It’s that time of year when I start to reflect on the past 12 months and compile and share some of my favorite things from the year. With that in mind, here are the best books I read in 2019!

Best Non-Fiction Books

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by [Macy, Beth] The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You by [Zhuo, Julie] The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life (Mark Manson Collection Book 1) by [Manson, Mark] Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by [Newport, Cal] Becoming by [Obama, Michelle]

  • Dopesick details the opioid crisis in America and is mostly set in rural Virginia. You can tell this book was well researched and thoughtfully written. It’s an important, worthwhile read.
  • Julie Zhuo became a manager at Facebook at the age of 25 and in The Making of a Manager she looks back to share the lessons she’s learned as a manager…so far. If you’re a people manager at work (or want to become one), I think you’ll find some valuable insights.
  • I should probably keep reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck over and over. “There are only so many things we can give a f*ck about so we need to figure out which ones really matter.” This isn’t about not caring; it’s about caring about the right things.
  • Digital Minimalism should be required reading as we all learn to navigate this increasingly digital world.
    • “Digital minimalists are all around us. They’re the calm, happy people who can hold long conversations without furtive glances at their phones. They can get lost in a good book, a woodworking project, or a leisurely morning run. They can have fun with friends and family without the obsessive urge to document the experience. They stay informed about the news of the day, but don’t feel overwhelmed by it. They don’t experience ‘fear of missing out’ because they already know which activities provide them meaning and satisfaction.”
    • “Technology is intrinsically neither good nor bad. The key is using it to support your goals and values, rather than letting it use you. This book shows the way.”
  • Michelle Obama is much more open and vulnerable than I expected in Becoming. It’s a fascinating insight into her life, the highs and the lows of a remarkable woman.

Best Fiction Books

[Delia Owens] Where The Crawdads Sing - Hardcover Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel by [Honeyman, Gail]

I want to highlight Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, a beautiful story of friendship, hardship, and mental health told in a heartfelt (and sometimes funny) way.

Best Beach Reads

I separate these books from the fiction section because they’re perfect page-turners that I forget almost the moment I finish reading them. They’re delightful to read and to take your mind somewhere else, so if you’re looking for your next beach read, a book to read on a flight, or something to help pass the time over the holidays, I’d read any of these!

My Husband's Wife: A Novel by [Corry, Jane] Before She Knew Him: A Novel by [Swanson, Peter] The Couple Next Door: A Novel by [Lapena, Shari] Summer of '69 by [Hilderbrand, Elin] The Silent Patient by [Michaelides, Alex] Before the Fall by [Hawley, Noah] One of Us Is Lying by [McManus, Karen M.]

Almost all of these are mysteries/thrillers. The exception, Summer of ’69, was notably enjoyable for its ability to weave fictional storytelling and true events from 1969 together in a way that took me to that period of time.

More Reading Lists

For more reading lists, I welcome you to visit these posts on my site:

  1. Every book I read in 2016
  2. Every book I read in 2017
  3. The best books I read in 2018

Also visit NPR’s Book Concierge, with annual book lists across several genres going back to 2013, or Goodreads Best Books of 2019 as decided by readers.


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