Top Ten Tuesday | The best books of 2019!


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!

This week’s theme is all about the best books we’ve read this year! I love looking back at my year of reading, and 2019 was definitely a year of discovering new favourites for me.

Having said that, my list this week is a strange one because there are some books I rated 5 stars that haven’t made this list and some books I rated 4 stars that have. Ultimately it’s the books that really stay with me that are ultimately my favourites of the year, and even if I didn’t love a book enough to give it 5 stars it says a lot if I loved it enough to still be thinking about it long after I read it.

I also have fifteen, not ten, just because I can. So, in the order I read them, here are my best books of 2019*!

*These are books I read in 2019, not necessarily books published in 2019.


Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett: I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Sancia since I finished this book. I can’t wait to continue with this series!

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik: I adore this book. ADORE it. It’s one of my new all-time favourite novels, and I’ve already thought about re-reading it several times.

Circe by Madeline Miller: I loved The Song of Achilles, so of course I was going to love this one, too.


Entreat Me by Grace Draven: I loved this book not only because reading it was so much fun, but because it introduced me to the romantasy genre and to Draven as a romantasy author.

In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan; narrated by Kate Reading: The audiobooks for this series are wonderful, and this one in particular was so much fun to listen to.

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier: This book is gorgeous. It has some incredibly dark moments, but it’s beautifully written and it completely swept me away.


Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence; narrated by Helen Duff: Another audiobook that I loved! I didn’t particularly enjoy Red Sister or Holy Sister as much, but this middle book I liked an awful lot.

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: 1920s Mexico with Mayan mythology. I was never not going to enjoy this one, and Moreno-Garcia remains one of my all-time favourite authors.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch: This book was SO much fun! Italian-inspired fantasy about a group of thieves is everything I didn’t know I needed, and this is another series I can’t wait to continue.


City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett: One of the best fantasy novels I’ve ever read. This book is fantastic.

The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections by Tina Connolly: This novelette is one I’ve thought about regularly since I finished it, and so much of that is because I wish it was longer even though I know it probably wouldn’t be as good as it is if it were longer. I just loved it!

The Diviners by Libba Bray: Some of the best world-building I’ve ever encountered in YA or historical fiction. Bray brought 1920s New York to life, and I’m so excited to continue this series!


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid: I finally crossed this one off my TBR and it was so worth it! Some of the best bi rep I’ve encountered in fiction, and Evelyn is a character who’ll stick with me.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky: I never thought I’d love a book about spiders so much, but this is probably one of the best sci-fi novels I’ve ever read.

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold: My book of the year and one of the best books I’ve ever read. It made me angry and it made me want to cry, and it’s required reading.

Which books made your list this week?

41 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | The best books of 2019!

  1. Jorie says:

    Hallo, Hallo Jess,

    I’ve also shared a TTT post today except I went a different way — I focused on #newtomeauthors I discovered throughout 2019. I was happily surprised by how many I discovered and where the genres were split into four quadrants of discovery! It was such a heap of joy for me to compose and tag on Twitter as I love leaving these notes of gratitude for the authors.

    From your list, I spied several I want to try reading in 2020:

    The Marie Brennan series is one I am focusing via Wyrd And Wonder Year 3 as I’m focusing on #dragonfiction – so that’s definitely one I am sure I’ll be getting to eventually! I was also thinking the audios might be a better fit for me than gathering all the hardbacks at the library!? Did you listen to the whole series on audio or just this installment? I was wondering if it was the same narrator throughout as sometimes they disappoint me and switch them out! 😦

    Gods of Jade and Shadow was one I tried to read this year and failed; so requeued it! lol

    I hope you have a beautifully lovely New Year’s Eve and here’s to rockin’ our blogs full of wicked sweet awesomesauce in 2020! Thankful our paths have crossed, Jess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      Thanks Jorie, I hope the new year has been wonderful for you so far, too! πŸ˜€

      I listened to the first four Lady Trent books, but had to read the last book on my Kindle because the only audio available in the UK, for some reason, is the CD which is super expensive. It is the same narrator the whole way through, though, and she’s brilliant! I actually DNF’d the first book in the series the first time I tried to read it, but Kate Reading’s narration brought this series to life for me, so I can’t recommend the audiobooks highly enough. I’m looking forward to all the dragon fiction on your blog when Wyrd & Wonder rolls around!

      I thought Gods of Jade and Shadow was wonderful – I hope you enjoy it when you get to it, and that 2020 is a brilliant reading year for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. imyril says:

    That’s a heck of a list – and YAS CIRCE ❀ I just finished this, and it was wonderful. I got a copy of The Five for Christmas, so I shall be catching up there in the new year… You've also reminded me I really should finally read Foundryside, it's been on my TBR for aaaages.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dinipandareads says:

    YES! Evelyn Hugo made my list too 😍 I’m so glad I discovered TJR this year because all her books that I’ve read so far have been incredibly evocative and just… Ugh, I can’t get enough! I totally get what you mean with your ratings though. Some of the books on my list weren’t five stars but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them still. Great list, Jess πŸ™‚ I hope you have a wonderful and bookish 2020 and Happy New Year! πŸ₯³

    My TTT post

    Liked by 1 person

  4. acquadimore says:

    Spinning Silver was on my list last year and it’s still better than most of the high fantasy books I’ve read since. Such a masterpiece. Also, I’m so glad you liked The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections, and I’d totally read more from that world too.
    Happy new year, and I hope you’ll find many favorites in 2020 as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Helen says:

    I loved Circe too – it was one of my books of the year in 2018. I haven’t read any of the other books on your list, but would like to read The Lies of Locke Lamora and The Five. Have a great 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nikki @The Night is Dark and Full of Books says:

    I really enjoyed The Seven Husband’s of Evelyn Hugo too! She is such a vivid character. I think I would read any book by Taylor Jenkins Reid in this Historical Fiction interview style, since I also loved Daisy Jones. I hope 2020 will a great year for you! πŸ™‚

    My TTT.

    Liked by 1 person

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