All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

My Best Books Of 2019 (Top 10 Tuesday 31st December)

Best lists are a tricky beast because I read so many wonderful books it can be hard to narrow it down to a list that doesn’t just go on forever. But for my best books of 2019, there has to be something about them that sticks in my mind, that singles them out. This post is also doubling as my Top 10 Tuesday December 31 post (hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl) where the topic is Top 10 Reads of 2019. I actually have slightly more than 10….but it’s fine.

These are in the order I read them, not actual preference.

The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper. Her non-fiction is just….incredible. This was about some of the horrific fires of Black Saturday 2009 in Victoria and it’s rich with the details of some of the stories of those that lost their lives or that were close to people that did. It was also the first book I read in 2019, so it was a powerful way to start the reading year. My review.

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Oh wow, this book. This was a 10/10 read for me and heck we all know I give them out almost not at all. The writing is amazing, the story is phenomenal and the ending is just….something that I still think about. And I read this in January. My review.

No Friend But The Mountains by Behrouz Boochani. This is another 10/10 read for me and is my Book of the Year. This was written by a Kurdish refugee seeking asylum in Australia, confined on Manus Island. He wrote it on WhatsApp in Farsi and sent it to his translator. It’s very poetic and the sheer task of translating that into English and keeping the integrity intact must’ve been a task. It was admirably done. It highlights with unflinching realism how horrifically people have been treated by this country’s government, just for daring to come here. My review.

What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume. The summer Aussie YA I’ve always wanted to read with a plus-sized main character and a super cute love interest who is hot for her the way she is. My review.

The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan. The second in the Cormac Reilly series, about a detective in Ireland who took a demotion and is regarded with suspicion by most of his work colleagues. This book involves his partner in a crime and these books are just so good. I can’t wait for more. My review.

Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee. A memoir detailing one woman’s fight for justice in her case against someone who sexually molested her. Bri Lee works as a judge’s associate in a Queensland – both regional and metropolitan. She sees her boss, known affectionately as “Judge”, deal with a lot of sexual assault cases and a large amount do not result in convictions. This was very confronting with a lot of painstaking research but also raw emotion as Lee came to terms with her own status as sexual assault victim and her quest to have her voice heard. My review.

Vardaesia by Lynette Noni. I ended up loving this series so much! Each new book just built on the world and the story in such interesting ways and I really liked the characters. This finale was really well done and it was such a satisfying journey. My review.

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth. Sally Hepworth is just the master of a family drama. Her portrayal of complex relationships is so clever and her books are impossible to put down. My review.

The Place On Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta. Melina Marchetta is my Queen. It’s impossible for me not to love her books and I especially love Francesca Spinelli, Tom Mackie, Jimmy Hailler and Tara and Justine and Will. These kids have gone from high school students thrown together to adults who are a family. I love them ALL. My review.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. I absolutely loved this – it’s about two people who share a one bedroom flat but they’ve never met. One works nights and sleeps in the flat during the day. The other works days and sleeps in the flat overnight. They start leaving little notes for each other and eventually….things happen. This is cute AF and weirdly, I never wrote a review of it.

The Island Of Sea Women by Lisa See. This was such an amazing story about a matriarchal society living on Jeju, an island off the coast of South Korea. The women in the society are basically free divers, training from a young age to hold their breath and dive to deeper and deeper depths to harvest the sea while the men stay home and look after the children. It was amazing – moving through WWII and Japanese occupation. My review.

The Forgotten Letters Of Esther Durrant by Kayte Nunn. A brilliant dual timeline book about a young woman committed to a mental asylum by her husband in the 1950s after a loss and a woman in 2017 taking up a new career posting to a remote island off the coast of Cornwall. Incredibly engaging. My review.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. Possibly my romance of the year – this book is amazing in 5,000,000 different ways. A Hispanic First Son of America and a very British prince who cause a scene and are then told by their respective minders that it’s time to make nice….and they discover that under that animosity that actually kinda like each other a lot. This is amazing. 1,000,000 more like this would be fab. My review.

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves. This is the first book I’ve ever read by Ann Cleeves, although she’s a prolific writer with several series’ even having been adapted for television. This is the first in a brand new series featuring a detective who fled his overly religious family some 20 years ago. He’s now working in his home town although his rejection of his family’s religious lifestyle means he’s basically invisible to them (as does his choice of partner). This was good and I am eagerly awaiting the next one. My review.

Guest House For Young Widows: Among The Women Of Isis by Azadeh Moaveni. A divisive book, I have no doubt. This tells the story of some of the {young} women who were lured to join a new Muslim caliphate. In some cases, they were as young as 15 and married off almost immediately to ISIS soldiers. A lot of them are widows, some have been widowed more than once. And now the debate rages about what to do with them. My review.

I Am Change by Suzy Zail. This was amazing, a YA set in Uganda and the struggle of a young girl to be able to just go to school and complete her education and the struggles of a mother who wants a traditional life for her, to preserve her culture (even facets of it that are now illegal) and a daughter who just wants to write and be something other than a wife and mother. My review.

The Queen Of Nothing by Holly Black. Yasss. I love this whole series. My review.

The Only Plane In The Sky: An Oral History Of 9/11 by Garrett M. Graff. This was so good. It’s just so simple – the story of what happened to each person on 9/11 from people who worked in the Twin Towers, first responders, loved ones who lost people either in the towers or those who were on the planes. It’s in chronological order from the early morning onward and it is pure story, no politics. My review.

2019 had a lot of memorable books – I have a few dozen more I could probably list as honourable mentions but that would make this post go on forever. I just decided to be a bit ruthless and stick to the ones that I felt really stood out, or that I felt changed my reading landscape.

Hope you all read many, many wonderful books in 2019 and here’s to more of the same in 2020!