01 January 2020

The Books I Most Enjoyed Reading in 2019

As always, I did a lot of reading over this past year, both for myself and with my children.  And as I've done over the past many years now, I've compiled a list of the books (or series of books) I most enjoyed over the course of the year (in this case, A.D. 2019). Most of these books were not published in 2019, but they are among the many that I've read in the Year of Our Lord 2019.

Two points of special significance to note: First, having begun the Realm of the Elderlings series in the final couple of months of 2018, I read through the remainder of the series in 2019. All told, those sixteen books took me from November 2018 until August 2019. They had been on my "to-read" list for well over a decade, and I'm sorry I didn't get to them sooner, but they were worth the wait and well worth the investment of time and energy in reading them.

Second, I set out to read the books of Lloyd Alexander with a couple of my youngest children, not even knowing that, before the year was over, my son and daughter-in-law would name their second daughter in part after one of Lloyd Alexander's most famous heroines. That inspired me to look more closely at the author, only to discover quite a few books that I had not previously been aware of. By the time it was all said and done, I managed to read pretty much all of Lloyd Alexander's books in 2019 (there's one that I read in 2018, and there are a couple of children's biographies I did not read).

All that being said, I've taken a slightly different approach in this case than I have in past years.  In addition to my regular list, I've also included a list of my favorite Lloyd Alexander books, and then a short third list with the non-fiction books I most enjoyed in 2019.

The Books I Most Enjoyed Reading in 2019

1. The Realm of the Elderlings (series) - Robin Hobb

2. The Green Ember (series) - S.D. Smith

3. The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy (series) - William Boniface

4. The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep - H.G. Parry

5. The Mad Scientists' Club (series) - Bertrand Brinley

6. The Reckoners (series) - Brandon Sanderson

7. Last Things - Jacqueline West

8. The Cat of Bubastes - G.A. Henty

9. The Wingfeather Saga (series) - Andrew Peterson

10. The Lost Girl - Anne Ursu

11. The Rithmatist - Brandon Sanderson

12. The Alchemist’s Apprentice, and The Family Pride (Zero Enigma V, VI) - Christopher Nuttall

13. Second Hand Curses - Drew Hayes

14. Good Dog - Dan Gemeinhart

15. Siege Tactics (Spells, Swords, & Stealth #4) - Drew Hayes

16. Cursed, and Mirror Image (Schooled in Magic #17–18) - Christopher Nuttall

17. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - Kate DiCamillo

18. The Inquisitor’s Apprentice (series) - Chris Moriarty

19. The Mortality Doctrine (series) - James Dashner

20. The Poe Estate - Polly Shulman

The Lloyd Alexander Books I Most Enjoyed in 2019

1. The Chronicles of Prydain (series) - Lloyd Alexander

2. My Love Affair with Music - Lloyd Alexander

3. Westmark (series) - Lloyd Alexander

4. The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian - Lloyd Alexander (read in 2018)

5. Vesper Holly (series) - Lloyd Alexander

6. Janine Is French - Lloyd Alexander

7. Gawgon and the Boy - Lloyd Alexander

8. The Gypsy Rizka - Lloyd Alexander

9. The King’s Fountain (children's picture book) - Lloyd Alexander

10. The Town Cats and other Tales - Lloyd Alexander

11. The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha - Lloyd Alexander

12. And Let the Credit Go - Lloyd Alexander

13. The Fortune Tellers (children's picture book) - Lloyd Alexander

14. The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio - Lloyd Alexander

15. The Iron Ring - Lloyd Alexander

The Non-Fiction Books I Most Enjoyed in 2019

Thank, Praise, Serve, and Obey - William Weedon

Defending Boyhood - Anthony Esolen

Liturgy of the Ordinary - Tish Harrison Warren

The Quotidian Mysteries, and Acedia & Me - Kathleen Norris

You Are What You Love - James K.A. Smith

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