Tuesday, December 31, 2019

My Favorite Reads from 2019

Over this past year, I have read 76 books.  Wowsers.  That may be some kind of record for adult me.  Especially since one of those was War and Peace.



As always, I can't pick just ten favorite books from all those.  So here are my ten favorite new-to-me books from 2019, and also my ten favorite rereads.  I'm linking this up with Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl.



I've decided it would be nice to have a place to gather these lists together, like I have my movie top tens all listed on one page, so I've created a new page here that collects my end-of-the-year top ten lists from 2014 to the present.

Every title here is linked to my review of that book, though some of the rereads, I've linked to older reviews of mine because I didn't re-review them this year.  All photos are mine from my bookstagram account.



Top Ten New-to-Me Reads of 2019

1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman -- The Jungle Book retold with ghosts and a vampire.  PG-13.

2. The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay -- three women learn from and lean on each other. PG-13.



3. The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum -- fairy tale about Santa Claus.  G.

4. Mycroft and Sherlock by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse -- two brothers solve a series of opium-related murders.  PG-13.

5. Five Poisoned Apples ed. by Anne Elisabeth Stengl -- five delicious retellings of Snow White.  PG-13.



6. Adventures of the Woman Homesteader by Suzanne K. George -- nonfiction collection of letters and the life story of Elinore Pruitt Stewart.  PG.

7. The Racketty-Packetty House by Frances Hodgson Burnett -- dolls in an old dollhouse find someone who values them.  G.

8. The King's Players by Charity Bishop -- King Henry VII and Sir Thomas Lovell search out spies.  PG-13.



9. Grateful American by Gary Sinise -- memoir about Sinise's career as an actor and patriot.  PG-13.

10. The Undertaker's Assistant by Amanda Skenandore --  a black woman embalmer takes a job in New Orleans and searches for clues to her past.




Top Ten Rereads of 2019

1. Hamlet by William Shakespeare -- something is rotten in the state of Denmark.  PG-13. 

2. The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery -- woman shakes off her oppressive family and finds her own life.  PG. 



3. The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler -- Philip Marlowe investigates a drowning.  PG-13.

4. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien -- something about a dark lord and the end of the world.  PG-13.



5. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks -- toys come alive in a magical cupboard.  PG.

6. Shane by Jack Schaefer -- stranger helps a family fight off a greedy neighbor.  PG.

7. Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George -- retelling of Much Ado About Nothing set during Prohibition.  PG-13.


8. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster -- young woman learns to think and feel for herself. PG.

9. Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart -- nonfiction collection of folksy letters about life on the frontier.  PG.

10. A Flame in the Dark by Sarah Baughman -- young man seeks advice from Martin Luther to help navigate life and love. PG-13.


Here's to another great year of books to read and enjoy and love in 2020!

28 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, Rachel!

    You have a couple of my favs on your list: Women Homesteader & A Room w/ a View. I haven't read any of your other books, but I've been eyeing Speak Easy, Speak Love since you reviewed it...which may be fun to read in this new decade. Then again, I may like to wait until I read Much Ado About Nothing.

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    1. Happy New Year, Ruth!

      I think you introduced me to Woman Homesteader. Mmmm, so good. I actually gave my dad a copy of both her books last year for his birthday, and he read them in one sitting!

      Definitely look forward to your take on SE,SL when you do get to it :-)

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  2. The King's Players is so good. <3

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    1. Katie, indeed! Looking forward to her next book.

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  3. You've read some greats this year!!!

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  4. I'm rereading Five Poisoned Apples with my sisters and I'm loving being back in the gorgeous worlds!!

    Oh, I love The Indian in the Cupboard! My mom read them to me so they are super nostalgic. <3 Way to go on 74 books!!! That is awesome!

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    1. MC, that's so fun! I need to finish reading Five Glass Slippers this year. I've only read one story of it, isn't that ridiculous?

      Indian in the Cupboard is one of my favorite books of all time. SO GOOD.

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  5. I love your Lord of the Rings review, that is what should be on the back of the books.

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    1. Livia, haha! Yeah. Just a picture of Sam and his dialog there.

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  6. Aw, I'm honored to make the list again.

    War & Peace is such an epic in and of itself, you should be proud of making it all the way through it. I have not quite managed it yet (though I've read Anna Karenina twice). Tolstoy had a huge imagination, an excess of wordiness, and a lot of long Russian names. Hahahaha.

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    1. Charity, well... you keep writing books I enjoy! Speaking of which, I'm looking forward to the next one :-)

      The thing with long Russian novels is that you need a long Russian winter to truly enjoy them. I'm fully convinced of this.

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    2. Ha, ha. Well, I just put it out (didn't want to pester my friends for reviews over the busy holiday season, but also needed to get it out quickly to be able to advertise it in this issue of the P.T.) so -- go forth and hopefully enjoy Thomas More. ;)

      Ahh. Quite possibly true. Or... an abridged version. ;)

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    3. Charity, WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? ::pulls up Amazon and orders it:: Huzzah for you, you sneaky woman!

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    4. LOL, I didn't intend to be sneaky, I just got it finished right around the first of December and was like -- welp, I really can't expect my friends to read / review it DURING THE BUSIEST TIME OF THE YEAR, so do I wait or do I not?

      I... not. ;)

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    5. Charity, sure, we believe you, don't we, Chewie? ;-)

      Regardless of your intent... it sneaked up on me, anyway! And now I'm eagerly awaiting my copy...

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  7. You ought to take a look at "Who Killed the Fonz?"... I thought it was pretty neat.

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    1. Quiggy, adding it to my list! I do get a kick out of Happy Days :-)

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  8. Interesting picks - they’re all quite different by the looks of it?? I wanted to read War & Peace in 2019 but I have the Constance Garnett translation & from what I’ve read it’s not one of the better ones. I think the book you have above is the Maude translation which is the one I’d like to read.
    Shane is one I’d like to read also.
    Happy New Year!

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    1. Carol, yes, I am an omnivorous reader.

      I wanted to read the Garnett translation because it was Hemingway's favorite, but the Maude is what I found just in time to join a read-along last summer.

      Shane is wonderful, and quite short. Hope you get a chance at it!

      Happy New Year to you too!

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  9. These are some awesome books, Rachel. GOOD for you for getting so much reading done in 2019!! WAR and Peace WHAT. Happy 2020!

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    1. Thanks, Jillian! I had no idea I'd read THAT much -- I thought I was around 50 books. And yes, War and Peace. That was quite a ride!

      Happy New Year!

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  10. YAY for Charity's books. Still need to read them all (at least I'll be able to binge read them, right!?). Same goes for "The Blue Castle," too. Happy 2020!

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    1. Rissi, yes! Binge them! They'd be amazing to read all together, instead of separated by months and months where I forget who half the people are. (Good thing she provides handy lists of people.)

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  11. The Graveyard Book! I love that one so much, and seeing mine is always so cool. <3

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    1. Skye, you're one of the people who convinced me to read The Graveyard Book!

      I tend to think of the chick on the cover of 5PA as you, not as Snow White. Lol.

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  12. Hold the phone, you say The Graveyard Book is a retelling of The Jungle Book? I haven't read either one, but I did not realize their connection! I have seen your raving over TGB, and now this connection somehow convinces me that perhaps I should actually try it sometime... You compliment my book reccing skills, I think I should hand all accolades of that sort to you! You've gotten me to add several books to my TBR that are out of my normal reading zone... :)

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    1. Kara, YES! Learning that it's a retelling of The Jungle Book is what made me want to read The Graveyard Book too. Though I love both Jungle Books, I think The Graveyard Book works really well on its own too. I just had my son and nephew read both for the lit class I'm teaching them, and my son thought this was a great retelling.

      Awww, thanks! I hope you do grab this one, cuz it's splendidly written.

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