Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read in 2019?

FanLit Readers' Favorites!2019 is almost over! We hope you’ve had a wonderful reading year and that our work here at FanLit helped you achieve that.

Now we want to know: What is the best book you read in 2019?

It doesn’t have to be a book that was published in 2019. Just read in 2019. It doesn’t even have to be speculative fiction.

Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

Next week we’ll be telling you about our favorite SFF books published this year.

And, as always, we have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we’ve also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.

One commenter will choose a book from our stacks.

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  1. The best book I read was Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber. It’s magical realism which I don’t usually read but I couldn’t put it down

  2. Nick Lowe /

    John Scalzis Redshirts. Borrowed heavily from Star trek and the running joke of disposable crew members and also a little reminiscent of Charlie Brooker’s Black mirror episode ‘Uss Callister’. Brilliant premise by an author I love.

  3. Thomas Beck /

    Middlegame by Seanan Mcquire. Wow simply wow.

  4. Mary Henaghen /

    Middle Game by Seanan McGuire, also just Wow, really Wow.

    • Noneofyourbusiness /

      Congrats on winning three of the prizes on Seanan McGuire’s blog, Mary Henaghen (including two separate copies of “Night and Silence”)!

  5. Noneofyourbusiness /

    Terry Tempest Williams’s “The Hour of Land” really immersed me in the story of each national park and related history.

  6. I have to pick one! Okay! I enjoyed “Middlegame” by Seanan McGuire, too; but, my favorite book for 2019 is “The Gutter Prayer” by Gareth Hanrahan. It’s a debut grimdark fantasy novel and it blew my mind away. The sequel, “The Shadow Saint” comes out next month and I’m looking forward to reading it!!!

    Here’s a link to my review on my blog:

    Here’s the review I wrote for Fantasy-Faction:

  7. Lady Morar /

    It’s hard to argue with The Lion and the Rose as my pick for 2019. Kate Quinn’s prose and historical Vatican intrigue with Borgias, enough said.

  8. David Miller /

    Recursion by Blake Crouch had a take on time travel that I hadn’t seen before.

  9. The Distinguished Professor /

    Without a doubt, “Ross Poldark” for introducing me to Winston Graham’s magnificent Novels of Cornwall.

  10. Paul Connelly /

    Not a standout year, but the best read was Brian McClellan’s Wrath of Empire, an excellent middle book in his latest trilogy. The final volume, Blood of Empire, is at the top of my must read list for next year, along with Kameron Hurley’s The Broken Heavens, another series-ender.

  11. Katharine Ott /

    So hard to narrow it down, but I’ll say “Hild” by Nicola Griffith, all that I imagined it would be.

  12. I really enjoy the Burning White by Brent Weeks. A great conclusion to a wonderful series!

  13. Catfishing on Catnet by Naomi Kritzer. I already loved the short story “Cat Pictures Please” and this expands on it greatly.

    (apropos of nothing, is it possible to support you without using Amazon? Do you have a or something where I can toss you a couple of euros/dollars/zorkmids/whatever? I closed my Amazon account for reasons of principle and I don’t want to revive it.)

    • Hi Irina,

      Yes! There is a donation button near the top of the right sidebar. Thank you! We use donations to pay for our hosting, web storage, domain names, giveaway postage, occasional ads at conventions, bookmarks and t-shirts, and other site expenses. We appreciate your help!


  14. John Smith /

    I will say one of the Jonathan Stroud books I read–“Ptolemy’s Gate,” the conclusion to the Bartimaeus trilogy!

    • Paul Connelly /

      That book had one of the best endings, between the haunting final image in the climactic scene and…what came after!

  15. I do an annual roundup of the best books I’ve read in the year on my review blog (linked from my name). Out of this year’s top 20, I think the narrow winner is Marie Brennan’s Turning Darkness Into Light. I didn’t love the earlier books in the Lady Trent series – found the pace a bit slow – but this one doesn’t have that issue.

    Though Melissa McShane’s The Smoke-Scented Girl was also very good, and depending on my mood when I do this year’s roundup, it might nose ahead.

  16. I reviewed new books only to try to find my top one. Difficult, very difficult. I think the top one was Mapping Winter by Marta Randall followed very closely by Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse.

  17. Irina, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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