Books and reading

2019: A year of books in review

In the past year I have read around 53 books. This year, for the first time, I tried to make a record of each book I read (or in the case of audiobooks, listened to). However I do have a sneaking suspicion that I’ve inadvertently left a few off the list.

Of the 53 titles I did record, 39 were by Australian authors, and of those, 32 were by Australian women. No doubt this is at least partly due to my natural lean toward reading books by women, and also my commitment to reviewing books for the Australian Women Writers Challenge.

Some of the books on my list this year were read for the book group I belong to, others for research and background for my own writing project, and the rest were books recommended or just ones that held an interest for me. As usual for me, the majority were fiction with a few nonfiction titles in the mix.

So, what were my standout reads for 2019?

For surprise value, The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein tops the list.

Fled by Meg Keneally, The Paris Savages by Katherine Johnson and
Tidelands by Philippa Gregory, share my historical interest prize.

For sheer fun and imagination, Nevermore by Jessica Townsend

Crime titles I loved: The rules of backyard cricket and On the Java Ridge, both by Jock Serong.

Intriguing, inspirational and engrossing memoir: Educated by Tara Westover, Becoming by Michelle Obama, The Erratics by Vicki Laveau-Harvie and The Girls by Chloe Hooper: four very different stories told in unique voices.

And my nonfiction pick is Esther by Jessica North

Oh, it’s hard to choose a few favourites from a long list of books read. A bit like choosing a favourite chocolate! There were so many great books this year.

What’s on my To Be Read list for 2020?
I plan to keep reading and reviewing plenty of books for the Australian Women Writers Challenge.
I’ll read twelve titles for my book group (one choice for each of the group members).
I’ll no doubt get through plenty of historical fiction, as I always like a good portion of historical fiction in my reading diet. I believe Sulari Gentill and Pamela Freeman both have new historical fiction titles to be released in 2020 so I look forward to those.
And I’m sure that a few crime books will land on my TBR pile, too.

And now, to you: what have been your stand-out titles for 2019? Let me know in the comments below (I love sharing fave book lists)

And your TBR list: do you have a pile ready for holiday reading or to get started on in the New Year?
Whatever direction your choices take you, I wish you a happy new reading year and hope that through books, you’ll discover new places, different times and interesting people.

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