My Favorite Books of 2019

Back to my belated look at 2019 – here’s hoping that if you’re loading up your queue on Libby, these books will give you a look at some lists that might have shorter hold lists than the books just coming out now.   Local bookstores need your support now, too, if you’re able to pitch in and order from them.

These are the books I read and rated 9 or 10 in 2019 (whatever year they were published.) Here is my standard disclaimer about rating books:

“I have never liked doing a public scale rating of books – the librarian in me would rather describe what’s in the book and let you decide if it sounds good for you. But I do give books number ratings on my own private spreadsheet. I shamelessly borrowed the Book Smugglers’ 10-point rating system for this, where 0 is “I want my time and my money back”, 5 is “meh” and so on. For my purposes, 7 is a book I enjoyed, 8 is one I loved and 9 is one I really, really loved. 10 only gets given out retrospectively to books I find myself re-reading and thinking about a lot – a true personal classic.”

Let me know in the comments what books you loved last year!

Links are to my reviews where available.  I’m noting availability through the two most common library ebook sources.  Note that libraries must purchase individual titles for Libby, so your availability is likely to be different than mine.  If a title comes up as “not owned” rather than “not found”  in Libby, that’s available for purchase vs. just not available on the platform – and maybe your library will have purchased it.  Hoopla, though, has the same content for all libraries.  

Picture Books

  • A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin –Libby says “not owned” but your library may own it; animated on hoopla
  • The Good Luck Cat by Joy Harjo
  • Saturday by Oge Mora –Not owned on my Libby
  • Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora – Not owned on my Libby; animated on hoopla
  • We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins – ebook with audio on Libby and hoopla

Early Chapter Books

Middle Grade

  • Are You Ready to Hatch an Unusual Chicken? by Kelly Jones and Katie Kath – Libby says “not owned” 

  • Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi – audiobook on Libby, ebook on hoopla
  • Cape by Kate Hannigan
  • Dragonfell by Sarah Prineas – Libby says “not owned” 
  • Girl with the Dragon Heart by Stephanie Burgis – ebook on Libby
  • Hidden Witch by Molly Ostertag
  • Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens
  • The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis – on Libby in ebook and audiobook
  • Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly – audiobook on hoopla; Libby says “not owned”
  • Long-Lost Home by MaryRose Wood – audiobook on hoopla
  • Lost Girl  by Anne Ursu – audiobook and ebook on hoopla
  • Love Sugar Magic: A Sprinkle of Spirits by Anna Meriano – audiobook on hoopla


  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas – ebook and audiobook on Libby; audiobook on hoopla
  • Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope
  • Plain Kate by Erin Bow
  • Pride by Ibi Zoboi – ebook and audiobook on Libby; audiobook on hoopla
  • Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno – ebook on Libby
  • They Called Us Enemy  by George Takei – ebook on hoopla, not owned on Libby
  • With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo – ebook and audiobook on Libby and hoopla


  • Exit Strategy by Martha Wells
  • Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 8: Making Merry by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne


  • Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu (with my daughter) – ebook and audiobook on Libby and hoopla
  • Cold Steel by Kate Elliott
  • The Colors of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarty (the son and I listened separately around the same time) – audiobooks on hoopla, ebooks on Libby
  • The Coming of the Dragon by Rebecca Barnhouse (with my son) – ebook on Libby
  • Harry Potter books 2-5 by J.K. Rowling (with my daughter) – all are on Libby in ebook and audiobook; the first book is guaranteed checkouts during the quarantine.
  • Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells – ebook on Libby
  • The Two Towers and the Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien (with my son) – Libby and hoopla both have abridged audiobooks only (beware!); ebook on Libby

63 favorite books feels a little overwhelming… but then again, you know I love books, right?  It seems a little unreasonable to expect me to pick, say, only 10 favorites out of the over 200 I read in a year.  What were your favorites?

About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
This entry was posted in Adult, Audiobook, Books, Early Chapter Books, Graphic Novel, Lists, Middle Grade, picture books, Print, Teen/Young Adult and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to My Favorite Books of 2019

  1. Thank you! Lots of awesome picks, lots to add to my TBR.

  2. Lots of great reads here! I have definitely been trying to load my Libby queue, as you put it, haha. I just read With the Fire on High and checked out this morning Lalani of the Distant Sea.

    I have been searching a lot for new/upcoming titles to try to get a jump on those. I don’t think titles appear before they are available? Not sure if that’s standard for Libby across the board or varies between libraries. (Unlike physical books, which you can request once they’re ‘on order’). Anyway, it occurs to me that I can still access work intranet from home so maybe I’ll find the answer there 😛

    • Katy K. says:

      I hope you enjoy Lalani!

      I don’t think you can place holds on pre-pub books in Libby. I wish you could! I’m not coordinated enough to make a calendar to remind me to place holds on release day. I think the librarians that are super concerned with reading the newest books use Netgalley and Edelweiss.

  3. Pingback: 2021 in Review – the Books | alibrarymama

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