As usual, some books were really hard to categorize as one thing or another, and some categories were so difficult to narrow down to 3 books! I read dozens of thrillers and mysteries, whereas classic fiction I read maybe 5 a year, so it’s much easier to choose only 3. I also change the categories every year a little bit, in order to reflect my reading trends of that particular year – for example, if I read a bunch of new authors (more than 1 book by them, that is), I like to include a Best New-To-Me Authors, which I didn’t do this year, but I did include a Best Brazilian Books & Best Translated Fiction, since I’ve been reading lots of both this year, and also added more Non-Fiction categories.
Funnily enough, none of the books below were 5 star reads, but they were still favorites that I LOVED and want to re-read. Also they all broke my heart. Breasts and Eggs was witty, smart and insightful into the lives of women in Japan; Little Gods made me fall in love with the main character just to break my heart; and My Dark Vanessa is one of the most complicated, dark books out there and deserves recognition for all the nuance and sensitivity with which the author wrote about its heavy themes.
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell / Review
A really strong year for historical fiction! I loved all three books below, although I admit they’re mostly bleak stuff, all three are wonderfully written. How We Disappeared shines a light on the fate of Singaporean women who were kidnapped and forced to serve as “comfort women” to Japanese troops – it’s also not as difficult a read as I thought it would be, the author mixed a bit of mystery in which made this not as hard. I knew I would love The Mirror and the Light and so it was not a surprise when I did – this is such a worthy ending to the wonderful trilogy of Thomas Cromwell. The Mercies broke my heart in a million pieces with its story about witch hunting in 17th century Norway, love, suspicion and loss.
It’s that time of year when best of / worst of lists come up, and obviously I’m hopping on that train and I’ve been working on this list all year to make sure I don’t forget any!
I try to choose maximum 3 books per category, but it’s always super hard to choose only three, especially in categories where I’ve read literally dozens and dozens of books (thrillers and fantasy, for example).
New Favorite Authors
Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. I am in LOVE with the two thrillers they wrote so far and hope they continue to blow my mind and rise my blood pressure. An Anonymous Girl especially was such a favorite. There’s a book coming up in 2020 and I’ve got an ARC and I am SO EXCITED.
This is the second year that I get to write a Best Books of the Year post, and I’m super excited! I love talking about books (wow, really?) and I got to read so much this year, so I have lots of new loves and lots of recommendations. This has been a brilliant year reading-wise and I am glad to share with you my favorites. I have read almost 200 books (no kidding) and while I will never repeat this feat again, it gave me the opportunity to read lots of different genres! What were your favorites this year? Tell me in the comments, leave the link to your own blog posts, tweets I want to know what you’ve read and loved! 🙂
New Favorite Authors
(only counts if I’ve read more than one book by the author)
Alyssa Cole certainly made a huge difference on how I see the romance genre. Her novels are so brilliant, so addictive and emotional without being cheesy. Gosh, I love them. I need all her books in my life. A Duke by Default is my favorite so far!
I had not read Patrick Ness until this year, but wow, I’m in love with how emotional his books are. I have lots more of his books on my TBR. I was so heartbroken after A Monster Calls, although it was such a short read. Just wow.
But I do think the medal goes to… Elise Kova. I devoured her Alchemists of Loom series and I am so excited to get to her other series. I think Air Awakens is a bit more popular in the YA bookish community, and I look forward to reading it. Although I don’t see how it could be better than this steampunk fantasy world with girls with big guns and deadly half-naked hot guys who are secretly soft in the inside. Just sayin’.
These are the books I’ve read throughout the year which have left a strong impression on me, for one reason or another. Although many of those were published this year, I’ve decided against writing a post on the best books published this year, since it would be a much shorter assortment of books to choose from.
Best Contemporary Novels
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng was the novel I looked forward the most to reading this year and it didn’t disappoint! She has amazed me with Everything I Never Told You and this novel blew my mind and kept me turning pages. This novel deals with racism, privilege, sexism and prejudice. Celeste has officially made it to my auto-buy list and she definitely helped me start reading contemporaries.
Young Jane Young impressed me so much, too! I knew Gabrielle Zevin’s writing from another book I read by her, and this one is so absolutely amazing! Definitely a great feminist book, telling the story of a girl who becomes national news after being caught as the lover of a famous politician. It made me so angry, but also so emotional. Amazing book!