Blog 10 best-selling books in 2019

10 best-selling books in 2019

2019 was an exciting year: we launched our online bookshop Books + Cardamom! In the six months since we exist, we made people happy with our high-quality, captivating, informative and haunting diverse books. To close this year, we made a list of the best-selling books in 2019. Have you read all of them? If not, it’s still 2019 so get your hand on the beautiful titles below! And don’t worry, we’ll still be selling them in 2020.

  1. I Was Told to Come Alone

This book making it to the #1 position of our best-selling books in 2019 makes us, Middle-East Button to buy I Was Told to Come Alonepassionates, so happy. I Was Told to Come Alone is a must-read! Souad Mekhennet is able to travel where most journalists can’t go: behind the lines of jihad. Through her encounters with ordinary citizens in the MENA regions, members of terrorist groups, and intelligence services she tells us why 9/11 happened, why the Arab Spring failed, and why turmoil continues in one of the most complicated parts of the world.

Buy the book here: Dutch and English.

  1. It’s Not About the Burqa

While the Netherlands imposed a burqa ban in 2019, resulting in increased violence in the streets Button to buy It's Not About the Burqaagainst Muslim women, Books + Cardamom customers decided to inform themselves. It’s Not About the Burqa is a story-collection of voices you won’t see represented in the national news headlines. Seventeen Muslim women speak frankly about the hijab and wavering faith, about love and divorce, about feminism, queer identity, sex, and the twin threats of a disapproving community and racism.

Buy the book here.

  1. Homegoing

Homegoing is a family history starting centuries back. Gyasi shows how slavery, war and liberation have Button to buy Homegoingmoved people across the globe. And she shows how, unintentionally, people find their way back to each other. What makes this book special is that Gyasi tells history through the people who lived it, and from a perspective that does not easily find its way into Western history books.

Buy the book here: Dutch and English.

  1. Celestial Bodies

As Oman is one of the most beautiful countries we’ve ever travelled to, we couldn’t be more happy to see Button to buy Celestial Bodiesthis book do so well. Jokha Alharthi is the first Omani woman to have a novel translated into English, and Celestial Bodies is the first book translated from Arabic to win the Man Booker International Prize. Three women and their families witness Oman evolve from a traditional, slave-owning society slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to the crossroads of its complex present.

Buy the book here.

  1. Americanah

Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel about two young lovers in Nigeria, race identity, migration, and Button to buy Americanahsexuality was also a best-seller on Books + Cardamom. Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today’s globalized world.

Buy the book here: Dutch and English.

  1. The Parking Lot Attendant

Nafkote Tamirat’s debut novel made it rightfully into our 10 best-selling books in 2019 list. The Parking Button to buy The Parking Lot AttendantLot Attendant is a haunting story of fatherhood, national identity, and what it means to be an immigrant in America today. Above all, The Parking Lot Attendant explores how who we love, the choices we make, and the places we’re from combine to make us who we are.

Buy the book here.

  1. A Road To Damascus

Perhaps the ongoing protest in Beirut, Lebanon this year, sparked an interest into the country among Button to buy A Road to DamascusBooks + Cardamom readers. Meedo Taha’s A Road to Damascus is a captivating thriller that reveals a family’s intergenerational secrets, a nations deepest fears, and an underground world of politics, religion, and society. A feature film adaptation of the book is currently in development. Stay tuned!

Buy the book here.

  1. Exit West

Exit West is a 2017 novel by Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid. The main themes of the novel are Button to buy Exit West emigration and what is means to be a refugee. A young couple, Saeed and Nadia, who live in an unnamed city undergoing civil war have to flee, using a system of magical doors, which lead to different locations around the globe. In 2019, Exit West was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Award and the attention around it made it one of our best-sellers this year.

Buy the book here: Dutch and English.

  1. Guapa

Guapa tells the story of Rasa, a gay man living in an unidentified Arab country. In the course of 24 hours Button to buy Guapawe learn about what is means to be gay in a country where this is criminalised, against the back drop of the Arab Spring that wasn’t an Arab Spring.

Buy the book here.


  1. The Shadow King

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste was published 2019. If not the beautiful cover, the Button to buy The Shadow Kingwonderful story attracted many readers this year. At the surface, The Shadow King is historical fiction set mostly in the 1935-1936 period in Ethiopia when Italy’s leader Mussolini invaded. Maaza Mengiste takes us back to the first real conflict of World War II. She casts light on the motivations, sorrows, and ambitions of people on both sides of the conflict, in particular of the women soldiers who were left out of the historical record. To further promote this beautiful novel, it’s our top pick for December and January!

Buy the book here.

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest