So I tried to whittle down my favourite reads of 2019 to five … but it ended up being six because I am indecisive that way (especially with books).
Favourites lists are always my most “favourite” to write and to read. I have been making lists of my top picks and biggest disappointments for years … even without a blog to post them on!!
So since we have reached the quarter-way-through-the-year mark I thought it would be fun to see who is leading the race … and who will or won’t make it to the favs of 2019.
So here are my top five (six) of 2019 so far …. (not in order of liking btw)
1. The Lost Queen by Signe Pike: This was such an absorbing, atmospheric read transporting me to sixth century Scotland. I’m always for stories surrounding strong, intelligent women – especially centred in a time period where it was dangerous to be so. This excellent piece of historical fiction is actually based on real people – Languoreth and her brother Lailoken (Merlin) and a truly epic period of Scottish history. Still thinking about it!
2. Circe by Madeline Miller: There is a reason this keeps topping people’s best lists and why you are sick of seeing it … it’s simply awesome! While it didn’t grab me at first, I did eventually get sucked into Circe’s story … and, like above, we get to explore the world of another independent, strong leading lady. The time period, the history, the mythology that this piece includes is almost mind boggling and could easily have been a confusing lump of a dumpster fire. But it wasn’t. Because Madeline Miller is superb. Romance, mythology, magic, tragedy, history … truly I haven’t read a book like it. (A pronunciation guide would have be nice though)!
3. Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto: Phoenixes … enough said? Well, ok. It also happens to be an excellent fantasy story that, in my opinion, avoids a lot of the YA fantasy tropes. You insta-love haters will be happy that the romance here builds with time and it was the homosexual romance that truly captured my heart. Excellent world building, complex relationships, fantastic expose on intolerance … and, well, phoenixes!
4. The Wicked King by Holly Black: Yeah, again this will top everyone’s list this year. It was super. It was such a fun read. I might have been able to figure out some of the twists but I was having too much fun reading to put it down and think about it. I truly read this in almost one setting … and it just … Holly Black could run a masters class in story writing.
5. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman: This book will be for sure in my top 5 this year. How it manages to make me laugh out loud on the same page that has me devastated and in tears is a mystery to me. But Eleanor will make you laugh and she will break your heart. Party mystery, part love story (but in the true friendship type not necessarily romantic type), true exploration of the human condition to survive. Mental health, suicide — there are big topics here and big feelings. But, I repeat, this is a hopeful story! It is an actual “light” read in spite of these topics. Because of that it is approachable and touching.
6. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang: I’m still missing Stella. We talk about representation in books and I am so happy to have read a book that shows high functioning autism. I learned so much about it and the misconceptions surrounding it … and I would never have thought a romance novel would deliver that. This reverse take on Pretty Woman is somehow incredibly touching … the love story between Stella and Michael … ugh, so much swoon. If you love steamy romance novels that have some weight to them, then don’t hesitate on this one.