The Ten Best Books I Read in 2019

By Piyushi Dhir

Last week I wrote about how books and reading have always been a passion for me. I also promised to come up with my selection of favourites from 2019. So without further ado, here are the winners:

  1. The Summer Country, by Lauren Willig

One of the most beautiful books I read in 2019, The Summer Country is for historical fiction fans. The novel bounces back and forth in a forty year time period. Willig first takes you to a time in Barbados when slavery was a norm. Forty years later, the practice had been eradicated but it’s repercussions still remain. A beautiful narrative with a plot that keeps thickening and unfolding as you forge ahead. Willig keeps you hooked with drama, suspense, murder, romance and history, all woven into one epic novel.

2. The Oysterville Sewing Circle, by Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs turned out to be one of my best ‘discoveries’ in 2019. I picked up a couple of her books and enjoyed them thoroughly, but the best of the lot was The Oysterville Sewing Circle. What a beautiful book, I could hardly put it down. A heroine with such depth, two orphaned kids, a cause, a small town, a rich history, a gorgeous hero, a beautiful narrative going back and forth in time, strong women who stick together… There were so many lovely elements in this book that have been woven together in a masterful style. 

3. The Apple Orchard, by Susan Wiggs

Another lovely story by Wiggs. Tess believes the one thing she has never had is a family, until the dashing Dominic Rossi walks into her life. Suddenly she discovers she has a grandfather, a sister and half the share of a hundred acre apple orchard. The reader gets pulled in as Tess’s life turns topsy-turvy and she travels back in time towards self-discovery.

4. The Hathaways, by Lisa Kleypas

This is actually a series of books about five sisters. Historical fiction fun reading, but with uncharacteristic heroines who flout norms and have steel for spines. The heroes are each as unusual as the heroines, ranging from gypsies to war ravaged men. I could not put down these books until I had read through the entire series. Perfect for light, romantic reading over a vacation or tucked into one’s bed at night. My particular favourite was the second book in the series, Seduce me at Sunrise. Despite the corny title, the book was a profound read.

5. A Quiver Full of Arrows, by Jeffrey Archer

Despite having read and loved a number of Jeffrey Archer novels, I had never before tried his collection of short stories, A Quiver Full of Arrows. I truly enjoyed this collection of stories. Of course some were better than the others, but all together, an interesting read.

6. Parenting Without Power Struggles, by Susan Stiffelman

This book came to me at a time when I was watching my toddler with increasing bewilderment as he was getting more and more angry, frustrated and rebellious. I didn’t know where my cheerful little guy had gone! I was feeling completely out of control. Susan’s techniques started working for me within the first 2-3 days. Not only did I find myself becoming a calmer person, I found my son responding to me a lot better. It is a beautiful book with lovely, effective techniques.

Thank you Susan, you have changed the way I look at parenting.

7. Alex and Eliza, by Melissa de la Cruz

I was browsing through the Young Adult section in the library when I came across this book. I am not sure why it was even lying there, since it turned out to be a historical fiction piece. Based on the real story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States, and Elizabeth Schuyler, a charming lady who won Alex’s heart, the book is less about the historical events of the time and more a fictional reconstruction of Alex and Eliza’s romance. Alex makes for a very cute, often funny, hero! I loved his sense of humour and sincerity towards Eliza. Eliza blazes through as an inspiring woman, who is refreshingly not obsessed with her gowns, but with serving the soldiers in her own small ways. A witty romance that will make you laugh more than once, Alex and Eliza is difficult to put down. 

8. Into the Wilderness, by Sara Donati

Welcome to the world of the Mohicans… a fictional sequel to The Last of the Mohicans, this book carries you to a historically interesting time in America’s history. For me, Elizabeth and Nathaniel’s story evoked memories of The Outlander series (Diana Gabaldon)- one of my favour. The high drama, intense romance and heart-stopping suspense made this a very enjoyable read.

9. The Murmur of Bees, by Sofia Segovia

A lovely book that draws you into Mexico and a historically turbulent time in the country. The manner of narration and the characters were reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s books. Intense, beautiful and lyrical- all in all, a nice read.

10. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Good old Pride and Prejudice. I re-read the book after years and the magic hasn’t receded at all. I absolutely love Austen’s wit and storytelling style.

If you liked these books, you will also like The 12 Best Books I Read in 2018 and The 10 Best Books I Read in 2017.

Happy Reading! 

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About the Author

PIyushi Dhir is the author of the romantic novels, 'In Search of Love' (2014), 'I'm Yours, The Next Time' (2015) and 'Enmeshed Evermore' (2015). A voracious reader, a keen traveler and an ardent dog-lover, Piyushi currently resides in Ivory Coast, Africa. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.