I am incredibly late at posting my 2019 favorites. January 2020 was such a great reading month for me that I got sidetracked!

2019 was a diverse year, without any specific focus. But I also read a lot of 5-star reads—13! That’s about 10% of my total reads and does include one re-read. I’ll just let a little snippet of each review explain why I loved these three books.

Best Fiction: The Water Dancer

“Ta-Nehisi Coates builds the details of his world drop by drop, layer by layer. By the end, I felt fully immersed, although in some ways I was drowning in sadness.”

Best Nonfiction: The Angel and the Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell That Changed the Course of Medicine

“It’s not common to find a book with innovative information that is also so readable. I never felt talked down to, despite my lack of scientific education. Nakazawa is a patient who writes for patients, not researchers.”

Best Audio: Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth

“When I finished Blowout by Rachel Maddow, I had to wash all the residual oil slick off my skin. The book is just that immersive in the oil industry. Not to mention a different kind of Kremlin-based, Putin-esque oiliness.”

Each of my blog posts or book reviews are posted under the categories of either Resist, Relax, or Learn. So, here are my other favorites from each category.


Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
How to be an Antiracist


Where the Crawdads Sing
A Ladder to the Sky (the second time John Boyne makes a favorite list)


You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters
Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs

I hope you’ll go back and revisit my reviews of these favorites. And I wish the opportunity to read great books for many hours in 2020.