Favorite books of 2019

Raise your hand if you love year-end lists of best books.

Same here.

This year I read some absolutely terrific books, which required difficult choices because my goal was 10 books.

Here are the books that made the list…

Why’d I love them? Here’s why…


Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal by Amy Krouse Rosenthal  

3 words: creative, poignant, whimsical

Give it a whirl if you like… inventive style, quirky bite-sized anecdotes, delight in daily life, clever writing


The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker 

3 words: conversational, thought-provoking, intriguing

Give it a whirl if you like… how to plan parties that are more meaningful and meetings that are more effective, new ways of conceptualizing gatherings, why being a benevolently bossy host can be best


The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

3 words: character-driven, engaging, family 

Give it a whirl if you like… stories of family drama, house as a character, supportive siblings, evil stepmother, layers of meaning 


The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

3 words: absorbing, character-focused, warm

Give it a whirl if you like… big-hearted stories of family dysfunction, Chicagoland novels, sisterhood, parenting, stories of long and happy marriages


Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

3 words: profound, measured, philosophical

Give it a whirl if you like… memoirs of survivors, the power of the mind, Holocaust narratives, encouragement through difficult times


Working by Robert A. Caro

3 words: first-person, inside glimpse, psychological

Give it a whirl if you like… “inside baseball,” the story behind the story, how extraordinary nonfiction is written, self-deprecating humor, biographical research, how books are researched and written, a psychological portrait of a biographer


My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

3 words: cheeky, inventive, suspenseful

Give it a whirl if you like… a mix of suspense, family drama, and grim humor; a highly responsible character trapped in terrible circumstances by the acts of a loved one; tension between integrity and family loyalty


Middlemarch by George Eliot

3 words: lyrical, character-focused, absorbing

Give it a whirl if you like… a big, absorbing story; classics; reading about a village; nuanced character portraits so detailed you’d recognize the characters if you met them; fiction that inspires the reader to examine her own life


Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

3 words: creative, compulsively readable, fast-moving

Give it a whirl if you like… rock stars; documentary / oral history format; grim humor; the creative life; sex, drugs, and rock & roll; 1970s pop culture


Good Talk by Mira Jacob

3 words: creative, thought-provoking, sad/funny

Give it a whirl if you like… memoirs in graphic novel form; smart, sad, funny memoirs; #ownvoices; a look at race and ethnicity through personal experience; stories told through conversations with a child, parents, a spouse, and friends



So, my fellow readers… what books made your “best of the year” list this year?

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