Last year was a very unusual year for me and my family. We started off with a 450 mile move in February. The entire year centered around moving and settling into our new home state. Our days were full of packing, moving, updating resumes and job hunting (for me), getting my dental hygiene license transferred, building a house, and the dozens of other changes that go along with moving. And so it was a very ‘off’ reading year for me.
While I might not have read as much as normal, I did read some amazing books. So many, in fact, it was hard to narrow this down.
1. The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright
Jaime Jo Wright earned a spot on my favorite author list with her very first book, but with her third, she’s taken her writing to a whole new level. She deals with important topics that, in my opinion, are not well covered in most Christian fiction – topics like anxiety and mental illness. She flawlessly weaves two storylines together into one story that you can’t put down. And she writes the perfect level of creepiness, giving her book a ‘ghost story’ feel…minus the actual ghosts.
2. Afraid of All the Things by Scarlet Hiltibidal
I’ve never seen a title that describes my life so well. I’ve struggled with fear and anxiety as long as I can remember, even as a child. This new-to-me author wrote a hope filled book about overcoming fear that I can’t recommend enough.
3. The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay
I’ve been a fan of this author since her very first book, Dear Mr. Knightly. Her books are full of great literary references and deep characters that pull you into their stories. I’m so excited for the follow up to this one, coming next year.
4. The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel
This is the second book I’ve read from Lindsay Harrel, and she’s quickly working her way onto my favorite authors list. I love everything about this book – the setting, the dual timeline, and the characters.
5. Storm Rising by Ronie Kendig
With each book Ronie Kendig writes, I think, “This is her best ever.” Then she writes another one and she somehow does even better. This series is full of action, unexpected twists, and such incredible characters that it kind of makes you sad they aren’t real people, because you’d really like to meet them all in person.
6. Fawkes by Nadine Brandes
I honestly didn’t know what to think of this book at first. It’s so different from anything I’ve ever read before, but my boys couldn’t stop talking it and both begged me to read it, so I stuck with it. I quickly realized this book is brilliant. The historic references are obvious but handled so creatively. The characters are deep, and the plot is full of twists. The ending was absolutely incredible.
7. A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano
This new author’s first book, Lady Jayne Disappears, was one of my favorite books last year. Her second book did not disappoint. She paints a vivid picture of the setting of each book and makes you love the characters.
8. I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel
This book is just pure bookish fun! I’ve been following Anne Bogel’s blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy, for years, and I do her reading challenge every year. I listened to the audiobook of this, narrated by Anne, and loved listening to her talk about the joys and challenges of the reading life.
9. The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman
Emily’s podcast by the same name is my one and only must hear weekly podcast. For an anxiety ridden, high stress person like me, her words always soothe my soul. This book is more of the same – quiet encouragement to stop stressing and just do the next right thing. This was another audiobook narrated by the author, and it’s perfect.
10. Echoes Among the Stones by Jaime Jo Wright
Two books in one year from one of my favorite authors? How did I get this lucky? It takes a talented author to write one good mystery…but it takes a brilliant writer to write two mysteries in two timelines and weave them together effortlessly. This is another author that just gets better with every book she writes!
What were your favorite books of 2019?