My Top 10 Books of 2019

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2019 has been a wonderfully busy, varied reading year. Both my English Literature course and feminist book club have pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to try something new. At the same time, the inspiring community of book bloggers continues to keep reading exciting – I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!

So without further ado, in no particular order (because I am extremely indecisive!) my top 10 books read in 2019 are:

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt Book Cover
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1) The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Synopsis: Donna Tartt’s masterpiece The Goldfinch follows the story of Theo. Aside from his recently-gone-AWOL father, Theo is a relatively normal New York schoolboy. That is until his life is irrevocably shattered at the age of thirteen when he loses his mother in a suspected terrorist attack at a museum.

As a cast of wayward characters makes their way into and out of Theo’s life, he clings to the art his mother loved as a way of maintaining a connection with her. However, this remnant of stability will also be shaken when the art he treasures so much draws Theo into a spiral of criminal activity.

Read if: You want to be absorbed by an encompassing emotional epic.

Full review here.

Book versus film article (written for the City Girl Magazine) here.

Bridge of Clay Markus Zusak Book Cover Image
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2) Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

Synopsis: Of the ‘young and story-hardened’ Dunbar boys, it is Clay, the fourth of five brothers, with the most moving stories of them all. When their estranged father returns to enlist help to build a bridge, Clay is the only volunteer. He becomes obsessively absorbed in the task – it is clear that, for him, the project means more than just a bridge. The secret to why Clay is building lies in the tide of Dunbar past…

Read if: You want to be moved by a timeless story of familial love.

Full review here.

The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron Book Cover Image
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3) The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron

Synopsis: Do you often find yourself over-stimulated when out in the world and long for the comfort of home? Are you strongly affected by other people’s moods? Do you consciously avoid violent films, TV shows or books?

If so, you may be what Elaine Aron calls an HSP (highly sensitive person). And you’re not alone – apparently, we make up 20% of the population! Her book is aimed at helping HSPs to survive in a competitive, demanding world where sensitivity is often viewed as a weakness.

Read if: You want an informative yet warm insight into the trait of high sensitivity.

Full review here.

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier Book Cover Image
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4) My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

Synopsis:

“Someday, somehow, I would repay my cousin Rachel.”

Ambrose has been like a father to Philip, raising him single-handedly ever since the death of his parents. They live undisturbed on their Cornish estate, surrounded entirely by men – not even a female housekeeper. So when Ambrose travels abroad for his health, only to send word he has fallen in love and married, it is understandable for Philip to be jealous.

His feelings of hatred towards this woman only increase when Ambrose dies in Italy, with his new wife by his side. Philip is left the grand estate, but no chance to say goodbye. However, this bitterness soon alleviates upon meeting Ambrose’s widow, the beautiful and enigmatic Rachel. He may be falling for her. And that may be exactly what she wants.

Read if: You want to be brought to the edge of your seat by an enigmatic psychological drama.

Full review here.

circe madeline miller book cover image
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5) Circe by Madeline Miller

Synopsis: Circe, daughter of Helios, is born with the voice of a mortal without the glow of a god. Shunned by her nymph family, she observes from a distance the gods’ cruelty and greed. When a defiant act of compassion leads to island exile, it is here that Circe finds the freedom to shape a self outside of her divinity.

More than a goddess, she is Circe, witch of Aiaia…

Read if: You want to be entranced by an empowering adaptation of Ancient Greek myth.

Full review here.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie Book Cover Image
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6) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Synopsis: Shortly after confessing to a close friend that she is being blackmailed, Mrs Ferrars is found dead: the police conclude it was suicide. The case takes a much darker turn when that same friend is found murdered in his own study.

An unassuming newcomer to the village seems the last person the police will call upon for help. He spends his days fondly tending a vegetable patch. However, this newcomer is not your average hobbyist gardener, but a retired detective going by the name of Hercule Poirot…

Read if: You want to read a thrilling ‘whodunnit’ that boasts the mother of all plot twists!

Full review here.

this is going to hurt adam kay book cover image
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7) This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay

Synopsis: This Is Going to Hurt is the diaries of junior doctor Adam Kay in the years before he leaves medicine, disillusioned by the gruelling hours, bureaucracy and lack of support. The diary entries document the funny and heart-wrenching anecdotes from his medical career, showcasing the best and worst of humanity along the way.

Read if: You would like to read a medical memoir that is as poignant as it is hilariously funny.

Top Ten Funniest Moments here.

 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern Book Cover Image
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8) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Synopsis: Les Cirque des Reves, or Circus of Dreams, can only be entered between sunset and sunrise. Until one evening when it will disappear as suddenly as it arrived, only to reappear in another city, another country. The acts are familiar – acrobats, fortune tellers, mirror mazes, illusionists – but not as they have been seen before.

The performers seem to belong to another world, one where the boundaries of reality widen. When dark occurrences begin to blight the circus, an unprecedented force at its centre is finally revealed.

Because the circus is not the event – it is only the venue…

Read if: You are in need of a fantasy world that you can sink into and savour.

Full review here.

Wide Sargasso Sea Jean Rhys Book Cover Image
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9) Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Synopsis: In Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys images a prequel to Jane Eyre, centred on one of the novel’s marginal characters: Bertha Mason. Set in the sensuously beautiful islands of the West Indies, the story follows Bertha from her traumatic childhood to her ill-fated marriage. Who is Bertha Mason? What made her mad? And is there more to her story than Rochester reveals?

Read if: You want a fresh perspective on an infamous, proto-feminist classic.

Questioning the Canon post here.

 

The Unexpected Joy of Being Single Catherine Gray Cover Image
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10) The Unexpected Joy of Being Single by Catherine Gray

Synopsis: When she feels her life becoming overwhelmed by endless scrolling through dating apps, Catherine Gray decides to take a year-long break from dating. In The Unexpected Joy of Being Single, she shares the emotional ups and downs during the year, plus words of wisdom from psychologists to pop culture icons.

Read if: You need some encouragement to embrace single life.

Full review here.

 

 


Have you read any of these books? What was your favourite read of 2019? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you!


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10 thoughts on “My Top 10 Books of 2019

  1. The Goldfinch, Circe, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd… We might share the same taste for books. Haha 🙂 I like your list although I have not read some of the books here like Wide Sargasso Sea. It is a book that I am very excited to delve in. Perhaps 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you found such a variety of books to love in 2019, I hope 2020 brings even more new favourites your way. I’m definitely hoping to read The Night Circus & Circe this year. Hopefully I’ll get around to reading a couple of the others mentioned here too.

    Liked by 1 person

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