Top 10 favourite books of 2019

I managed to read 40 books this year, well above 2018’s total of 27. Hoping for getting through even more in 2020.

Here are a list of my top 10, appearing in the order in which I read them:

Perhaps the best post-apocalyptic novel I’ve ever read. A realistic, but at times hopeful, take on what would happen if a pandemic ever caught the world unaware.
I’d never read any Joe R. Lansdale books previous to this, and now have a lot of catching up to do.
The Bottoms is narrated by Harry, an old man reflecting on his life as a boy growing up near Marvel Creek, Texas, when a series of murders began in 1933; a time when the outcome of the Civil War hadn’t yet impacted all of the southern States and when the KKK still held sway over
even murder investigations.
Joe R. Lansdale books make up 20% of this year’s Top 10, and with good reason. As punchy and quip-filled as any Elmore Leonard book, Savage Season is the first in a series of stories featuring Hap and Leonard, two unlikely friends caught up in a get-rich-quick scheme
which keeps twisting and turning.
JPod follows a group of J-name tech industry co-workers who support/endure each other through their collective idiosyncrasies. Easily the funniest book I read this year.
A call to action from the everyday monotony we all go through at times–perhaps to excess–this book invites us to strive to see the exceptional, even the beautiful, in the mundane.
One of four non-fiction books in my top 10 this year, which, being a pretty hardcore fiction guy, I never would’ve expected. This book is part history, part investigative work and part biography of Susan Orlean herself. Engagingly written, it’s the opposite of how so many may have approached the material. I can’t recommend this one enough.
As someone who too often treats getting enough sleep as a bonus and not a necessity, I was smitten with this book from page one, where it offers a no-holds-barred list of everything that lack of sleep can do to your body and mind. Dr. Walker makes his case plainly and powerfully for everyone to understand. Something everyone should read.
My family and I read this as we did a road trip to Prince Edward Island (the setting of the book). This is one of those novels that I’ve had decades of my lifetime to read but never have, thinking it would be dull and and effort to read, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Simply excellent
from cover to cover.
My wife had been on me for years to read this series, and when I finally did, I was only disappointed that I hadn’t done it earlier. Riordan manages to be thoroughly engaging, and clearly well versed, through series after series of kid/teen books where gods (of many cultures) are real and the youth who connect with them must help them overcome challenges that will mean the survival or destruction of the world. This is the book that starts it all.
A call to action for everyone who find themselves rushed and overwhelmed–too often willingly–in a world that never stops wanting more and more of our attention. Holiday makes solid arguments, using real-world examples, for why and how to act to defend against that expectation and pressure for each of mind, body and spirit. An excellent read for anyone, but particularly those feeling too often like they’re not getting out of life what they seem to be putting into it.