I just realized I never posted a “best of 2019” book list! I did one mid-year last year and intended to do one at the end of the year, but Christmas, then New Years, then visitors happened, so here I am now, ready to share.
It was a great reading year for me. I met my goal of 50 books by reading 55 books (some of which are not counted as individual books by Goodreads yet). I had several definite favorites, but I’ll be sharing those soon.
Total books for 2019: 55
Non-fiction: 15 (27%)
Fiction: 40 (72%)
And of those 55 books . . .
Audiobooks: 4 (7%)
For-review books: 39 (71%)
Physical copies: 11 (20%)
Most-read month: May and July, both totaling 9 books for the month
I think the review books and physical copies ones disappoint me the most, honestly. We have something like 1,000 or 1,500 books sitting on shelves here at our place, and I’ve only read (or heard) probably 50% of them. I also have shelves full of books I’ve picked up different places that I haven’t read (literally—about three here in the house, and two boxes full in storage!), as well as a shelf of mostly borrowed books. It’s an epidemic, I tell you!
This year, I’m trying to figure out how to include more in-print books, especially the ones I’ve borrowed, but not read yet. I may just drop the Netgalley/Eidelweiss challenge, or do something similar just for myself for paperbacks. We’ll see. I’m still working that out!
So . . . top 10 books of 2019. Some of these, I know, are included in my top six from the middle of last year, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got some new favorites, as well.
My top three favorites:
Interestingly enough, I have 13 books under my “top favorites” label on Goodreads (given that label as I read each book), and of those, 8 were non-fiction titles . . . I find it fascinating that those are the ones that spoke to me the most!
Note: Several of these books mentioned today were given to me in exchange for my honest review. Also, links in this post may be affiliate links, which help support this blog. Thank you!
Favorite non-fiction: The Waiting by Cathy LaGrow. I keep going back to this one over and over, so it must be my favorite. It’s so, so good!
Favorite ARC (advanced reader copy): Blessing Bentley by Chautona Havig. One quote, especially, keeps coming back to me, because it struck me that this applies in many more areas than I tend to think about most of the time:
“I’m realizing that marriage was intended to be another way to glorify God, and, in doing so, mankind was blessed as a byproduct. [ . . . ] What I see based on Scripture, is that all of life, including and possibly especially marriage, is about glorifying God.”—Bentley
Favorite fiction: Several stood out for this one, but I’m picking Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green. I didn’t love everything in this book, but it surprised me in several different major ways, and I’m still pondering on the story to this day! Definitely one of my top historical fiction books of the year!
And the other top seven, in no particular order:
1. Chosen People by Robert Whitlow
I got this one right at the end of 2018 but didn’t read it until February. An excellent book; this and the sequel both show modern Israel in an unforgettable light, along with having a very strong Christian base. I’ve loved them!
2. Lords of the Earth by Don Richardson
I read this while I was in the States last January, and even though in a way it wasn’t my most favorite story ever, it landed on my top ten list because it was so good. It’s not the story you expect to read when you pick up a missionary story—but it was an excellent reminder that the Lord is in control of all situations!
3. A Company of Heroes by Tim Keesee
I feel like I read this book in a hurry, although I’m not sure why. It’s the kind of book I want to go back and re-read, though, just because there’s so much to learn from it. A fascinating look at modern missions with unusual stories, but also a great encouragement to us in our own lives to keep our focus on Christ and continue sharing the good news.
4. The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White
I had a hard time picking between this one or On Wings of Devotion, which I read this past December. In some ways, I liked Wings better, but I loved Margot’s story, and had been looking forward to it for a long time! If you like World War I fiction, or numbers, or codebreaking, check this book out. It’s a goodie!
5. Defying Jihad by Esther Ahmad
This is one of those books you read and it sticks with you for months and months afterward. I read another great book co-authored by Craig Borlase in early December, but this one was my favorite. Not necessarily because of some of the content, but because the Lord’s goodness was shown so much in here. I came away from this book very encouraged. (My review of this will be posting on my website in just over a week from now.)
6. Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin
If I counted right, I read four books by Lynn Austin in the past year, and although the others got very close to the top favorite mark for me, I had to choose this one because of the setting. I adored the descriptions of rural Kentucky, as well as the piece of history during the Depression that this book showed me. It has a lovely mystery, as well as a delightful “granny” character who has more secrets and is wiser than you think at first!
7. Each Perfect Gift by Alicia G. Ruggieri
One thing I am sad about is that I only read one Ruggieri book in 2019. Perhaps I can change this year; I have several lined up that I really want to read! This one, as always, delivered a solid storyline and intriguing characters. Once you get past the multiple points of view, Ruggieri writes excellent stories. I can’t wait for the next one I get into!
Let’s discuss: What were your favorite books of 2019? Are there any books you’re particularly looking forward to in 2020?
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