Books I read in 2019, ranked from best to worst

As I’ve done in for the last 4 years, here’s a recap of books I read this year, ranked.

This year I kept up my quest to read fewer books by white cis hetero people. I cant see myself moving away from this anytime soon. Contemporary stories written by cis white dudes pale in comparison to stories written by Black, Indigenous, queer writers. Give me more trans writers! More Black writers! More Indigenous writers! More queer writers! Fewer mediocre white cis writers!

Number of books read:

Number of pages read:

A few discoveries about my tastes:

  1. This year was my first introduction to John Wyndham and I’m sad I didn’t discover his novels sooner. Not just because they are great, but also because they’ve clearly influenced a lot of other media I enjoy (see, for example, Seanan McGuire’s MIDDLEGAME, which is on my list below). THE CHRYSALIDS was certainly a great introduction to his work, and I am now working through his other works.
  2. The top 3 books of this year share (at least) a common theme that certainly reflects my emotional and psychological state this year: the main characters all have to hide what’s special about them out of fear of persecution if others found out. They struggle to hide their true selves for their own safety. I’ll just leave it at that.
  3. I like stories (books, film, tv) that are social allegories. Which is probably why I like science fiction and horror genres the most.

Life changing:

  1. The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
  2. The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth, #3) by NK Jemisin
  3. Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
  4. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Olou (non-fiction)
  5. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel A van der Kolk (non-fiction)

Adored:

  1. In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children, #4) by Seanan McGuire
  2. The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2) by NK Jemisin
  3. The Tiger Flu by Larissa Lai
  4. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  5. Edge by Kōji Suzuki
  6. Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
  7. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  8. Legendary Children by Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez (non-fiction)
  9. All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
  10. A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott (non-fiction)
  11. Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
  12. Into the Drowning Deep (Rolling in the Deep, #1) by Mira Grant

Enjoyed:

  1. Vengeful (Villains, #2) by V.E. Schwab – maybe would have been better if I had read #1 first?
  2. Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
  3. The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1) by Cixin Liu
  4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick – have you ever wept over a spider? I can now say I have
  5. Upgrade Soul by Ezra Claytan Daniels (graphic novel)
  6. Parasite (Parasitology, #1) by Mira Grant
  7. The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson – overall I enjoyed the story, but I kept thinking about how much better it could have been without the subtle racism and misogyny
  8. Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1) by Tomi Adeyemi
  9. Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor
  10. Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore
  11. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  12. Jazz by Toni Morrison
  13. D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths by Ingri d’Aulaire
  14. Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time edited by Hope Nicholson
  15. Moose Meat & Wild Rice by Basil Johnston
  16. Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth
  17. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  18. Martha Quest by Doris Lessing
  19. Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter – unfinished; I liked what I read, but the writing style was difficult to get into for me. I will pick this one up again when I’m better able to focus

Meh:

  1. A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz
  2. There Has to Be a Knife by Adnan Khan
  3. Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaludd
  4. Release by Patrick Ness
  5. Symbiont (Parasitology, #2) by Mira Grant
  6. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – great story, but really difficult to read because of the writing style
  7. The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer

Would not read again:

  1. Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Damian Duffy (graphic novel)
  2. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown (Ghost Roads, #2) by Seanan McGuire
  3. The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
  4. Supper Club by Lara Williams – despite what the blurb would have you believe, this is not a progressive story in the least. More akin to GIRL ON THE TRAIN than anything feminist
  5. Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters–And How to Get It by Laurie Mintz (non-fiction)
  6. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman – read D’Aulaires’ instead, the stories are the same but it has cute illustrations
  7. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

Could not finish:

  1. Less by Andrew Sean Greer – dull
  2. A Conspiracy of Stars (Faloiv, #1) by Olivia A Cole – just plain awful