Sunday, January 5, 2020

Top Ten Reads of 2019

2019 was a solid year of reading for me.  It wasn't my best year numbers wise and it wasn't my worst year either.  I do feel like I had a really great year of reading when it comes to the quality of books I read and enjoyed though. There were A LOT of four star and 4.5 star reads for me which makes me very happy.  I branched out a bit with my reading in 2019 but I want to do that even more in the new year.  Life isn't going to slow down any time soon though, so it's all about just making sure that I'm making the time to read.  Reading is (and always has been) my stress relief.  So as long as I keep on reading....that's what matters in the end!  Now let's move on though to my top reads of 2019!

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner makes this the 3rd time that this author and series has made my top reads list for the year.  I'm officially obsessed!  I also started in the middle of this series and haven't looked back (although I really do fully intend to go back and read those earlier books at some point...maybe 2020?).  This is a series and author that I want to see more readers find because it's SO GOOD!  I will be reading anything and everything she writes at this point.  I actually have the next book in the series on my kindle waiting to be read....I'm hoping to read it very soon!

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup was officially the creepiest book that I read in 2019!  This book is so dark and thrilling (word of warning though that it really won't be for everyone because it is that dark).  It was also quite a chunky read but I liked that it was longer because it allowed for me to completely immerse myself within the book's pages.  I CANNOT wait to see what this author comes up with next!  I would also just adore if this book became the start of a series because I NEED more!

A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty is the 2nd book in the Harper McClain series and even better than the 1st book (which is saying a lot because that 1st book was also amazing)!  One of the things that makes this series stand out to me from other mystery series that I follow is that Harper is a reporter and not detective.  She also has a traumatic past that is leading into a very intriguing storyline (I won't say more because spoilers).  It sure has me chomping at the bit to read the 3rd book though!

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin has me regretting the fact that I haven't read more fantasy in the past couple of years because this book was AMAZING!  This was another chunky book that I just absolutely lost myself within.  It made me think (especially about the things that it wasn't necessarily saying but reflected our past history) and made me want to explore the fantasy genre more.  I am thrilled that this is just the 1st book in a trilogy - I cannot wait to continue on!  Also, the way this book was setup was absolute perfection!

Still Life by Louise Penny was actually a reread for me but still deserves a place on my top reads list!  The writing in this book was just gorgeous - I found myself marking quotes to save and share which isn't something that I often do.  I also just completely fell into the world of Three Pines - I actually read two books in the series this year and am already looking forward to continuing on and reading more!  This series is really hyped on bookstagram but I'm here to tell you that the hype is real and well deserved!

One Summer in Paris was one of those books that hit me right in the feels while reading it.  I related to this one unexpectedly - it was the way one of the main characters came to realize that she didn't know herself like she thought she did that I couldn't help but relate to.  She was comfortable with her life in a way that actually wasn't a good thing - and the things she experienced in the book helped her to get to know herself, her desires, and just what she wanted out of life better.  I loved the Paris setting, the relationship between the two main characters.....I just really loved this book!  I need to make sure that I read more from Sarah Morgan in 2020!

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton was a dark thriller that had me completely hooked the entire time! Sharon Bolton has been on my favorite author list for some time now and books like this are exactly why.  This book was also quite creepy and atmospheric.  I believe there is going to be a sequel to this book at some point which is really exciting!  I will read EVERYTHING that this author writes and at this point I cannot even tell you how many times one of her books has made my favorites of the year list!

Buried by Ellison Cooper is the 2nd book in the Agent Sayer Altair series and also makes this the 2nd time that this series/author has been on my top reads list.  I am absolutely hooked on this series!  It is SO UNBELIEVABLY good!  One of the things that I'm loving in the series I have been reading lately is that there are underlying mysteries that carry on from each book.  There is one in this series that has me just itching to get my hands on the 3rd book in this series!  This is another standout mystery series that you need to check out if you haven't had the chance yet!

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager has officially cemented my love of this author's books!  This book creeped me out in the best of ways.  It has this feeling of dread that is present throughout the book that I just couldn't get enough of.  And the ending....the ending of this book was absolute perfection!  It gave me chills - no exaggeration!  I absolutely will also be reading anything and everything that this author writes at this point!

Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea was a thrilling and page turning mystery that I enjoyed immensely!  I'm so excited to have found this author because this book was so flipping good!  I love, love, love when I find new authors like this - I cannot wait to check out what else he has written!  This book had a mystery that kept me guessing the entire time and characters that I really enjoyed reading about.  What else could you want in a mystery?  So good!

Just looking over all of these reads reinforces what an amazing year of reading I really had!  There were quite a few books that I loved that were so close to making this list.  I discovered some new authors, found some new series to follow, and just overall had a great year of reading.  I can only hope that 2020 turns out to be just as great!


  1. I enjoyed reading your list, Samantha. I read so many less mysteries and thriller this year (unless you count middle grade mysteries I read with my daughter). I kind of miss them and hope to dive back in this year. I have yet to read The Fifth Season, but really want to. I a glad to see you recommend it. I haven't read One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan, but I did read her A Wedding in December this past year and absolutely loved it. I hope you have a great 2020!

  2. I've read a couple of these books - STILL LIFE (say Louise Penny and I come running) and LOCK EVERY DOOR (yes, very good). I own THE CHESTNUT MAN, NEVER TELL, and SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS. I look forward to those. Have read another book by Charlie Donlea, but I can't remember which one it was right now. Liked it though. I bet we'll all have a great reading year! Enjoy!

  3. Great list! I enjoyed Still Life too and I really want to read that Sarah Morgan. I love the look of all the thriller-y titles and I'd like to read more fantasy as well.

  4. You have a great list of books. The Chestnut Man was great. You're right, it would be awesome if it became a series! I'm hoping to check out some of these books.


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