The Best Books I Read in 2019

The Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai

A beautiful, tragic, character-driven story about a group of close friends in the middle of the AIDS crisis in Chicago. The characters all feel unique — Makkai does an incredible job conveying how desperately they try to live their lives while dealing with their friends dying all around them, the threat of AIDS constantly on their doorstep.

The Grip of It
by Jac Jemc

If the years preceding it were dominated by Sci-Fi, 2019 was my year for horror. My appetite for the genre was likely brought on by the large number of boundary-pushing horror films, and this book satisfied that hunger perfectly.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things
by Iain Reid

My other favorite horror book of the year, and another genre-bender. I don’t want to spoil too much, which I think I kind of did for a friend of mine who read it based on my aggressive recommendation, but the end made me immediately start the book over and read it a second time through a different lens.

The Nickel Boys
by Colson Whitehead

Inspired by the revolting true story of a Jim-Crowe era “reform school,” The Nickel Boys is an absolutely devastating book that is hard for me to talk about.

The Position
by Meg Wolitzer

2019 is the second year in a row a Wolitzer book has made my top list — and I’m worried that I’m reading them all so quickly I won’t have any of hers in contention for next year.

Kafka on the Shore
by Haruki Murakami

I disappear into Murakami’s books in a way I rarely do any other authors. His writing is hypnotic, even though it often feels so simple and straightforward.

The Goldfinch
by Donna Tartt

I was late to the party with this one (what else is new), but I read Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and wouldn’t shut up about it for like a month after.

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Adam G.

Adam G.

Books, movies, wine, coffee, and disc golf.