Best Books of 2019 (so far) and Mid-Year Reading Update
It's here! The year is HALF OVER, and what a year it's been. I love to take the mid year as an opportunity to take a look at my reading thus far so that I can make some changes if I decide I need to and focus on which books I'm going to make a priority for the rest of the year.
So far, I've finished 47 books. I'll get in to some details below, but I have to say its been an EXTREMELY good year in publishing. I've found quite a few new all time favorites, especially in fiction. Below, I'm sharing the Six Best Books of 2019 so far- and it was extremely hard to narrow it down to just six. What a great problem to have!
All of these are available now.
Ask Again, Yes | Mary Beth Keane | My copy was sent to me by Scribner. It's also a BOTM pick. | Two rookie NYPD cops and their families find their lives inextricably tied after a tragedy upends their suburban life. Pick up if you like: family drama, character driven stories, and stories that span characters' lifetimes.
City of Girls | Elizabeth Gilbert | In 1940s NYC, a young woman comes into her own after she gets sent to live with her free spirit aunt. Feminist, sexy but not too steamy, and funny. Pick up if you like: strong female lead characters, witty dialogue, and accessible historical fiction. (The comparisons to Evelyn Hugo are spot on.)
Daisy Jones and the Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid | Told via a Behind the Music style format, the public finally gets to hear what really caused the rock band Daisy Jones and the Six to break up at the peak of their popularity. I might have to re-read this before the end of the year and that never happens for me. Pick up if you like: 1970s rock, a strong ensemble of characters, and clever storytelling.
Miracle Creek | Angie Kim | An immigrant family find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation after their hyperbaric chamber explodes and kills two people. The writing was gorgeous and I found the story to be equal parts compelling and believable. Pick up if you like: books about the immigrant experience, themes of motherhood and belonging, and debut authors.
No Exit | Taylor Adams | This was a straight up in your face thriller- the only one on the list! Darby is a college student who’s driving home from college after she gets a call that her mother is dying. She’s in the middle of a blizzard and her only option is to pull off at a rest stop- where she finds a young girl locked in the back of a van. Pick up if you: like locked room mysteries, enjoy protagonists who fight back, and aren’t bothered by graphic.
Recursion | Blake Crouch | This blew my mind in a really good way. Barry Sutton is a police officer investigating False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious disease that is causing victims to have memories of a life they never lived. Helena Smith has dedicated her entire life to memory- and a chair that she’s designed may be the only answer to stopping this phenomenon. Pick up if you: liked Dark Matter, appreciate si-fi/ dystopian, and don’t mind a story that demands your full attention.
Thoughts and Trends
A part of the fun for me, in addition to tracking the number of books I read, but is to get real gritty with the details. Thanks to Sarah and her Rock Your Reading Tracker- I now have more visibility than ever!
I read SO many books set in NYC. Of the 47 I’ve read this year, 12 were set in New York. That’s 25%!
I’m doing much better than I thought I was about reading books that were sent to me (ARCs). 50% of the books I’ve read were sent to me!
I am LOVING Book of the Month now more than ever- and I’m actually reading the monthly choices I pick. 5 of my 6 of my favorites above are available on BOTM.
I can’t get away from new releases. 34 of the 47 books were published in 2019!
At 64%, I’m doing great with reading female authors
I am not doing as good as I would like with reading authors of color, at only 26% of my total.
Goals Moving Forward
I want to DNF more. That’s starting a book and not finishing it. I’ve only DNF’ed 5 books this year. The benefits of DNFing are that I'm more likely to try previously unvetted books and books that might be more outside of my comfort zone.
Read more authors of color in general
Read more fiction written by authors of color
Catch up on some of the books that are hugely popular this year- such as I Miss You When I Blink, Normal People, and A Woman is No Man.
Stay on pace. I’ve been averaging about 7 books a month, which would get me around 85 books read. That’s a more reasonable pace for me than the 100 books I read last year.
Read more non-fiction. I’ve only read 10 non-fiction books for far, and only 2 of those were non-memoir.
How’s your 2019 reading going?
Find me here-