Share The Best of 2019: The Top 10 Book Lists of the Year

The Best of 2019: The Top 10 Book Lists of the Year

We are passionate readers who love nothing more than discovering fantastic books and sharing them with friends. We recommend books that move us to laughter and tears—and everything in between. Trust us when we say, "You've got to read this!"

Ah, the thematic book list. Nothing makes up leap for a new read like discovering a gem hidden in a historical fiction round-up or psychological thrillers listicle. This year, we even explored new sub-genres like domestic thrillers, historical fantasy and mystery, dysfunctional family dramedies, and even books Stephen King has blurbed. Here are just 10 of our favorite book lists we ran on Off the Shelf this year.


11/22/63
by Stephen King

14 Books You Wish You Could Read for the First Time Again

The plot twists. The swoon-worthy language. Witnessing the origins of a literary great. You probably felt these things (and more) upon reading your favorite book for the first time ever. If you could relive such a reading experience, which book would you choose? We recently asked our Facebook audience (that’s you): If you could, what book would you read for the first time again? We were overwhelmed with your replies (and equally inspired come up with our own). From world-shattering books like the Harry Potter series to classics like CATCH-22, your choices were representative of your amazing literary tastes and voracity for cultures, genres, and different perspectives. Here are some of the books you chose.

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11/22/63
Stephen King

“Regardless of what genre of literature one prefers, 11/22/63 comes down to this: it is a gripping, harrowing, tragic, and beautiful story about love, memory, evil, and how the best of intentions can go awry... This is King for the faint of heart, for the history buff, for the romantic—for everyone.”

Read the full review here.

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MENTIONED IN:

The Best of 2019: The Top 10 Book Lists of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2019

Readers’ Choice: Our 10 Most Popular Books in October

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 25, 2019

On the Road: 5 Books That Took Me Coast to Coast This Summer

By Amy Cardoza | October 8, 2019

11 Groovy Books That Will Transport You Back to the ‘60s

By Hannah Schaffer | August 16, 2019

14 Books You Wish You Could Read for the First Time Again

By Off the Shelf Staff | July 31, 2019

What to Read Based on Your Favorite “Twilight Zone” Episode

By Kerry Fiallo | April 1, 2019

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Goodbye, Paris
by Anstey Harris

A Cozy Winter Getaway: 9 Perfect Novels You Need to Bring

Everyone is a little different when it comes to vacation reading; some of us prefer more serious, emotional stories, and others want to dive into funny, warm-hearted tales of love and friendship. While we can’t promise a plane ticket or a luxury getaway in the sun, these books will make you feel like you’re in another world, whether you’re cozying up in a ski cabin or hitting the beach. There is something for everyone. So, pack your bags, and don’t forget your books! Or your toothbrush.

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Goodbye, Paris
Anstey Harris

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MENTIONED IN:

Strength & Resilience: 7 Books with Characters That Rise Out of Isolation

By Holly Claytor | May 28, 2020

10 Refreshing Books About New Beginnings

By Alice Martin | March 25, 2020

10 Uplifting Reads to Get You Through the Depths of Winter

By Keturah Jenkins | February 5, 2020

The Best of 2019: The Top 10 Book Lists of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2019

6 Must-Read Books New in Paperback This October

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 14, 2019

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We Are Not Ourselves
by Matthew Thomas

Stephen King Recommends: 14 Books He Wants You to Read

It is well documented here on Off the Shelf that I am a Stephen King fanatic. Exhibit AB, and C. I will read anything he writes—and anything he recommends.  And he recommends a lot!  Just as he is a prolific writer, so too is he a voracious reader.  His reading tastes are varied, from mystery to graphic novels to literary fiction to memoir. When he loves a book, he isn’t shy about telling the world and using his influence to help spread the word about great writers.  Here are 14 amazing books from Stephen King’s reading list to dive into.

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We Are Not Ourselves
Matthew Thomas

The promise and tragedy of post-war America is charted in this riveting portrait of an Irish-American family as they chase the American Dream. It is at once expansive and exquisitely detailed, but what readers will remember most is the huge heart at its core. It heralds the arrival of a major new talent in contemporary fiction and is destined to be an American classic.

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MENTIONED IN:

Readers’ Choice: Our Top 25 Most Popular Books of the Year!

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 30, 2019

The Best of 2019: The Top 10 Book Lists of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2019

Readers’ Choice: The Top 10 Most Shelved Books in April

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 26, 2019

Stephen King Recommends: 14 Books He Wants You to Read

By Sarah Jane Abbott | April 12, 2019

Readers’ Choice: The Top 25 Most Shelved Books of All Time

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 29, 2019

8 Books to Read Based on Your Favorite TV Shows

By Tolani Osan | October 4, 2018

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Watching You
by Lisa Jewell

7 Domestic Thrillers to Binge-Read Right Now

The more thrillers I read, the more I notice the truth about intrusions: the closer to home, the deeper the terror. As an observer, intrigue quickly follows: how might someone change their behavior, confront their fears when routines crumble? The smallest deviation seems to pull events, motives, and reality into question, psychological underwire lacking a tangible source. In a suburban thriller, the likelihood of the community’s having a connection to a victim is more probable, often upping the stakes. Use these seven thrillers to immerse yourself in lives that appear ordinary until they’re not, and let me know if you agree.

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Watching You
Lisa Jewell

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Books With Striking Green Covers to Read This St. Paddy’s Day

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 17, 2020

6 Books So Compelling We Almost Missed Our Train Stops

By Off the Shelf Staff | February 24, 2020

Readers’ Choice: Our Top 25 Most Popular Books of the Year!

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 30, 2019

The Best of 2019: The Top 10 Book Lists of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2019

7 Domestic Thrillers to Binge-Read Right Now

By Sarah Woodruff | September 6, 2019

Readers’ Choice: Our 10 Most Popular Books in August

By Off the Shelf Staff | August 30, 2019

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The Book of Essie
by Meghan MacLean Weir

11 Books That Are Guaranteed Page-Turners

Stuck in a book rut? Can’t seem to get through that 500-page brick you cracked open months ago? We’re here to remind you that reading doesn’t have to be a slog. In fact, every book on this list is an undeniable, unimpeachable, unputdownable page-turner. Whether it’s a poignant, unsettling vision of the future or a breathless, literary picture of the past, these books promise to be chock-full of stay-up-all-night plots, must-read insights, and discussion-worthy characters.

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The Book of Essie
Meghan MacLean Weir

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MENTIONED IN:

The Best of 2019: The Top 10 Book Lists of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2019

11 Books That Are Guaranteed Page-Turners

By Alice Martin | October 21, 2019

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The Wolf and the Watchman
by Niklas Natt och Dag

9 International Thrillers to Sink Your Teeth Into

Have you binge-watched shows like Killing Eve, Bodyguard, and Broadchurch? The fun doesn’t stop there. Discover a world of international thrillers where a variety of intriguing protagonists solve crimes or bear witness to insurmountable chaos across the globe.

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The Wolf and the Watchman
Niklas Natt och Dag

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MENTIONED IN:

The 10 Most Popular Books We Added to Our TBR This August

By Off the Shelf Staff | August 31, 2020

8 Unsettling Historical Thrillers That Will Haunt You Until the Last Page

By Maddie Ehrenreich | August 11, 2020

The Perfect Blend: 12 Book and Tea Pairings

By Sarah Jane Abbott | February 25, 2020

The Best of 2019: The Top 10 Book Lists of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2019

Readers’ Choice: Our 10 Most Popular Books in November

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 29, 2019

Books and Brews: 7 Books to Read While Enjoying Your Favorite Beer

By Amy Cardoza | October 24, 2019

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Caleb's Crossing
by Geraldine Brooks

12 Historical Novels to Transport You to Uncommon Eras

Every history buff has their favorite eras of study. I basically collect novels, nonfiction books, documentaries, and stories of colonial America, but I know there are innumerable fascinating eras that I should learn more about. In this collection of historical fiction novels, I explore brilliant literature that takes place in uncommonly explored time periods. From the Ice Age to biblical times and beyond, these vivid novels will effortlessly transport you across history and open up the world for you.

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Caleb's Crossing
Geraldine Brooks

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MENTIONED IN:

The Best of 2019: The Top 10 Book Lists of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2019

12 Historical Novels to Transport You to Uncommon Eras

By Kerry Fiallo | January 30, 2019

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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
by Fredrik Backman

The Mister Rogers TBR: 10 Books You’d Find in the Neighborhood Today

Fred Rogers famously hosted Mister Rogers’  Neighborhood for 31 seasons. The program, aimed toward children ages two to five, was known for addressing difficult issues in a way that children could understand and for Mister Rogers’ calm demeanor. Rogers decided early in the show that he wanted to be himself, and spent the program talking directly to viewers. Rogers taught the audience about kindness, friendship, and that all of us have value, no matter where we come from or what we’re going through. Luckily for us, the upcoming Tom Hanks film, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, promises to bring Fred Rogers back to our screens. In honor of this exciting and heartwarming movie, we’ve put together a list of books we think Fred Rogers would’ve been proud to have in the neighborhood.

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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Fredrik Backman

This warmhearted love letter between a granddaughter and her grandmother explores big emotions with wisdom and charm.

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MENTIONED IN:

Reading Resolutions: 10 Books We Want to Read in 2020

By Sarah Walsh | January 2, 2020

The Best of 2019: The Top 10 Book Lists of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2019

The Mister Rogers TBR: 10 Books You’d Find in the Neighborhood Today

By Carrie Cabral | November 18, 2019

6 Fredrik Backman Books to Fit Your Every Mood

By Ariele Stewart | June 3, 2019

Readers’ Choice: The Top 25 Most Shelved Books of All Time

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 29, 2019

6 Comforting Reads That Remind Us of Our Favorite Holiday Dish

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 10, 2018

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Clock Dance
by Anne Tyler

9 Beautiful Novels That Will Inspire You to Be a Better Person

No matter how old you are, or where you may be in life, there are always possibilities, second chances, new paths, and old loves to be rediscovered. Below are nine of our favorite books that we think will inspire you to dust off that unfinished manuscript, paint your next masterpiece, reconnect with that friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, but more importantly, to live in the moment.

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Clock Dance
Anne Tyler

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MENTIONED IN:

The Best of 2019: The Top 10 Book Lists of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2019

Readers’ Choice: Our 10 Most Popular Books in October

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 25, 2019

9 Beautiful Novels That Will Inspire You to Be a Better Person

By Keturah Jenkins | October 7, 2019

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Giovanni's Room
by James Baldwin

8 Books We Can’t Stop Thinking About

We wouldn’t be doing our jobs as Off the Shelf recommenders if we didn’t share the books we obsess over long after we’ve turned the last page. For your perusing pleasure, here are a few books we highly recommend you add to your shelf.

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Giovanni's Room
James Baldwin

Read a Classic by an Author of Color

Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin’s now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.

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MENTIONED IN:

The Best of 2019: The Top 10 Book Lists of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2019

Paris Je T’aime: 6 Books for Francophiles

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 6, 2019

8 Books We Can’t Stop Thinking About

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 9, 2019

10 Books That Are Small But Mighty

By Sarah Jane Abbott | September 21, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Reading Your Way Through Paris in 15 Books

By Julianna Haubner | April 3, 2018

The 5 Best Books I Read Last Year

By Allison Tyler | December 13, 2017

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