My Favorite Books of 2019

Here’s a list of all of my favorite books of 2019. This was a good year for reading, with many unexpected surprises.

Recently published books (2019 and 2018)

  1. This is How You Lose the Time War
    1. Novella technically, but I want to give it the prize because I liked it so much. Why did I like it? Because this is basically the first Romance story that I really connected with in my entire life. I got why Red and Blue liked one another. This is a well told Romance/Sci Fi/Time Travel novel.
  2. The Raven Tower
    1. This was an unexpected delight for me. Starting the year, this book really wasn’t on my radar. Reading about the adventures of The Strength and Patience on the Hill (and to a lesser extent Mawat) was a delight. I liked the timeless perspective of the god Strength.
  3. Minimum Wage Magic
    1. Another unexpected delight. This is a fun story, pure and simple. A very strong, self-contained urban fantasy/cyberpunk novel with fun characters and strong plotting and pacing. Nothing fancy, just really well done.
  4. The Priory of the Orange Tree
    1. This was a book which was on my radar at the start of the year, and it didn’t let me down. ‘Priory’ has excellent prose and characters. It would have been higher up this list if the pacing was more on-point.
  5. Holy Sister
    1. A fantastic conclusion to an excellent series. While I don’t think it quite matches the excellence of ‘Red Sister,’ Holy Sister does have excellent worldbuilding and characterization.
  6. Angel Mage
    1. Another unexpected delight. The villain of this novel was what interested me: I liked her motivations and drive to get things done. Additionally the prose was quite attractive.
  7. On the Shoulders of Titans
    1. The Sequel to the excellent ‘Sufficiently Advanced Magic,’ this book takes what the first book does well (nuanced and detailed worldbuilding) and does more of it.
  8. Seven Blades in Black
    1. My second ever Sam Sykes book, and I can definitely say he’s improved. I like the style of the story: Weird Western, but with Final Fantasy hints.
  9. Trail of Lightning
    1. A solid Urban Fantasy, with good characters and motivations. My one complaint is that the climax didn’t really work for me.
  10. Kingdom of Copper
    1. A good sequel to a good first book. I liked it, pure and simple.
  11. Escaping Exodus
    1. Another unexpected gem. Mankind is fleeing from earth, and are presently colonized within the intestines of space tentacle horrors. They  live off the strange ecologies of their eldritch space monster intestinal habitats. Also, nice characters.
  12. Rage of Dragons
    1. I read this after seeing it plastered all over Reddit. I didn’t love it quite as much as other people seemed to, but I can admire it’s positive traits.
  13. Beneath the Twisted Trees
    1. Book 4 in a six book Epic Fantasy series, the author has done a fine job of upping the stakes. I’m liking this series more and more with each book I read. To describe this book simply, think of the scope of the Wheel of Time but there is substantial changes in plot at the end of every book. The heroes are making steady progress towards victory, as opposed maintaining a stasis.
  14. The Shadow of What Was Lost
    1. Almost-but-not-quite excellent. I wanted a little more out of this one. I nonetheless had a good time reading this. It also occupies the same genre as Wheel of Time/Stormlight Arcives, but this book isn’t quite on their level. Nonetheless I did like it and I do recommend you check it out.

 

Older Books

  1. Lincoln in the Bardo
    1. Civil War ghosts! I like this acid trip of a book. Check out the audiobook for added weirdness.
  2. Peter Grant Series
    1. My new favorite Urban Fantasy series.
  3. Tigana
    1. My first Guy Gavriel Kay book, and it sure was a doozy. I’m going to be hunting down more of his work this coming year.
  4. Old Kingdom
    1. I read the first three books in this series this year, and I liked them. I’ll finish the last two in the months to come.
  5. Craft Sequence
    1. I read/re-read this series this year, reading everything except for the final(?) novel in the book ‘The Ruin of Angels.’ Better than I remembered. Some of the best worldbuilding in the genre.
  6. The Black Prism
    1. Another epic fantasy novel. I liked it so much I’m going to read the rest of the series in the months to come. I put it on the same level as WoT and SA.
  7. Saga
    1. I read the first two volumes of this graphic novel. They were good. I’m going to read more.
  8. Orconomics
    1. Man, this book was nearly perfect. I like the tone a lot (whimsical and still quite grim). But it had one or two problems which kept me at arms length.
  9. Undeath and Taxes
    1. Sequel to a book I read last year, this book was a fun follow up. I’ll be reading more.
  10. The Cuckoo’s Calling
    1. Robert Galbraith can write, as it turns out.

 

Novella

  • All Systems Red
    • A genre favorite. I liked Murderbot as much as everyone else.
  • Binti
    • Binti is another genre favorite. It was good, but I didn’t like it as much as everyone else seemed to.

Short Stories

  • Chivalry
    • I listened to this short story, written by Neil Gaiman, spoken by LeVar Burton. It was fun.
  • Mono No Aware
    • I listened to this short story, written by Neil Gaiman, spoken by LeVar Burton. It was bittersweet.
  • Loran’s Smile
    • Magic the Gathering short story. I liked the prose,even if it was a bit on the ‘ye olde fashioned’ side.

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