Note: this was originally posted December 30, 2019 on curlybookowl.com
Happy almost-new-year, friends! I hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday season and that your year is ending on a high note.
It’s been a while since I’ve last posted on here and I’ve really missed it! I passed the bar and was recently sworn in so I’ve been busy with my new job as an associate attorney in my firm’s transactional department. My new job hasn’t left me with a lot of time for reading, much less blogging about my reading, but I love it and I know that as I grow more accustomed to the new position, I’ll be able to figure out what works for me and schedule in some time for reading.
Okay, with all of that said and explained, let’s move on to why we’re really here: my top 10 books in 2019!
Y’all, this was a STRUGGLE. It’s a testament to the books I read this year that I had such a hard time narrowing down my list. In fact, I had such a hard time that I decided to split it into two categories: (1) my top 10 overall and (2) my top 10 romantic comedies. I’ll be posting my top 10 overall today and my top 10 romantic comedies soon, so stay tuned.
No. 1: Circe by Madeline Miller
It came down to Circe and Catch and Kill as my top picks for the year. I went back and forth on this decision for days. I wanted to dramatically sigh and fall back onto a chaise with my palm to my forehead and lament the tough decision that I was being forced to make by absolutely no one. Still, I persevered. I wouldn’t say I am thriving, but I am surviving.
In the end, I had to go with Circe as my top book of 2019. I haven’t actually written a formal review of Circe yet. I feel too intimidated—like I couldn’t possibly do this book justice. It has stayed with me, the way that only the best stories do, and as I sit here today I am struck with the same sense of awed adoration for Circe that I felt in August when I read it. I cannot recommend this story enough. It is breathtaking and devastating and it means the world to me.
No. 2: Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow
Catch and Kill is a compelling, real-life spy thriller that details Ronan Farrow’s investigative reporting into the Weinstein scandal. It is an excellent book that is thoughtfully and comprehensively researched. More than that, though, it is undeniably courageous.
You can find my full review of Catch and Kill here.
No. 3: THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is enchanting. That’s really the only word I can use to describe it. Like Circe, this was another book that I couldn’t bring myself to review for fear of not being able to do it justice.
NO. 4: THE VANISHING STAIR (TRULY DEVIOUS #2) BY MAUREEN JOHNSON
The Vanishing Stair was un-put-downable (is that a word? I love it so I guess I don’t care either way). This is one of the best series I’ve had the privilege of reading in recent years. The Truly Devious series is absolutely perfect—it is full of mystery, intrigue, and a fantastic MC that you can’t help but root for. Sometimes I lie awake at night and think about how I still have to wait until January 21, 2020 for the final book in the series, The Hand on the Wall, to be released and I don’t know how I’m going to make it.
NO. 5: DAISY JONES AND THE SIX BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID
Daisy Jones and the Six is another five-star read from TJR. No one can write characters like TJR can. I devoured this book in one sitting and I cannot wait for Amazon’s adaptation.
NO. 6: THE BROMANCE BOOK CLUB BY LYSSA KAY ADAMS
The Bromance Book Club was the BEST rom-com, hands down, that I read all year. I cannot even tell you how excited I am for the second in the series, Undercover Bromance. I loved this book so much I’m actually going to re-read it later this month for my IRL book club. Bromance is the kind of rom-com that made me fall in love with the genre in the first place. It’s romantic, witty, feminist, and un-put-downable.
You can find my full review of The Bromance Book Club here.
NO. 7: THE SIMPLE WILD BY K.A. TUCKER
The Simple Wild was everything I didn’t know that I was looking for in a romance. It’s a thoughtful and well-written slow-burn romance. Despite hearing countless amazing things about The Simple Wild, I’d put off reading it for a while as I didn’t think I was one for sentimental/emotional romances. I’m so glad I pushed myself out of my normal romance comfort zone–this is such a special story.
You can find my full review of The Simple Wild here.
NO. 8: WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING BY DELIA OWENS
Where the Crawdads Sing destroyed me. It absolutely gutted me. And I would do it all over again. This book is, quite simply, a masterpiece.
You can find my full review of Where the Crawdads Sing here.
NO. 9: RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE BY CASEY MCQUISTON
History, huh? Red, White & Royal Blue is an absolute delight. There were so many endearing, lovely, and swoon-worthy moments in this book that I can hardly believe I managed to make it through the entire book without fainting from being overcome with my love for the characters.
You can find my full review of Red, White & Royal Blue here.
NO. 10: THE GIRL HE USED TO KNOW BY TRACEY GARVIS GRAVES
While reading this unbelievably sweet romance, I, like the great Ron Burgundy, found myself in a glass case of emotion. You’re probably asking yourself: “When are you NOT in a glass case of emotion?” To which I can only reply: Fair point—I have no rebuttal. Even still, this book was such a sweet love story that packed a wonderful emotional punch. Like The Simple Wild, The Girl He Used to Know was outside of my normal romance comfort zone, but I’m so glad I took a chance.
- You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
- A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
- Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Alright, so there you have it—my top 10 books I read in 2019 and some honorable mentions! Like I said, I’ll be posting about my top 10 favorite rom-coms a little later, so stay tuned for that. What were your favorite books of 2019? Have you read any of these?