Yesterday, I told you all about my nine favorite books that I read in 2019. But I also want to talk about some of the other books that I loved this year that didn’t quite make that list. So today I’m talking about some of my other favorites of the year, not including any of the books from my top nine.
I’ll also be talking about my reading stats from this year…but we’ll get to that later.
Favorite series: The Broken Earth by N.K. Jemisin
I didn’t read many series start to finish this year, so this wasn’t a hard choice. But even if it was, I would still choose this series! N.K. Jemisin’s science fantasy series is a wild ride from start to finish, and it’s made her an author that I automatically want to read anything she releases.
Honorable mention: The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Favorite start to a series: King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
The first book in the Nikolai duology was INTENSE. I love Nikolai, Zoya, and Nina so much, and I can’t wait to see what the second book brings! When is that coming, Ms. Bardugo???
Honorable mentions: Skyward by Brandon Sanderson, Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Favorite sequel: Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
The long-awaited sequel to Carry On finally came out, and it was an adventure! Simon, Baz, and Penny road-tripping across America was endless entertainment, and I also loved the explorations of Simon’s PTSD and Baz’s identity.
Honorable mentions: Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab, The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken
Favorite surprise: Real Queer America by Samantha Allen
One of my biggest surprises of the year was finding some nonfiction books that I actually loved, and this one ended up being my favorite of them. Telling the stories from LGBT communities in conservative areas of the US, this book quickly became a new favorite.
Honorable mentions: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, Damsel by Elana K. Arnold
Favorite debut: The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen
It seems weird to me that Lauren Shippen was a debut author this year, since I’ve been enjoying her writing – in podcast form – for so long. But The Infinite Noise was an absolute success and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!
Honorable mentions: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, Wilder Girls by Rory Power, Crier’s War by Nina Varela
Favorite under-hyped book: Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi
I feel like I heard a lot about this book before its release, but since then, almost nothing. Which is a shame, because it’s a delightful enemies-to-lovers f/f rom-com with wonderful characters! Go check it out if you haven’t already!
Honorable mentions: Lovely War by Julie Berry, To Night Owl From Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan & Meg Wolitzer
Favorite new-to-me author: Amal El-Mohtar
I only read two works by Amal El-Mohtar this year – This Is How You Lose the Time War (with Max Gladstone) and “Seasons of Glass and Iron” (a short story) – but both of those I LOVED. I want to read everything she’s ever written now, and I will definitely be keeping my eye out for her next book.
Favorite backlist book: You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Levithan AND Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
I couldn’t choose between these two, so I just chose both, because I make the rules. Both of these books kind of came out of nowhere – I picked them up not expecting much, but they both blew me away. You Know Me Well, a contemporary about two unexpected friends, is a simple story with a surprisingly emotional core, and definitely made me tear up. Code Name Verity, a historical fiction, tells the story of a spy in WW2 and her friendship with a pilot, and it made me full-on sob.
Favorite adaptation: Good Omens
I’ve already talked about Good Omens a lot this year, so it should come as no surprise that it’s my favorite book-to-movie/TV adaptation of 2019. I think it might be the only new adaptation that I watched, but even if it weren’t, it would still be in this spot.
Favorite character: Spensa from Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
Ah, Spensa, my angry, emotionally-repressed, overly-aggressive daughter. How I love you. Skyward was great for a lot of reasons, but near the top is Spensa herself, who would rather blow up enemy aliens than talk about her emotions, ever.
Honorable mentions: Alex Stern from Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, Gideon Nav from Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, Sadie Hunter from Sadie by Courtney Summers
Favorite reread: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
I reread a lot of wonderful books this year, but if we’re talking in terms of rereads that I got the most out of, it would have to be The Song of Achilles. I first read this when I was in high school, and even though I loved it then, I definitely appreciated it and understood it more this time around.
Honorable mentions: Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Favorite review that I wrote: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
I know I said that I wouldn’t include anything from my top books of the year, but I can’t help it – I’m really proud of this review!
So I read 135 books this past year! I always think it’s interesting to look at my stats from the books I read to get a sense of the types of books I’m reading. Sorry if this is boring to you and feel free to scroll on past. I know there are a lot of pie charts. 😊
Number of pages
Unsurprisingly, the majority of the books I read were between 300 and 500 pages. But I’m pretty pleased with the fact that a good 15% of my books were over 500 pages!
Total, I read 50,579 pages this year, and the average per book was 374 pages.
This graph is a simplification of the genres that I read this year, since there was overlap between genres in a lot of books (i.e. historical fantasy). But I tried my best to keep it straightforward. I read a LOT of fantasy, which isn’t surprising. Contemporary is in second place, and I even have a little slice of nonfiction in there, too.
A good 59% of the books I read this year were rated four stars or more! That’s pretty good! My average rating for the year is 3.87 stars.
Okay, this is interesting. 2019 ended up being the biggest chunk in terms of publication year, and a full 89% of the books I read were published in the past decade. Do I need to branch out??
I felt like I read so many more adult books than last year, but last year I read 31% adult books. Weird. Maybe I just read better adult books than last year. Still, not surprising at all that YA is the biggest category.
Series vs. standalone
This is close! I just barely read more standalone books than series, which I think is pretty good, since one of my goals of 2019 was to continue series.
I knew that I read more female authors than male, but I didn’t realize it was THAT big a difference! Can’t say that I’m bothered by that at all. Plus, I’ve got a little chunk of nonbinary authors, which I didn’t have last year!
Okay, I did my best with this one. I included any publisher that I read more than two books from, and everything else – small presses and indie publishers – went into the “other” category. Macmillan ended up having the most books, at 19%, followed by Penguin Random House, then HarperCollins, then all the others.
I feel like this graph is only going to be interesting to me lol.
Just over half of the books I read this year were read as a physical book. And a whole 24% was read through audiobook! That number ended up being bigger than I expected.
Special shoutout to my public library for providing 62% of the books I read this year! I love you guys. The next biggest category is books that I bought, at 22%, and almost 9% came from ARC providers like NetGalley and Edelweiss.
What were some of your favorite books of 2019? What’s an underhyped book that you loved? Do you read more backlist or frontlist titles?