Well hello there. Here I am once again at the dead end of the year, waiting until the last second to decide on my favourite books. While I haven’t blogged very much this year, I did keep a steady reading pace! I’m ending 2019 with a count of 56 books. Before I get further into my yearly analysis, here are my top 10 books of 2019!
- Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
For being the most fun book I’ve read in a long time, and for putting a big smile on my face whenever I think about it and its wonderfulness. For being the book that everyone wanted to share, for everything that it inspired, and for its wonderful world.
- The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
For being a story that spoke to my bookish soul, for actually being a bookish book and not a faker. For the amount of times I needed to use sticky notes to remember places that had me laugh in public or squee with glee. For a girl with her planner.
- Internment by Samira Ahmed
For being a story that is too close to real. For instilling both fear and courage in me. For its fierce protagonist. For the power it should’ve had in moving readers the way The Hate U Give did.
- Normal People by Sally Rooney
For making me feel hot and cold at the same time. For Sally’s beautiful writing. For being a slow, quiet twist of fate and choices that tangles two people.
- Slay by Brittney Morris
For being kick ass. For showing a smart, creative girl can be in charge but still get a reality check and not fail. For being fast-paced, full of adventure, and with a good, solid story.
- The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
For being so freaking adorable it’s ridiculous. For being so British. For the way it exposed gaslighting in a way that was much needed and realistic. For not making the characters communicate by post-it for the entire book, but long enough for it to be sweet and silly.
- Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
For a feminist rom-com in the Suffragette era. For being super sexy and a ton of fun to read. For showing the internal struggle of the characters of the tie between what they’re fighting for and what they feel.
- How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow
For being so dark of a hole that I fell right in. For taking me places in a book I’ve never been before. For breaking my heart.
- The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
For being a clever little minx of a rom com by flipping the script. For getting major league baseball players to discuss how their wives spend too much time with emotional labour. For being fun, silly, and soft.
- Forward Me Back to You by Mitali Perkins
For being a YA story I hadn’t seen before. For not being a romance and instead being about two characters figuring themselves out but still having people around them for help. For being a book about two teens traveling outside of the US.
If you’re so inclined, you can see everything I read this year on my Goodreads challenge.
So, another year of YA and rom coms, which I’m totally fine with. I can feel myself moving farther out of YA stories, which is a bummer but at least I’m finding other stories to read. (Lately I’m having this frustration with YA in that I’m finding the books I’m interested are good stories in idea/theory, but the writing isn’t good enough.) I was happy to find a few books this year that were about women in their thirties who aren’t using dating apps or are about being a sad mom, so I’ve considered that a win for myself. I didn’t really push myself very far in terms of comfort zone this year so maybe in 2020 I can be better at that. I also need to be better about putting books down when I’m not enamoured with them – I spent a lot of time reading mediocre books this year, when instead I could’ve used that time to find better ones!
Also in terms of blogging, I really let The Paper Trail Diary and most of my creative endeavours slide this year. (Sorry! I’ll plan on doing a Notebook & Pen Swap in early spring!) I hope that in 2020 I can re-evaluate what I want this site/brand/whatever to be (like… does anyone even read blogs anymore?) and can figure out what I want to do with it moving forward. I barely even posted to Instagram this year because I’ve got myself stuck in this hole of how pictures should look, and I can rarely achieve that look.. I have to let that go. (But I’m still mad about the algorithm). Anyway… I have goals!
If you’ve reached this far, thank you, and happy reading <3
What books did you love this year? What are you planning for 2020?