one as much as I did, but it had all the themes I really enjoy: dystopia, motherhood, grief, grit, hope, and determination.
This book was also mentioned in: 5 Books That Flew Under the Radar, Top 5 Surprising Reads of 2019!, and Grief: Be the Expert, Ask the Expert, Become the Expert
Cantoras by: Carolina De Robertis (Knopf) – Pub Date: September 3, 2019
Sometimes a book comes along that changes your world. It changes your perspectives, your opinions, and your empathy levels. I loved how this book made me emotional – extremely happy, extremely sad, and everything in between. I learned a little about Uruguay’s political past, but mostly I found the idea of one’s “chosen families” and what that can mean. I know I’m grateful for my chosen family and wish everyone could find that comfort and safety for themselves.
The Most Fun We Ever Had by: Claire Lombardo (Doubleday) – Pub Date: June 25, 2019
If you’re looking for some over-the-top snark and dysfunction, this is the book for you! Full of eccentric characters and complicated issues, I loved being in the world of the Sorensons. This book has themes of family secrets, forgiveness, and hope. While this book is long (many have said it could have been about 100 pages less), I thought it read quickly.
The Dutch House by: Ann Patchett (Harper) – September 24, 2019
The thing I loved most about this complicated family drama was the sibling relationship presented. So many times, I feel like books pit siblings against each other instead of in close, caring relationships so this was a nice change from that usual trope. It did get a bit long and repetitve at times, but I’m a fan of Patchett and truly enjoyed this one!
Red, White and Royal Blue by: Casey McQuiston (St. Martin’s) – Pub Date: May 14, 2019
This one caught me completely by surprise! I loved everything about this book – it had the perfect balance between light-hearted romance, the exploration of deeper issues, and a well-developed plot and characters. Besides, who isn’t intrigued with the idea of a romance between America’s First Family and the British Royal Family?
Finding Dorothy by: Elizabeth Letts (Ballantine) – Pub Date: February 12, 2019
This historical fiction book about the creation of the Wizard of Oz flew under the radar and deserved so much more recognition than it got. In a genre that easily gets bogged down by WWII, this was a fresh and (mostly) upbeat change of pace.
A People’s History of Heaven by: Mathangi Subramanian (Algonquin) – Pub Date: March 19, 2019
Another book that totally flew under the radar (in my opinion), and I really wish more people would have read it. I loved the characters in this one and appreciated a story where the relationships between women was supportive and genuine rather than competitive or ugly. While the people live in dire circumstances, they were optimistic and hopeful.
This one is also on my Mid-Year Top 10 list!
Daisy Jones and The Six by: Taylor Jenkins Reid (Ballantine) Pub Date: March 5, 2019
I’m starting to feel like a broken record, but this book is so well done and in a class of its own! The audiobook is equally as good as the print version (Daisy made my Top 10 Audiobooks of 2019), and in fact, I devoured the story in both forms. I got different things from each version, so I’d encourage you to do the same!
Daisy is also on my Top 5 Surprising Reads of 2019!
Ask Again, Yes by: Mary Beth Keane (Scribner) – Pub Date: May 28, 2019
This book has it all – coming-of-age, tragedy, complicated relationships, love, forgiveness, and hope. I read this clear back in May and included it in my Mid-Year Top 10 List. It has stuck with me all that time and now makes its reappearance for my final list of Top 10 Books for the year!