I think I speak for everyone when I say THANK GOD 2019 IS OVER. Golly, this has been a stressful and difficult year for me, to say nothing of the state of the social internet. But I’m so excited about 2020 and what it’s going to bring for me professionally, personally, and as a blogger.
It’s been an interesting year for me here at my third year at Never Not Reading. I set an all-time personal record, reading 74 books this year (mostly thanks to my children’s and young adult literature class). I “discovered” graphic novels and non-fiction. But I haven’t been blogging much. Non-review posts have basically dropped off my blog altogether this semester, and my bookstagram has come to a screeching halt a whopping three times this year. So the blog has had its ups and downs.
So thanks, y’all, for reading. This community is so amazing and supportive, and I love every one of y’all.
Wow, what a year! This might be my best year for reading ever. Which I’m pretty sure I said that last year too, but it’s even more true this year. I read so many books that could have been on this list. Six 5-star books is an all-time record for me, and there were countless four-star books that were a HIGH four stars. For the last three or four months every time I’ve had to bump a book off the list it’s been such a difficult decision. The books that did make the list have been re-arranged multiple times. For the first time since I’ve started blogging, this could have been a Top 20 list.
Yet, alas, for some reason I limit myself to a Top 10. So without any additional rambling, here they are, my favorite books of the year.
1. Bel Canto by Ann Patchet
This book gave me ALL of the feels. I connected with it on such a deep emotional level. Bonus points for the love of music that permeated the novel.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.
What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians–it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.
Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.
Morgenstern’s sophomore novel completely lives up to the years and years of waiting, and now of hype. It’s mature, nuanced, thought-provoking, and sensual. But it didn’t resonate in my bones the way The Night Circus did.
I’ve done this tag the last two years, and since I don’t do monthly wrap-ups and the like, I think that I really enjoy this way of giving myself a year-so-far summary. I’ve had plans to do this post for a week or so, but after being tagged by The Orangutan Librarian I’ve decided to bump it up to now. 🙂
Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2019
I haven’t ranted and raved about Bel Cano the way I’ve wanted to, mostly because I haven’t been around all that much so far this year. But y’all. THIS BOOK WAS EVERYTHING. I am so in love. So many feels.
This month we’re talking about our most anticipated releases of the year. I’ve already seen a lot of posts on this subject, and y’all, it’s going to be a GREAT year for books. Oh my goodness.
While picked one most anticipated release was not at all difficult for me, it did give me pause that I was skipping over all the other amazing books without even thinking! So I want to take a second to shout-out a few other books I’m super excited for.
Slayer and The Winter of the Witch come out THIS WEEK!!!! AH!!! I’ve got the both pre-ordered, though since I ordered them from Barnes and Nobel they likely won’t be here til the end of the week. Children of Virtue and Vengeance, the sequel to Children of Blood and Bone is scheduled to release in March, and will probably be a rare cover-reveal post from me. Because, let’s be honest, it’s going to be fabulous. Daisy Jones and the Six is also scheduled for March, and I’m already hearing a lot of great buzz for it.
I also read somewhere that Doors of Stone, the final book in The Kingkiller Chronicles, and The Mirror and the Light, the final Thomas Cromwell book, are rumored to be coming out this year. I’ll believe it when I see it.
But none of those holds a single candle to my most anticipated release of the year. When I heard about this book in November and read the tantalizing synopsis, guys I lost it. There is literally zero chance I will not love this book. The only question is will I survive waiting for its November release date????