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!

Review: Reunion by R. V. Biggs | @RVBiggs @annecater #RandomThingsTours

Reunion Cover Picture

About the Book

One random, violent act is enough to change Sarah Macintyre’s life forever.

Left unsettled, and yearning for a new beginning, Sarah is unsure of what to do with her life. But one day she discovers an anonymous letter hidden amidst a pile of unopened mail.

The note, however, contains nothing more than a confusing riddle.

Intrigued and excited, Sarah’s hunger for a new life compels her to search for the author to understand the puzzle and solve the mystery.

Embarking on a journey that will shape the rest of her life and that of her family, Sarah uncovers a past of which she had no knowledge, a present she must find a path through, and a future filled with intense grief and utmost joy.

 

My Thoughts

Earlier this year I read and fell in love with Song of the Robin, the first book in the Sarah McIntyre series, so I was delighted to be offered the chance to read the follow up book. Song of the Robin is one of those really special books that has made its mark on me and I’m so happy to say that I also completely and utterly adored Reunion!

Reunion picks up right after the end of Song of the Robin. Sarah is still struggling with the assault that happened in the previous book, she feels fear about it but she’s also still having strange symptoms. She feels anxious and worried but can’t seem to express to her loved ones what exactly is happening to her. Then one day she receives a strange letter in the post and this leads to Sarah uncovering some secrets and some answers!

I loved this novel, I was under its spell from the opening page until after I turned the final page. Sarah is such a great character and I constantly root for her to be well and to be happy again. I had such a connection to Song of the Robin because of the way grief is explored, it really struck a chord with me, and whilst Reunion moves on from that story the way lost loved ones are spoke of in this book was so wonderful.

This novel follows Sarah and her family for the most part but it also has short chapters from a time in the 1700s as we follow a young woman trying to survive and avenge the trauma that has been inflicted on her family. It’s not clear initially what this has to do with the main plot but it soon begins to come clear and I loved the way we get to put it all together. The atmosphere in this book is wonderful, there is such a sense of time and place, and the people are all so real and believable.

I loved seeing more of Sarah’s friendship with Rachel, they are two women who clearly have such a strong bond. Their relationship is so true to life – the way that sometimes you can’t even tell the people closest to you how you’re feeling and they can sense you holding back but you can’t break through the walls. You get to see more of Rachel in this book and to understand why she is the way she is. I wasn’t expecting the cause of her pain to be what it was but it was so believable and my heart broke for her.

There is loss and pain in this book, things that moved me to tears at times but the overriding feel is one of healing – both physically and emotionally, but it’s also about the act of healing and this is so beautiful.

I love the way the author explores fate and destiny in this book, I’m really drawn to stories about these things. I never used to believe in fate but in my own life, a few years ago, over the course of five months the very worst thing happened to me and then the very best thing happened to me. So many people have said that perhaps it was my late mum who made sure my husband arrived in my life when he did and I take so much comfort from the thought of that. Reunion looks at how the past continues to run through us and it explores how those we’ve lost are never really gone.

There is a mystery running through this book that had me utterly fascinated. I was trying to figure out what was going on along with Sarah and her family, and was utterly gripped by the way the story unfolds in this book. It’s such a great story, and told so brilliantly.

I don’t want to say too much more because future readers should read this book as I did, without knowing too much about it going into it so you get to experience the stunning journey these characters go on for yourself.

I don’t really have the words to describe how much I loved this book (and the previous one). It’s one of those times where I connected with it so much and it now means such a lot to me and I just can’t do it any kind of justice. The first book in the series made my top books of 2019 so far list back at the end of June and I can say for sure that Reunion will be on my favourite books list at the end of the year! Song of the Robin was cathartic and comforting for me, and Reunion was incredibly moving and healing. R. V. Biggs writes such stunning and special novels – I can’t wait to read whatever he publishes next. I highly recommend this series of books, they really are so different and so beautiful.

Many thanks to Anne of Random Things Tours for my copy of this book and my invitation to take part in the blog tour. All thoughts are my own.

Reunion is out now and available here.

I’ve previously reviewed the first book in this series, Song of the Robinhere.

 

About the Author

R V Biggs Author Photo

R V Biggs lives in a small ex-mining village near Wolverhampton, England, with his wife Julie, and Mags the black lab. He has four grown up children and six grandchildren.

Walking with the dog is a favorite pastime and much of the story line for his first novel was developed during these lengthy outings.

Robert worked for 35 years in telecommunications but changed career paths to a managerial supporting role within a local Mental Health NHS trust. It was during the period between these roles that the concept for Song of the Robin was born.

Robert is a firm believer that destiny and co-incidence exist hand in hand and this conviction extends to his writing. He has a passion for holistic well-being and after first-hand experience of the potential healing powers of Reiki, a form of energy therapy, took a Reiki level 1 training course to heighten his spiritual awareness. Robert’s experiences in these areas helped conceive the ideas that led to Song of the Robin and its sequel Reunion, novels with central themes of fate, love and the strength of family. His writing however is not fantasy but is set in modern times involving real people living real lives.

Twitter @RVBiggs

 

You can find the rest of this tour at the following blogs:

Reunion BT Poster