My Top 20 Favourite Fiction Read in 2019!

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I read so many books in 2019 (375 of them to be exact!) that I couldn’t narrow my favourite books down any further than my Top 40. Yesterday I posted the first part of my countdown of favourite books read 2019 and today I’m so happy to share the Top 20. This list is counted down from 20 to my number 1 book of the year!! 

Click on the book’s title if you’d like to know more or to read my review! 🙂

 

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver

This was a really intense read, one that invaded my dreams and haunted me as I was reading it but it’s such a unique novel and one that has stayed with me that it absolutely had to be in my Top 20 books of the year!

Senseless by Anna Lickley

I read this book earlier in the year and I still remember it really clearly, it’s such a brilliant novel and features characters with disabilities in such a real way. I hope more people pick this book up in 2020, I recommend it!

Louis and Louise by Julie Cohen

This is such a good novel that begins with a baby being born and what follows are alternating chapters where in one timeline the baby was born male, and in the other born female. We see how things are different for them and I found it fascinating and such a good read.

Baxter’s Requiem by Matthew Crow

This is a gorgeous novel following a teenage boy who isn’t sure where he’s going in life and an older man who wants to make peace with his past. It’s such a beautiful novel and one that I still find myself thinking about.

Song of the Robin & Reunion by R. V. Biggs

This is a slight cheat as I’ve put both of R.V. Biggs novels here but they are the first two in a series so I’m allowing myself the cheat! I’ve never been able to put into words what these books meant to me – it was one of those serendipitous happenings where a book found me at the exact right time and I just adored it.

The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North

I read a lot of thrillers and because of that I usually see what’s going on early on but this book blew my mind! I got so engrossed in the story and I had no idea how it was going to end. It’s a brilliant psychological thriller and I highly recommend it!

Still Lives by Maria Hummel

This is a great crime mystery novel but it’s also a book that really made me think about the way we view female murder victims, and how often they get lost in the story of who killed them. This book really made a mark on me and it’s one I keep thinking about.

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

I loved this book, it’s such an engrossing story following various characters in the aftermath of an explosion. It has so much depth and is a really affecting story.

Death and Other Happy Endings by Melanie Cantor

This is a gorgeous, life-affirming novel and one that I know I will re-read at some point.

Amazing Grace by Kim Nash

This is another gorgeous novel that I really connected with. It made me tearful at times but mostly it made me smile and left me feeling all of the feels!

The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood by Susan Elliot Wright

I read this book in one sitting as I just got so wrapped up in the story of Cornelia. It’s beautifully written and utterly heartbreaking but I absolutely recommend it.

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce

I read this book earlier in the year but it’s really stayed fresh in my mind. It’s such a good thriller but it’s also such a good exploration of how society treats women who aren’t perfect. I loved this one and can’t wait to read whatever Harriet Tyce writes next!

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This was one of the most hyped books of this year and I’m so pleased to say that it absolutely lived up to the hype for me!

The Blue Bench by Paul Marriner

This is such a stunning and moving book, I loved every single minute that I spent reading it. I’ve since bought the audio book and am thinking of re-reading it in that format in 2020.

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean

I devoured this book whilst sitting in the garden in the sunshine this summer and I got completely lost in this novel. It still haunts me, it’s such an incredible read.

The Conviction of Cora Burns by Carolyn Kirby

I read this book earlier this year and it’s really stayed with me. I often think about Cora Burns and wonder about her, and that’s the mark of a wonderful novel for me.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

I love The Handmaid’s Tale so had been eagerly anticipating this follow-up ever since it was announced. As soon as my pre-order arrived I started reading and I got completely lost in the pages. I loved this book, it was everything I hoped it would be.

A Modern Family by Helga Flatland

This had to be high on this list because it’s such a brilliant and incisive look at sibling relationships and it really did make me think. The book is really well-written and has stayed with me ever since I finished reading it.

 

 

And I simply couldn’t pick between the following two for the number 1 spot so my joint favourite books read in 2019 are:

 

 

 

Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech

I adore Louise’s writing and always look forward to a new book from her. This one was a bit different but I loved it. This book haunted my dreams, it really got under my skin and I still find myself thinking about it. If you haven’t read this one already then I highly recommend you put it at the top of your 2020 reading list!

Ideal Angels by Robert Welbourn

I read this book early on in 2019 and I’ve kept thinking about it ever since. It’s a book that felt different to other things I read this year and it’s one that I’ll never forget. This is a dark read at times but it’s still one that I recommend. It’s a stunning book!

#BookReviews: Then She Vanishes | Miracle Creek | Clear My Name | The Poison Garden

mini reviews

Here is another selection of reviews of the books I’ve been reading over the summer!

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Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas

I’m such a big fan of Claire Douglas’ novels and so was really looking forward to this one – I can honestly say that it’s her best yet! Heather and Jess were best friends as teenagers until the night Heather’s sister Flora disappeared. Now Jess is accused of murder and Heather has come back to find out what has happened. This book has such great and believable characters, plus a plot that has you reading just one more chapter (and then one more and one more) until you turn the final page. It’s such an in-depth book that you want to know more about the characters but the storyline is so twisty that you find you can’t stop reading until you know how it’s all going to turn out. I loved this book and keep finding myself thinking about it and wondering how the characters are now. I definitely recommend this one!

 

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Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

This is a book that I picked up on a whim and I’m so glad I did as it’s such an excellent novel. This is a book that hinges around an horrific incident at the Miracle Submarine (a pressurised chamber that allegedly helps treat autism and infertility). It’s partly a courtroom drama but it’s also a character study following multiple people in the lead up to and fallout from the accident. You really get into the mindset of everyone and why they have done the things they did, and how they feel in the aftermath. I found this such an engrossing novel – one that I wanted to read slowly… but also quickly to know what happened. The writing it stunning and I can’t wait to read more from this author in the future! This is a book that has really stayed with me and I think it’s one that I will re-read.

 

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Clear My Name by Paula Daly

I’m such a fan of Paula Daly and have loved all her books to date and this new one is no exception! The novel follows Tess who works for Innocence UK as she looks into the possible wrongful conviction of Carrie – a woman convicted of killing her husband’s mistress. Carrie says she didn’t do it and Tess is determined to find the truth. This book really tense at times and is a definite page turner! I went back and forth over whether I thought Carrie was innocent, and I was suspicious of other people who perhaps had a motive for murder but I was never sure. This is a thought-provoking novel and one that you’ll be thinking about long after you’ve turned the last page! Clear My Name is a novel that kept me on my toes and I very much enjoyed it!

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The Poison Garden by Alex Marwood

Alex Marwood is another of my favourite authors so this book was one of my most anticipated for this year. I was thrilled when I finally got hold of a copy and am happy to say that it lived up to all my expectations! The way this book opens is so disturbing and visceral but it really sets up the story that is to follow in such a way that you don’t want to stop reading. The novel follows multiple characters and goes back and forth in time gradually building up a picture of what led to the novel’s opening but also what happened afterwards. It’s a slower-paced thriller which works perfectly as you find that you want to get to know these characters and how they became who they are. Alex Marwood’s novels always unsettle me and leave me pondering on things and this book is no different, I love how she keeps me enthralled even when I want to look the other way. Her writing is so dark and brilliant, I love it! I highly recommend this book!

A Brand New Book Haul (Stacking the Shelves 8 Jun 2019)!

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week!

 

So, I haven’t shared a book haul for a couple of weeks so this is a rather large haul. I’m blaming Audible for having a fabulous sale (with books from my wish list in it!) when I actually had a few spare credits! Also, I went on NetGalley to leave some reviews and accidentally requested some more books… oops!

 

Purchased eBooks

The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen

I’ve seen so many fabulous reviews of this book so when I spotted the ebook on sale recently I couldn’t resist downloading it. I love the idea of a lost letter department so am excited to read this!

Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith

I bought this essay collection on a whim because I love Zadie Smith’s writing. I’ve recently enjoyed a couple of essay collections so I’m looking forward to dipping in and out of this one very soon.

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

I still haven’t read The Heart’s Invisible Furies but I feel sure I’m going to love it so I couldn’t resist buying another book by the author!

Unfollow Me by Charlotte Duckworth

I forgot that I’d pre-ordered this book so I was delighted when I discovered it on my kindle the other day. It felt like a present from past me to now me! I’m really keen to read this one so am going to try and get to it in the next week or so.

The Girl Before You by Nicola Rayner

I bought this on a whim too after seeing some reviews by bloggers that I trust so am looking forward to getting to this one.

Anna by Patricia Dixon

I bought this book after the author posted a really lovely post on her publication day and I could empathise with what she wrote so immediately went and ordered a copy of her book.

Happiness for Beginners by Carole Matthews

This was a kindle daily deal this week so I snapped it up. I really enjoy Carole Matthews’ novels so am happy to have another one on my TBR stack.

Every Mother’s Nightmare by Mark Thomas

I bought this one this week and am now half-way through it. The formatting of the book is awful though, which is such a shame, and I’m not sure I’ll continue with it.

 

Purchased Audiobooks

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde and The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde

I bought both of these audiobooks in a recent Audible sale when they had the first few books in a selection of series for £3 each! I’ve already got the first book so I can’t wait to start listening to these books!

People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Parry

This has been on my wish list for such a long time after a good friend recommended it to me. I decided to get the audio book in the recent Audible 2 for 1 sale!

Milkshakes and Morphine by Genevieve Fox

This memoir is a recent addition to my wish list so I was delighted to spot it in the same sale as the book above. I’m definitely going to be listening to this very soon.

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

This is one of those books that I’ve heard so much about for so many years that I feel like I must have already read it but I actually haven’t. I do have a print copy of this on my TBR but couldn’t resist getting the audio book in the 2 for 1 sale.

The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

This is another wish list book that was in the sale so I had to get to it. I’ve wanted to read this for a long time so I’m really happy to have a copy of it.

Tennison by Lynda la Plante

I’ve read quite a few books from this series but I’ve never read them in order so when I saw this first book in the Audible sale I decided to get it. I think it’s nice to re-read books in a different format than I first read it in to get a different experience of a story.

Mrs Pankhurst’s Purple Feather by Tessa Boase

I needed another book to go with the one above to get 2 for 1 and this one jumped out at me. It sounds like such an interesting read so I’m really glad I got it.

Help Me! by Marianne Power

This was an Audible daily deal recently and it sounded like an interesting listen. I went through a phase of reading self help books when I was in my teens and so this book seemed like it would be a fun look at those kind of books.

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

I love The Book Thief so couldn’t resist grabbing this new one by the author when it was on an Audible daily deal. I’m looking forward to getting to this one.

Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally

This was also an Audible daily deal so I decided to get it. I have tried to read the book when it was first published but I just couldn’t finish it. I’m hoping that I might cope better with it on audio.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

I actually downloaded this book via Scribd and have just finished listening to it. It was an interesting book but I was hoping for something more from it.

 

ARCs

After the End by Claire Macintosh

This is one of my most anticipated books of the year so I was thrilled to get approved for it on NetGalley recently. I’m planning to read this as soon as I finished one of my current reads!

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

This is another book that I’ve been keen to get my hands on so again it was great to get approved on NetGalley to read it.

Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas

I love Claire Douglas’ novels so was delighted to get an email saying that I was pre-approved on NG for this new one. I love the premise of this one and hope to get to it very soon.

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

I also got pre-approved for this one on NG and while it wasn’t on my radar at the time I’ve since seen some brilliant reviews of it and I think this will be a great read.

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

This book isn’t due out until next year so I was surprised to get approved to read it straight away. I really want to read this one but feel like I should hold off until a bit nearer publication.

The Au Pair by Emma Rous

I requested this on a whim after seeing reviews of it. It sounds like my kind of book and one that I will likely devour over an afternoon!

The Friendship Pact by Alison James

I downloaded this on NG when I was browsing. It sounds like my kind of book and I can’t wait to get to it.

Horizontal Collaborations by Navie

I’ve already read this graphic novel set during the second world war. It’s got beautiful artwork and the story was very moving. I’ll be reviewing this one for the blog tour later this month.

The Sea Refuses No River by Bethany Rivers

I’ve also already read this poetry collection. It’s a beautiful collection looking at grief and I found it very moving. I’m on the blog tour for it this month so will be reviewing it then.

Don’t Feed the Bear by Rachel Elliott

This was a lovely surprise ARC that arrived a couple of weeks ago. It’s such a gorgeous book and I’m looking forward to reading it.


 

Have you bought any new books over the last week? Please tell me below. 🙂 If you join in with Stacking the Shelves please feel free to leave your link and I’ll make sure to read and comment on your post.