Best Books from the First Half of 2019

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Happy Canada Day! We’re now half-way through 2019! Zoom Zoom right? I’ve read 51 books so far, so a nice half-way number eh?

Two or three styles of books seem to come out ahead in my reading, or the ones that have been the most successful so far this year. Mysteries (mystery series specifically), two gripping tales of (historical) fiction and short-stories have all made their happy presence. And many of the audiobooks this year have been fantastic!

We’ll start with the very best audiobook I’ve listened to so far and the book I keep thinking about and keep recommending – The Lacuna! If every book I read this year was like The Lacuna I would feel complete and delighted in my reading. This had so much going right for it – Kingsolver’s narration was fantastic, it’s a wonderful coming of age story that mixed in Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, American politics, J. Edgar Hoover…the main character Harrison Shepherd and his stenographer, Mrs. Brown as she tells Mr. Shepherd’s story to us — oh my word – it was simply marvellous! Wonderful. Loved it.

At the very start of the year I felt I was floundering in my reading and my fellow Hoarder Elizabeth and my Bookish Bestie (@Booktrovert) simultaneously recommended The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. I can’t say enough about how right they were! This book had everything for me! Loved it too.

If every single book could be like The Lacuna and The Signature of All Things my reading life would be brilliant. But those weren’t the only two that I fell in love with for the first half of the year!

Mystery series were certainly standouts – they usually are when I have new releases from Elizabeth George, Louise Penny and Robert Galbraith to savour. Like Lethal White. Holy cats! My favourite and the very best of the Cormoran Strike/Robert Galbraith series so far! Clocking in at 650 pages, Lethal White is 152 pages longer than the previous one in the series (and the one I liked the least). I’m now eagerly anticipating the next one – it was two years in between Career of Evil and Lethal White and it has been said there could be four more! Pray it’s so!

Lethal White, #4

(There hasn’t been any word on a new Inspector Lynley from Elizabeth George – believe me, I keep checking! But there will be a new Louise Penny released at the end of the summer, A Better Man, to look forward to! And, I started reading Penny at #7 in the series which means I can always return and start reading from #1 through #6 AND even better – Ralph Cosham would be narrating those audiobooks. So yeah – that’s a gift to me for sure!

Another series I started well, well, well into is the Inspector Ian Rutledge series by Charles Todd. I picked it up at #20 with The Gate Keeper and loved it. Fantastic audio narration by Simon Prebble. I listened to The Black Ascot in March and gave it 5-stars! An excellent, excellent audiobook and mystery.

The Black Ascot, #21

Another new series I just started at the end of last year is from Iona Whishaw – the Lane Winslow series. I read A Deceptive Devotion in April and it’s one of my favourites so far in this series. I look forward to continuing with my three greatest fictional characters I’m reading right now – Lane, Darling and Ames.

A Deceptive Devotion, #6

Two short story collections were also standouts this year. I haven’t been reading too many short stories recently, but The Pre-War House by Alison Moore and Meteorites by Julie Paul were really great!

A book that was so wonderful, left me in a puddle of tears and is one I made my mom (not much of a reader) buy immediately. When All is Said. This was an incredible debut. Another debut that was the perfect read to kick off my summer reading – perfect for sitting on that porch swing and losing yourself in Judith’s story in The Last List of Judith Kratt.

July 2019

I definitely need to give a mention to The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea. This atmospheric story had one of the best endings ever! I shed a tear, I really did – it was such a beautiful close to the book. I can’t say anything more than that because it will give far too much away and I just can’t say who or why just that it was a perfect and beautiful ending.

I’m currently listening to East of Eden by John Steinbeck and it will definitely be on my best read for 2019 for sure! This has been on my shelf for ages, it’s also been one that so many have said is fantastic and they are so very right! I am in complete awe, like my jaw hangs open as I listen to Steinbeck’s incredible storytelling powers.

What have your favourite books of 2019 been so far? Hope you get to enjoy Canada Day with some great reads along with any of your holiday plans!