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2019 has been a really good reading year for me; I beat my personal best and managed to read 73 books, of which many have made it into my personal favourites. However, with great books always come a few that you wish you’d never bothered with, and while I’m sure some of the books listed below were ones other people enjoyed – I certainly did not.

So without further ado, please see my list below of my best and worst books of 2019… and let’s hope 2020 can be as prosperous!

The Best

I will leave a link here to the books I mentioned in my mid-year wrap up as the best of 2019 so far so I don’t have them repeat myself, but since then, the books below have also made it to the top of the list.

A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman

Having read Beartown last year, which I loved, I was interested to read more of Backman’s books and after Jaz (@travelsinfiction) enjoyed A Man Called Ove, I thought it would be a good place to start. The novel centres on the elderly life of Ove whose wife passed away earlier and who now lives his modest life, pretty much waiting to die. This book is interesting, because at the beginning you feel, at best, indifferent towards the protagonist, Ove, but by the end, your feelings could not be more vehement. I love any books which portrays the pains of being human, and this is certainly a book which does that, in a heart-breaking and honest way.

His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman

This is a series I’ve owned for at least a couple of years and have been meaning to read for ages. Then it was announced that the BBC were creating a TV show of the series and I though this would be a perfect year to get stuck into them. I read The Northern Lights after watching the first episode, content with finishing the show before completing the trilogy. However, I soon realised (rather annoyingly) the show was merging the first and second books together, so decided I better get on with reading them rather than be spoilt – and what a great decision that was! Magical, fun, and unique, these are books for all ages and which touch on so many interesting and important topics that I see them remaining relevant for years to come.

The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah

I read this on the recommendation of Shannon (@talesfromthecountry) who shares my taste in reading, and generally what she likes, so do I, so when she stated raving about The Nightingale, I knew I had to read it. Set in France on the eve of World War II, this book explores the stories of the women who had to deal with the poverty, brutality, and loneliness of being left behind. Following sisters Isabelle and Vianne throughout the war, they both have very different stories to tell, but both are equally important and prove the resilience and strength women like them had to exhibit in order to survive. This was easily one of my favourite reads of the year – harrowing and heartbreaking, it sheds and important light on some forgotten voices and was beautifully told by the author too.

The Worst

To be honest, since writing my mid-2019 wrap-up of the best and worst books of the year so far… I haven’t actually read any to add to the “worst” section of the list (it’s a miracle) so in a very lazy manner (because it’s Christmas) here’s a link to that one instead where you can read about the books I haven’t enjoyed this year.

I’d love to know which books you’ve loved and not loved this year! Make sure to let me know in the comments and I wish you all the best for a good 2020!

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