Believe it or not, we are just about over halfway through 2019. So far it has been a fantastic year for book releases. Though highly-anticipated releases from established authors such as Ann Patchett, Stephen King and Emma Donoghue remain on the horizon, 2019 has already produced enough great books to keep any reader busy for the rest of the year. According to me and my own personal preferences, the following are the five “best” 2019 releases I’ve read…so far.

Normal People by Sally Rooney follows the complicated on-again-off-again, friends-with-benefits relationship of two young people as they transition from their teen years to university to adulthood. The novel explores themes of love, class and the messy nature of relationships. The writing is fantastic, the characters are believable and it is well deserving of its critical acclaim. 

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid was not a book I was expecting to enjoy as much as I did. The unconventional storyline, which rapidly drifts back and forth between a number of character perspectives, chronicles the rise and fall of a fictional '70s rock group. By the end, you’ll have a hard time believing that this is fiction. Complex characters, sex, drugs and rock & roll, as well as a strong sense of time and place, make this a decidedly fresh read. I’d suggest trying it in audiobook format as it is filled with piles of talented voice actors, including several that you may recognize.

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding, a domestic thriller with a bit of a paranormal/horror thread, follows a woman named Lauren, a new mother to twin boys. She’s struggling with sleep deprivation and has little in the way of support. One night in the hospital, she is visited by a bedraggled homeless woman who appears to have her own set of twins. The mysterious woman wants to make a baby trade and becomes irate when Lauren refuses. Was this bizarre incident real or imagined? Lauren is unsure, but weeks later, when she discovers that her babies are suddenly not her own, she is certain that something sinister occurred. As the reader, you have to decide -- is this post-partum psychosis or is a creepy folktale come to life?

The Naked Truth by Leslie Morgan is a memoir that follows the author’s first year as a mid-life divorcee. Determined to reclaim her self-esteem and romantic optimism, she decides to jump head first into the no-strings-attached dating world. Self-deprecating, steamy and frequently cringe-worthy, Morgan’s exploits make for entertaining, witty reading. That being said, it’s not all fun and games; the author has more low times than high times and the reader if frequently left wondering whether her journey will end in emotional self-destruction. This book won’t be for everyone but if you are looking for candor, look no further. 

A Good Wife by Samra Zafar is an inspiring memoir about a woman overcoming her abusive marriage. Suddenly married to a stranger at seventeen, Samra Zafar left behind her family in Pakistan and moved to Canada with her new husband and his family. But the marriage soon turned toxic, and after years of abuse, she hatched an escape plan. If you enjoy memoirs written by individuals who have triumphed in the face of adversity, this is a good one.

These five titles can be borrowed from your branch of the County of Lennox & Addington Libraries. Reserve them at your local branch or online by clicking here or on any of the titles above.