2019 Book Roundup

Books Read in 2020

Here we are, eleventy weeks in to January 2020, and I finally have a book list for you! Jazz hands! 2019 was a great reading year for me. Not that I ever have bad reading years, because y’all know my very firm rule – never, ever, EVER read a book you don’t like. Ever. Life is too short for that nonsense. Give it a chance, sure, but if a book isn’t grabbing you, move on. It will always be there if you want to try again.


That said, of the 146 books I read last year, there were some standouts. I marked those with an asterisk in the list below. These are often books that caught me by surprise. I knew I would like There, There by Tommy Orange. I listened to it on audio, and found myself rewinding over and over again to listen to certain sentences and paragraphs. As soon as I finished it, I ordered a hardback copy. All of the starred books, in fact, earned a permanent place on my bookshelf.


I’d love to hear about what you read last year – what did you love, what did you hate, what was unexpected? Drop a note in the comments and let me know!



Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty

The Innocents by Francesca Segal *

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

The Italian Party by Cristina Lynch

The Only Story by Julian Barnes

Normal People: A Novel by Sally Rooney

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty

The Dinner by Herman Koch

Himself by Jess Kidd *

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes

Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

Circe by Madeline Miller

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

There, There by Tommy Orange *

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abby Waxman

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown *

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng *

Miss You by Kate Eberlen *

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

Tin Man by Sarah Winman *

Howard’s End by EM Forster


Historical Fiction

Calamity by Libbie Hawker

Lady Macbeth by Susan Fraser King

The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis

Lovely War by Julie Berry *



The Decoy Bride by Lizzie Shane

Sweet Beginnings by Melissa McClone

Unspoken by Sofia Tate

Band Sinister by KJ Charles *

The Bullrider’s Valentine by Cathy McDavid

Hook Shot by Kennedy Ryan *

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Edge Rules by Melanie Hooyenga

Peregrine’s Call by Elizabeth Cole

Trashed by Mia Hopkins *


The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, The Order of the Phoenix, The Half Blood Prince,* The Deathly Hallows,* The Cursed Child


The Ticket to True Love Collection

Practically Persuaded in Pittsburgh by JB Schroeder

That Night in Nashville by Savannah Kade


The Inspector Gamache Mysteries by Louise Penny

The Cruelest Month

A Rule Against Murder

A Brutal Telling

Bury Your Dead



The French Girl by Lexie Elliot

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

The Dry by Jane Harper

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline

It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell

The Child by Fiona Barton

Something Wicked: Nocturnal Screams Vol. 7 by Mark Leslie

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh *

They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough *

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan *

Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith


Children’s/Young Adult

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

The BFG by Roald Dahl

Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel by Val Emmich

The Watsons go to Birmingham 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis *

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee *

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera *

Hunger: A Tale of Courage by Donna Jo Napoli

All the Things That Could Go Wrong by Stewart Foster



Between the World and Me by TaNehisi Coates *

Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies *

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen *

Educated by Tara Westover

Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Ed Sheeran: Memories We Made by Christie Goodwin

Robin by Dave Itzkoff

Flash Count Diary: Menopause and the Vindication of Natural Life by Darcey Steinke

H is for Hawke by Helen McDonald *

Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

GuRu by RuPaul

Me by Elton John

Inside Out by Demi Moore

Dear Girls by Ali Wong


Graphic Novels

41 Reasons I’m Staying In: A Celebration on Introverts by Hallie Heald

This Land is My Land: A Graphic History of Big Dreams, Micronations, and other Self-Made States by Andy Warner and Sofie Louise Dam

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei



Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Janet Evans Total Swimming by Janet Evans

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

Bohemian Rhapsody: The Official Book of the Movie


Cookbooks/Food & Drink

Cheeky Treats: 70 Brilliant Bakes and Cakes by Liam Charles

Breads from the La Brea Bakery by Nancy Silverton

Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson

Bar Chef: Handcrafted Cocktails by Christiaan Rollich

Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin

Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman

The Sexy Vegan Cookbook by Brian Patton

Love and Lemons Everyday by Jeanine Donofrio

Dinner for Everyone by Mark Bittman

Never Too Late to Go Vegan by Carol J. Adams

A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis by Nikki Furrer *

The Forks Over Knives Plan by Alona Pulde



Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof

The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of the Earthworm by Amy Stewart

The Plant Lover’s Guide to Dahlias by Andy Vernon

Stylish Succulents by Tokiro

Planting Designs for Cactus & Succulents by Sharon Asakawa and John Bagnasco

Prick by Genelle Lyon

For the Love of Books: Designing and Curating a Home Library by Thatcher Wine

The Marijuana Grower’s Handbook by Ed Rosenthal

Epic Tomatoes by Craig LeHoullier


Research for an Upcoming Book

The Strange Case of Dr. Couney by Dawn Raffel *

Walking Brooklyn by Adrienne Onofri

Secret Brooklyn by Michelle Young and Augustin Pasquet


Writing/Craft/Author Business

Keep Going by Austin Kleon

Dear Writer, You Need to Quit by Becca Syme

Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels by Gwen Hayes

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labreque

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