Book Recommendations List Year's Best

More Best Books of 2019 Lists

Best Books of 2019

I put this Goodreads list at the very top of this entry because it’s “the only major book awards decided by readers.” Check out the winners in a whole bunch of categories.

The Ultimate Best Books of 2019 List

And here’s the list made up from other lists. Literary Hub editor Emily Temple collected every “best books of the year” lists she could find, “tallied up their recommendations, and figured out which books were most often included.”

What writers are reading: The Irish Times books of the year 2019

The 10 Best Books of 2019

From The New York Times: “The editors of The Times Book Review choose the best fiction and nonfiction titles this year.”

Best Books 2019

This is the portal for entering Library Journal’s lists of best books in the following categories:

  • crime fiction  
  • horror  
  • literary fiction  
  • pop fiction  
  • romance  
  • science fiction/fantasy  
  • short stories  
  • world literature  
  • arts  
  • biography & memoir  
  • cooking & food  
  • poetry  
  • religion & spirituality  
  • science & technology  
  • social sciences  
  • wellness  
  • graphic novels 

AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2019

The year’s best audiobooks in all the major categories.

The best books of 2019 – picked by the year’s best writers

From The Guardian comes this list: “the winners and runners-up of this year’s most coveted literary awards pick their three favourite titles of 2019.”

The Best Books of 2019

From Katy Waldman, staff writer at The New Yorker

The Best Books of 2019

Book Riot’s choices from all the genres

The Best Books We Read in 2019

The staff of Bookish list the best books they read in 2019.

NPR’s Book Concierge

The portal for entry into NPR’s book recommendations from 2019 all the way back through 2013.

The Best Books of 2019

From GQ

The 10 Best Books of 2019

“According to Slate’s books editor.” At the bottom of this list is a link to “the best books of 2019 according to Slate’s book critic.”

The Best Books of 2019

From Molly Young, Vulture literary critic

Our 50 Favorite Books of the Year

“Highlights From a Year in Reading by the Literary Hub Staff”

Our Favorite Nonfiction Books of 2019

From The New Yorker

55 of the Best Queer Books of 2019

A list of “gorgeous graphic memoirs, epic fantasy tales, twisty thrillers, swoony romances, exceptional essay collections, and more!”

The 44 Best-Selling Books of 2019 That You Don’t Want to Miss

An exhortation from Good Housekeeping: “Crack open one of these best-sellers to find out what everyone’s talking about.”

Best Books of 2019: Young Adult

A list from BookPage

The Best Books of 2019 (So Far)

From Thrillist. There are 39 books on this list, a lot of which are translations from writers outside of the U.S.

The Best Science Books of 2019

Recommendations from Barbara Kiser, Books & Arts Editor at Nature. This page also includes, along the right side, links to many other “best books” in science-related areas.

Books of the Year 2019

Australian Book Review has compiled this list from suggestions by their critics and writers.

The Best of 2019

Amazon’s audiobook giant Audible offers a top-ten list, plus additional lists in a whole bunch of categories such as fiction, memoir, mysteries & thrillers, true crime, young adult, and kids’ audiobooks.


From Book Riot

The Best Cookbooks of 2019

From The New Yorker


From the folks at CrimeReads, who explain they are “starting here with our choices for best novels from the big “crime” umbrella of crime, mystery, and thrillers. We’ll be back soon with our selections for the best new International Crime Fiction, True Crime, Noir, Psychological Thrillers, Espionage Fiction, and more.”


Those short quotations you often find at the front of books are called epigraphs. Here Ashley Holstrom lists her favorites for the year. “Sometimes the epigraphs are related to content or tone, or just something pretty the writer wants to share along with their work.”

Reflecting on the memoirs of 2019 and the elasticity of the genre

From the Chicago Tribune. Not exactly a “best of” list, but interesting nevertheless.

The New York Public Library’s Most Checked-Out Books of the Year

Electric Lit’s 15 Best Novels of 2019

Compiled by the staff and contributors of Electric Literature

Electric Lit’s 15 Best Nonfiction Books of 2019

“Staff and contributors recommend memoirs, essays, and reported work”

Best books of 2019: What Ronan Farrow, Susan Orlean and more writers we love couldn’t put down

From the Los Angeles Times

The best books of 2019 for people who love travel

Editors’ Picks: Notable Books of 2019

A list of both fiction and nonfiction, from Cal Flyn, deputy editor at Five Books

The 10 Best Book Reviews of 2019

From Literary Hub

Rabih Alameddine: The Oddest Books I Read This Year

“The Author of The Angel of History Alternative to theEndless ‘Best of’ Lists”

fancy scroll

Best Books of the Decade

26 Books From the Last Decade that More People Should Read

From Literary Hub: “Our Favorite Writers Recommend Some Underappreciated Gems.”

10 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Must-Reads From the 2010s

From fiction writer and editor Leah Schnelbach, for Literary Hub

The Best Psychological Thrillers of the Decade, Ranked

Analysis by BookBub of 17 thrillers

20 of the Best Book Club Books of the Decade

“In this list, we’re showcasing two of the best books from each year — all titles that book clubs loved.” From BookBub

Here are EW’s top 10 nonfiction books of the decade

From Entertainment Weekly. At the bottom you’ll find links to the top 10 fiction books of the decade, the best fantasy of the decade, and the best book series of the decade.

The 10 Best Literary TV Adaptations of the Decade

From Emily Temple of Literary Hub: “we didn’t base our decisions on fidelity to, or creativity of departure from, the original text. We just wanted to pick the best television experiences.”

The 10 Best Literary Film Adaptations of the Decade

Also from Literary Hub

How reading has changed in the 2010s

From the BBC: “Erica Wagner picks the most important book trends of the past decade.”

The 10 Best Debut Novels of the Decade

A list by For Reading Addicts

The Decade in Young Adult Fiction

From Laura Miller at Slate

100 Books That Defined the Decade

From Emily Temple for Literary Hub: “This is a list of books that, whether bad or good, were in one way or another defining for the last decade in American culture.”

The Best Memoirs of the Decade (2010-2019)

A list by For Reading Addicts

The Best Memoirs of the Decade

BookBub’s list

Best of the Decade: What Books Will We Still Be Reading in 10 Years?

“And You Thought Best of the Year Lists Were Intense?”

Emily Temple of Literary Hub: “I proposed a staff poll, of sorts: I asked each of my colleagues in the Literary Hub office to make a list of the ten books from the last ten years that they thought we’d still be reading—for good or ill—ten years from now, circa 2030.”

© 2019 by Mary Daniels Brown

List Year's Best

The Best Books I Read in 2011

Listed alphabetically by author

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games

Connelly, Michael. The Fifth Witness

Donoghue, Emma. Room

Egan, Jennifer. A Visit from the Goon Squad

Harbach, Chad. The Art of Fielding

Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken

Hoffman, Alice. The Story Sisters

McLain, Paula. The Paris Wife

Shapiro, Alison Bonds. Healing into Possibility

Watson, S. J. Before I Go to Sleep

List Year's Best

The Best Books I Read in 2010

This has been an abysmal year for me in terms of pleasure reading: I read a mere 18 books. The reason for this low count is that I’ve spent the entire year researching and then writing my dissertation, which I hope to finish up in early 2011. So I’m looking forward to 2011 being a better reading year for me.

Here are the best of those 18 books that I read this year (listed alphabetically by author):

Bradley, Alan. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Brooks, Geraldine. People of the Book

Lamb, Wally. I Know This Much Is True

Lamb, Wally. Wishin’ and Hopin’

Larsson, Stieg. The Girl Who Played with Fire

Larsson, Stieg. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

List Year's Best

The Best Books I Read in 2009

Listed alphabetically by author

Corrigan, Kelly. The Middle Place

Didion, Joan. Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Friedan, Betty. The Feminine Mystique

Genova, Lisa. Still Alice

Hoffman, Alice. The Story Sisters

Larsson, Stieg. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

O’Connell, Carol. Bone by Bone

Sarton, May. Journal of a Solitude

Stockett, Kathryn. The Help

Zaslow, Jeffrey. The Girls from Ames

Honorable Mention

Shaffer, Mary Ann & Annie Barrows. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Strout, Elizabeth. Olive Kitteridge

Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Own

List Year's Best

The Best Books I Read in 2008

Listed alphabetically by author

Beauvoir, Simone de. The Second Sex

Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby

Goldberg, Natalie. Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir

Hood, Ann. Comfort: A Journey through Grief

O’Farrell, Maggie. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

Saks, Elyn R. The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey through Madness

Schwartz, Lynne Sharon. Disturbances in the Field

Weller, Sheila. Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon–and the Journey of a Generation

Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief

Book Recommendations Year's Best

Best Books I Read in 2007

My favorite end-of-the-year activity is compiling my annual list of the best books I read during the year. Making this list is both pleasurable and painful: pleasurable because it allows me to revisit and remember each book; painful because I have to cut some books I really enjoyed to get the list down to the 10 I liked best.

Before 2005—the year when I returned to school full time—compiling the list was often a formidable task. Some years I even cheated and added five more titles categorized as “honorable mention” because I just couldn’t whittle the list of all the books I had read down to a mere 10 titles. But in the years since 2005, coming up with the list has been a lot easier because I no longer have the time for pleasure reading that I used to have.

Note that the year’s date refers to the year I read the books, not the year they were published.

Of the 43 books I read during 2007 (exclusive of textbooks), here’s the 10 best, listed alphabetically by author:

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice
Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights
Butler, Octavia E. Kindred
Didion, Joan. The Year of Magical Thinking
Follett, Ken. The Pillars of the Earth
Gilbert, Elizabeth. Eat, Pray, Love
Hood, Ann. The Knitting Circle
Kallos, Stephanie. Broken for You
Lippman, Laura. What the Dead Know
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

(The links are to reviews on my other Web site.)

What’s on your list? If you haven’t made a list, give it a try. It’s not as easy as you think. Sometimes deleting a title feels like giving away one of your children. But this task makes you think more consciously about exactly what makes a book a “good book” to you.

Happy New Year to all, and thanks for reading.

List Year's Best

The Best Books I Read in 2007

Listed alphabetically by author

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice

Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights

Butler, Octavia E. Kindred

Didion, Joan. The Year of Magical Thinking

Follett, Ken. The Pillars of the Earth

Gilbert, Elizabeth. Eat, Pray, Love

Hood, Ann. The Knitting Circle

Kallos, Stephanie. Broken for You

Lippman, Laura. What the Dead Know

Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

List Year's Best

The Best Books I Read in 2006

Listed alphabetically by author

Atkinson, Kate. Case Histories

Auster, Paul. Oracle Night

Auster, Paul. The Book of Illusions

Harwood, John. The Ghost Writer

Lipton, Bruce. The Biology of Belief

Phillips, Arthur. The Egyptologist

Picoult, Jodi. Plain Truth

Setterfield, Diane. The Thirteenth Tale

Walls, Jeannette. The Glass Castle

List Year's Best

The Best Books I Read in 2005

Listed alphabetically by author

Atwood, Margaret. Oryx and Crake

Frankl, Viktor E. Man’s Search for Meaning

Gross, Joel. The Lives of Rachel

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner

Krakauer, Jon. Under the Banner of Heaven

Shriver, Lionel. We Need to Talk about Kevin

Tartt, Donna. The Secret History

Turow, Scott. Ordinary Heroes

Wharton, Edith. The House of Mirth

Zafon, Carlos Ruiz. The Shadow of the Wind

List Year's Best

The Best Books I Read in 2004

Listed alphabetically by author

Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed

Eugenides, Jeffrey. Middlesex

Franzen, Jonathan. The Corrections

Goodman, Carol. The Seduction of Water

Gross, Joel. The Books of Rachel

Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Haruf, Kent. Eventide

Hoffman, Alice. Blue Diary

Larson, Erik. The Devil in the White City

Niffenegger, Audrey. The Time Traveler’s Wife

Honorable Mention

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Fever 1793

Hammett, Dashiell. The Maltese Falcon

McGahern, John. By the Lake

Pert, Candace B. Molecules of Emotion

Taylor, Daniel. Tell Me a Story: The Life-Shaping Power of Our Stories