Admittedly, my Goodreads Reading Challenges have been rather hit or miss over the last few years. Sometimes the year just runs away with me and, before I realize, December comes creeping around the corner and I’ve only managed to reach half of my reading goal I so valiantly (and optimistically) set for the year. On the rare occasion though, I’ll end up reaching my goal of books read for the year, and then the real celebratory boasting may commence. Que, my smug self casually dropping into conversation that I’ve read X number of books this year.
This year I’m proud to boast that not only did I reach my goal to read 20 books, but that for the first time on record I actually managed to beat it *insert epic air punch here*. Now whether this was because we had a bumper year of really stellar books published in 2019 or because I got hooked on a delightfully delicious fantasy series towards the end of the year, is not really the important bit. Oh no no, the high that will be seeing me over the finish line of 2019 is having read 21 really good books – here are 5 of my absolute faves:
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens:
I LOVED loved this book and I’d have to say that it was definitely my top read for 2019. Picking this one up on a whim, I did not expect it to grab me as quickly and convincingly as it did. The story follows a young girl, Kaya who grows up in the swampy marshlands of Northern Carolina. Lacking in any formal education and living hand to mouth, Kaya is shunned by her surrounding community and lives a reclusive life. That is until the towns golden boy is found dead in the middle of the marshlands, and the townspeople have only one suspect in mind.
While the story itself is intriguing and attention-grabbing, what really makes this story something special is Delia Owens writing style. Her writing comes alive in such a rich and subversive way that, as the reader, you feel as though you’re in the middle of the swamplands along with Kaya. The story arch is wonderfully etched out and the ending was truly satisfying.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris:
While I was a tad late to discover the heart-wrenchingly beautiful tale that Heather Morris offer in this story, I’m so glad that I found my way to this book. Based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, The Tattooist of Auschwitz gives a glimpse into the lives of those living the hellish nightmare that was WW2. While there have been (and will continue to be) books published covering this subject, what makes Morris’s contribution so special is the character that is Lale. Even though the worst imaginable times of his life, he maintains a steadfast and unwavering determination to survive while fighting for the love he unwittingly discovers during this time.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides:
Who doesn’t love a good psychological thriller?! And this one surely delivers on all the twisty turns that go hand in hand with a ‘whodunnit’ storyline. The story begins when Alicia Berenson, a talented artist with a seemingly perfect life, is found guilty of shooting her photographer husband five times before she turns entirely mute, refusing to give any explanation for her actions. Locked away from prying eyes in an asylum, Alicia becomes nothing more than an infamous, gossipy mystery topic until criminal psychologist Theo Faber agrees to take her on as a patient. Determined to solve the case once and for all, Theo will venture down his own dark and perilous path that will keep you guessing until the very end.
This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay:
Whether you’re a non-fiction aficionado or entirely new to the genre, this little gem will have you racing through its pages with ease. Having worked as a junior doctor on the wards of Britain’s NHS hospitals, Adam Kay recorded all his experiences in several diary entries over the course of seven years. Through this collection of entertaining, occasionally unbelievable, and most certainly heart wrenching accounts, you’ll most certainly develop an entirely new appreciation for anyone working in the medical profession.
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass 2) by Sarah J. Maas:
This series is no newcomer to the young adult game. It already has a cult following and passionate fandom and, luckily for me, all the books are readily available. The first book in the series can be described as a necessary evil but, thanks to a fantastic last chapter and epilogue, I was completely hooked. This second book has been my favourite by far (I’m currently reading book five so this could change) and Celaena Sardothien is just a true kick-ass heroine. The world is jam-packed with action, assassins, political intrigue and steamy romances to boot. While I’m looking forward to powering my through to the end, I’m slightly concerned about leaving this epic universe behind.
So it goes without saying that 2019 was a great year for books across the board. I’ve been so optimistic going into 2020 that I’ve up the ante and increased my reading goal to 25 books for 2020 – here’s hoping I make it *fingers crossed*. What were some of your highlights for 2019? Maybe I’ll find my next favourite amongst them!