The Best Books I Read in 2019


Hey guys, welcome back to How to Train Your Gavin
and I’m doing my best books of 2019. What I’ve realised is, on this list there
was only one book that came out in 2019, so this ain’t a good list.
I’m a terrible booktuber, I won’t be able to give you good reviews on these books
anymore because half of them I talked about to death, and half of them I’ve, kind
of, already started to forget what’s happened, but nevertheless, here is my
top 10 books of 2019, or at least the ones that I’ve read in 2019, again, only
one of them came out in 2019, oh my god. I’m telling you I had so much catching up to
do in 2019, so many books that came out years ago that I had to read this year.
Most of them turned out to be one of my top books of the year. If I had read more
books, I would have done a top ten releases of 2019, but alas, here we are. I
haven’t included any middle grade books in this list, I will probably do a separate
video for the top ten middle grades that I read in 2019. Although saying that I’m
sure everybody could guess exactly what top ten books they would be. Without
further ado, let’s get into my top ten list. In at number ten is the book that
came out in 2019, and that is The Binding by Bridget Collins. I really
enjoyed this book, I enjoyed all of them, why am I saying that? That is like standard
line for what you don’t know what to say, is ‘I really enjoyed this book’, of course
I did, it’s in this list. I think this was like this seventh book that I read in
2019, so that was like a year ago now. So I still remember quite a lot from this, this
book is about a boy called Emmett and he sent to live with a woman who binds
books. Now under her care, he starts to learn how to bind books himself – when I say
bind books, they take people’s memories and bind them into these books so the
original owner of those memories will forget that memory. And there are
multiple reasons why people want to forget things – I know there’s plenty of
stuff that I’d love to forget, let me tell you. But one day, Emmett comes across
a book with his name on it, and he doesn’t know why it’s there, or the
memories that he’s forgotten, but he’s really intrigued. What is in this book?
Not gonna lie, part one of this was quite a slog to get through, I wasn’t really
enjoying it until part two. There are gonna be no spoilers in this, but I
really freaking love the romance in this. Oh I loved it so much. Maybe until the
end when it started to get a little bit destructive, but either way, like I’m
telling you, part two of this just really got my blood pumping. It was a pairing
that I really, really shipped, and it is beautifully written as well I
thought was very imaginative. I loved the world, I think there’s so much potential
with this premise, that there’s so much more that this author could do if she
chooses to do more, and I really hope she does. Such a good, fast-paced read,
towards the middle of the year I didn’t think this was gonna be on my top list,
but this is a book that I’ve remembered quite clearly and one that stayed with
me all year so this had to make the list. I don’t know what else I can say about
this without spoiling it, because like, this has something in it I don’t think a
lot of people know going into it, so until you read it you’ll know what I’m
talking about, and I love that that wasn’t used as a marketing tool for this
book, I was very pleasantly surprised by it. This book was just, uh, it’s just so good, like. People are talking Grey’s Anatomy spoilers here, what? But yeah, if part one
wasn’t such a slog to get through, this might have been higher on the list, but as is, it
is currently staying at number 10. In at number 9 is A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab,
the second book in the Shades of Magic series, and it’s my first time reading
the series in 2019. I have yet to finish the third one, I promise I will do it
soon, because I’m buddy-reading it with Jade, and we started it in October and just
haven’t finished it. So this is about a magician called Kell, and he has the
ability to travel through parallel universes or at least parallel London’s
because there are four London’s in this world. And this is a second book, so, I
haven’t even mentioned the first one. This is already a struggle. Yeah
that is what the main character can do, but in this world there is magic, and
certain people have magic, some people don’t, and yeah this is the second book
in that series. I can’t really explain much. This isn’t the first V. E. Schwab book that
I’ve read, but it’s one of the first ones that I really fell in love with, because
the characters have been more established in this one. I really enjoyed the premise of
this one as well, there is a sort of tournament thing going on in this,
and I do enjoy that kind of trope, as a lot of booktubers do, I’ve realised in
2019, a lot of booktubers love tournament or trial tropes, and I’m one of them. Loud
and proud, boys, loud and proud! But I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this
one as much as I like the first one, but I was so pleasantly surprised by this
one, and I had such a fun time buddy reading this one with Jade as well. Short
chapters and very, punchy. The stakes are a little bit more higher in this one as
well mainly because I have fallen more in love with the characters in this one
so I felt more of the tension, and the more danger that
they were in, the more scared I was getting. It is a great follow-up to A
Darker Shade of Magic and one that I’m so glad I read. I really hope the third one
lives up to this one. Yeah, I guess that’s all I can really say about this one
right now, I guess, like see this is already falling apart. But in at number
8 is a book that I can definitely talk about, and I think a few people will
know that this will be on here, but that is My Best Friend’s Exorcism by
Grady Hendrix. So this book is set in the ’80s and is about two girls, one of
them gets possessed, and the other one has to try and save her, pretty much all
you need to know. I had such a fun time reading this one, it was just so atmospheric,
I was really feeling the ’80s vibes, I love shows like Stranger Things, and I
love ’80s movies as well, and I got these vibes from it.
So I thought was very well-written and my first Grady Hendrix book and he’s
become somebody who I really enjoy reading, I love his writing style, he’s
very funny. There were so many moments in this where I just laughed my head off,
and I love the chapter titles as well, each chapter title is a different
’80s song and of course I was singing along to that, it was just, it was
the best time. But the comedy was very well balanced, I felt there were a lot of
gory kind of moments in this that really made me feel a bit sick, so it
definitely balanced it and I thought it was such a good atmospheric read. This
one did get me a little bit emotional by the end of it, I was really connected
to the characters by that point and I was just really wanting them to get
through this, and to win, and I’m not telling you how it ends or anything, but
I did get emotional. It’s one that has definitely stayed with me as well and I
just, aww I can’t wait until the day where I can re-read this, it’s just so good.
In at number seven is, I think the first ever sci-fi book that I’ve ever read,
and that is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Again, an older book, I think this came
out in 2011, and I just I loved it. I loved the movie, I saw the movie last
year when it came out in cinemas, and I just absolutely loved it. This one was
better, I will give it that, it’s so much better, I’m glad I read it. This one is
set in a world where people live in a sort of virtual reality called the Oasis
and there is a tournament thing going on, see what I’m doing here, the tournament
trope. We follow Wade who enters this sort of competition, and I really rooted for him, I
found him such a likeable character. I was living for the pop culture in this
as well. I’m not usually the biggest fan of pop culture references but when it’s
done as smartly it is, in this book, I really genuinely live for it.
A lot of it was ’80s again. Like my geeky side really came out during this and I loved all the video game references, and films, and music, and all
that. So really really well done, I cannot wait for the next one, I’m sure there’s a
sequel coming. It’s about time. But for sci-fi, that is usually out my comfort
zone, so I was really glad I gave it a shot and I ended up really loving this
one, of course because it’s made the list. Anything with a really good quest I
think I will just genuinely fall head over heels in love with. The only thing
about this book is the writing is teeny tiny, so small, but still enjoyed it. In at
number six is Pet Sematary by Stephen King and I read this one because the movie
was coming out and I wanted to read the book. And I’m so glad I read the book
first, I absolutely love the book, and it made the movie really pale in comparison
to it, like the movie was just not as good as I was hoping it would be. First
time reading this and this is about a family who moved to a house and there is
this really weird cemetery where people bury their dead animals… what can I say
without spoiling it next, there’s really nothing. Like I’m sure you know what the
story is, but I don’t know how to say this summary without spoiling it. A part
of this cemetery brings the dead back to life, so that’s all I’m saying, okay,
that’s all I’m, that’s all I’m saying about the synopsis. But I found this so
atmospheric, this was the first Stephen King book that I read this year,
the only other Stephen King book I read before this was Carrie and that was a
few years back, and so this one was like technically my first Stephen King book
that I really remember reading and enjoying. So I loved this book so much, I
thought it was really well-written, very dark, probably my favourite Stephen King
book so far… there isn’t another one in this list is there? – but I love his writing
style, he can make the mundane seem so interesting sometimes and there was a
lot in this that did feel a bit mundane, but there was enough of the plot to keep
it going and yeah I loved it, I thought it was really good, I was getting annoyed
towards the end with the main character’s decisions, but at the same time it really
helped with with story and a lot of it can be seen a little bit unrealistic,
but I’m not penalising it for that because it really did work my
imagination with this, as well as creeped me out, anything to do with dead animals
really freaks me out and it evokes a lot of emotion in me, so this was very
emotional. It’s gonna be hard to top this one for me, I think, maybe
my tastes in Stephen King isn’t that great, I dunno, but I did love it so
it’s on the list. In at number 5 is A Darker Shade of
Magic by V. E. Schwab, so finally I can talk about this one! I absolutely loved
the first book in the Shades of Magic series, absolutely loved it, I can’t believe it’s
taken so long to read it. As I was saying was A Gathering of Shadows about
it being set in like parallel London’s, this one really introduced the world so
well, I was so intrigued throughout this book, and I’m so glad we got introduced
to really charismatic characters. I absolutely love Kell, I love Lila, I love
Why, oh my god like three amazing characters, absolutely love them, like I
ship all three of them together. I loved reading a book where I just instantly
fell in love with the characters, they were just, aw they were so great. And the
plot just kept moving forward and forward and forward so that there was
never a dull moment in this. I love the magic system as well, I loved Kell being
able to do all this stuff and of course Lila, I think she is such a great
character, their chemistry together, their sort of general banter, and the
way they kind of like butt heads at times, it just, it was great, and made for really
good reading. I enjoyed the villains as well, I thought
they were quite three-dimensional and there was so much going on by the end of
this book, that I think a lot of it was quite chaotic, but the same things
happened for the second book as well and the part that I’ve read of the third
book, happens again, there’s just so much chaos, and chaotic writing, but hey it’s
really well written, absolutely love the characters, and definitely my favourite
Victoria Schwab book of all time so far. There’s still so many that I need to
read yet, but this starts out amongst the bunch so far, like, really stands out. In at
number 4 is A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, this is the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, and I read
this for the catch up book club that was hosted by Becca at Becca and the Books, and I
was so excited to dive into the series. I started reading this before the show
ruined everything really, so I was still excited for this book. I could see just
how well the show adapted this book. The episodes were playing in my head,
there was still a lot more in this of course, because it’s such a chunk of a book,
and these kind of epic fantasies scare me, but I was just finding myself really
loving and being interested in the characters and their perspectives. I
already knew what the story was, I’d seen the show, and I knew
what was gonna happen, but I still found myself really invested and hoping things
would change for some of the characters. I still felt that emotional
investment and, of course, the story I really really enjoy. It’s a bit of a slow
burn for me personally, but there were like several moments sprinkled
throughout to keep the momentum going, whereas I felt, like, later books in the
series had a bit of a problem with pacing, this one I thought was paced
really well – don’t @ me – but I just enjoyed reading this so much. I read this
in four days, I didn’t want to put it down, I was just living. I was loving the
characters, I loved the writing style, I love the different perspectives of it, and
each character did feel different. Definitely my favourite in the Song of
Ice and Fire series so far, probably by a long shot, but there’s just so much
potential with this one with the world, what was to come and I’m still really
forward to the Winds of Winter so this book has set a really good foundation
for this entire world, and, yeah. In at number 3 is Scythe by Neal Shusterman. I love
this book and I’m glad I can explain the plot of this. This is set in a world, like
you’ve already heard the plot from me a million times, but if you’re new here, this
is set in the world where we have conquered death and there are
professional scythes that glean people to help keep the population down. Our two main
characters become apprentice scythes and they love the scythedom ways. I love it.
This is Dystopian which I felt was a genre that died years ago, but apparently
not, this came in and kicked me in the butt. I didn’t realise just how much I
would fall in love with these characters. I really don’t mind the romance in this, I
don’t mind at all. I felt this was so fast-paced and I
loved the writing style so much, even reading the third book, which I will talk
about another time, and that one is huge, well, huge compared the other two, and
that was still a fast paced read because of Neal Shusterman’s writing style. He’s such a
good author, he knows how to hold your interest, even in moments when there isn’t
a lot going on, I was just, oh I was flicking through it like this. The entire
world potential as well is exponential, absolutely love the idea of this world,
and being deadish and not being able to die, being revived and it’s just all that
stuff, just really interests me. I want to see more from this world. I don’t like
the fact that the Arc of a Scythe series has ended now, I want to see more. There was
just enough drama and intrigue in this for me
to call this one of my favourite books, maybe one of my favourite books of all
time. I am totally totally in love with Scythe, it’s just fantastic. One of the
villains in this as well is just so charismatic, rather infuriatingly so, and
I love when we have a villain like that too, it’s just so good. I need to see this
adapted, I really do, but until then I will probably re-read
this like five times. Before I tell my top two, I do want to give an honourable
mention to A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I don’t really want to
add this to the list because it is a Christmassy book, but it is such a
fantastic book that I read, I think for the first time in December.
I lost my December wrap-up footage where I talked about this one, otherwise I
wouldn’t have included it. This one is just an incredibly phenomenal read for
me, I absolutely love Victorian literature and this one just gave me all
of the Christmassy feels. It’s so weird talking about Christmas now, but yeah, I do
just want to quickly shout this one out because I just think it was so great, and
probably one that I want to re-read every Christmas, it’s just, it’s beautiful. Okay,
so in at number two is Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman, yes I’m putting the second
book of Scythe above Scythe. So this one is fresher in my mind than Scythe is so I
don’t know if technically it is my favourite Arc of a Scythe book, but to me I
genuinely love this one. I cannot still get over the ending of it – ooo – the amount of
times I’ve recommended this book series to people and I told them ‘oh my god the
ending of Thunderhead is well worth just picking up the first book for now, just do
it’. The characters, again, I love them, I love that they’re being more established. I
just found so much danger in this one, it’s just dripping with danger.
It continues Neal Shusterman’s epic world vision. Ending=phenomenal, I will
always shout out the ending. I love the introduction of some new characters in this.
And some returning favourites as well, returning characters I didn’t
realise I would like as much until they got some of the spotlight in this. Sorry,
I’ve still got a bit of a cold. Just, oh god, I just love it so much, like what else can I say
about this book? How do people do these top-ten lists, I genuinely do not
know, because I feel like I’m repeating myself. But I loved this book. But yeah
I think it’s my favourite in the Arc of a Scythe series. So my favourite,
favourite read of 2019 is so cliché, yous are gonna hate me, but I don’t care,
because it is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This
was everybody’s favorite book like two years ago, or something. I only got to it
in 2019 for the first time, so, so glad I did. This book, again, is one that stayed
with me. I could not really pick up another book after it because I just, I
couldn’t get out of this world and Evelyn Hugo’s head. It was just, oh, like,
oh my god, Evelyn Hugo is like legit one of my favourite fictional characters of
all-time now. She is somebody who really connects with you as a reader. The writing style of this, again, oh oh oh. I never realised I would love a book as much
as this and I thought when I started reading this, like, oh this is just gonna
be so overhyped and I’m not gonna like this, oh my god, boy was I wrong! This is
about a Hollywood starlet from the 50’s and 60’s and she’s talking about her
career, her life, her personal life, and she tells her story to this nobody
journalist, and we don’t know why she’s telling this particular journalist
her story, but we do start to figure it out towards the end, and I did like that
aspect of it as well. But the main chunk of the story is told through Evelyn Hugo
and what happened in Hollywood back in the day when she was a really successful
actress. Yeah, it goes through these seven husbands that she went through, the
different kind of landmarks of her life. Oh, and like I’ve never read a book like
this, I don’t think, I genuinely haven’t. I took such a huge break from reading
after uni and getting back into reading in 2018 has meant that I’ve been able to
discover gems like this. I think I talked about this so much in my Mid Year Book
Freakout Tag as well, I’m trying to remember what I said about it. This is so
hard, I’ve read like a hundred books since then, how am I supposed to remember? But
characters, absolutely love, writing, love. I can’t wait to read more of Taylor
Jenkins Reid, pretty much all I want to say about it. I want everybody to read this
book, the amount of times that I bought this book for other people is insane, and
there’s more people that I know will love it that I’m gonna gift in 2020, so you
better keep an eye out. Gosh, love it, absolutely love it. I will never stop
raving about this book, ever. So I think that’s all I want to say about my best
books of 2019, sorry it was really shite. 2020 is the year that I get my shit together
reviewing books, a lot of things that I need to start writing down so I can
remember what I want to say about them. Thank you so much for watching, I
appreciate it, and I hope you enjoyed the video. Please leave a little like if you
did and subscribe if you haven’t already. Let me know in the comments what your
favourite book of 2019 was and I will see you in the next video. Bye!

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28 thoughts on “The Best Books I Read in 2019”

  1. Pris Reads a Lot says:

    I fucking wonder what number 1 will be πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  2. Pris Reads a Lot says:

    0:47 Okay this is cheating you little shit πŸ˜‚

  3. Pris Reads a Lot says:

    15:43 Ooooh yessss this book is also very high on my best books list. You should pick up Daisy Jones babe πŸ₯°πŸ–€

  4. Jadeyraereads says:

    HOLD UP – you never finished a conjuring of light?!?!?!

  5. Jadeyraereads says:

    9:10 – my little happy heart is happy

  6. AzNickster says:

    I loved the end of Thunderhead!! It was so good!!!

  7. tracey vince says:

    oh dear another book thats on my kindle being your fave book of 2019 i better get my butt into gear but there are sooooooo many i need to get to. loved the video dying to see what your fave mg books were of 2019

  8. Paige Bernard says:

    I remember living alone (hasn’t changed but still) and squealing my head off at the end of thunderhead! I love all your best books!! 😍😍

  9. Tayler Pryer says:

    The seven husbands of evelyn hugo was my top book as well. It really stuck with me and I kept thinking about it.

  10. Jenn K says:

    That is such a beautiful copy of A Christmas Carol! May I ask which edition that is?

  11. Mayra Barron says:

    I also read A Christmas Carol for the first time at Christmas and will be rereading every Christmas from no on.

    Love your video Gav! ❀️

  12. Melanie HP says:

    Am I the only one who has never watched GOT or read any of the books? πŸ˜…

  13. Basically Britt says:

    So glad you finally read a sci-fi book and enjoyed it!! If you want to read more sci-fi, I highly recommend The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (amazing characters!!), Sleeping Giants, Illuminae, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (SO FUNNY), and The Martian. Lol here I am, giving unasked-for recommendations, but oh well.
    ahhh Scythe is on my 2020 tbr and I'm SO EXCITED TO READ IT OMG

  14. Lilme_78 says:

    Ay one of my top 3 πŸ€—

  15. fannetastique says:

    I feel like almost every booktuber starts their best books video saying this is only the books they read in 2019, and it doesn't contain many 2019 releases, so you're in good company there. πŸ™‚ Looking forward to reading The Binding and the VE Schwab books! (Oh, and I also read a Christmas Carol this year and enjoyed it quite a bit more than I was expecting!)

  16. kjandherbooks says:

    1:10 I really want to read this book! It sounds so freaking good 😍😍😍 I was looking for it today in my local bookshop but I couldn’t find it 😭

  17. kjandherbooks says:

    6:20 I haven’t read Ready Player One yet but I thoroughly enjoyed the movie ! 😍 cue yelling from fellow bookworms because I watched the movie before reading the book

  18. Shreya roy chowdhury says:

    I read Evelyn Hugo last year too and loved it a lot too!
    I also noticed that you have a lot of beautiful editions of books! Your Dickens is especially gorgeous!

  19. susie130 says:

    There's a romance in The Binding? Wow, I really didn't get far enough. Okay, okay, I'll pick it back up.

    I watched Pet Sematary when I was a kid (yeah, I watched a lot of stuff I should NOT have at that age) and I don't know how it didn't traumatize me since I'm so tenderhearted about animals. I can't bring myself to read the book, though.

    I've read The Archived by V. E. Schwab, but I haven't read any of the Darker Shade of Magic series, but it's on my list.

    My favorite book I read last year was A Pinch of Magic, so nothing new for you there. πŸ˜‰

  20. Michelle says:

    I said in a comment on a previous video that I was reading The Binding, and actually finished it yesterday. I'm so happy I picked it up , I absolutely loved it too! And I agree, it definitely got much better from part 2. They were so cute! I did enjoy part one enough to give the entire book a 5star though.

  21. Manda B says:

    I LOVED Evelyn Hugo! I made at least 3 friends read it. πŸ˜‚

  22. Anna says:

    I started reading the binding and got about halfway through before I put it down. But hearing you say that part 2 is where it's at makes me want to pick it back up again.

  23. emmanovella says:

    I've been seeing The Binding everywhere and I'm sure it's been on my wishlist forever because bookish book? hell yes! so seeing all these good reviews I'm DYING FOR IT

  24. Caoilo says:

    I have no interest in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, just not my thing but I think almost all the rest are on my TBR. As I am visually impaired I don't like small print so I will have to get the magnifying glass out for Ready Player One. Actually I have read a Christmas Carol and while I like the main plot of changing Scrooge it was just a bit too sectarian. Yes it is a book about Christmas but it felt void of any other religion. (Do not get me started on Oliver) Lovely cover though. Also just to note that Christmas is actually pagan as in the bible Mary got pregnant on the 8th of December and gave birth around September. The reason we use green, red and white so much is because these were colours used in the winter solstice, it is also why we use holly and mistletoe. (useless trivia for you there lol) Have been wanting to read The Binding for ages.

  25. Ms Richards Reads says:

    Pet Sematary is on my TBR. I've had ADSoM on my shelf for forever. I really need to get on it! That is a gorgeous edition of A Christmas Carol! I'm so glad you loved Evelyn Hugo! It made my list for 2019 too. 😊

  26. What Victoria Read says:

    I’m really glad that you enjoyed all of these!

  27. Jessica G says:

    I love A Christmas Carol. I loved Muppets Christmas when I was a kid and ended up reading A Christmas Carol when I was 10 for the first time, I've read it a few times since then.

    I'm reading Scythe right now and its finally got me out of a major reading slump. I haven't finished a book in months, but I'm almost finished this one. So good.

  28. Ingrid In Neverland says:

    I have The Binding on my TBR. Even more excited to read it now πŸ˜€
    I'm hoping to get to A Gathering of Shadows this month, even tho I didn't love the first one πŸ˜›
    Scythe sounds amazing!!
    YES! Seven Husbands is soooo good! I read it in 2018 I think, but I hope to give it a reread this year πŸ˜€

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