2019 was another fabulous year in reading. It was hard to choose my favorite books this year as there were so many.
And my favorite books of 2019 with a few of my favorite quotes are….
Favorite Books of 2019- Historical Fiction
Historical fiction will always be “my” genre. This was an amazing year for historical fiction. Here are my favorite historical fiction books:
The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey- A little known tale of the Red Cross Clubmobile girl during World War II. I loved the pacing and the depth of women’s friendship in this book.
“…it was all I could do not to scream his name and go running upstairs to him…. It wasn’t him. It couldn’t be. Danny Barker had been declared missing in action more than eight months ago, shot down in the skies over Germany.”
The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar – From Pearl Harbor to the WASPs pilot program. I read this book in one sitting. It is a debut novel. A tribute to strong women and a beautiful love story.
“I hope you are grieving, my dear. Not because I wish you pain, but because it is through pain that you will find healing.”
The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin- I loved this novel set in Paris that shows the cat fight between Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli as World War II is about to begin. Outstanding characters in a quick but fabulous read.
“In a costume, I discovered, you don’t mind being unpartnered. Perhaps that is the nature of solitude: it requires a sense of self and separateness.”
The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff- What can I say, Jenoff continues to up her book game. A magnificent portrayal of amazing female spies in World War II leading to a stellar ending. No wonder it was on the NYT list so long.
“”Fairy godmothers,” the women at London headquarters were called by agents in the field.”
“There was Marie’s codename, Angel, at the bottom of the page. Eleanor had nerve riled it for the way that it bespoke death.”
Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen– Hello Pussycat! I dare you to read this fun novel about Helen Gurley Brown and not call your friends “Pussycat”. Such a fabulous read!
“Women need this magazine. I don’t care about Betty Friedan. Or Gloria Steinem going undercover as a Playboy Bunny. Neither of them- or anyone else who calls themselves a feminist- is talking to women the way I can. Every girl out there needs to know that she’s not alone.”
The Stationary Shop by Marjan Kamal- A beautiful love story set in 1953 Tehran centered around a stationary shop. An angst filled story of family, loss, politics and ultimately enduring love. I loved every page!
“Maybe old love just ran through the decades unfettered, unimpeded, even when denied.”
The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Loigman- What a book! This is the tale of two estranged sisters at the World War II Springfield armory. A strong story of family, sisters, wartime and the strength of women on the home front. I didn’t think she could possibly top The Two-Family House but Loigman did it with The Wartime Sisters!
“It was easy to forget, when men and women were dancing and orchestras were playing, that other men and women were fighting and dying.”
Favorite Books of 2019- Fabulous Fiction
A few rom coms, romance, funny fiction, poignant fiction and everything in between. Here are my favorite fabulous fiction books of 2019:
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang- The Kiss Quotient, Hoang’s first book, was one of my favorites last year. And she captivated me again with The Bride Test. Hot, poignant, sweet, hot and fabulous!
“She was probably pregnant already- from the potency of a man’s child-giving stare.”
The Floating Feldmans by Elyssa Friedland- Who among us cannot relate to a dysfunctional multi-generational family on a cruise? This book is, in my opinion, an excellent example of a book having a BIG cast of characters, all done well.
“It’s the Day of Atonement, Grandma,” Darius said. “You can tell us what you think we need to atone for.”
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez- What a fabulous debut novel! This is a read in one sitting book. It is funny, poignant and quite sexy but also delves into deeper issues. I loved it!
“I am not drunk. I’m just talking in cursive.”
“She was like a unicorn. A mythical creature. A honest, no-drama woman who didn’t bullshit and drank beer and cussed and didn’t care about what people thought of her.”
The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves- I have been a fan of Tracey’s book since On The Island (a book with its own cult following). I dare you to read this and not fall in love with Annika and Jonathan. An angsty uplifting love story that will stay with you.
“Though she has trouble deciphering other people’s facial expressions, her face is an open book and no one would ever have trouble understanding hers.”
“… there’s something comforting about the way he strings his words together. To me, they sound like a melody.”
Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner- An incredible family saga of mothers, daughters, sisters and so much more. Weiner is the ultimate storyteller. As one of my readers said, “I didn’t realize how much I missed her writing until I started Mrs. Everything.”
“Bra,” Nonie said merrily. “God’s pocket.”
“… Shelley smelled just the way she remembers, that same intoxicating combination of flowery perfume and tobacco..”
Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston- By far the best romance I have ever read. Yes, it is a story of the son of the first female U.S. president falling in love with The Prince of Wales and yes, it is unbelievable. If you haven’t read this book, rush to do so.
“…love is indomitable.”
“Alex makes a mental note to figure out which shadowy gay noble taught Henry all this and send the man a fruit basket.”
“Stop trying to Jane Austen my life”
“Should I tell you that when we’re apart, your body comes back to me in dreams?”
This Is Not How It Ends by Rochelle Weinstein- A modern day Love Story set in the Florida Keys with a woman torn between two loves. A magnificent read!
“There comes that moment when you’re holding someone and the pieces of you just fit. The parts string together- souls touch through gentle fabric- and when you separate, you know there’s a lingering strong that forever connects.”
“He is power tools and plumbing. I am romance and relationships.”
The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr- A gorgeous book of art and a woman finding herself again in France. Barr literally “sculpts” a fabulous story that is relatable, sexy and uplifting.
“About standing at the Maginot line of temptation- the division between Faithful and Unfaithful.”
“They love me for me no matter what and that is unbreakable.”
Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal A retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in Pakistan, this book is delightful. Move over Collin Firth, Mr. Darsee is in the house and is quite debonair. I loved this book and recommended it to everyone I know.
“There should be a mandatory note,” Mrs. Binat mumbled to her daughters, “on wedding invitations, saying: Please do not try to outride the bride.”
“He loves you. He wants to marry you. He yearns for you to have his arrogant babies.
Favorite Books of 2019- Thriller/ Domestic Suspense
Here are my favorite thrillers of 2019:
The Arrangement by Robyn Harding- Think Pretty Woman but dark! A deep dive into wealthy powerful men and young needy women who seek them.
“Nat knew exactly what the angular girl was thinking: this was the walk of shame after a one-night stand.”
The Au Pair by Emma Rous- A dark British story of an au pair, an old photograph, twins, a baby and a mystery. I loved it!
“Ruth was incandescent.”
“And it shows a baby. One baby.”
Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle- Try to figure this one out before the end? I dare you! Two women, one on the run and one missing. Once again, Belle surprised me at every turn.
“Grace in uncertainty.”
“I know better than anyone that people will do all sorts of things in order to survive.”
Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger- In her last book, The Banker’s Wife, Alger basically portrayed the actual news before it happened. And, in Girls Like Us, she does it again! A gritty but realistic thriller that begs the questions- What happens when the primary suspect is your father?
“They walk with the synchronized cadence of a chain gang.”
“Neighbors often know more than anyone would suspect.”
The Fifth Column by Andrew Gross- This was my first of Gross’ books, but I have now read all of his previous books. I love how he marries history with thriller. You literally “feel” the anxiety- are their spies among us? Such a great read!
“On one day alone, in 1939, some 2,850 reports of suspected German espionage were reported to the FBI. “
“What every thinking person in this increasingly blind world could clearly see.”
The Murder List by Hank Philippi Ryan- This is a legal thriller with twists and turns that keep surprising. I loved it!
“Did you engineer that verdict? Jack wanted to ask.”
“Jurors often faded into a blur of forgettable faces after a trial..”
Reputation by Sara Shepard- A modern day Agatha Christie who dun it. This book is sensational! I have now bought it as gifts for numerous family members. You simply won’t guess how it ends! Loved it so much!
“She’s a total knockout with her porcelain skin, big green eyes, and- I’m thinking this happened only recently– gorgeous boobs.”
“… a blond, slightly haggard, take-no-shit Kellyanne Conway thing going..”
Woman on the Edge by Samantha Bailey- An instant Canadian best seller, this book will leave you breathless. A moment on the subway platform changes two women’s lives forever. Try to put it down, I dare you!
“But I am not prepared at all for what it is I see.”
“It’s amazing what you can get caught doing when you think no one is watching.”
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I received advance copies of many of these books. All love for them is my own.
What are you reading?