My Favorite Reads in 2019

Putting together a year’s best list is inherently weird.

Do I use books I read in 2019, or books that came out in 2019? Since I read ARCs early, it seems unfair to only do the former. But if I only do the latter then I miss older books, and I believe in supporting backlist. Especially since I haven’t gotten to all the books that came out this year that I want to read! (Like, I’m sure A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay would be listed if it wasn’t, you know, still on my TBR. >_<)

I also remain confused by people who were posting these in, like, November. Great for holiday shopping I guess, but I’ve read a dozen books since then! IN THIS HOUSE WE ARE EXCESSIVELY THOROUGH WHERE BOOK LISTS ARE CONCERNED and also honestly just in general.

So this is a mix, basically. But all books are available to purchase as of the end of 2019! I did cut sequels from the list, too: all these are stand-alones or beginnings of series.

More importantly, all of them are books not just that I enjoyed casually, but that I will yell about in an alarmingly enthusiastic fashion to anyone I can convince to hold still long enough.

These are, of the 150ish titles under consideration for 2019, my favorite reads. The top 15%, more or less. You may have heard me shout about them before, and you certainly will again. Requisite caveat that these are necessarily my personal taste, and I read primarily for character arcs and always want stories about powerful women.

So with that in mind, here they are in alphabetical by author’s last name order, genres all mixed together because I had too many edge cases XD; you can search by age or genre category as you like. All links go to IndieBound in the interest of supporting independent bookstores, so if you want to know more about any of them, just click!

(If we’re mutuals and you’re curious whether a particular book might be a good fit for you, you know how to reach me! Otherwise, if you want me to sell you books in person, you’d better register for Sirens Conference. >=D)

 

I’M LATE TO THE PARTY SORRY

 

NEW IN 2019

 

Takeaways

First, this was an incredible year for space opera for me across genres. If you only read one book off this list, make it Empress of Forever. Trust me.

Second, this is more YA than I’ve been excited about in ages–I’ve gone through a dry spell with YA for several years, so I hope this isn’t an outlier and 2020 will bring more of the same!

Also, that’s like… six whole books by dudes lol. If you’re looking for more books by and about women, nonbinary and trans people, people of color, queer people, neuroatypical and disabled people, I’ve got you fairly well covered!

Next year I plan to keep broadening my reading in middle grade and romance, but what I’m really hoping for is an adult epic fantasy series I want to yell at everyone about. We’ll see how it goes!

SFF Authors in Action!

As some of you know, I’m now working at a local independent bookstore. Which is exciting on its own, but the more recent excitement is that I’m going to be moderating a panel at Brick & Mortar Books one week from today!

The topic is writing action in science fiction and fantasy, and the panelists will be Fonda Lee, Chuck Wendig, and Alex Marshall, all of whom write amazing, action-packed SFF. I am super excited about the panel and plan to pick their brains on how magic affects writing action, the strengths of action scenes with the written word as opposed to movies, how to use POV and pacing, and what they wish people understood and what they’d like to see*.

This will be happening Thursday, 3/1, which is the first night of Emerald City Comic Con. So if you don’t have con plans that night yet, come hang out with us! And if you’re not going to make it to the con, here’s your chance to see some great authors from out of town. =D

It’s been great to have so much freedom to organize this event on my own so soon after joining the bookstore, and I can’t wait to see how this goes. I hope to see some of you there! (And if you are going to be able to make it, you can RSVP on Facebook!)

 

*I do not promise to ask all of these questions, because panels develop organically. But they are on my list of potential questions, and I’m sure we’ll have time for at least a couple before I let the audience have a crack at a few of their own.