2019 Book Awards

I read 50 books in 2019. I rated many of them 5 stars, which is kind of a rare situation for one who avidly reads. I think it just means that in my advanced years, I am able to gauge what I will like. While I’m sure you’d love to hear me talk about all 50 of them, I will merely forcefully recommend all of the awards winners here with gorgeous cover thumbnails and vague categories that leave you salivating for more, and of course, my favorites at the bottom. A fellow Instagrammer inspired the Oscars-style roundup layout, without which, this would have been a much longer post.

 Longest Book & Best Worldbuilding

Strongest cast & Most Unique

Best Female Lead

Alice Proserpine, The Hazel Wood
or
Cassie Maddox, Into the Woods and The Likeness

Best Male Lead

Sean Kendrick, The Scorpio Races
or
Declan Lynch, Call Down the Hawk

And the winner, for my

Best Read of 2019

is

scorpio races

“It’s the surf in your face, the deadly magic of November on your skin, the Scorpio drums in the place of your heartbeat…it’s life and it’s death or it’s both, and there’s nothing like it.”

 

That’s it. That’s the book.

 

My favorite thing about this stunning fantasy is that you can reach out and feel the November iciness of the break, the steam rising from the horses’ flanks. It’s legend breathed to life. If this wasn’t already featuring as my favorite novel last year, it would be boasting the award for most atmospheric with Stiefvater’s fictional island, Thisby, and all of its traditions and prejudices. In an interview, Stiefvater said she traveled to cliffs all over the world to find the exact ones she saw in her mind:

 

“I went to four sets of cliffs. You didn’t believe me when I said I was obsessed. California, Yorkshire, and Dover, England are the other three. And then last year, I was in Paris with my husband in December, and it was snowing. It was the first time it had snowed in Paris in years and years. I’m with my husband, without the kids, in the City of Love. I have a day off from doing author things and I told him, ‘Rent a car. We’re driving to the cliffs in Normandy.’ “

 

 

That is serious dedication to building atmosphere. Like my favorites of Stiefvater’s novels, if you go into it a little bit blind, you’ll reach the end seeing in technicolor.

 

 

Other 2019 favorites

  • The first four in Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad Series
  • Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron
  • Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Less by Andrew Sean Greer

 

What were your favorite reads last year? If you read any of these, what did you think? Any special 2020 reading goals?

7 thoughts on “2019 Book Awards”

    1. No, it was only my second time though! I listed to it on audio. It took a while with that one. The Likeness actually made me cry right at the end. Which is….saying a lot. But I honestly could not pick a favorite out of The Likeness, Faithful Place, and Broken Harbor. And I thought it would not get any better than Into the Woods. While the audiobooks were fantastic, I wonder what those other three and the fifth one I’m currently listening to, The Secret Place, would be like if I was reading them in physical form.

    2. ‘Twas not my first time through, but only my second, aye. I listened to the Harry Potter series on audio for my first rereading since first reading them in high school. It was great listening to them all again! I laughed a lot. Tana French…sigh. She is masterful. I am listening to The Secret Place now. She just ALWAYS gets me, especially by the end of each book when everything starts twisting together.

  1. Do you have a list of the full 50 books you read? I’m curious about what else in on the list. Looks like this year was all about great fantasy reads for you! Also, any duds we should all steer clear of?

    1. If you click that first link, “all 50 of them”, if I did it right, it should take you to my year in books on goodreads. I don’t think anything I read should be steered clear of, but there were definitely a couple that didn’t meet my expectations. I expected to like Vicious a lot more, and I had hoped for a more satisfying end to the trilogy with How to Belong with a Billionaire. Also, A Discovery of Witches seemed like it would be everything I love in a novel, but it feel kinda flat for me too.

      1. Oh sweet, I don’t know how I missed that link the first time lol! I like how Goodreads tracks the total number of pages, that’s really cool.

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