The Best Poetry Books of 2019, recommended by Simone White

New collections of poetry are increasingly pushing the bounds of language and performance in intelligent, creative, perceptive ways, says Simone White, a poet and Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. Here, she recommends some of her favorite poetry books published (or republished) in 2019.

The Best History Books of 2019, recommended by Paul Lay

From the most brutal siege of World War I to the renewed significance of an ideology many of us had dismissed as defunct, 2019 was a good year for traditional history books on big themes. Paul Lay, editor of History Today, talks us through his picks of the best history books of the year.

The Best Climate Books of 2019, recommended by Sarah Dry

In an age when we all need to work together to slow down climate change, which books are the most effective in spurring us to action? Historian of science Sarah Dry, author of Waters of the World, recommends some of the best and most important climate books of 2019.

Editors’ Picks: Notable Books of 2019, recommended by Cal Flyn

Five Books deputy editor Cal Flyn reflects on a year of spectacularly rich literary output, highlighting notable new books from Mary Gaitskill and Robert Macfarlane, as well as sparkling debuts that mark the arrival of exciting new literary voices in 2019.

The Best Kids’ Books of 2019, recommended by Bianca Schulze

While not every book is for every child,  for every child there is a book, says Bianca Schulze, editor and founder of The Children’s Book Review and the author of 101 Books To Read Before You Grow Up. She recommends her pick of the best kids’ books of 2019, all books that will make you ‘feel’ something.

The Best of Nature Writing 2019, recommended by Charles Foster

What do we talk about when we talk about nature? Almost everything, says the academic and bestselling author of Being a Beast, Charles Foster. Here he selects five of the best works of nature writing in 2019; books that seek to connect us more deeply with the non-human world.

The Best Crime Fiction of 2019, recommended by Val McDermid

It’s been a great year for crime fiction – with soaring sales and global bestsellers emerging from writers all over the world. Crime writing is rightly in the ascendancy, says the celebrated Scottish novelist Val McDermid as she selects the best crime fiction of 2019: five books that stand as great novels in their own right.

The Best Economics Books of 2019, recommended by Diane Coyle

The urgency of the challenges facing society has led to a wonderful supply of books by leading thinkers on a variety of pressing topics. Economist Diane Coyle, a professor at the University of Cambridge and co-director of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, recommends her top five economics books of 2019.

The Best Philosophy Books of 2019, recommended by Nigel Warburton

We live in a golden age for philosophy books that are accessible to a wide audience. In the pages of even quite short books, we can find new ways of reflecting on who we are and how we should conduct ourselves in the world, as well as learn more about the brilliant thinkers who trod these paths before us. Our philosophy editor Nigel Warburton talks us through some of the best philosophy books that came out in 2019.

The Best Self-Help Books of 2019, recommended by Oliver Burkeman

The self-help genre is sometimes dismissed as simplistic or over-earnest. But, at their best, self-help books offer powerful insights into how to live. Oliver Burkeman, the Guardian columnist and author of The Antidote, recommends five of the best self-help books published in 2019.

The Best Nonfiction Books of 2019, recommended by Stig Abell

Every year, the Baillie Gifford Prize judges seek to identify the very best nonfiction books published in the last year. Here, the chair of this year’s judging panel Stig Abell talks us through the 2019 shortlist: a thrilling line-up of books that are as notable for their literary prowess as for their weight and significance.

The Best Political Books of 2019, recommended by John Harwood

With the 2020 presidential race underway and a possible impeachment of President Trump on the horizon, 2019 has been an action-packed year so far in American politics. Here to discuss five new political books that break down how we got to where we are is CNBC editor-at-large John Harwood, whose razor-sharp analysis has put him at the forefront of our television screens and the nation’s political discourse.

The Best Indian Novels of 2019, recommended by Rana Dasgupta

India has a thriving literary community working in 22 official languages plus English, says Rana Dasgupta, the literary director of the JCB Prize: a major award for the best new novel by an Indian author. Here, he talks us through their 2019 shortlist.

The Best Fiction of 2019, recommended by Peter Florence

Each year, a panel of esteemed judges reads over 100 novels to determine which titles will vie for the award of the Booker Prize for Fiction. Peter Florence, chair of the 2019 judges and founder of the famous Hay Festival, tells us why the books on this year’s shortlist are gripping, enthralling must-reads.

The Best Thrillers of 2019, recommended by Anthony Franze

Looking for a pacy, suspenseful thriller that keeps you racing through the pages? Look no further. Anthony Franze, author and coordinator of the International Thriller Writers’ annual awards, talks us through some of the books that made the shortlist for the best thrillers of 2019.

The Best Poetry to Read in 2019, recommended by Jamie McKendrick

Looking for recent collections of poetry to read this year? Longtime Faber poet and virtuosic translator Jamie McKendrick recommends the five best poetry books he’s read in the last year, from a peculiar book of grief by Anne Carson to a long-awaited volume by Michael Hofmann.