Today I thought I’d share with you my favourite books of 2019. It was a big reading year for me, I managed to read 42 books, so it seemed only right to share my favourites to give you some inspiration if you’re looking for something new to read.
My 10 Favourite Books of 2019
I think I can safely say this is my ultimate favourite from last year. I actually listened to this book on Audible but I enjoyed it so much I went out and bought the paperback to keep as well. The story follows Marrianne and Connell as they grow up and navigate an on-again-off-again relationship through their late teens and into young adulthood. What I like about this is that in some places it is funny and in others it had me tearing my hair out thinking “why won’t they just get together”? I recommended this to my friend and she rang me straight after listening to it because we both had so much to talk about and needed a full debrief. I’m very intrigued by the new BBC adaptation that’s now available to watch too.
I’ve mentioned this book before but it’s stand out read for me from 2019. The novel follows Circe, a minor goddess in Greek mythology. I love reading anything mythological or about the ancient classics so this was right up my street. What I love most about this is how the passage of time is portrayed. The basic premise is that Circe is banished to an island for aiding her traitorous uncle, Prometheus. As Circe is immortal, you read about her day to day experiences of performing menial tasks, yet at the same time it feels like hundreds of years are passing in the blink of an eye. Such a wonderful read, and great to read a female perspective of a Greek myth, as usually they focus absolutely on the male experience.
I read The Island by Victoria Hislop in 2019 but this, her most recent book, really stood out to me. Hislop’s style is usually to explore the lives of people living abroad, often Greece or Spain, during a conflict. Those Who Are Loved follows the life of Themis and her family from the time of World War Two, and the German occupation of Athens, right through to the Greek Civil War. This book was amazing, it was action packed but there was a real focus on family dynamics, how they changed over time and how conflict and war can have a huge impact on people’s relationships. I tore through over 400 pages in 2 days so its a real page turner, one of my ultimate favourite books of 2019.
If you’ve not heard about this book then you must have been living under a rock. I suspect this will be in many people’s favourite books of 2019 round up. It’s the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale and therefore sheds some light on the questions we’re left with after the first book. Written decades after the original story I was worried it wouldn’t work, but actually The Testaments is fantastic. It is written from multiple perspectives and at first you’re unsure of who is revealing all of these secrets about the inner workings and power struggles from within the dystopian setting of Gilead. If you’ve not read this duo I would highly recommend them both!
Queenie was another Audible listen for me and I loved it. It follows Queenie’s struggle of being a woman in her twenties trying to navigate the breakdown of her long term relationship. Queenie goes down a path of self destructive behaviour and we see how her relationships with friends come to be so important. This book touches on lots of themes including race, gender and family, it is at times heartbreaking but also completely hilarious! Definitely worth a read.
I think the word to describe this book is clever. If you’ve never read any of Gaiman or Pratchett’s work before it’s hard to explain, but this book is hysterical. From the characterisation of Death himself, to the asides as though the authors are talking directly to the audience, “now watch closely here reader”. This book features the anti-christ, a baby swap and a very dry sense of humour from everyones favourite “angel”, Crowley. It’s hard to explain, just read it, I doubt you will regret it.
This autobiography is incredible. Michelle Obama talks about her life right from childhood, though her college and professional years and including her time at the White House and beyond. I can’t express what a strong woman she seems to be. From the south side of Chicago, she is an example that anything is possible if you want to achieve it. She forged an amazing career in law before become FLOTUS alongside her husband, Barack between 2008-2016 and she talks openly about how she found the whole experience. She doesn’t shy away form sharing her opinions and I would recommend this book to anyone, the audiobook is read by Michelle herself so it really helps get the emotion across.
I read this book back at the start of 2019 and it was the book that reminded me that I love novels. It ‘s a real page turner, the opening page sees a family home burnt down and everything thereafter works backwards to give you the circumstances leading up to this happening. This book, despite being a bit of a mystery, is also hard hitting and focusses on the themes of class, pregnancy and the relationship between parents and children. A quick and relatively easy read.
This novel is written in letter format. It follows the correspondence between Juliet Ashton, a London based author and Dawsey Adams, a complete stranger from Guernsey. The book details how the people of Guernsey dealt with German occupation during the war and Juliet finds herself increasingly drawn to the island and it’s people. This is such a fun book, it’s got a dash of history, it’s a story within a story and the characters are all fantastic.
So there you have it, those are my favourite books of 2019 all wrapped up for you. Let me know in the comments what the best book you read in 2019 as I’m always after recommendations.
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