“At the height of the long wet summer of the Seventy-seventh Year of Sendovani, the Thiefmaker of Camorr paid a sudden and unannounced visit to the Eyeless Priest at the Temple of Perelando, desperately hoping to sell him the Lamora boy.”First line in The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
We’ve made it to the end of the year so of course I’m doing the traditional wrap up posts for the year. Today is the best one because I’m going to be talking about my absolute favorite books of the year.
I’m not going to include the 4 books I reread this year because that wouldn’t really be fair. Just letting you know that I reread:
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
- Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
For this list, I’ve decided to group series together even though I might not have given all books the same rating. Just to make it easier but that tecnically means that there are more than 10 books on this list (no, that’s not cheating – or maybe it is).
The list is ordered of course because I love lists. It was a lot more difficult to do this time than with my worst books of the year. However, my top 3 was completely set from the beginning. Enjoy!
10 – A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
It has taken me almost 10 years to get caught up with The Song of Ice and Fire series but I finally did it this year. This fifth one is probably the one that differs most from the tv show so I was quite surprised by a lot of the things that happened. It was nice not knowing things so I was really able to appreciate the way Martin sets up the story and the development of the characters. Let’s see when we get to read the sixth book.
9 – Gentleman Bastard by Scott Lynch
I read all of the currently published books in the Gentleman Bastard series this year and would have continued if I could. These books have some of the best friendships I’ve ever read about. It especially shows men who’s not afraid to show affection for each other. I need to see more of that in adult fantasy. These books also have plots so intricate that I can’t help but be completely captivated by them. I need book 4 soon please.
8 – The Binding by Bridget Collins
This book did something to me and I’m not sure I’m over it. That middle part is pure magic. The writing is stunning and makes the book quite atmospheric which I always love. I really felt like I lost myself completely while reading it. The characters are also the kind I would die for so The Binding definitely belongs on this list.
7 – The Queen’s Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
I read books 2 to 5 this year and I loved how unique they felt. They feel heavily inspired by classic fantasy which I normally don’t like so The Queen’s Thief was a pleasant surprise. I think the reason why is the characters and their friendships because they are deep and affectionate. How can you not love that?
6 – The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
How could I make a top 10 for the year without a Sanderson book? Not possible, and even though this took me forever to read, I loved every minute of it. Sanderson’s attention to detail is extraordinary in this one. He has created a world where he has thought of. Absolutely. Everything. I haven’t loved his characters in his previous books but that has completely changed with The Way of Kings.
5 – Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
Wayward Son was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and basically, my only complaint was that it was too short. I can’t get enough of these characters. They are so heartwarming to read about, and I loved that this second book in the series took a little more serious turn. Apparently, I like getting my heart broken (more on that later).
4 – Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
A true case of “the hype is real”. This book was so fun and so sweet, and I think I especially loved it for being new adult. It really made me go on a hunt for more new adult books. I also really liked the alternate reality aspect of the story. I mean, wouldn’t we all much rather have that one compared to the one we actually have? It definitely was a fun reimagining.
3 – Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden
I read the entire trilogy in 2019, but it’s especially the last two books I want to applaud. The character development that happens across those two is phenomenal. Because of that, I can’t tell you about a female character I love more than our main character Vasya. We always talk about the importance of strong women in literature because of the feeling of empowerment it gives female readers. I’ve never actually felt that before I read about Vasya. It’s truly intoxicating.
2 – Arc of a Scythe by Neal Shusterman
I read some amazing series this year but none has made a greater impact on me than Arc of Scythe. The social commentary these books provide is so thought provoking and that alone is really enough for me to recommend them. On top of that, you have a unique take on an AI and a writing style that will draw you in and never let you go. Thunderhead is a clear favorite for me and that one was very close to being number 1 on this list. It’s definitely a series I’ll give a reread at some point.
1 – A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Yeah, I guess I’ve learned this year that I love the heartbreaking books. I don’t think any book will ever beat A Little Life on that front. My love for these characters is unreal. I don’t even love Harry Potter characters this much and that says a lot coming from me. On top of that, the writing is so good. Yanagihara is very good at making you feel all the feelings without being too descriptive. She just builds these characters from the bottom and forces you to care for them. For the rest of my life, I’ll be searching for books that will make me feel what A Little Life made me feel. Let’s be honest though, nothing will ever be like A Little Life.
Wow, that was hard to do. I read so many great books this year meaning I had waaay too many to choose from for this list. Here’s to hoping that 2020 will be just as amazing in terms of reading. Merry Christmas everyone!