Each year, publishers release tens of thousands of books. Since it is virtually impossible to read every one, you may find it in your best interest to focus your efforts on reading the best of the best. That’s why we’ve taken the time to compile a list of five book recommendations for 2019. We’re confident that if you read a book on this list, you’ll walk away satisfied and ready to continue with your reading binge.
How We Chose Our Ratings
We must be honest, compiling the list of the five book recommendations for 2019 was a fun assignment for us. The team at Ten Mania is full of avid readers, so the fact that there were “forced” to read books for a task was not problematic! We began by having each member of our team read a few books that were released this year. Team members then gave each one a rating.
Team members then passed around the books and continued reading, providing an unbiased ranking along the way. Once our team had read more than a dozen books, we compared the rankings and eliminated the bottom few from the list. But, we didn’t stop there. While judging books can certainly be a subjective process, we sought to see what others thought about the books we had chosen.
After reading thousands of online reviews, we found ourselves eliminating a couple more books from our list. That then narrowed our list down to top five book recommendations for 2019 that we detail below. We genuinely believe that the books on the list will hold your attention and captivate you from cover to cover.
We strongly encourage you to leave your thoughts in our comment section below. Have you read any of the books on the list? Did you agree with our opinions or are you opposed to the book? If so, why? Additionally, are there any books that you feel we have forgotten and should have included? Don’t hesitate to add that information either.
As you likely know, we strongly value our community of readers and love the open dialogue that you bring to the table routinely. We hope that this piece starts a conversation and that you provide additional suggestions for the best books for 2019. Together, we can work together to compile a comprehensive list of book recommendations from the past year.
Top Five Book Recommendations for 2019
As we move closer to the winter months and the end of 2019, we can confidently supply you with our recommendations for the best books of the past year. We highly recommend buying them or checking them out from your local library. No matter what type of books you tend to like, we’re confident that you’ll be able to find one that you want in the list below.
The Feather Thief
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The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson is the perfect blend of natural history and crime. The book has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon with nearly 140 customer reviews. Of those who reviewed the book, seven out of ten gave it a five-star rating. The book is a “#1 Best Seller” for the “Museum Industry.” You can purchase a hardcover copy of the book for less than $20.
Reviewers have said that this book is a fantastic blend between non-fiction and “classic thriller.” The book focuses on Edwin Rist, who committed a heist. Readers have said that Johnson did a tremendous job blending background information into a captivating narrative. They said that they were on the edge of their seats from start to finish and that they thought they were reading a fiction novel it was so good.
The Woman in the Window
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This book by A.J. Finn follows a woman who witnesses a gruesome murder. Readers have described it as a “Hitchcockian noir thriller.” The book has a 4.3-star rating on Amazon with more than 4,100 customer reviews. Of those who reviewed the product, more than half gave it a five-star rating. You can purchase this book in three different ways:
- Hardcover, for about $16
- Kindle, for less than $15
- Audiobook, for about $15
Many reviewers seemed to agree that this book would go down as one of the best of 2019 and that it would inevitably become a movie in only a short matter of time. Many readers said that they were regularly taken aback by the twists and turns in the books and its unpredictability, often having no idea what was coming next. Readers were also complimentary of the author, as this was his first major book.
The Great Alone: A Novel
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The Great Alone: A Novel is a book by Kirstin Hannah that follows a Vietnam veteran who decides to up and move his family to Alaska. While the move initially goes well, the gentleman’s health deteriorates quickly, which puts his family in a tight position as the winter approaches. This is not Hannah’s first significant book, as a previous release, The Nightingale, was also well-reviewed.
This book features a 4.6-star rating on Amazon, with nearly 4,350 customer reviews. Of those who reviewed the product, 75 percent gave it a five-star rating while about another 15 percent gave it a four-star rating. You can purchase the book for about $17. Spanning nearly 450 pages, this novel will sure to have you peeling through from page corner to page corner.
Those who reviewed the book seemed to indicate that it would test you emotionally. Some even said that they were not in the right frame of mind to read the book. Many credited Hannah with doing an excellent job building the characters in the story, creating complex beings that allowed her to develop the story. Reviewers can’t seem to wait to see what Hannah comes up with next.
Educated: A Memoir
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Tara Westover’s memoir details her life experiences and the fact that she did not begin formal schooling until the age of 17. She only did so after she escaped from her survivalist family in search of a better life. Although a unique experience, Westover went on to overcome adversities and graduate from Cambridge University with a Ph.D.
The book has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon with more than 2,400 customer reviews. Of those who reviewed the product, more than 80 percent gave it a five-star rating. Combined, a mere five percent of readers gave the book a three, four, or five-star rating. You can purchase this book for about $16, although it is cheaper if you download digital versions.
The consensus among readers was that this book stopped and made them think. It demonstrates the power of education. One reviewer noted that they recognized how true the statement “knowledge is power” is. Those who read the book indicated that they felt inspired, self-reflecting on their lives to figure out what they can improve upon and how they could make a positive change in the world.
The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border
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This novel by Francisco Cantu highlights his time as a Border Patrol agent in the southern United States. Cantu details how his job required him to face the harsh realities of illegal immigration. He also tells tales demonstrating that the obligation that he had to his career and his country often conflicted with his moral code and sense of humanity. Many reviewers credited Cantu’s writing style and prose.
With immigration evolving into a hot topic over the past few years, the novel is sure to provide fascinating, thought-provoking insight. The book has a 4.3-star rating on Amazon with nearly 150 customer reviews. Of those who reviewed the book, more than 80 percent gave it either a four or five-star rating. You can purchase the novel for less than $18, and even cheaper on Kindle or Audiobook.
Many who read the novel described it as the best book they have ever read on immigration. They noted that they gained a better understanding of the complexity of the situation, noting that the book humanized things that may have seen cut and dry previously. Many admitted that they were skeptical when they began reading the book but that they turned out to be pleasantly surprised.
Has it been a while since you’ve picked up a book? Perhaps you’re bored with the status quo and are stuck trying to pick a new book. Whatever the case may be, there’s no reason not to be reading! With millions of books available, you shouldn’t have a problem choosing one. But if you are looking for extra motivation, consider some of the tips we’ve provided below.
Stick to Your Interests, But Don’t Be Afraid To Try Something New
When it comes to choosing a new book, you should tend to stick to what you like. Don’t let others dictate your reading interests. Just because a book is on the New York Times’ Bestseller List does not mean you have to drop everything you’re doing to read that book. You’ll likely find yourself growing bored and disinterested. Reading is something that should be fun, not something that’s a chore.
For instance, if you like reading about sports history, you may find yourself bored with a sci-fi thriller. But having said that, trying a new book could broaden your horizons and even allow you to discover a new interest. Our recommendation? Stick to what you know, unless you grow incredibly bored and feel as though you are in a rut. Then, read a chapter from a well-known book.
No matter if you like e-books or hard copies, it shouldn’t be difficult to read a chapter. If you prefer hard copies, head to your local library or bookstore to begin. If you would rather read digitally, many publishers provide a “Sample” that you can download. If you like the book after reading that chapter, then purchase the book and continue to read the story.
If you can tell that it is not your cup of tea, then merely return the book and move on to something new. After a chapter or so, you should be able to tell whether a book will interest you or not. There’s no harm in trying a new book, but don’t do so just because someone else said you should. Instead, seek out books that you think you may like, no matter where they fall on a Bestseller’s List.
Browse for Recommendations
Many people don’t realize that libraries offer access to a unique system called NoveList. This tool features a database of recommendations from experts. Many of the proposals also include “read-alikes,” or books that are similar. So, imagine you recently finished reading a book that you enjoyed thoroughly. You can see the “read-alikes” so that you pick a similar book.
Another option you have is your local librarian. Remember, a librarian’s career and passion are books! If you tell them what you are interested in, there’s a good chance that they will have the ideal recommendation. Similarly, you can ask your friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations about any books they’ve read lately. They may provide obscure guidance that you end up loving.
Try Reading More Than One Book
Too often, people think they have to read a book from cover to cover and that they can’t read anything else until then. However, experienced readers know that you can read more than one book at a time. Compare it to how you watch TV. You may have a comedy that you’re watching and a drama that you’re watching. The one that you choose to view depends on your mood.
The same can go with books. Forcing yourself to finish a book before you pick up a new book could grow boring and could be part of the reason you’re apathetic or frustrated about reading. If you’re looking for new books to read, try to read a few different ones at a time, picking one up whenever you feel as though the time is right. You may find this to be a much more enjoyable reading experience.