My Top Books of 2019

So this is coming to you a little late, given that it is now April, but I promise it’s worth it. We took a little foray last time into more lifestyle related matters, but this week we’re back talking books! So without further ado, here are my favourite books of 2019!

In 2019, I read 32 books out of my target of 50 books. I was a little disappointed, but, as I was ill from August (this will be covered in my next post on my journey with IBS), I’m still pleased with the number of books I read! So without further ado (and in no particular order as it was too hard to choose!) here are my top 10 books of 2019:

1. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

This is the first in Robert Galbraith’s (or J.K Rowling) four part series following the private detective Cormoran Strike. Having watched the BBC series Strike, I decided to give this a go, especially as I attended a crime writing workshop at the end of 2019, and was amazed! As I will get into later, I’ve never actually read the Harry Potter series, so wasn’t sure I would get on with Galbraith/Rowling’s style, but I actually loved it. The characters were fledged out, the writing was gritty and sexy and the plot engaging. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

2. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

The much anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. Much as I loved the book and the first series of the Hulu show, I wasn’t that enamoured with subsequent series, so I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book. I shouldn’t have had any doubts. Atwood’s world of Gilead remains hauntingly well-rounded and convincing and the following of three narratives in the story gives you a multitude of views of that world. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

3. Sex Power Money by Sara Pascoe

I loved Pascoe’s first book Animal and was so excited to see she was releasing a second, especially as it was accompanied by a series of podcasts with a variety of guests. Pascoe has clearly done her research and this is the perfect read for any feminist! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

4. The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory

This is probably the ‘trashiest’ of my top reads and I wouldn’t normally pick a Gregory among my top books of a year, despite having loved Gregory’s work since I was 11, but here it is! I actually picked this book, not necessarily because of its literary worth, though it feels a lot more historically accurate and less sex scene driven than her other works, but because it got me out of a reading slump. I was lucky enough to go on a cruise last year as a French teacher and between juggling my responsibilities there, enjoying the new country I was visiting and still maintaining freelance work with crappy (though miraculous) WiFi, I was finding it hard to find time to read. A friend I made on the cruise had brought this with her and gave it to me once she finished and once I started , I could not stop reading. Compelling and full of really interesting character studies of historical figures that we don’t often hear about. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

5. Halifax and Titanic by John Boileau

Another read from my cruise trip! We visited several cities on Canada, including Halifax and I didn’t realise how closely linked it was to the story of the Titanic. I reckon few people know that many of the bodies were brought back to and buried in Halifax and after visiting the maritime museum in Halifax, I had to find out more. And this book delivered just that, full of personal stories of the Titanic victims. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

6. Harry Potter: A History of Magic by The British Library

Okay, so confession time. I haven’t actually read the Harry Potter series, but am an avid fan. I have seen all the films, read the first book and listened to all of Stephen Fry’s rendition of the audio books multiple times. As I am also a bit of a history buff (as you can probably see from my other top picks of 2019), I was disappointed not to be able to attend this exhibition, so I was delighted when this book came out! With pictures of the exhibits and plenty of interesting information about the history that inspired the series, it’s a must read for Harry Potter fans. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

7. The Sawbones Book by Justin Sydnee McElroy

I love the Elroy’s podcast and tune in enthusiastically every single week. This book gives you an overview of all the gruesome and fascinating parts of history covered by the series. The only slight disappointment was that it clearly wasn’t very well proofread! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

8. A Little Love Song by Michelle Magorian

This is one of my all time favourite reads and in 2019, I reread it for probably the 15th time. If you want an in-depth review, you can check out my review on goodreads (Verity Roat), but suffice to say this rereading did not disappoint! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

9. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

This was another reread, as I was writing an academic literary guide on it, but it was as brilliant the second time and I read it in probably half the time. A complex story following a young man who witnessed a tragedy that influences the rest of his life, circling around a famous painting. Clear your schedule, you’ll need a long time to read this hefty tome, but it’s worth it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

10. Feminist Don’t Wear Pink Ed. By Scarlett Curtis

A fantastic collection of essays by a variety of female celebrities, talking about the various facets of feminism. A worthwhile read for any woman in this turbulent climate. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m actually surprised by the number of non-fiction books that made this list. I usually think of myself as an avid fiction reader, but obviously the nonfiction I read last year had a huge impact on me! How was your year in reading in 2019? Tell me in comments or on social media!

Published by verityroat

Verity Roat BA CANTAB MA TRANSLATION CIOL Career Associate is a UK-based Arabic and French > English translator, Copy-writer, Copy-editor, Transcriber, Role-player & Tutor.

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