I had an unusually hard time figuring out what books to put on the list this year ... to say nothing of what order to put them in. I'm very personal about what speaks to me, what I find fun, and what I find excellent, so trying to articulate WHY any of these books are on the list is hard ... and the order keeps switching in my head ... but here I go in an attempt.
As I have for the last few years, I'm choosing to focus on INDIE books. I honestly read mostly Indie, and I figure best sellers don't need the push that smaller titles you might not have heard of do. Normally, this is where I'd put a "if I were including traditionally published books, I'd also mention ..." but honestly, I don't think I read a traditionally published book this year I liked more than the ones on this list (and the few that I did read were mostly non-fiction which is kind of apples to oranges to compare to fiction, so I'm not sure how I'd sort them anyway). So, yeah, this year it's all indies and there isn't even a "because I left off a book by Neil Gaiman" qualification.
Also ... I note a lot of repetition in author names here ... but yeah, I like what I like. I hope you get a chance to check some of these titles out.
Also-also, this post includes Amazon affiliate links (which means if you click through and buy, Amazon sends me a couple of pennies).
Pumpkin Spice Pie-Jinks by Selina J. Eckert
This is a fun short tale with awesome seasonal feels. It's short and sweet with a great sense of humor, some "dawww" moments ... and a cat. I like things with cats. I think it might be a recurring theme in this list.
Horseman by Kyle Robert Shultz
Another book ... another cat. Honestly, I was going back and forth between including this one vs. the Janus Elixir by the same author ... and the cat put it over for Horseman. I over all loved this book. Only minor niggle is sometimes there is a place where a joke runs a little long.
Misanthrope Beechworth & The Dustwaste Wellspring by Jeremy Rodden
And cat number 3 ... I may have a problem. In my defense, this one is a mechanical cat, so that's new. This is a fun adventure with a good sense of humor and some unique world building. A quick and easy read with a cool protagonist.
Sand and Storm by Stella Dorthwany
Actually ... I don't think this one has a cat in it. It probably would've gotten much higher on the list if it had a cat, but instead it just has awesome dragons and a lot of snark and some great fancy magic. Also high on feels and flirting.
#6 and 5 (can't figure out how to sort them)
If Wishes Were Curses ... and
So the thing is, these books are part of a series and ... I can't always remember what things happened in book one and what things happened in book two and they have a lot of crossover characters, so saying which I liked better ... I just don't know.
Wish You Weren't Here by Janeen Ippolito
Unfortunately, no cats that I can remember, but it DOES have Otter Shifters and Book Store Squirrels.
#4 Spindle by W. R. Gingell
The cat has a very minor appearance in this one, but ... yeah, there's a cat.
This is a fun fairy tale retelling with a lot of twisty twists and a definite Howl's Moving Castle vibe. Fun, funny, and fetching!
#3 and 2 (Again... I'm not sure which is which)
Between Jobs ... and
I have a hard time sorting series books ... they generally feel like natural continuations of each other, so saying one is better or one is worse is hard for me. That said, I really enjoyed both installments of this snarky Urban Fantasy series. I did listen to them on audiobook, and the narrator did a great job. I am kind of dragging my feet getting into the third book because I would like to keep listening rather than reading this series (for consistency), but audiobooks are EXPENSIVE.
Between Shifts by W. R. Gingell
But this series has a great sense of humor, creative magic, and a fun setting. My eleven-year-old also found it overall hilarious and entertaining.
AND NUMBER ONE!!!
Oh, wow, how did I get to the end already? Anyway, here I go ...
Circus Phantasm by Naomi P. Cohen
This book just has a lot of personal things I like. It's incredibly atmospheric. It has fun takes on mythical creatures (adorable bat, dragon who cooks, mermaid who does fashion design ...). It DOES feel like it is opening itself up to a bigger world that you hope will get explored, but is a satisfactory read all in its own ... so, yeah, this the book I'm naming number one this year.
How about you? Have you read any of these? What are your favorite books of 2019?