Last year I had about 20 books on my initial favorites post–10 published in 2018 and ten published pre-2018. It made for a good balance. Well, this year I’m doing something different because I think all of us in the SFF community can agree that 2019 was a year of too many amazing books. Not that it’s a problem, except when it comes to a) keeping up with all of the amazing new releases and b) compiling favorites into a list.
So my current plan is to break my favorites into several lists and then do a ‘best of the best’ list because that’s the only way I can figure out how to cover all of the wonderful books I’ve read in 2019.
Favorite Reads of 2019: Part One
Books Published Prior to 2019
These are books that were not published this past year but I read them this past year for the first time. This will be my easiest list to put together simply because I didn’t read a lot of books that weren’t published in 2019. It was hard to squeeze in back list reads because there were so many awesome new releases coming out all of the time. Still, I managed several and some of them were fantastic and had me wanting to kick myself for not picking them up sooner.
Not all of these were five star reads for me, which may seem contradictory for a ‘favorites’ list, but I think you can have a favorite reads that aren’t 5 stars. Or at least I can and this is my list so I’ll do what I like. 🙂
1. The Last Sun by K.D. Edwards (2018) – 5/5 stars
I loved this book so much! It has to be one of the funniest, snarkiest, books that is also full of action, lovable characters, and some of the most original world building I’ve ever encountered. If this is the future of urban fantasy, color me excited. Full review here.
2. Wolfsong by T.J. Klune (2016) – 5/5 stars
I’m not into werewolves but damn if I didn’t love every minute of this book. T.J. Klune really knows how to take you on an emotional journey. I laughed, I cried, I felt everything in between. This book was a rollercoaster and a delight. Romance!!! Also there are some sexy times so yay. 😉 Mini-review here.
3. Touch by Claire North (2015) – 4.5/5 stars
This was my second Claire North book, but wow, what a book. After this and The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, I think it’s safe to say I’m a fan of her work and want to read more. What Claire North does great is come up with a fascinating concept and then use it to explore what it means to be human. I also love the slow burn, the slice of life, the way the story builds to a crescendo at the end. Loved the experience of reading this one. Full review here.
4. Minimum Wage Magic by Rachel Aaron (2018) – 4.5/5 stars
Over the last couple of years I’ve become a huge fan of Rachel Aaron and have been working my way through her backlist. This one came out just last year, but she writes so quickly that I’m almost always behind. This is the first in her DFZ series, set in the same universe as the Heartstriker books but a little bit in the future. Once again Aaron has impressed me with her characcters and it’s such a blast to be able to revisit this setting. Full review here.
5. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Aston, and Jodi Meadows (2016) – 4.5/5 stars
This was one of the most unexpected delights of the year for me. This book wasn’t even on my radar and I saw another blogger mention it and decided to check it out on a whim. I’m so glad because it was such a hilarious book. I laughed so much with this one. You just have to throw all you know about history out the window and go with it. Honestly prefer this to the history anyway, it ends happier. Full review here.
6. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (2018) – 4.5/5 stars
This is definitely a book I’m glad I finally dove into because I ended up loving the entire series (and read them all this year!). Everything about this, the things I was hearing, kept putting me off of it but people also kept telling me how addictive this book was and I didn’t believe them until I experienced it for myself. Mini-review here.
7. Blood Trail by Tanya Huff (1991) – 4.5/5 stars
Wow, have I been missing out on an essential author of early modern urban fantasy. Here we have Tanya Huff writing an urban fantasy series about a former police dective turned private investigator paired up with a 500 year old vampire to solve supernatural crimes. This might seem a staple of the genre now, but back in 1991 this was the hot new take (trust me, I was there). This is definitely a ‘I can’t belive I never read this’. Not only that, but I just love Huff’s writing, especially her characters. I have a feeling I’ll be binging the rest of this series soon. I just read this one recently so I don’t even have a review up yet (have a feeling I’ll be recycling some of this!)
8. Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly (1988) – 4/5 stars
Speaking of earlier urban fantasy…how about an historical urban fantasy about a proffessor and ex spy teaming up with (wow, you guessed it) a vampire to solve supernatural crimes? Well, have I got the book for you. This was a lot of fun and I’m definitely going to continue the series. I also love the main character’s wife, I think she’s probably the real star of the show. Mini-review here.
9. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (2017) – 4/5 stars
This is such a wonderfully weird epic fantasy novel. The characters are weird, the concepts are weird, the world is original and….well, a little weird. I embrace weird, and it’s nice to see it in a more epic fantasy type of story. Also, there is some really lovely romance. I need to read the second book soon. Full review here.
10. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson (2017) – 4/5 stars
This is not a perfect book, HOWEVER, I still really, really, really loved it. I stayed up super late reading it and if that isn’t a testament than I don’t know what is. It’s also a perfect book to read for the fall. If you like the fae and you enjoy a bit of romance then maybe check this one out. Full review here.
Well, that’s the first of my favorites lists. What did you think? How are you doing with narrowing down your favorites list this year? Leave a note in the comments, I’d love to chat!
36 thoughts on “Favorite Reads of 2019: Part One”
Interesting. I never thought of doing a post of my favorite books that I read which weren’t published that same year.
Normally everything is combined into one post but there were too many good books I read this year so I decided to break it down lol 🙂
I’m also going to be doing several lists this month. It’s impossible to narrow it down to ten! I love that you read so many pre 2019 books, I’m not sure I could even scrape together ten that I read😁
I don’t know that I read that many when you compare it to everything else I read hahaha, but I did get some in so I’m happy with that. 🙂 It was so tough to squeeze them in when there were so many new releases this year! Good luck with your lists, Tammy!
Tanya Huff is great!
Yeah, I really love her stuff.
If you loved Touch, Claire North’s newest book The Pursuit of William Abbey is a must-read! Both books were really great and I have the First Fifteen Lives of Harry August to read this month, so I’m very excited. Love the idea of separating the posts!
Thanks! I have my eye on her new one, just haven’t had time to get to it yet. Hopefully in 2020! I want to get to more of her back list too. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
I have to check some of these out! I really loved Strange the dreamer as well!
Strange the Dreamer is such a weird and lovely book and I really do need to read that sequel. 🙂
I’d never heard of Blood Price, but it’s now on my list! I really need to get to Last Sun soon, it absolutely sounds like something I will enjoy.
I think you would love The Last Sun, it’s so much fun, the characters and their banter is fantastic. Blood Price was a great urban fantasy and of course I love vampires so it was almost a sure bet for me lol. 🙂
I absolutely loved The Cruel Prince (and the other books in the series). I haven’t read any of the other books on your list, but Strange the Dreamer sounds intriguing. I’ll have to check it out!
I really enjoyed Strange the Dreamer, hope you love it!
I’m definitely going to give it a shot once I dig myself out of the pile of library books I’m currently buried under!
Hah, totally get that lol. *looks at pile of library books* Good luck!
I need to get listening to Minimum Wage. Agreed that she writes fast…in fact, I didn’t even know she’s already put out a sequel (or sequels? I don’t know how far behind I am!)
Yeah the 2nd DFZ book came out this year and the third is expected soon? I don’t know I have to check. I know the final FFO book came out but I haven’t had a chance to get to it yet. I think I still have 5 books to read in other series to catch up with her back list and then I should be mostly caught up with her work lol. Phew!
Awesome list! Those Who Hunt The Night and Blood Price both look like very nostalgic reads. Much agreed on The Cruel Prince’s addictiveness, finished it in a very short time when reading it earlier this year. I hope the sequel has that same momentum, though I’ve heard it’s even better.
They were nostalgic for sure. 🙂
Oh, I loved The Wicked King, it is my favorite of the series i think. The pacing in that one is just incredible. I read TCP and TWK back to back.over a weekend early in the year, they’re just so un-put-down-able lol. 🙂
A brilliant approach to the challenge of Too Many Good Books (and hell yes, a book doesn’t have to earn 5 stars to be a favourite)!
Those Who Hunt The Night has been on my TBR for a few years now, so I’ll slot Blood Price right in next to it because hell yes to urban fantasy / crime / vampire cross-over novels 😉
Blood Price has everything I love about Urban Fantasy and I love the main character. Those Who Hunt the Night was really enjoyable! I’m looking forward to continuing both series eventually, probably after bingo is over next year. 🙂
Tania Huff’s is a name that pops up now and then and already crossed my radar: now that I saw your mention of her UF series I will have to give it a spin because, you know… vampires! 😉
If you like UF you will probably like this series. I really like Huff’s writing. 🙂
Great list! I knew Last Sun would be there because you’ve mentioned it many times on here lol.
I don’t have an outstanding favorite as yet, so I think my list will be hard to do this year. I read 2 great reads this year that really stood out to me, but I don’t consider them favorites.
I know what you mean. There are some I thought were great books but they’re not ones I would gush about or reread.
Yeah, The Last Sun may have been mentioned a few times…..lol! 🙂
Lovely to see Last sun on your list Those who Hunt the Night sounds very promising and like something I would enjoy.
I think it was inevitable TLS would end up on one of my favorites lists at this point, it’s just such a fun book. Those Who Hunt the Night made for a nice break. I definitely want to read more of this series.
I was in bad need of a vampire book, so maybe I’ll check out Blood Price!
If you like old school urban fantasy, you’ll probably enjoy this one. I really loved it and can’t wait to get back to the series once I get through some other books in my TBR. 🙂
Yay- so glad my lady jane is on here- it was an unexpected delight for me too! Cruel Prince was such an entertaining book as well 😀 I adored strange the dreamer, even if it is admittedly weird 😉 I’m glad you liked enchantment of ravens as well, even if it’s not perfect (which is good to know) cos I’ve been meaning to read it for years.
They were all such great books! Yes, My Lady Jane was definitely unexpected, I feel like that book came out of no where and stole my heart.