Here are my candidates in for favorite/best contemporary fiction read in 2019-drawn from all such books I READ this year, regardless of publication date. There are books, such as Daisy Jones & the Six that could be “historical fiction,” but feel too contemporary for that–in large part due to my own age. Then too there are books, like the Poet X, that some would call YA. I’ve started to despise that label because it seems like a “grade level” ranking to me. A sweet romance told through letters written by an older debut author–swoon! Last, there are books in translation that could be in a class of their own. How do I pick one favorite?
I liked six of these books so well–though ANY of them really could be called my favorite–that I’ll list them below. I nearly had to draw a title out of a hat to get a winner. (You can click on the linked titles below (and at the bottom of this post) to read my reviews.
- Poet X
- Daisy Jones and the Six
- Convenience Store Woman
- Meet Me at the Museum
- Red, White, and Royal Blue
- Traveling Cat Chronicles
My Favorite General/Contemporary Fiction Choice of 2019
This book, created like a documentary film, was so compelling, so believable, that I had to constantly remind myself that this was fiction! That to me is fabulous storytelling. Whether you agree with calling it contemporary fiction or think it should be historical fiction due to the era of its setting really doesn’t matter. “Fiction” is a category. I listened to the audiobook and loved every second of it. The audio of Lincoln in the Bardo was praised for being so “innovative” using a full cast of voices–this book’s audio version did it way better! I really want this to become a movie–done as a “mockumentary” but serious–a fictional documentary if you prefer. Those of us who remember Fleetwood Mac before they were synonymous with the Clinton campaign song, who remember the Eagles, ABBA, and others love this book. I expect to hear someone has created an album for this book–that’s how real it is.
Taylor Jenkins Reid is a new-to-me author–her previously best-known book is the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo–and while it looks like her backlist could be lighter fare than Daisy Jones or Evelyn Hugo, I hope to read all of her books. She has become a must-read for me with this one, single, fabulous book.
Daisy Jones and the Six: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Links to my reviews of the other books in this post:
- A Woman is No Man
- With the Fire on High
- Book of Unknown Americans
- The Flatshare
- The Library of Lost and Found