I read a lot less 5* reads in 2019 compared to 2018, but I still had a decent selection to pick from for this list and I love all of these books!
I’m going to start off with my absolute favourite of the year, which seems backwards, but I can’t rank all of my other favourites so I may as well get the #1 spot up first!
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, translated by Geoffrey Trousselot, is an absolutely gorgeous book.
There’s a small coffee shop in a basement which has a secret, people know about it but they can’t believe that it’s true. The staff in the shop will only tell the customers who they believe need the experience. And it’s not as positive as many believe before they sit down. But their lives are forever changed, big impacts are made. This book is beautifully written and I only picked it up randomly for NetGalley, I’m so so glad that I did. I recommend this above everything else on this list, which is a big statement seeing as these are all 5* reads for me. However, I feel like this book will appeal to many different audiences and so I really do encourage you to at least look at the GoodReads page and read the synopsis (link here) and consider picking it up. If you’re interested, then you can find my full review here.
Now onto the rest of my favourite books! There are 10 books for the rest of this list and they are in the order which I read them throughout 2019 (to avoid putting them in any other sort of order, because I really can’t decide).
The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season #2)
I read this on the train going back down to Portsmouth for my heart operation after my Christmas break, it’s around 8 hours of travelling so I had a lot of time to sit with the book and I really enjoyed it. Although the ending annoyed me so much and I had to stay composed because I was on a train!! Another amazing book from Samantha Shannon. Read my full review of the book here.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale #1)
I’m massively late to this party, of course, but I finally picked up this book in a secondhand shop and read it early on in 2019. It was amazing. I loved the commentary on female autonomy and sadly it did really hit a chord with me, despite being written “so many” years ago. If you’re interested my full review is here.
Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen (Orphan Monster Spy #1)
I got this the day before I started by BookTube channel, and it took me until now to read it. There’s a bit of a theme here but if I’m getting through my backlog I won’t complain! This YA WWII based book follows a young Jewish girl who can pass as an Aryan and becomes a spy in a Nazi girls school. Check out my full review here.
Book of Lies by Teri Terry
I really love everything I’ve read so far from Teri Terry, she is truly one of my favourite authors. This book follows a girl who isn’t loved by her family, they don’t care about her at all. But then she finds out a bit secret, something that she wasn’t supposed to know. Magical and mystical, this is such an interesting book. My review is here.
The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman (The Devouring Gray #1)
This is the first book that I ever requested from a publisher and it’s the first one that was sent to me! So of course this book will always have a special place for me, but on top of that it’s a fantastic YA book with sprinkles of magic and just enough weirdness to keep you completely hooked. I can’t wait to read book #2! Check out my full review here.
Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman (Arc of the Scythe #2)
Have you read this series yet? Why not? If you like dystopian or just a great YA directed book then this is 100% a series you should pick up! There is no more natural death in the world, it’s been cured. So scythes must kull the population in order to prevent it getting out of control. But of course there are a lot of issues with this plan, it was never going to work. Check out my full review of Scythe here(which is book #1) and my review for Thunderhead here.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Illuminae Files #1)
Another book I’ve finally read! This multi-media sci-fi YA is gripping and so interesting and I finally understand why people raved about it so much for years! I definitely need to get my hands on the rest of the trilogy and I can’t wait to carry on with this story and see where it goes. See my full review here.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
I actually DNF’d this at my first attempted reading this year, but at a push from so many people online I picked it up to give it another go. I’m so rediculously glad that I did as this book is magical and wonderous and such a great read! If you’ve seen the film you’ll still love the book as there were only a few changes and I’m very glad I listened to everyone who told me to pick this back up! My full review is here.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
I read this all in one day, sat by a paddling pool my aunt had set up on the hottest day of the year in the UK at 40 Celsius, that’s 104 Fahrenheit for those of you in the US. I was dying! Yet despite that, I was glued to my seat, gripped within this story. A fictional tale inspired by the suffering of so many from slavery in the US. My full review of this novel can be found here.
The Aliens are Coming by Ben Miller
This was the first book I read after finishing my MSc dissertation. I’m so glad I picked up a science-y non-fiction as this was perfect for me in the mindset that I was in and it was also really fun (Ben Miller is a UK comedian if you didn’t know) as well as teaching me more about the search for other life forms. Check out my review here.
And that’s it! Those are all of my favourite books of 2019! I did read a few more books which I gave 5*s throughout the year (Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein and Night by Elie Wiesel). I would have ranked them lower than these books, however, and given that there are already 11 books on this list I decided to cut them out. What was your favourite (or your favourites) of 2019? Have you read any of the books that are on my list? Let me know!!