Welcome to 2020!
This is the time of year when I think about my reading of the past year. In 2019, I read about 64 books. These are the ones, both fiction and nonfiction, I recorded on Goodreads and don’t include books I read for my reviewing gig or for research.
It felt like another odd reading year, mostly because it seemed like I was writing all the time. (My book on Dr. Mary Walker comes out in June, and I’m already headlong into the next one, a biography of Dale Evans.) It’s also probably because, once again, I don’t have the traditional “top ten” list. I’ve got six. (Next up will be a list of novels I liked, rather than loved, and that’s longer.)
Some observations and reminders. These are my favorites of 2019 but it doesn’t mean they were published in 2019. Female authors still outnumber male authors, and I haven’t done so well with diverse voices this time around.
So, in no particular order, my 2019 favorites:
Beautifully written, this will take most readers into a totally unfamiliar world.
A stunning portrait of Nazi-occupied France, this is based on the activities of Varian Fry’s rescue network.
Also based on real events, Whitehead delivers an absorbing account of the wide ranging destructiveness of racism.
A poignant tale of four orphans struggling through the Great Depression.
A modern classic western. With camels.
A sweeping, multi-generational family saga–I passed it by several times on the library’s new book shelf and am so glad I finally gave it a chance.