I went back and forth numerous times on whether to do a traditional favorite books of 2019 post, but ultimately decided not to since I read so many books this year that I can’t adequately cover them all in one post. Instead, I’m going to highlight a few of my faves, talk about what I most want to reread, spotlight my new favorite authors, and point you to where you can find even more great book recs!!
A large part of the reason I’m averse to doing a yearend favorites post is because I’ve been doing seasonal favorites throughout the year! That’s right, you can check out my favorite books that I read last winter, spring, summer (part one and two), and fall. That’s a ton of recommendations, and they only made it on those lists if I REALLY loved them! Like, I’m pretty sure I own copies of all of them and somehow squeezed them on my shelves, that’s how much I loved them.
For some quick hits in historical romance, The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare was one of my absolute favorites, as well as Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean, The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller, A Gentleman Never Keeps Score by Cat Sebastian, and An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole. The hyperlinks each lead to my favorites post where I featured these books, so be sure to click on them if you want to know more!
In contemporary romance, a few of my favorites that I read in 2019 include The Bride Test by Helen Hoang, Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole, A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev, and Serving Pleasure by Alisha Rai.
In more scifi/fantasy romance, I especially loved Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews and Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik. While it leans more fantasy than romance, I also loved Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep. And urban fantasy book Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse was another one of my absolute favorites.
In nonfiction reads, some of my favorites include Becoming by Michelle Obama, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and in Business by Charles Duhigg, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Race by Robin DiAngelo, and They Called Us Enemy by George Takei. If you need still more nonfiction recs, don’t forget to check my recommendations post for Nonfiction November, which includes a bunch more books I’ve read and loved in the last few years.
Also, in a class of its own, I really loved The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. I’m not sure most people would get the same level of enjoyment out of it as I did, but for someone who grew up in the late 90s/early 2000s and now lives in New York, it was an amazing read.
As far as what I want to reread, I’ve been itching to pick up The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare ever since I started it. It was just so funny and adorable and pretty much everything I love in a romance, and I really want to reread it. I also kind of want to reread The Widow of Rose House, which surprised me by how much I liked it. But I love Sam’s family so much, I want to spend more time with them.
I can also see myself picking up Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews and Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik, two books with slightly different heroines than what you usually see in scifi and fantasy and whom I both adore. And I kind of want to go back and binge the entire Kill the Queen series by Jennifer Estep. I loved that trilogy so much and can definitely see myself reading it again. I also really want to reread the two Sixth World books by Rebecca Roanhorse, but I might wait to do that until book three is announced!
Speaking of binging series, now that it’s finished, I kind of want to go back and reread the entire Reluctant Royals series by Alyssa Cole. I think A Duke by Default is still my absolute favorite, but it would be fun to read them all back to back, and Cole is such an amazing writer.
And I definitely want to reread White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. There’s just so much to take in from that book despite how short it is, so I want to flip through it again.
New Favorite Authors
Unfortunately, I don’t think 2019 was great in terms of finding new favorites, as I don’t have a ton. But I would definitely say Jennifer Estep is on there, so I really want to go back and read more of her backlist. Ilona Andrews is also definitely on there solely because of Sapphire Flames, though I also loved the first Hidden Legacy trilogy and the Kate Daniels series, all of which I read this year.
Two authors I read before 2019 but that I would say were cemented as favorites this year are Rebecca Roanhorse and Jessie Mihalik. It really only took them one book each to hook me, but two definitely cemented it!
And shoutout to Nalini Singh, Joanna Shupe, Lisa Kleypas, Alisha Rai, and Lenora Bell, some of my other favorite authors who came out with some awesome books this past year that I haven’t had a chance to mention yet.
As you can see, I read a lot of great books this past year! Don’t forget to check out my seasonal favorites posts for the most comprehensive list of my favorite recommendations. I’m planning to post my winter one sometime in March, and I can’t wait to see what amazing books wind up on that list.
Oh, and the first post in my reading project with Jenica is live!! Check it out here to see our thoughts on Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey and Rock Hard by Nalini Singh. And if you haven’t read them yet, check out the original posts to learn more about our plans to reread some of my old historical favorites that Jenica’s never read and her new favorites by authors of color that I haven’t picked up yet.