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The 25 Best Books of 2019

January 20, 2020 7 min read

stack of five books

Audio Version

The Best Books to Enjoy in Your Hammock This Year

Itching for a new great read? Look no further — we've compiled a list of the top 25 books of the year gone by.

With some of the top novels of 2019 in hand, you can enjoy your days reading and lounging in your hammock.

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Here’s the great books of 2019 you can enjoy from the comfort of your favourite hammock.

THE 25 BEST BOOKS OF 2019

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

1. The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker (January 15, 2019)

In a small college town, a mysterious sleep epidemic hits, rendering college students trapped in a deep sleep. While doctors, teachers, and students struggle to wake them, those stuck in perpetual sleep are in a heightened dream state, experiencing vivid fantasies and hallucinations.

Amazon Rating: 4.1/5

Buy it online here.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

2. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (February 5, 2019)

A prominent London artist murders her husband and stops speaking. While in a secure forensic facility, her criminal psychotherapist tries to find the motive behind this silent patient’s violent act.

Amazon Rating: 4.3/5

Buy it online here.

The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang

3. The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang (February 5, 2019)

A former fashion designer writes about her experiences living with a chronic mental illness—schizoaffective disorder—in this bold collection of essays. Wang discusses her long journey toward her diagnosis, along with how she used fashion as an armour.

Amazon Rating: 4.7/5

Buy it online here.

The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams

4. The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams (February 5, 2019)

A young mother facing terminal cancer writes about her harrowing journey called life. In her memoir, Yip-Williams faces the hard facts of life, chronicling moments both high and low, including the miracle moment when her sight is partially restored, and when she realized her body turned against her with her cancer diagnosis. The resulting memoir is a guide to living vibrantly.

Amazon Rating: 4.5/5

Buy it online here.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

5. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (February 12, 2019)

A teenage daughter of an underground hip hop legend fights for her dream of becoming a great rapper while all the odds are stacked against her. Living in poverty as a young black girl with a bad reputation at school, Bri uses her anger and frustration to write her first song, which goes viral. But the notoriety she gains is not the type of fame she was after.

Amazon Rating: 4.8/5

Buy it online here.

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The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

6. The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo (February 12, 2019)

In 1930s colonial Malaysia, a young woman finds something gruesome that leads her on a dangerous adventure. Her path crosses that of a boy who is on a mission to recover his former master’s lost finger. Their stories illustrate a world of superstition, idealism, sibling rivalry, and forbidden love.

Amazon Rating: 4.3/5

Buy it online here.

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

7. The Huntress by Kate Quinn (February 26, 2019)

The hunter becomes the hunted in this post-World War II story of Nazi-hunting. The lone survivor of the Huntress (a Nazi murderess) joins a British journalist to hunt down the Huntress. And in Boston, a teenage girl tries to uncover the mysteries of her German step-mother’s past.

Amazon Rating: 4.3/5

Buy it online here.

Look How Happy I'm Making You by Polly Rosenwaike

8. Look How Happy I'm Making Youby Polly Rosenwaike (March 19, 2019)

This collection of stories opens the conversation on the reality of having a baby. From dealing with infertility to being a single mother or not having kids at all, these stories offer a rare but real look at pregnancy, new motherhood, and a culture obsessed with women’s reproductive choices.

Amazon Rating: 5/5

Buy it online here.

Falter by Bill McKibben

9. Falter by Bill McKibben (April 16, 2019)

This non-fiction book is a call to arms to save our planet and our humanity. McKibben goes through what we’ve done to the planet and what we need to do now. Along with the threat of climate change shrinking our livable space on this planet, the human experience is also being threatened with advancements in technology, such as AI and robotics.

Amazon Rating: 5/5

Buy it online here.

Underland by Robert Macfarlane

10. Underland by Robert Macfarlane (May 2, 2019)

Journey into the world under your feet with this exploration of subterranean geography. This journey ventures into caves, catacombs, tree communication networks, and places where artists, adventurers, and criminals have travelled.

Amazon Rating: 4.7/5

Buy it online here.

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Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene

11. Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene (May 14, 2019)

This memoir explores the unimaginable grief of losing a child and surviving what seems to be un-survivable. It is as much about healing as it is about the fragility of life, the absoluteness of death, and finding the courage to continue on with the power of love.

Amazon Rating: 5/5

Buy it online here.

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

12. Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips (May 14, 2019)

Two young sisters go missing at the northeastern edge of Russia. As months pass without finding the girls, the region’s women feel a deep sense of fear and loss. The story follows the characters connected by the crime and delves into a region where social and ethnic tensions stir.

Amazon Rating: 4.3/5

Buy it online here.

Cari Mora by Thomas Harris

13. Cari Mora by Thomas Harris (May 16, 2019)

Cari has Temporary Protected Status after fleeing violence in her home country. She works as a caretaker for a mansion on the Miami Beach waterfront with $25 million in cartel gold hidden underneath. After catching the eye of a sadistic psychopath who is closing in on the gold, she must outwit him to survive.

Amazon Rating: 3/5

Buy it online here.

Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett

14. Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett (June 4, 2019)

This family portrait is a dark comedy looking the ways we live through love and loss together. It follows the crumbling Morton family, whose family business is taxidermy, and whose father recently committed suicide.

Amazon Rating: 5/5

Buy it online here.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

15. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (June 4, 2019)

Set in 1940s New York City, a young woman discovers that she doesn’t have to be a good girl to be a good person. This unique love story is about adventure, sex, glamour, promiscuity, and female sexuality in a time when women were made to feel ashamed for who they were.

Amazon Rating: 4.3/5

Buy it online here.

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On Earth, We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

16. On Earth, We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (June 4, 2019)

Written as a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read, this story unpacks a family history and a look into his own personal life while leading up to a revelation. It is a story about the relationship between a single mother and her son, race, class, masculinity, and the power of telling one’s story though it may never be heard.

Amazon Rating: 4.7/5

Buy it online here.

From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle

17. From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle (August 6, 2019)

This memoir tells the story of finding oneself. In his life story about hope and resilience, Thistle, a high-school dropout turned Indigenous scholar, overcomes trauma, addiction, and homelessness.

Amazon Rating: 4.9/5

Buy it online here.

Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

18. Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino (August 6, 2019)

This collection of essays delves into self-delusion. Tolentino discusses a culture that revolves around the self, including the horror of the social internet, the advent of scamming, and the desire to optimize everything, including our bodies, so we remain efficient and beautiful until we die.

Amazon Rating: 5/5

Buy it online here.

Nobody's Victim by Carrie Goldberg

19. Nobody's Victim by Carrie Goldberg (August 13, 2019)

Goldberg, a victim’s rights lawyer, writes about the hidden world of online and offline blackmail, stalking, and sexual violence. She retells victims’ grim stories and classifies offenders into four categories, providing a tool to help protect us from both online and offline predators.

Amazon Rating: 4.6/5

Buy it online here.

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

20. Frankly in Love by David Yoon (September 10, 2019)

A Korean-American teen falls in love with the girl of his dreams. But there’s just one problem—she’s white, and his parents would never approve. So he and his friend who’s in a similar situation come up with a plan to keep their parents unaware of their forbidden relationships.

Amazon Rating: 3/5

Buy it online here.

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Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline

21. Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline (September 17, 2019)

A woman searches for her missing husband for almost a year until he appears in a Walmart parking lot, preaching as the Reverend Eugene Wolff. He doesn’t appear to be faking this role, nor does he recognize his wife. So she must remind him of who he is if he really is her husband. This story is inspired by the Métis story of Rogarou—a werewolf-like creature who haunts the woods and roads of Métis communities.

Amazon Rating: 4.4/5

Buy it online here.

The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power

22. The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power (September 10, 2019)

This memoir from a human rights advocate answers the question, “What can one person do?” Power calls for us to open our eyes, see clearly, have a kinder heart, and be more open and civil in both politics and our day-to-day lives.

Amazon Rating: 5/5

Buy it online here.

Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller

23. Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller (September 24, 2019)

This is the memoir of the Stanford rape survivor whose victim impact statement went viral. Miller tells her story of trauma, struggling with shame and isolation after the trial, and the oppression that sexual assault victims face in a culture that protects perpetrators and a criminal justice system designed to fail the vulnerable.

Amazon Rating: 4.6/5

Buy it online here.

Acid for the Children by Flea

24. Acid for the Children by Flea (November 5, 2019)

This memoir is the interesting origin story of Flea, the bassist and co-founder of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It is a coming-of-age story set in Los Angeles in the ‘70s and ‘80s, where Flea found family and meaning in music.

Amazon Rating: 5/5

Buy it online here.

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

25. In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado (November 5, 2019)

In her memoir, Machado examines her experience of being a victim of domestic abuse in a lesbian relationship. She explores the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse, along with the reality of abuse in queer relationships.

Amazon Rating: 5/5

Buy it online here.

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With so many great books from 2019, you’re sure to find at least one good one to enjoy while hanging in your favourite hammock!

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