Since I've already chosen my favourite books over the last decade (find them here if you missed it) you would think that coming up with my favourites of the past twelve months should be easy. Ha! It took some work and some serious narrowing down powers, but I've come up with ten (ish) books that wowed me in 2019.
I've ordered these novels not based on their awesome-ness but by when I read them throughout the year. It was hard enough trying to narrow down 100 books, let alone which ones were the best!
The Quintland Sisters by Shelley Wood (review here) is a historical fiction novel about the Dionne quintuplets, five babies who captured Canada's - and the world's - attention when they were born in 1934 (fun fact, they were born on May 28, which is my birthday too).
The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley (review here) was probably the book I forced upon people the most this year. I read it in March and it wasn't released until June so there were a lot of "just WAIT until you can read it!" and "preorder this immediately!" conversations being had. Thank you to everyone who listened to me and those who attended the event at Fielding Winery in September. Highlight of my year.
Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke (review here) completely charmed me. I wasn't really expecting to fall in love with the story behind the adorable cover, but the Australian set story is one that captured my attention when I read it in the spring.
Catherine McKenzie is one of my favourite authors and has been for a long time. Her latest, I'll Never Tell, was phenomenal (review here). It's perfect for thriller fans who are looking for something a little bit different or anyone who wants a great read.
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes was one of those books that I loved so much that I have no idea how to go about reviewing it. Just read it and love it as much as I did, OK?
Akin by Emma Donoghue (review here) was as good as you'd expect. It was smart, clever, emotional, and funny. Such a good read.
I can pretty much say all the same things about Albatross by Terry Fallis that I did about Akin. It's a story that is completely unbelievable but if you suspend your belief just a little bit, you are treated to a thoroughly enjoyable read.
I'm a wee bit biased when it comes to Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey because I've been friends with her for a number of years but that doesn't stop her BEST-SELLING novel from being the gem that it is. I'm so proud of her and think everyone needs to read her thriller. It will totally capture you and won't let you go.
I had heard a lot about Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline but it took me awhile to finally read it. And I'm really glad I did. Indigo chose it for their best book of the year for good reason. Everyone should read it.
Regretting You by Colleen Hoover (review here) was another one that surprised me. I was totally riveted and highly recommend this novel.
I don't read a ton of non-fiction these days but I read three for Niagara Life, the local magazine I review for, this year. Bake the Seasons by Marcella DiLonardo is so beautiful and has so many really yummy recipes, each with a drool worthy photo (review here). Another fantastic - and local to Niagara - book is Craft Cocktails by Geoff Dillon and Whitney Rorison (review here). They're behind Dillon's Small Batch Distillers and the cocktail book is gorgeous and full of tasty recipes. Finally, a book featuring a true story about a man well known in Niagara completely captured me (apparently "capture" is the word of the year...). Murdered Midas by Charlotte Gray (review here) was a riveting read about Harry Oakes, a millionaire who was brutally murdered and the crime was never solved.
This is a bit of a cheat because I only read four YA books but they were all STELLAR. K.A. Tucker self-published Be the Girl (review here) and it was all kinds of amazing. Sarah Dessen, one of my all-time favourite authors since I was about 16, published The Rest of the Story this summer and it was summery and perfect with a classic Dessen heartfelt story. Songs from the Deep by Kelly Powell was a read for Niagara Life and was a lovely story that weaves history and fantasy and is set in Eastern Canada. Finally, Frankly in Love (a runner up in the favourite cover category) by David Yoon was fantastic and a must-read.
Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim has a cover that absolutely stunned me and I could look at it all day. The story inside it was also wonderful, thankfully! My review is here. The image on your screen just doesn't do it justice (there's a hot pink spine! And shimmery gold!) but here's the cover in all it's glory.