Best of the Best list : 2019

As with previous years I’ve been through my list of books for the year and tried to narrow my favourites down to a top ten, I was leaving this until the last possible moment but I realise that I’m not going to squeen any last minute books into my queue at this stage.  I must say that I’ve had an amazing year of reading and I can’t deny this was a difficult list to draw up and I have no doubt I’ve missed a number of books off here that I would also like to shout out about – but, there comes a point where you have to draw the line. Also, for info, these may not all be 2019 releases.

Here are my ten favourite reads of the year:

  1. The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky
  2. Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence
  3. A Time of Blood by John Gwynne
  4. A Boy and His dog at the End of the World by CA Fletcher
  5. A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay
  6. A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie
  7. The Bone Ships by RJ Barker
  8. The Black Hawks by David Wragg
  9. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow
  10. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

And, because it was so difficult to choose only 10 I have a few other categories which means I can choose a few more books that I want to highlight (because I like to cheat):

Great beginning to series:

  1. (The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan
  2. The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1) by Jenn Lyons
  3. Westside by WM Akers
  4. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson (not entirely sure there will be more but I’m hopeful)

Great conclusion to series:

  1. The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
  2. House of Sacrifice by Anna Smith Spark
  3. The King of Assassins by RJ Barker – review to follow

Fantastic Urban Fantasy

  1. The Brotherhood of the Wheel by RS Belcher
  2. Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse
  3. Strange Practice by Vivien Shaw
  4. Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw
  5. Grave Importance by Vivian Shaw
  6. The Hanged Man by KD Edwards

Great Sci Fi/futuristic

  1. One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence
  2. Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young
  3. Limited Wish by Mark Lawrence
  4. This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
  5. Ration by Cody T Luff
  6. Dispel Illusion by Mark Lawrence
  7. Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin King

Great Gothic or dark reads

  1. Little Darlings by Melanie Golding
  2. The Corset by Laura Purcell
  3. The Truants by Kate Weinberg
  4. Mistletoe by Alison Littlewood

Great Magical Realism

  1. The World that we Knew by Alice Hoffman
  2. Ivory Apples by Lisa Goldstein
  3. The Strawberry Thief (Chocolat #4) by Joanne Harris

Great Standalone:

  1. Never Die by Rob J Hayes
  2. Deeplight by Frances Hardinge – review to follow

In total I have read 109 books this year.  I have reviewed 103 with six outstanding reviews to follow in the New Year.  Eight of my books have been audio. My reading focuses mainly on fantasy but there is also a light sprinkling of murder mystery, historic and horror books.  My complete list of reading is below with links to reviews.

  1. The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
  2. Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
  3. The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky
  4. The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan
  5. The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell
  6. Murder Theory by Andrew Mayne
  7. Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc
  8. Fog Season by Patrice Sarath
  9. The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1) by Jenn Lyons
  10. Thornbound (The Harwood Spellbook #2) by Stephanie Burgis
  11. The Taking of Annie Thorne C. J. Tudor
  12. White Stag by Kara Barbieri
  13. Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter
  14. The Anointed by Keith Ward (one of the SPFBO finalists)
  15. Bound by Mark Lawrence
  16. Symphony of the Wind by Steven McKinnon
  17. The True Queen by Zen Cho
  18. The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty
  19. Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik
  20. The Strawberry Thief (Chocolat #4) by Joanne Harris
  21. The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
  22. The Dollmaker by Nina Allan
  23. Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence
  24. Aching God (Iconoclasts #1) by Mike Shel
  25. The Raven’s Tale by Cat Winters
  26. Sowing (The Purification Era #1) by Angie Grigaliunas
  27. The Binding by Bridget Collins
  28. A Time of Blood by John Gwynne
  29. One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence
  30. The Brotherhood of the Wheel by RS Belcher
  31. Emily Eternal by M G Wheaton
  32. A Boy and His dog at the End of the World by CA Fletcher
  33. Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse
  34. Little Darlings by Melanie Golding
  35. Ruthless Magic  by Megan Crewe
  36. Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young
  37. The Gods of Men by Barbara Kloss
  38. The Furies by Katie Lowe
  39. Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen
  40. Westside by WM Akers
  41. A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay
  42. King of the Road by RS Belcher
  43. The Poison Song by Jen Williams
  44. We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson
  45. Orconomics by J Zachary Pike
  46. Council by Snorri Kristjansson
  47. Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs
  48. The Red Stained Wings by Elizabeth Bear
  49. Queenslayer by Sebastien DeCastell
  50. Priest of Lies by Peter McLean
  51. The Fall by Tracy Townsend
  52. Limited Wish by Mark Lawrence
  53. Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
  54. The Corset by Laura Purcell
  55. The Whisper Man by Alex North
  56. Nocturna by Maya Motayne
  57. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

  58. Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa
  59. The Toll by Cherie Priest
  60. This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
  61. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia Storm
  62. Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham
  63. A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie
  64. Shadows of the Short Days by Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson
  65. Cry Havoc by Mike Morris
  66. The Undoing of Arlo Knott by Heather Child
  67. Lord of Secrets by Breanna Teintze
  68. The Truants by Kate Weinberg
  69. Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
  70. Turning Darkness Into Light by Marie Brennan
  71. House of Sacrifice by Anna Smith Spark
  72. Missing Person by Sarah Lotz
  73. The Witch Who Courted Death by Marie Lewis
  74. Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
  75. Brightfall by Jamie Lee Moyer
  76. Healer’s Ruin by Chris O’Mara
  77. Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin King
  78. Strange Practice by Vivien Shaw
  79. For Emily by Katharine Slee
  80. The Resurrectionist of Caligo by Wendy Trimboli and Alicia Zaloga
  81. A Shadow on the Lens by Sam Hurcom
  82. Ration by Cody T Luff
  83. Bone China by Laura Purcell
  84. The World that we Knew by Alice Hoffman
  85. Violetby Scott Thomas
  86. The Bone Ships by RJ Barker
  87. The Black Hawks by David Wragg
  88. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow
  89. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
  90. Mistletoe by Alison Littlewood
  91. Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw
  92. From the Shadows of the Owl Queen’s Court by Benedict Patrick
  93. Grave Importance by Vivian Shaw
  94. Ivory Applesby Lisa Goldstein
  95. The Absinthe Earl by Sharon Lynn Fisher
  96. Songs From the Deepby Kelly Powell
  97. Dark Pattern by Andrew Mayne
  98. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  99. Never Dieby Rob J Hayes
  100. The Blade Within by Jackson Lear
  101. Vortex Visionsby Elise Kova
  102. River of Thieves by Clayton Snyder
  103. Sir Thomas the Hesitant and the Table of the Less Valued Knights by Liam Perrin
  104. The Hanged Man by KD Edwards
  105. Dispel Illusion by Mark Lawrence
  106. The Land You Never Leave by Angus Watson
  107. Deeplight by Frances Hardinge
  108. The King of Assassins by RJ Barker
  109. Where Gods Fear to Go by Angus Watson

28 Responses to “Best of the Best list : 2019”

  1. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    A very impressive breakdown of your year of reading, Lynn, and I see a lot of my favorites from 2019 on here as well (and also a lot of books I didn’t get to this year that I still need to read!) Considering you juggled your regular review books with SPFBO again this year, you did amazing!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I tend to read less these days than pre blogging but that isn’t a regret because I really enjoy the interaction and I get so many great recommendations – better to read slightly less but really good quality books 😀

  2. Steph P. Bianchini

    Great list, Lynn! A lot of my favourites here 🙂 Happy 2020!

  3. cupcakesandmachetes

    Haha, I love your cheating. 😛 These are great lists and you really did have a great year of reading!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks – and yes, I love a bit of a cheat – particularly if it allows me to show more books 😀
      Lynn

  4. evelynreads1

    Great list!

    (www.evelynreads.com)

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks Evelyn, 2019 was definitely a good year for books.
      Lynn 😀

  5. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    An impressive achievement, indeed! And one listing so many great books 😊
    To even better reads for 2020! Happy New Year!

  6. Tammy

    Wow, it must have taken a long time to list all the books you read! Or hopefully that was a copy and paste chore, lol. Great list and I’m happy to see some of my favorites as well. I’m also seeing some books I missed that I still need to read. Happy New Years!😁

  7. confessionsofayareader

    I’m glad you had such a good reading year Lynn!

    • @lynnsbooks

      There certainly were some fantastic books this year.
      fingers crossed for the same in 2020.
      Lynn 😀

  8. imyril

    Gosh what a reading year – a pleasure as always to follow your reading adventures 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks – there were such a lot of great books this year – and wonderful events to celebrate them. Can’t wait for more Wyrd and Wonder.
      Lynn 😀

  9. waytoofantasy

    109 books, that’s fantastic! I really need to read The Wolf in the Whale at some point, I keep hearing such amazing things.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes – you really should read it. I think it would be something you would love.
      Lynn 😀

  10. bkfrgr

    Holy cow! This is an impressive list!! *wipes sweat from brow* I’m not jealous at all … no really!! 😀
    So many of these still on my TBR too, but good to know they’re all books you rate highly. No dross on my pile at least. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha – I love seeing everyone’s end of year lists although they really don’t help with my book envy! I hope you get to some of these – I had so many good reads this year that I had to extend the list somehow.
      Lynn 😀

  11. sjhigbee

    Lovely to see that you also had an amazing reading year, Lynn:)). I am so impressed that you managed to achieve reading and reviewing so many books, when I am also aware just how much time and effort you also put into your duties as a judge for the SPFBO. I love your sub-categories – I simply can’t funnel my top reads down to a mere ten:). I think your list is really interesting – there are two there that keep cropping up and make me think I should add them to my TBR A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World and The Ten Thousand Doors of January. Here’s hoping that 2020 will be as successful a reading year for us all – because whatever else was going – I think 2019 was an amazing year for SFF with so many excellent books being produced…

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, 2019 was a fantastic year for books, 2020 has its work cut out to compete I think but I’m hopeful. A Boy and His Dog is a great book – I think you would like it very much, I know you probably don’t like the sound of certain aspects but it’s actually quite a hopeful book. Ten Thousand Doors is like a love letter to readers. At first, I thought it might be a bit much for me but before I’d completed that thought I was hooked.
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        Those two books are definitely going onto my TBR – too many people whose opinions I respect absolutely love them – yours included!

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