My Favorite Books of 2019

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that it’s now 2020 and we are in a new decade, anyone else?! Last year I set a goal of reading 40 books and I surpassed it by reading 100 books. For my 2019 goal, I set the bar a bit higher with a goal of 105 books. Between traveling, buying a house, and getting a puppy I didn’t meet my goal. However, 2019 was a pretty great year in terms of reading and I’m still proud of the fact that I continued to make reading a big part of my life (and my job!) In 2019 I read 95 books. In April I started a bookstagram account on Instagram and it really fueled my desire to read more and connect with more readers. I can’t tell y’all how much I have loved chatting with you about books this year. I always love getting emails, comments & DMs asking for book recommendations. Whether you read 2, 25, or 52 books this year, it’s something to be incredibly proud of and I will always encourage you to pick up a book whenever you can.      

Last year I wrote a highly requested post on my favorite books of 2018. I got really great feedback on that post, so I decided to continue it this year! It’s a bit daunting to narrow down the 95 books into a small group fo favorites! This year I read books and over 33,794 pages – of those books 15 were fiction, 30 were contemporary fiction/romance, 32 were thrillers/suspense, 13 were historical fiction, and 5 were non-fiction. This year I really strived to diversify my reading and get out of my comfort zone a bit. I definitely made an improvement, but next year I want to continue to do that!


I did my best to narrow down the books I read this year into a comprehensive list that you all can look back on if you’re in need of a good book! None of them are in any particular order, but I did put them into categories! Each of the books I mention have been reviewed on Life with Emily this year, so be sure to use the search feature to find the review if you’re curious! At the bottom of this post I shared reader favorites from the year (these all came from answers on my IG story!) You can find all of my best books of 2018 HERE. I also have an Amazon shop with all of my recommendations here. Plus, you can always follow my bookstagram account @enw_reads for up-to-date book recs and reviews!

Fiction Books

The Most fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis-Graves

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Brynn Greenwood

A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Contemporary Romance

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

Historical Fiction

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate


No Exit by Taylor Adams

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

Under Currents by Nora Roberts


Educated by Tara Westover

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara


My reading lists from 2019

January | February | March | April | May | June
July | August | September | OctoberNovember | December

Reader Favorites of 2019

I asked on IG stories for my followers to share their favorite books of the year and I was absolutely overwhelmed at the response!  Y’all read some really, really great books this year! There were hundreds of responses and I tried my best to get all the ones that were listed numerous times (that I hadn’t already named!). There are so many that are on my list to read for this year (that I didn’t get around to last year!) so I was excited to see that y’all loved them so much! My TBR pile just got much longer 🙂

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (an all time favorite of mine!) | Verity by Colleen Hoover | The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine | Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (still on my list!) | A Place for Us by Fatima Mirza | Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi | The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black | The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger | Wild by Cheryl Strayed | Us Against You by Fredrik Backman | To Love & Let Go by Rachel Brathen | Normal People by Sally Rooney | The Wife Between Us baby Greer Hendricks | Bad Blood by John Carreyrou | An American Marriage by Tayari Jones | Central Park Series by Lauren Layne | Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield | Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson | Secrets of Six Figure Women by Barbara Stanny | We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter (another favorite of mine!) | Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan | The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer | Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid |


happy reading in 2020!

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  1. Mariah wrote:

    You and Carly always make me want to get back to reading and going to the library.

    Posted 1.15.20 Reply
  2. I don’t get to read much but I made it a point to carve time out of my week to do so. Will definitely be looking into some of these! xoxo, Sarah

    Posted 1.15.20 Reply
  3. legalleeblondeblog wrote:

    I had no idea you had a book IG account as well, so cool! I just went and liked and commented on a bunch – such a cool account!

    Im such a book lover as well and LOVED Educated as well!

    Posted 1.15.20 Reply
  4. Rach wrote:

    Thanks for sharing this! Some of your favorites are high on my list to read this year! Can’t wait to read them!

    Posted 1.15.20 Reply
  5. Stephanie wrote:

    Last year, I became extraordinarily passionate about reading, and towards the end of the year I realized I wanted to truly set goals for myself in 2020 and I created a Goodreads. I’m also in the process of launching a bookstagram, which is so exciting, so you’ve definitely inspired me! I can’t wait to add a few of these to my TBR list!

    Posted 1.15.20 Reply
  6. Kileen wrote:

    All of these sound so awesome! I need to add a bunch of these to my list! Thank you for sharing!!

    cute & little

    Posted 1.15.20 Reply
  7. lyddiegal wrote:

    I always love to hear what others read and loved so I can pick my next book! I’ll have to bookmark this post!
    Chic on the Cheap

    Posted 1.16.20 Reply
  8. Greta wrote:

    Looks like so many good reads here! I need to add them to my reading list.

    Posted 1.16.20 Reply
  9. Amanda wrote:

    Wow, so many great books! I’ll definitely be adding a few of these to my reading list this year.

    Posted 1.17.20 Reply
  10. Anna English wrote:

    I love browsing through your recs before picking up a new book! So far so good, I’ve loved them all.

    Posted 1.21.20 Reply
  11. JJ wrote:

    Some great books. I really want to read ‘where the Crawdad’s sing’. What did you make of it?

    Posted 3.30.20 Reply

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