dill & fennel

My Favorite Books of 2019

This year Iread 55 booksand a lot of graphic novels. Fortunately, most of them were pretty great, which made it even harder to pick out my five favorite. I gravitated towards a lot of fantasy and sci-fi in 2019 as a nice way to escape or even think about a potentially scarier future. My plan to keep reading primarily female authors also paid off.

In no particular order, here’s the list:

  • The Starless Sea— Erin Morgenstern

    Her first book was great, her second was outstanding.

  • The Future of Another Timeline— Annalee Newitz

    It’s wild that two of my favorite books this year came out near the end of the year. Newitz created a fascinating time-travel technology, with an amazing world. Here’s to the Daughters of Harriet.

  • The Psychology of Time Travel— Kate Mascarenhas

    More queer time travel? Hell yes.

  • Gideon the Ninth— Tamsyn Muir

    Lesbian necromancers in space. Ok, there’s a theme to most of these and it’s around queer ladies and space or time-travel. I’m here for it, and so glad the whole zombie thing is over.

  • Noumenon— Marina J. Lostetter

    Multi-generational spaced exploration? Yes, please.

I did more full-fledged reviews for each of these in the link at the start of this post, though as always my book and film reviews are short because I got my fill of analytical book essays in college.

Stand-out comics

  • The whole X-Men relaunch! From Powers of X/House of X to the weekly series like X-Force, I’m stoked to be enjoying the X-Men again.
  • Paper Girls & Wicked and Divine: These two series finished strong, and I’m excited to read through them again sometime.
  • Die! An amazing series that’s just kicking off. This feels like a fresh take on D&D, so I’ll be glad to read more.
  • Shirokuma Cafe: the first series I can actually read in Japanese! This feels huge.

Kindle Oasis

This year I read a few physical books, but by and large I read on my Kindle Oasis. In addition to being great for bathtub reading (hi Japan), the one-handed reading makes laying in bed super comfortable. Plus, I’ve found the Kindle to be a pretty solid place to read manga. I still hope that Amazon actually pushes the envelope on these at some point, but until then, I’ll hold onto this one. If you want to think more about ebooks,this is a great essay.


There are quite a few books in my queue for 2020, and I’m especially excited about a new William Gibson novel! I’ll likely travel a bit more, and as I start to finish up my big kanji learning project, I’ll be able to read more in Japanese as well.