Before anyone points it out, I know there are still a couple of weeks left in the year. Plenty of time to read a few more books and maybe find a gem that could have made it into my annual list of recommendations. However, with January fast approaching I need to make a start on my 2020 TBR pile. Also, I like to get this list out before Christmas in case it tempts anyone to buy another easy to wrap present, or to treat themselves.
A quick count suggests I have read around 135 books so far this year. Unlike Lucy Ellmann (author of the critically acclaimed tome, Ducks, Newburyport – and seemingly fond of making sweeping, controversial statements when interviewed), I enjoy reading contemporary fiction including quality crime fiction. Many of the titles selected below were published this year. Not all though. Let’s start with the books I read in 2019 that were not new releases and that I am happy to recommend.
Click on the title to read my review. Click on the cover to find out more about the book.
On Silbury Hill by Adam Thorpe, published by Little Toller
It is fair to say that I enjoy translated fiction from around the world. Books selected for translation will generally have been well received in their original language before being published in English – many are award winners. These are just a few read this year that I particularly recommend.
Short Story collections are, apparently, more difficult to sell than novels. Given modern man’s allegedly shortening attention span this seems strange to me. If tempted to dip in then these two books are worth considering – quality writing telling succinct, captivating tales.
Most non fiction is chosen by readers because the subject matter is of interest. Sometimes, however, a book is just so original, well written and entertaining that it is worth reading however much (or little) the headline topic may appeal. I believe every reader would find the following two titles both interesting and engaging.
Children’s fiction is a genre I would like to read more of. Treat the young readers in your life to this, the second in a series that I am enjoying immensely.
Sunny and the Hotel Splendid by Alison Moore (illustrated by Ross Collins), published by Salt
My next recommendation is a recent read so hasn’t yet had time to prove it will linger. Nevertheless, I’m including it because it was so compelling and hard hitting – YA Fiction to open eyes to the challenges faced by troubled teens.
The Raven Wheel by AF Stone, published by The Book Guild
Crime fiction is a popular but crowded genre so authors have to offer something special to be noticed. The Marnie Rome series, which I believe finished with this next recommendation (I have read and enjoyed all six books in the series), does so with ease.
Never Be Broken by Sarah Hilary, published by Headline
On then to new releases in general, sometimes described as literary, fiction. This includes titles with greater or lesser elements of fantasy – isn’t all fiction an imaginative creation? My longest list of recommendations as it is the type of book I read most often.
Twenty-four books is more than I would usually include in my annual roundup but I decided not to cull my choices further as all of the above deserve consideration. I hope that each of you will find something of interest in my recommendations. I wish you many hours of satisfying reading.