Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Books I Read in 2019

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

2019 was an odd reading year for me. I started and finished fewer books than I usually do. The ones that I did finish were less likely to stand out as amazing in my mind for reasons that had as much to do with me being honestly a little burned out on reading in general as it did with the content of what it read itself.

So my list this week is going to be short and sweet. I hope that I will have a much longer response for this prompt if Jana decides to recycle it next year.

Becoming by Michelle Obama book cover. Image on the front of it is of Mrs. Obama smiling and looking straight ahead at the viewer.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I had no idea the former first lady was such a good storyteller! It was really lovely to read her remembrances of her childhood, college years, working/married life, and experiences in the White House.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood book cover. Image on cover is of a handmaid wearing a green shawl and white cap. You can't see her face.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (my review is here)

I adored the way this sequel fleshed out the parts of The Handmaid’s Tale that Offred couldn’t have possibly known about. I can’t wait to see how it might be incorporated into the TV show next!

 The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters book cover. Image on front is of the shoulder, arm, and face of a topless woman who looks like she is dancing.

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

It took me a couple of years to finish this book because of how slow the beginning was and how much other stuff I had to read, but I’m glad I slowly chipped away at it. There are other Sarah Waters books that I enjoyed more, but I ended up really loving this one once the characters had all been introduced and the mystery elements of the plot started to coalesce.

If you’ve been through a reading slump, what have you done to get out of it?

84 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Books I Read in 2019

  1. Becoming was a good book! I listened to the audio, and it was great to hear Michelle tell her own story.

    I hope your reading slump doesn’t last into 2020. One of the ways I can sometimes get around them is by re-reading old favorites.

  2. I still haven’t gotten to read Becoming. I literally had my hands on it, but then a friend really wanted to read it, so I let them have it. It’s still making its way around the library holds!

  3. I’ve read a lot of good things about The Paying Guests and Sarah Waters in general! And I really liked The Testaments even if it didn’t quite make my list this week! Happy New Year!

  4. I’ve heard Becoming is great. I used to not read much in the way of non fiction but since I’ve started to change that over the last year or so, maybe I’ll give this one a go at some point. Good luck with your reading in 2020.

    • Aww, thanks.

      And that’s a great question. If you like romance, I’d recommend starting with Tipping the Velvet. If you like mysteries, The Paying Guests or The Little Stranger might be more up your alley.

  5. Hallo, Hallo Lydia,

    I appreciated your visit today on my blog earlier as you were amongst the first to give me a compliment about how I approached my TTT topic! 🙂 I had to do some last minute New Year’s Eve errands before settling into the festivities of the night – hopefully you’re having a wicked good celebration wherever you are as well.

    From your list the story I am hoping to get into this New Year 2020 are the following:

    * Becoming – I started off being past 100+ in the queue for the audiobook at my libraries whilst I eventually realised it was available through Scribd. I decided to forego the library copies to give others a chance to listen to it and yet I still ran out of the hours to get fully invested in the book! I’m definitely going to put this on my queue for Memoirs, Biographies & Autobiographies audiobook listens this year!!

    Did you see the film about her and her husband? I can’t remember the name of it but they spent one singular day in the film exploring how they first met and how they started to date?! It was wicked brilliant!


    I can understand burn-out… that’s a hard road to transition out of and I hope the New Year will be one where you can re-affirm your joy of reading. Have a very blessed New Year and may 2020 be kinder on your reading life. Thanks for commenting on my blog and I look forward to visiting with you more to see which stories you find inspiring to read.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Jorie. I always look forward to your comments.

      Yes, I’ve seen the film based on President and Mrs. Obama’s first date. It’s wonderful! I hope you enjoy reading the rest of Becoming this year. Mrs. Obama is a good storyteller.

      Have a blessed new year yourself.

  6. Oh, I hope your reading slump ends with the turning of the decade tonight. The only reason why I had 7 books listed for 2016 (entering 2017) was I think I had only read about 10 books that year. I read 155 (might be as high as 157 before midnight) books this year so you can definitely turn it around!

  7. I treated myself to Becoming as a holiday gift a year ago, and still haven’t started it. Silly me — it’s not that I’m not interested, I just haven’t been in the mood for a lot of memoirs or non-fiction this year. I did really enjoy The Testaments. Happy New Year!

  8. I’ve been wanting to read The Testaments. I just read The Handmaid’s Tale this year and I was NOT satisfied with that ending!

    As for reading slumps, I usually grab something that I know I love and read that to get me back into the mood 😊 Hopefully you can kick your slump soon!

  9. Happy new year – here’s to a more satisfying 2020 (although these three look like deserving Best Of regardless – although being a Sarah Waters fan, I admit I’m biased)

  10. Happy New Year Lydia! When I’m in a slump i usually try something I would never try normally — something that will force me out of my comfort zone (which tends to lead to a reading slump). I hope you find something to help with your reading slump!

    • Yes, it sure was. I hope you enjoy The Testaments! Have you been watching the TV series based on The Handmaid’s Tale? My fingers are crossed that they’ll find ways to tie The Testaments into the TV show.

  11. Reading burn-out is horrid, I hope 2020 is a year of wonderful books for you! I really need to give Becoming a try and I really enjoyed The Paying Guests when I read it too but, like you, I don’t think it’s Waters’ best novel.

    I do one of three things when I’m in a reading slump: I either accept the slump and do something else, maybe a watch a film or TV show I’ve been meaning to try for ages, I re-read an old favourite, or I read a book from a genre I don’t read very often. I don’t read a lot of thrillers but I always enjoy them when I do, so when I’m feeling slumpy a thriller will often pull me back into reading because it gets me asking questions.

    • Thank you very much. That advice sounds quite sensible.

      And, yeah, The Paying Guests was not Waters best work. It was still interesting, though. 🙂

  12. I haven’t read Becoming. I think I’m so numb to all the autobiographies and most that I’ve read weren’t very good. You’re review swayed me and I might pick that one up for 2020!
    And hey, a short list of ones you actually liked is better than adding 7 more just okay ones!

    • That makes sense. I’ve read my share of biographies that weren’t great, too.

      My fingers are crossed that you’ll enjoy Becoming as much as I did.

      And your last point made me smile.

  13. I’ve heard such good things about Becoming that I definitely need to try to pick it up this year! Glad to see it made your list. I still haven’t read The Handmaid’s Tale, and I have some misgivings, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to give that one a go, too. xD

  14. Slumped big time in Feb/March but audiobooks helped me climb out. I can listen at work and it felt noncommittal. Didn’t finish my reading goal but I’m ok with that😊
    Testaments didn’t make my top 10 perhaps bc I’d already fleshed out those spaces in my mind. Some parts were fascinating though.

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