It’s that time of year again! Cooler weather, freshly baked cookies, warm cider and spiked eggnog. But most importantly, it’s time for your holiday vacation. 

And whether your holiday vacay means slowing down with a blanket by the fire in a log cabin, or basking in the sun on the Mediterranean coast, there’s one component you’ll want to make sure you have: a good book.

Here is our list of the 5 best books of 2019 that we think you should read before the year is up.

1. Normal People, by Sally Rooney

If there’s ever a perfect time for a love story, it’s the holidays. But Normal People is not the love story you’d expect. Sally Rooney, at only 28 years old, created a beautiful story of two people who fall in love and end up on different paths, weaving through life’s challenges of destruction, experience, and even pure joy.

This is a story of two people who keep finding each other, regardless of how far life pulls them away from one another. Whether it be fate or pure chance, Rooney sends the readers on a journey of love lost and found again. This is a book you’ll zoom through on vacation, and one you’ll be talking about throughout 2020.

2. The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

If you’ve been looking for a book that is important, enlightening, and a page-turner to keep you guessing around each corner, you’ll be grateful you chose The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Coates is known for his non-fiction bestsellers, but this is his first piece of fiction. The story follows Hiram, the son of a mother who was a slave and his father who was the plantation owner in Virginia. Coates’ writing blends reality with fantasy, which makes this story not just enlightening, but captivating. 

3. City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert is best known by most for her first novel, Eat Pray Love. With her newest book, City of Girls, Gilbert paints a story of scandal, sex, and New York City excitement. 

If you’ve ever wanted to escape into a story of a girl who gets a fresh start in a big city full of opportunity and new chances, you’ll find magic in City of Girls. Vivian is the main character, a girl in the 1940’s who goes through tragedy and finds herself in NYC. Finding herself doesn’t come without heartache, though. You won’t be able to put this book down, even if you’re on the vacation of a lifetime.

4. Little Weirds, by Jenny Slate

Jenny Slate was first discovered after her YouTube character Marcel the Shell went viral. She then became one of Saturday Night Live’s most beloved comedians and Parks and Recreation’s favorite guest star.

In her debut book, Jenny Slate writes short stories and personal essays that reflect her beautiful but strange humor that everyone has fallen for. She heads to her hometown after a painful divorce, and there she finds answers to some of life’s weirdest questions.

Slate’s thoughts on pain, life, and love will make you feel fully alive again, even after having to return back to work once the holidays are over.

5. After the Flood, by Kassandra Montag

This is our most action-packed book on the list, so it’s a must-read for lovers of adventure and suspense. After the Flood is set about a century from now, after the world has started to fall underwater in massive floods. 

The story follows a mother, Myra, and her daughter, Pearl. Myra’s older daughter was taken from her back when the floods first started to rise, and in an encounter with a random stranger, she learned that her daughter could still be alive.

Together, Myra and Pearl set out to not just find her first daughter, but to survive in this new world. If you’re looking for a suspenseful page-turner for your holiday vacation, After the Flood is the perfect choice for your next book!


Have you read any of these books, or plan on reading one over the holiday? Let us know in the comments below!

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