I will forever refer to 2019 as My Year of Reading. At the beginning of the year, I set a Goodreads' goal to read 52 books for the year. Then I change it to 70. Then I changed it to 100. I ended the year having read 103 books. Out of all 103 books I read in 2019, here were the very best:

Book Slut Book Club’s Best Reads of 2019

January 27, 2020

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I will forever refer to 2019 as My Year of Reading. At the beginning of the year, I set a Goodreads' goal to read 52 books for the year. Then I change it to 70. Then I changed it to 100. I ended the year having read 103 books. Out of all 103 books I read in 2019, here were the very best:

Book Slut Book Club’s Best Reads of 2019

January 27, 2020



Would I say my reading addiction is a problem?

Would you consider the fact that I've blown my daughter's future college fund on new books an issue? Cool, me either. I knew we'd be friends.




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I will forever refer to 2019 as My Year of Reading. At the beginning of the year, I set a Goodreads' goal to read 52 books for the year. Then I change it to 70. Then I changed it to 100.  I ended the year having read 103 books. Out of all 103 books I read in 2019, here were the very best:

I will forever refer to 2019 as My Year of Reading. At the beginning of the year, I set a Goodreads’ goal to read 52 books for the year. Then I change it to 70. Then I changed it to 100.

I ended the year having read 103 books.

I learned a ton from pursuing that goal:

I also learned what genres I like and which ones I’m not so crazy about, how many pages I can read in an hour (this is such useful information to realistically assess how many books I’ll get through in a month), and I’m forever done with paying for books. A post about how to get FREE books is in the works!

Just a heads up, this post contains affiliate links—that means I get a small commission of any sales made from the links below, but the price is the same for you whether you purchase via my link or directly from Amazon 🙂

Out of all 103 books I read in 2019, here were the very best:

A Series of Unfortunate Events , Books 1-13

AUTHOR: Lemony Snicket

GENRE: Middle Grade Fiction | Magical Realism


BSBC SUMMARY: A Series of Unfortunate Events follows Violet, Klaus, and Suny Baudelaire from The Bad Beginning (Book #1) all the way to The End (Book #13) as the children try to make their way in their newly upside-down world. At the beginning of this miserable story, the children receive news that their parents have perished in a terrible fire and everything they knew is now burned to the ground. They’re whisked off to go live with their “nearest living relative”—a treacherous and horrible man named Count Olaf who’s hell bent on getting the orphans’ massive fortune. Throughout the series, the orphans are moved from home to home as they try to flee from Count Olaf’s relentless pursuit. And while their descent into this scary and confusing world stirs up more and more secrets, it also reveals strength, shrewdness, and resourcefulness the children didn’t realize they were capable of.


AUTHOR: Angela Duckworth

GENRE: Nonfiction | Personal Development


BSBC SUMMARY: Written by psychologist and professor Angela Duckworth, Grit is a fascinating study on what actually leads to success. Is it talent? IQ? Education? Or something else entirely?

Duckworth determined in her multiple and grueling studies that success is not based on genius, but rather on persistence. More specifically, success comes from a special type of persistence, one that’s mixed with passion: grit.

Grit is a life-changing book that teaches the concept of what actually leads to success as well as tactical efforts to become grittier yourself. If you’re looking for your cutting edge when it comes to your career, goals, and pursuits, Grit is a must-read book that will change the way you pursue your dreams.


AUTHOR: Candice Carty-Williams

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction


BSBC SUMMARY: Queenie is a twenty-something black woman living in London, just trying to survive. After her long-term boyfriend requests a “break”, Queenie finds herself living in a mildewed rented room (the only thing she can afford on her measly salary), struggling to show up to work every day, and exhausting her friends with her incessant anxiety, self-hatred, and proclivity to catastrophize.

The only thing that numbs Queenie’s pain is sleeping with men, specifically those that are really, really bad for her. But afterwards, she feels even worse, which causes her to go right back for more.

Queenie is confused, miserable, and scared, yet she somehow finds the innerstrength to admit she has a problem and ask for help, a feat that makes her realize she’s much stronger than she ever gave herself credit for.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

AUTHOR: Ocean Vuong

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction


BSBC SUMMARY: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a novel told in the form of letters written by a son, Little Dog, to his mother. Throughout his letters, Little Dog doesn’t hold anything back since his mother is a Vietnamese immigrant who cannot read English and will never see the words he’s spilled onto the paper. Little Dog weaves together their family history piece by piece as he ruminates on the events and the plights that shaped them into who they currently are.

While Little Dog shares stories of his mother’s often uncontrollable anger, his failure to fit in at his new American public school, and the heartbreaking time at the end of his grandmother’s life, the most poignant story was that of his first love. It’s a love that’s so raw, forbidden, and, yet, tender and whole, it’s impossible to forget—for both Little Dog and the reader.


AUTHOR: Roald Dahl

GENRE: Middle Grade Fiction | Magical Realism


BSBC SUMMARY: Matilda is a precocious little girl who, at the age of four, could do complicated math in her head and loved to read Dickens for fun. But Matilda’s parents don’t appreciate her, choosing to see her as disruptive and idiotic, even though she is anything but.

When Matilda begins school, her teacher, Ms. Honey, instantly sees her genius and tries to get her moved up several grades, but the dreaded headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, insists that Matilda is a worthless, troublesome girl because that’s what her parents had declared.

Ms. Honey decides to take matters into her own hand and supplies Matilda with all the advanced-subject text books and classic literature she could ever dream of. As Matilda and Ms. Honey’s relationship grows, Matilda learns of Ms. Honey’s dreaded circumstances and decides Ms. Honey needs some help.

Using her genius—and another very interesting resource she’s recently procurred—Matilda gives the horrible Miss Trunchbull a taste of her own medicine in a way that leaves Miss Trunchbull running for the hills.

Daisy Jones & The Six

AUTHOR: Taylor Jenkins Reid

GENRE: Historical Fiction


BSBC SUMMARY: Daisy Jones & The Six is the story of how one of the most infamous rock n’ roll groups rose to ultimate fame in the ’70s.

Of course, it’s packed with sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, but at its heart is a tender story of sacrifice, love and loss.

The Six was a rock n’ roll band who was making awesome music and having a great time doing it. Daisy Jones was a beautiful and wild girl, partying her way through the glamorous world of 1960s Hollywood.

When a music producer realizes that the combination of Daisy Jones and The Six is a formula for guaranteed success, no one says no to the smell of potential fame.

It turns out, the producer was right. When Daisy Jones joins The Six, they become the most famous rock band of that age. But with fame comes responsibility they aren’t equipped to handle. The group ends up splitting up at the height of their fame. And no one knows exactly why, until now.


AUTHOR: Mona Awad

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | Horror | Dark Comedy


BSBC SUMMARY: Samantha, a Creative Writing student at the uppity Warren University, would barely be able to make it through her days if it weren’t for her best friend Ava. Samantha’s MFA program consists of her and an inseparable clique of girls who all refer to each other as “Bunny”.

Despite Samantha’s insistence that she hates them all, she’s thrilled to find an invitation to their infamous “Smut Salon”. Unsure of what to expect, Samantha arrives and is soon pulled into the world of the Bunnies.

As Samantha grows closer to the Bunnies, she begins to lose herself, and even worse, her best friend Ava.

But the Bunnies are not just a bunch of silly girls who drink too much like Samantha used to think. In their secret “Workshops”, they conjure their horrific, ungodly creations, eventually dragging Samantha into their dark world.

Bunny is as engrossing as it is shocking as each page leads you deeper and deeper into the dark and consuming pit of troubled minds.

Little Fires Everywhere

AUTHOR: Celeste Ng

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction


BSBC SUMMARY: Little Fires Everywhere is the story of a pristine and perfect town called Shaker Heights. Its meticulously planned layout, houses and community give all its residents the stability and consistency they crave, especially Elena Richardson, Shaker Heights’ biggest cheerleader.

But when a new neighbor, an artist and single mother named Mia, moves into one of the rentals, the firm foundation everyone thought they were standing on doesn’t appear so sound anymore.

After a custody battle breaks out when one of the Shaker Heights families tries to adopt a baby, the neighborhood is divided, putting Mia and Elena on opposite sides. Elena, determined to win, lets go of her rules and structure in order to dig out the secrets Mia’s worked so hard to contain.

The Most Fun We Ever Had

AUTHOR: Claire Lombardo

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | Family Saga | Coming of Age


BSBC SUMMARY: The Most Fun We Ever Had is the story of the Sorensons—a Chicago-based family with four adult daughters, Wendy, Violet, Liza and Gracie, and their still-madly-in-love parents, Marilyn and David.

The Sorensons always assumed their family’s problems were pretty run-of-the-mill—potential torrid love affairs, life-threatening overdoses and sociopathic children. But when a long-buried secret emerges, the entire family has to question how “normal” they really are.

Diving into the gritty, and often dark, histories of each family member, this book is an unputdownable story of the pain we bring to those who love us the most.

A Woman is No Man

AUTHOR: Etaf Rum

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | Family Saga


BSBC SUMMARY: In A Woman Is No Man, three generations of Arab-American women tell their story, something that’s never been done in their culture before.

Fareeda is the family matriarch, running the household in Brookyln, New York after she and her husband escape from Palestine, their horrendous homeland. Fareeda is a stickler for tradition and reputation, making sure to let her new daughter-in-law Isra know how much she’s letting the family down by only bringing baby girls into the world and no boys.

Isra moves to Brooklyn from Palestine when she marries Fareeda’s son Adam in an arranged marriage. Eager at the idea of a new start in America and freedom to be her own person, Isra’s hopes are extinguished when she quickly discovers that America is not only just as suffocating as Palestine, but now she’s surrounded by strangers posing as family.

Deya, Isra’s daughter, has approached the age where she’s meeting with suitors, but despite her grandmother Fareeda’s urging, she objects to marriage and only wants to set her focus on college. When a mysterious stranger shows up looking for her, Deya begins to understand why she feels so rebellious and what her past memories really mean.

Normal People

AUTHOR: Sally Rooney

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction


BSBC SUMMARY: In Normal People, Marianne and Connell are in different circles—Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is ridiculed and ignored.

But despite their differences, a friendship blossoms between them, quickly growing into something more.

However, Connell is embarrassed to admit his association with her, and Marianne lacks the self-confidence to make him acknowledge her publicly.

As the two graduate and move on to college, their paths seem to separate, until they’re suddenly entwined again. But now, the tables have turned—Marianne is the one who’s well-liked and flourishing while Connell is the one who is lost and floundering.

Their story continues like this for years, growing apart and then suddenly finding themselves tangled together again. As they go through the normal rights of passage as well as things far outside the range of normal, they find themselves always back in front of one another, even when they thought their connection had been severed for good.

Once Upon a River

AUTHOR: Diane Setterfield

GENRE: Historical Fiction


BSBC SUMMARY: In Once Upon a River, a little girl is found dead in the river at the advent of solstice. Just when everyone has accepted the terrible news, the little girl comes back to life.

This book follows the stories of multiple characters, their lives and aims all weaving in and out like (might I say it?) a river.

Everyone is enchanted by the little girl, wanting to take her into their homes and make her their own—and everyone has a different motivation for yearning so heavily for the girl.

The Vaughns, whose own little girl went missing from her bed two years prior, hold onto hope that this resurected little one is theirs, even though they have a sinking feeling it’s not her.

Lily, who is convinced it’s the ghost of her sister coming back to haunt her after what Lily had done.

The Armstrongs, who just found out about their oldest son’s daughter—their granddaughter—and believe this little girl might be their presumed missing grand daughter.

And Rita and Gaunt, two unnconnected people who find themselves pulled together thanks to the strange pull of the little girl.

Three little girls went missing in the river—and only one has been found. Who is she? Who does she belong to? And what happened to the other missing little girls?

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

AUTHOR: Gail Honeyman

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction


BSBC SUMMARY: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of a girl who’s socially awkward, seemingly mediocre, and stuck in a life-sucking routine.

But as the book goes on, Eleanor starts to reveal her quippy and extremely witty personality and her strange—and very interesting—views on life and people.

Moved by the idea of potential love, Eleanor starts to break out of her routine. In doing so, she gains so much more than she could’ve ever anticipated. But shaking up her everyday routine also stirs up some of her past and brings it to the surface.

The characters in this story are incredibly crafted and multi-dimensional and the pace and the anticipation of the impending storyline are just as amazing!

The Girl He Used to Know

AUTHOR: Tracey Garvis Graves

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | Romance


BSBC SUMMARY: The Girl He Used to Know is the story of Annika and Jonathan—alternating between ten years ago when they were in college, first falling in love, and present day, rekindling the flame that was extinguished so suddenly all those years before.

Annika is a high-maintenance girl, although she doesn’t intend to be. She has special social needs and finds it hard to click with others. But when she meets Jonathan during her senior year in college, he seems to just get her.

They fall in love and have a wonderful relationship, until something tragically pulls them apart.

Now, ten years after college, they run into each other again, both having never lost those feelings from so long ago.


AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover

GENRE: Psychological Thriller


BSBC SUMMARY: In Verity, Lowen, a struggling writer not sure how she’s going to get next month’s rent, is contacted for a new assignment—to finish Verity Crawford’s world-renown series.

Verity, the world-famous author of more than a handful of bestsellers, was in a terrible accident and can no longer write.

Lowen accepts the job to finish the series, but soon realizes she’s in over her head. She can’t shake the feeling that Verity’s massive home—the one where Verity’s handsome husband Jeremy, their child, and the now-crippled author are—is a place she shouldn’t be.

During a moment of vulnerability, Jeremey shared the terrible accidents that had happened to the family—first the untimely passing of their twin daughters, both at different times, and now Verity’s horrible car wreck.

But as Lowen is doing research for the upcoming books, she stumbles across the manuscript of Verity’s autobiography. In it, she discovers things she wish she hadn’t. And now can’t help but see Verity as perhaps the darkest villain of all.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation

AUTHOR: Ottessa Moshfegh

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction


BSBC SUMMARY: In My Year of Rest and Relaxation, the main character—never named—decides to spend a year asleep as much as possible.

Even though she has everything anyone could ever want—looks, money, an Ivy League education, and people falling all over her—she’s miserable. She decides the only way to save her mind from complete destruction is to medicate herself to the point of literal hibernation.

Abetted by an extremely unethical and possibly demented psychiatrist, our heroine gets her wish—to escape from the world through manufactured sleep while she figures out if eternal sleep is her end goal or if her year of rest and relaxation will be enough to renew her strength to return to the world.

Where the Crawdads Sing

AUTHOR: Delia Owens

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction


BSBC SUMMARY: Where the Crawdads Sing is a coming-of-age story about a girl named Kya Clark who grows up in the marsh of North Carolina.

Left by her mother when she was only six, her brothers and sisters the years following, and then eventually her father, she has no choice but to figure out how to do life completely secluded and on her own.

Despite only going to school one day in her entire life, Kya is smart and sensitive. She has sharp insights about the world and people. She’s been abandoned, ridiculed, and on the receiving end of prejudices no one—especially a child—should have to endure, yet she’s still fascinated by life.

Kya is a brilliant character who will melt your heart. And just when you think you’re starting to understand her, she throws you for loop after loop.


AUTHOR: Madeline Miller

GENRE: Fantasy | Epics


BSBC SUMMARY: A retelling of the most beloved and enticing mythology tales, Circe is a modern-day epic that would make even Homer proud.

Circe is the daughter of Helios, god of the sun and a mighty Titan. She’s the “strangest of his children”, possessing little allure, little strength, and a voice that makes the others cringe.

Yet, Circe is filled with compassion and empathy, something none of her other family members can claim. Driven by an insatiable curiosity of mortals, Circe realizes her place might not actually be with the hardened Titans she was born into.

In a desperate attempt to turn a mortal man into a god so they can be in love forever, Circe realizes she may have power after all—the power of witchcraft.

Banished to an island to live in seclusion for eternity, Circe uses her inner strength to develop her outer magic. Throughout her journey, she encounters some of the most famous figures in mythology, including the Minotaur, Icarus, Odysseus, Hermes, and Helen of Troy’s sister Penelope.

Circe’s tale is full of adventure, turmoil, and woe, but also of self-discovery, grace, and love.

I’ll Give You the Sun

AUTHOR: Jandy Nelson

GENRE: Young Adult Fiction


BSBC SUMMARY: I’ll Give You the Sun is the story of twins Noah and Jude. The book is told from the alternating perspectives of the two, presented during different years throughout the story.

Sometimes they’re NoahandJude—thick as thieves and existing almost as one entity—and other times they’re Noah and Jude—distant, cold, and unsupportive of each other.

This is a book that boldly and expertly tells of the griefs of love, the excitement of hope, and the necessity of surrendering.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

AUTHOR: Anne Lamott

GENRE: Nonfiction | Writing Advice & Inspiration | Memoir


BSBC SUMMARY: Bird by Bird is not only an amazing writing book, it’s a great read in general.

I’ve never felt so encouraged or supported in my efforts of forging a path as a writer as I did when reading this book.

Anne writes in such a mellifluous and witty way that you can’t help but fall in love with her and her writing.

This book is packed full of valuable lessons about writing and life in general. She shares her stories of how she became a professional writer and also shares plenty of the hardships she learned along the way.

In these pages, you’ll find a lot of tangible techniques for great writing, but you’ll also find encouragement and validation that you’re meant to pursue the writing career you’re dreaming of.

The Goldfinch

AUTHOR: Donna Tartt

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | Coming of Age


BSBC SUMMARY: In The Goldfinch, Theo Decker, at just thirteen years old, loses his mother in a horrible accident—one that he, miraculously, somehow survives. Suddenly an orphan, Theo is taken to live with a wealthy family while the state tries to get ahold of his delinquent biological father.

Just as the numbness from the tragedy is starting to fade and Theo is beginning to feel comfortable in his new surroundings, he is whisked away from New York City and all that he knows and thrown into the strange city of Los Vegas to live with his father whom he barely knows.

As Theo is thrown—or hurtled, rather—through the rest of his childhood, teens, and early adulthood, the only thing he has to hold on to in his spinning world is a thing he should absolutely not have. Something that reminds him of his mother. Something that gives him a reason to go on. And something so priceless he will do anything to keep it a secret.

The Night Circus

AUTHOR: Erin Morgenstern

GENRE: Fantasy


BSBC SUMMARY: The Night Circus is a vidid story of a circus—Le Cirque des Rêves—that appears at night, offering no warning or knowledge of where it comes from but guarantees magic and delight.

Le Cirque des Rêves is a breathtaking show that captivates audiences with its dazzling charm, but underneath all its beauty and grandeur is a fierce battle taking way.

Celia and Marco are both young, emerging magicians who’ve been training since they can both remember. Even though they’ve never met and don’t even know about the competition they’re in, they’re connected. As their fates become more and more intwined—with no other explanation than from divine will—the competition becomes even more dangerous and defining than it was before.

The Help

AUTHOR: Kathryn Stockett

GENRE: Historical Fiction


BSBC SUMMARY: It’s 1960s Mississippi, a time where “separate but equal” is the social norm.

The Help is told from the perspective of three different women—Aibileen, an experienced black maid who is currently raising her seventeenth white child, Minny, a younger and sassier black maid who has lost yet another housekeeping job because of her untamable tongue, and Skeeter, a post-graduate white woman who is determined to stay out of the box society wants to put her in.

Trying to break into the competitive world of publishing in New York City, Skeeter quickly realizes she needs to set her self apart if she ever wants a chance to become an editor. Devoid of any real experience, Skeeter decides to write a book about the domestic help in Mississippi, from the perspectives of the maids.

After much coercion, Aibileen and Minny finally decide to help Skeeter with her project, even though they all have to keep it the utmost secret. If anyone discovers what they’re doing, it will be more than reputations that are at risk.

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel

AUTHOR: Jessica Brody

GENRE: Nonfiction | Writing Reference


BSBC SUMMARY: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel is the #1 place to start if you want to write fiction. It’s also a great tool for seasoned writers. This book expertly walks through every single beat (plot point), chapter, and scene you need in order to have a captivating novel that really works.

I delayed reading this for so long because I was skeptical—I didn’t want to turn to a formula and end up writing a generic novel that didn’t stand out. But it turns out, the Save the Cat! method is the key to writing a great book.

And the best part—it’s presented in a clear, easy-to-understand, and easy-to-apply way!

The Thirteenth Tale

AUTHOR: Diane Setterfield

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction


BSBC SUMMARY: In The Thirteenth Tale, Margaret is commissioned to write the biography of reclusive author Vida Winter who’s books are famous and loved world wide.

In addition to her genius storytelling, Vida is also known for her habit of escaping the truth—she’s never given a truthful interview, always making up grandiose stories of her personal history and never revealing a mere semblance of how she grew up.

But before Margaret starts her new assignment, she sets the tone—Vida must tell her the truth or Margaret won’t continue with the biography.

Shockingly, Vida agrees to the stipulations, and thus, takes Margaret down her long and sordid history of betrayal, heartbreak, and circumstance as she shares a tale of true survival.

What were some of the best books you read in 2019? Share them in the comments below!

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Would I say my reading addiction is a problem?

Would you consider the fact that I've blown my daughter's future college fund on new books an issue? Cool, me either. I knew we'd be friends.




popular posts

17 Books Totally Worth the Hype

9 Books to Get Completely Lost In

15 Books That Are Even Better as Audiobooks

7 Ways Kindle Short Reads Will Skyrocket Your Writing Career


Join the