The Best Book(s) We Read in 2019

Woman Reading with TeaLooking for a book to read over the winter holidays? Look no further! Thanks to your fellow CS-SIS and AALL members, here’s a list of the 20 best fiction and non-fiction books they’ve read this year.

Wherever possible, I’ve included links to the book titles at Powell’s, my local independent bookstore, but of course I recommend checking your local library to see if they have a copy to check out.

Happy reading! Let us know in the comments what your favorite read of 2019 was, or tweet with us at @cssis and use the hashtag #amreading.


  1. Chances Are
  2. City of Girls
  3. Daisy Jones & The Six
  4. A Dangerous Collaboration
  5. Dark Age
  6. Emergency Skin
  7. Evvie Drake Starts Over
  8. The Lager Queen of Minnesota
  9. The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy
  10. Mrs. Everything
  11. My Sister, The Serial Killer 
  12. November Road
  13. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
  14. Patron Saints of Nothing
  15. Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy Series, Book 4)
  16. The Servant of the Crown Mystery Series
  17. Summer Frost
  18. The Testaments
  19. Washington Black
  20. Where the Crawdads Sing


  1. Catch and Kill
  2. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
  3. Educated
  4. The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life
  5. Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History
  6. The Furious Hours
  7. How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
  8. How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States
  9. Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of the View
  10. The Library Book
  11. Midnight in Chernobyl
  12. Powerful Teaching 
  13. Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, A Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship
  14. Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power
  15. Save Me the Plums
  16. So You Want to Talk About Race
  17. The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death, Decay, and Disaster
  18. Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy
  19. Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries
  20. Year of Yes

Thank you to Susanna Marlowe, Margie Maes, Christine George, Savanna Nolan, Mary Whisner, Alyson Drake, Jennifer Allison, Becky Mattson, Debbie Ginsberg, Jessica Pasquale, and our anonymous readers for their suggestions!


Assistant Director, Research and Instruction, at Boley Law Library, Lewis and Clark Law School, in Portland, Oregon.