As you might guess, I read compulsively. I’ve taken a look back at my reading (60 books so far this year) during 2019 with help from my Goodreads account and here are ten of my favourite books of the year. They’re not all recent releases, as books often wait in my Towering To Be Read Pile and because I’m still working my way through the 501 Books to Read Before You Die List. If you want to buy a book for somebody as a gift this year, or you want to treat yourself, I’d recommend any of these books. If you order through the links provided below a tiny fee is paid towards supporting this blog.
If you’re not a reader, or prefer posts about unusual words, don’t worry normal service will resume next Monday.
They’re listed in random order. I can’t rank books, I love them too much.
Godsgrave – Jay Kristoff
Book 2 in the Nevernight Chronicles. The first book was “Harry Potter meets assassin school” but now our heroine is qualified and on a mission which puts her undercover as a gladiator. Luckily she has some magic up her sleeve. I adore this series.
Crown of Swords (Book 7 in Wheel of Time Series) – Robert Jordan
I read books 4-8 of this series this year. Epic fantasy in a medieval style world with plenty of magical creatures and quests. Along with strong male characters we also have feisty female characters from queens to village healers to leaders of rebel magic organisations. Crown of Swords is the 7th book and well worth a look.
Mistletoe and Murder – Robin Stevens
I read this one so I can “book chat” with my 14 year old daughter. Suitable from age 10 up but good even for adult readers. If you love Agatha Christie-era detective fiction mixed with boarding school stories you need this series in your life. Hazel and Daisy (the school-girl detectives in 1930s England) are in Cambridge this time and solving murders amongst the stone spires and Christmas joy of the university.
Off The Rails – Christopher Fowler
The aging detectives Bryant & May and the rest of London’s Peculiar Crimes Unit are back on the case – this time with strange goings on in the Underground train system. If you love London, clever crime fiction, and wit – this series is perfect.
The Trespasser – Tana French
Tana French’s work reached a wider audience with the recent BBC-RTE-Starz version of “Dublin Murders” and this one features the same detective. I hadn’t read her work before and am delighted to jump on the band wagon. Murders, contemporary Dublin, tough cops, and messy home life – what more could you want?
Vikings – Neil Oliver
I was researching Viking words for a forthcoming book this spring and used this book. It takes a broad look at Vikings from Russia to Vinland and covers hundreds of years. It is easy to read but rich in detail and knowledge that will be new to most readers.
Shadow of Night – Deborah Harkness
Book 2 of the All Souls Trilogy. This series has been referred to as Twilight for Adults as it features vampires and romance but I enjoyed the academic and wicca elements she weaves in. The best of the three books is this one, in my opinion, because the two leads time travel back to Tudor London. Book 1 has already been a big hit on Sky One tv. Books 2 & 3 will follow (release date unconfirmed as at Dec 2019).
84 Charing Cross Road – Helene Hanff
if you love books and bookshops this is an essential read. True story of when a witty American reader corresponded with a stiff-upper-lipped English bookseller. Short but perfect.
Stardust – Neil Gaiman
A deceptively simple tale of a boy on a quest to catch a fallen star and win his lady. He crosses into a strange world and finds it might be his real home. Fantasy from a master.
How To Get Your Name In The Dictionary – Grace Tierney
Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Apple Books / Kobo
Inspired by this blog, a fun journey through the lives of the people who gave their name to the English language. From apgar to zeppelin with stops for casanova, guillotine, sandwich, and cardigan, each one of them lived an extraordinary life. Packed with wordy trivia and perfect for history buffs.
Right, that’s enough book chat. Next week I’ll be back with strange and unusual words. Wishing you happy reading in 2020.
Until next time happy reading, writing, and wordfooling,
p.s. this post contains affiliate links which make a small payment to the blog if you choose to purchase through them. #CommissionsEarned. Alternatively, you can use my digital tip jar to say thanks for this year’s words.
p.p.s. You can read about my 2018 Books of the Year too.