My favourite novels of 2019

Thursday, December 12, 2019 Permalink

For the first time in… well forever, I contrived a semi final type scenario and have shared:

1. my eight favourite books from the first half of 2019; and

2. my seven favourite books from the second half of the year.

Very accidentally, that gave me a top 15, which is an excellent total given I have obsessive compulsive tendencies and 13, 14, 16 or 17 would have just been weird.

My lists should come with some disclaimers.

  1. They only include books released in Australia this year
  2. They only include fiction cos I don’t ‘do’ non-fiction
  3. There are some books I’ve heard amazing things about but didn’t read or get for review, such as (Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Favourite Daughter by Kaira Rouda and Rene Denfeld’s The Butterfly Girl.) Similarly I’ve not read 2019 releases by Charlotte Wood, Mark Brandi or Margaret Atwood.

Interestingly (well, for me anyway), my list doesn’t necessarily reflect the books I rated highest at the time of reading. I’ve also been ruthless in my final decisions so this very short list includes books I’ve loved most this year AND have stayed with me in some way.

There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett

This is a beautifully told story of families and love. I rarely give 5 stars but this is certainly deserving of them.

There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett


The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

This very clever love story offers not only quirky, well-drawn characters but a complex and innovative narrative that could be predictable, but isn’t.

The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary


Allegra in Three Parts by Suzanne Daniel

A beautifully written quintessentially Australian story about a young girl in the 1970s and the divided family who all love her.

Allegra in Three Parts by Suzanne Daniel

And there you have it – my favourite novels of 2019. Short and sweet. Possibly even in order of favourite-ness.

If you’re looking for recommendations from recent years, a list of my faves is below.

2014  |  2015  |  2016  |  2017  |  2018

And most of my reviews (well, those I’ve written since about 2016, which is when I started allocating stars) can be found by rating here.

I’ve gone for a very few number of books this year because after these I’d struggle to select my favourites. Do you have a favourite book (or two) from this past year?

  • Min Write of the Middle
    December 12, 2019

    I have not read enough books this year. I am struggling with concentration (a perimenopausal/menopausal symptom) and allowing myself time out to read. I love your book reviews and these lists of favs you do and most definitely will refer back to them when it comes time to choose some books to read (and also as gift ideas), so thank you!! #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      December 12, 2019

      Ah yes, I can certainly relate to the time-of-life thing. It’s made me very moody this past year. I keep thinking… “Surely I’m over it now!”

  • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
    December 12, 2019

    I hate picking favourites, I always feel like I’m leaving something out. I haven’t read any of your picks though, more for the TBR!

    • Debbish
      December 13, 2019

      Weirdly it was harder to pick the larger number for the first and second halves of the year. I usually find ultimately there’s something intuitive about my final listing each year.

  • Jo @ Booklover Book Reviews
    December 13, 2019

    What ruthlessness indeed, bravo Deb. I’ve not read any of these but am off to get myself a copy of The Flatshare right now… sounds like just what I need to escape from the pre-Christmas hustle and bustle. Thanks!

    • Debbish
      December 13, 2019

      Oh yes Jo, it’s been really popular and I’ve seen a lot of mention of it on Twitter etc…

  • Vanessa
    December 14, 2019

    I haven’t been reading a lot, but I do have a stack of books out of the libraries ready for Christmas break. Am currently reading Maternal Instinct

    • Debbish
      December 14, 2019

      I hope you enjoy them Vanessa. (And I hope you enjoy Rebecca’s novel. It’s not a genre I read – dystopian-type fiction but I’ve been hearing good comments!)

  • Kate W
    December 16, 2019

    The Parrett will make my list as well – beautifully written.

  • Natalie
    December 17, 2019

    I was able to put a hold request for The Flatshare at my library. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing your three favourites of the year.

I'd love to hear your thoughts