Monday, 30 December 2019

10 Books I Loved in 2019

Picking my favourite reads of the year is always tough. I've read 100 books this year, and I've become relentless at abandoning books I'm not enjoying, so that means I've really enjoyed the books I've read this year.

There are always a few that rise to the top, and I've tried to spread the love through different genres. Additionally, I read some really fantastic library books and books I gifted forward to others, but my list includes only books I have kept in my home library.

Of the 100 books I read...  (2018 numbers)

39 were published this year (29)
23 were ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  reads for me (21)
0 were rereads (12)
27 were nonfiction (12)
1 was a novella (+ 1 collection of novellas) (3 + 1 collection)
85 were by female authors (92)
14 were by authors of colour (7)
20 were by Canadian authors (10)
2 Seb and I read together (1)
2 books in French (1)

In no particular order, because ranking them would be actually impossible, here are 10 books I loved in 2019!

1. On Boards, Lisa Dawn Bolton
If you follow me on Instagram @jennbairos, it's no secret that one of my new passions this year is making crowd-pleasing charcuterie boards. On Boards is my "go to" cookbook for inspiration! Read more about On Boards in this post.

2. A Ladder to the Sky, John Boyne
The Heart's Invisible Furies made my top ten list last year, so A Ladder to the Sky was a highly anticipated read of mine this year. With an antihero you will love to hate, this is a compelling book. Perfect for book clubs! You can read my review here.

3. A Mind Spread Out on the Ground, Alicia Elliott
One of my reading goals this year was to read more Indigenous literature. A Mind Spread Out on the Ground was a beautiful book that landed in my mailbox earlier this year, and I'm so glad it did. These essays are thoughtful, controversial, and absolutely necessary. Here's my review. (Also, Goodreads tells me this is the highest rated book I read this year coming in at 4.58/5!)

4. Us Against You, Fredrik Backman
I read four (!) Backman books this year, and it was hard to pick a favourite. A Man Called Ove is wonderful, Things My Son Needs to Know About the World is charming and relatable, but being back in the world of Beartown tugged at my heart the most.

5. Until The Last Star Fades, Jacquelyn Middleton
I read all three of Jacquelyn's books this year and was lucky enough to meet her in person! I love her romances, and Until The Last Star Fades is my favourite. Here's my review.

6. Dear Mother, Bunmi Laditan
I love pretty much anything Laditan writes, and her first poetry collection touched the core of my mama heart.

7. Under Pressure, Lisa Damour
The best book for professional reading I did this year is Under Pressure. I was also able to see Dr. Damour speak earlier this year. Hearing and reading her words about how we talk about stress and anxiety among teens has profoundly shifted how I address these topics with my students. Read more here.

8. All We Ever Wanted, Emily Giffin
This was my first Emily Giffin book, and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it! She takes on class, race, social media, rape culture, parenting, and marriage. While it feels like it's tackling a lot of issues, they are woven together in a compelling read that kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next. Read my review here. It's perfect for fans of Beartown by Fredrik Backman.

9. My Lovely Wife, Samantha Downing
I've learned that I am super picky about my thrillers. They seem to be published left, right, and centre, and I read a handful this year, but My Lovely Wife is the only one that really had me on the edge of my seat. I cannot wait for her next release!

10. Daisy Jones & the Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid
Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo made my favourites list in 2017. Daisy Jones is a completely different style, but also similar with a strong woman at the core of the story. Here's my review.

What was one of your favourite books this year?

If you're interested, here are my top 10 reads from 2018 and 2017.

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