I bloody love books. Growing up, I always had my nose in a book. Books have always been my number one love.
But after three years doing a literature degree where I was reading multiple books a week, it took me a while to get that love back. Especially when I didn’t even like half the books I had to read. I mean, don’t get me started on how much I hated some of those ~classics~.
By the end of 2018, I got my reading mojo back so the past year was full of lots of reading. I mean, I even managed to reach my goal of 50 books despite reading all the Game of Thrones series which is beasty!
So if you are a book lover like me or you’ve made a resolution to read more, here are some of my favourite books from 2019 to give you some inspiration.
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
So every millennial woman has already raved about this book, but that’s because it is honestly amazing. Dolly Alderton completely sums up being a millennial woman in Everything I Know About Love.
I think Everything I Know About Love might not just be one of the best books I read in 2019, but ever.
Everything I Know About Love is a total rollercoaster of a ride that’s beautifully written. You’ll go from laughing hysterically to being on the verge of tears to craving her mac and cheese recipe. It is one of the most incredibly honest, relatable and open.
The Lido by Libby Page
I picked up (well, downloaded…) The Lido thinking it would be a nice, easy read. What I didn’t realise was just quite how much it would stick with me. I really fell in love with this book because it was such a lovely story!
It follows the realistic, complex friendship of Rosemary and Kate whilst they try to save their local lido. The Lido is the most heartwarming and uplifting tale of friendship, community and finding yourself.
Just Eat It by Laura Thomas PHD
Ok, so this is going to sound really cliched but reading Just Eat It totally changed my life. Before reading Just Eat It, I knew how trash diet culture was but this really opened my eyes to diet culture, intuitive eating and weight loss
There were some science-y parts that went straight over my head and sometimes I had to take a break because it was too intense for me. However, it was worth it because it was so important for making me think about my relationship with food, as well as giving me information on diet culture, health and weight.
The Girls by Emma Cline
When I saw The Girls making the rounds, I didn’t think much of it. I stupidly judged it by the cover and thought it wasn’t going to be my cup of tea. Oh how I was wrong! The Girls is the story of a teenage girl who becomes entangled with a cult that is based on the Manson Family with a coming-of-age theme.
I have always been fascinated with cults anyway, but this book was so captivating. The writing style is completely gripping, raw and unfiltered as the narrator looks back as an older woman.
Hollow Pike by Juno Dawson
After reading Gender Games by Juno Dawson (also incredible!) in 2018, I was intrigued by her fiction and decided to start with Hollow Pike.
As a YA novel, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Sometimes I love YA fiction, but sometimes it’s really cliched and a bit crap. Hollow Pike definitely goes in the former category because it was incredible.
Hollow Pike is all about a group of teenagers discover the history of witches in their town whilst dealing with some more ‘normal’ issues like bullying and relationships. It was so gripping and thrilling that I couldn’t put it down, apart from late at night because it was slightly terrifying at points.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
When I read Caraval, I felt like I was transported to a magical world that I was completely captivated by. As the first part of a trilogy (which I read so quickly), Caraval follows two sisters who visit the magical, travelling performance by the same name.
The whole trilogy was so beautifully written. With a plot that was full of mystery and adventure, I never really knew what was going to happen next or who was who. If you want to get lost in an enchanting world of magic, then you have to give this a go.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Would it even be right to talk about my favourite books of 2019 without including The Testaments? I don’t think so because Margaret Atwood is a genius.
I first read The Handmaid’s Tale when I was in sixth form and it instantly became one of my favourite books. Dystopian fiction with a feminist theme, what isn’t to love? So, like a lot of other people, The Testaments was one of my most anticipated books of the year.
And it did not disappoint. It was different to The Handmaid’s Tale with the fast-paced, plot-driven narrative, but I loved it. Plus the narrative from Aunt Lydia was fascinating after the role she played in the first book.
No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter
No Big Deal was one of the most refreshing, hilarious and relatable books I read during 2019. It’s your typical teen story but with a body positive twist. I fell in love with the main character, Emily, who reminded me of myself a teen but with 100% more confidence.
I really wish there’d been a book like this for me to read when I was growing. It would have inspired my journey to body confidence a lot earlier or helped prevent even more self-doubt and hatred. Although, I don’t think you have to be a teen to still enjoy No Big Deal and appreciate the message because I still did when I read it!
There you have it! A rundown of the best books that I read in 2019. I’m not going to set a reading goal for 2020 but rather I’ll just enjoy it and read as much as I can.
Have you got a reading goal for 2020? What were your favourite books from last year?