The Best Books I Read in 2019
Edition 20: December 2019
Hi, hello, happy January 3, 2020, here is the list of my favorite reads from 2019 because I am never on time for anything in my life and I could say I’m working on it but I ALWAYS say I’m working on it and I just. Am late. All. The. Time. In my defense, I was sick. Also, holidays.
Looking at the new year, I’m setting what I hope are manageable reading goals:
✨ Finish the Read Harder Challenge (I carry over unfinished tasks from previous years so I have 40 prompts this year and, holy butts, is that daunting)
✨ Don’t buy any new books without getting rid of some unread ones
✨ Focus on enjoying reading, rather than reading solely for work
What I read in 2019
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death by Caitlin Doughty (My pick for the Best Book of 2019 at Book Riot)
My favorite question from this book of questions from children about death is “Can I save my dad’s skull and keep it on my bookshelf?” and Caitlin Doughty’s sincere response about all the laws surrounding dismembering corpses.
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
We’ve already talked about this one. It’s the one of the very best books of the year (of the decade???), hands down.
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Claudia seems to be the only one who noticed her best friend Monday didn’t show up on the first day of school. When she tries to figure out what happened and where she went, she’s brushed off by everyone in her circles, from her family to Monday’s family. This book is haunting and heart-breaking. I listened to it in January and it has not left my mind in twelve months.
Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give by Ada Calhoun
A gorgeous collection of essays about relationships and marriage and how to not get divorced. I love it so much.
What Kind of Girl by Alyssa Sheinmel
One of my favorite things about working for Sourcebooks is getting to read our books before the world even knows we have them. Alyssa Sheinmel writes mental illness like no one else, and What Kind of Girl, dealing with domestic violence and eating disorders and self-harm, is stunning.
Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino (My pick for the Best Books We Read in July–September at Book Riot)
Please do yourself a favor and get the audiobook of Trick Mirror. Tolentino has a soothing voice, and listening to her meandering tangents on all things feminism is such a comfort.
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
I’m savoring all the Hemingway books I’ve yet to read. When I was feeling especially blue this summer, A Moveable Feast was just the salve I needed.
The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan (My pick for the Best Books We Read in January–March at Book Riot)
Rukhsana and Ariana have to keep their high school relationship a secret, and once Rukhsana’s mom finds out, she kicks Ariana out and whisks Rukhsana off to Bangladesh to spend time with family and find a nice boy to marry. This book is incredible and I had every feeling imaginable while reading it.
The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
It turns out I am VERY into steamy romances with professional athletes and smart women in tech. WHO KNEW?
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
Y’all, this book got me to cut a whole lot of meat out of my diet, and I’m feeling like a better human for it.
What I wrote
I kept the tradition alive for a third year with the Best Epigraphs of the Year and finally (finally!!!) got to write a list of books to help you crush that Read Harder Challenge with these fab audiobooks of poetry. 💪
In 2019 as a whole, I got to write some cool stuff:
Words romance novels have ruined for me (I am a professional)
How to remove stickers from books (I love a good how-to post, baby)
How to remove books from your Kindle cloud (seriously a life-changer)
Why is this Ted Bundy book so hard to find? (And now it’s being reissued in 2020. BOOM.)
I hope y’all have a magical year of reading ahead of you. Thanks for hanging out with me here.
Ashley Holstrom is a book person, designing them for an indie publisher and writing about them for Book Riot. She also wrote an essay for (Don't) Call Me Crazy, an anthology about mental illness.