2019 wasn’t the best year. Not reading-wise and not in general. But here we are. A new year with new possibilities. And I just want to close up the previous one. So without further introduction. Here are my 10 favourite books of last year.
Mythos by Stephen Fry (read in January 2019)
If you know my reading taste, you’ll know I’m a sucker for anything that looks and sounds myth-like. I’ve loved The Song of Achilles and Circe and when I heard about this book, I immediately knew I wanted to read it.
I love Stephen Fry. He’s such an interesting and funny person and I could honestly listen to him talk for hours on end. Reading this book felt like he was telling me about these mythical characters. He’s so present on the page, his humor and wit shine through all the way through until the last page.
He writes as he talks. I could hear his voice in my head as I was reading. His little jokes made me laugh out loud several times.
Really enjoyed it! Will pick up the next book (Heroes) soon!
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Read in March 2019)
A lot of people have “Daisy Jones and The Six” on their favourites list but I prefer Evelyn Hugo. I flew through this book. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, but it was gripping and I enjoyed reading it.
Even almost a year after reading it, I still can’t tell you whether I liked Evelyn or not. She’s not a very likeable person… but you’re part of her story after reading it. So hating her is more difficult than you’d think.
Flight to Arras – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Read April 2019)
Yes, the guy who wrote The Little Prince. He actually was a pilot during the second word war.
This book is “A recollection of the shattering days during World War II when, though the fall of France was imminent, a handful of French pilots continued to fight on against the Germans.” (thank you Goodreads…)
This book took my breath away… literally… The way he describes flying over a burning France was heart-breaking. It’s weird to say a book is “good” when it’s describing actual events that are so awful. But man, this book was so beautiful. For about half of it, I genuinely thought I had found my new favourite book of all time. But then it got a bit preachy and that ruined it for me. Still, if you get the chance to read this, please do.
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman (Read April 2019)
Such a funny book! And really smart too. There’s not a lot I can say about it really. If you like funny stories about angels and demons and misplaced Anti-Christs, this is the book for you.
I have watched the TV-series and absolutely loved it. It has made the story and bit more up-to-date, to match the standards of today I guess. It has David Tennant in it… need I say more?
Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun by Guillermo Del Toro & Cornelia Funke (Read June 2019)
I’ll admit, I shed a little tear when I got this in the post. I was incredibly lucky to receive an ARC of this book. The moment I got it, I immediately started reading. I think I reread the first page at least ten times because it was so beautifully written. I think I even read it out loud to my husband (who at that point probably thought I had lost my mind).
Pan’s Labyrinth is one of my all time favourite movies. I love the dark fairy-tale / historical vibe and when I discovered they were publishing the story in book-form, my heart jumped out of my chest (luckily for me, not literally this time).
I loved reading this book, even though I knew exactly what was going to happen. They have added details and backstory and I love, love, loved it.
If you haven’t seen the movie, and even if you have, read this. It’s so beautiful.
Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan (Read September 2019)
And now, for something completely different.
My colleague at work recommended me this book and I’m so happy I picked it up.
It’s a story about not being satisfied with your current situation and choosing a radically different route. And yes, there’s some romance in it as well. Maybe it’s not the best romance book out there, maybe the story wasn’t that new or surprising but I really enjoyed reading this. Sometimes you just need something that warms your heart. Right?
Chocolat by Joanne Harris (Read September 2019)
I had picked this one up aaaaages ago because I remembered loving the movie. By the time I read it, I barely even remembered the movie and I think that was a good thing. This book was amazing.
It has magic in it and strong women and it managed to create this atmosphere of French cosiness with a chocolatey coating. It was so much better than what I remembered seeing on tv. The main-characters (who are mostly female) are all wonderful and even writing this down makes me want to pick it up and read it again.
I’m so happy I finally read it. It was absolutely brilliant!
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Read September 2019)
September really was a great reading month. Probably the best I had all year.
This is the first of Colson Whitehead I’ve read. I have The Underground Railroad sitting on my shelf and I’m hoping to get to it this year!
This book is based on true events and knowing that what you’re reading really happened, makes it all so much more painful. There’s so much pain in this book. It’s truly horrendous and still, I couldn’t stop reading. Colson Whitehead is a master among storytellers. He weaves the narrative carefully and then flips everything on its head. The ending managed to surprise me (something that rarely happens these days) and I remember rereading the last couple of sentences before the epilogue again and again. Just to make sure that I really understood what they meant.
Such an amazing book by and amazing writer!
Heartstopper I & II by Alice Oseman (Read October 2019)
I bought the first volume on my solo birthday trip to London and devoured it in my hotel room. Of course I had been a complete idiot and hadn’t figured out that this wasn’t the complete story until I finished volume I. I was devastated!
So the next day, in St Pancras Station, about an hour before I was going to take the train home, I bought the second volume. (You can’t imagine how happy I was that they still had a copy!) I read it while waiting for the Eurostar to arrive and eventually got on the train with a massive smile on my face.
This is, without a doubt, the cutest story I’ve ever read. I love these characters with all my heart and I’m very impatiently waiting until February 6th for the next volume to come out. #allofthehearteyeemojis
The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Read October 2019)
This book was published in 2007 and I’ve been wanting to read it ever since. Well, I say reading, but there aren’t any words in this book. Just pictures.
When I found it at my local library, it was the Dutch version. By that I mean that it had the Dutch title on the cover and that didn’t matter at all because like I said. There are no words inside. So this probably was the cheapest book ever to translate…
If you ever find this book. Please read it. It won’t take you very long and it doesn’t matter which language you speak because the story is universal. It made me cry, laugh, cry some more. The drawings are so incredibly beautiful.
Please, please, please. Read this. Then we can cry about it together.
And that’s it. Those were my favorite books of 2019. Have you read any of them? Did you like them too? What’s your favorite book of last year?
I wish you all a great reading year. Have fun!