The books that made my year – Favourite Books of 2019


Every beginning of the year, I wrap up the highlights of my reading, travel and movie life. I know this is already five months after the new year, but it’s never too late to share amazing books with all of you! So here are my favourite books of last year.

To check out my favourite books of 2018, go to this post, and to find my 2019 travel highlights, go to this post.

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

Review by Jen Campbell | Goodreads

36840397A complex adult novel written by a muslim person of color that tells a story about immigrants, family, the difficulties of staying true to who you are. I loved the writing style of this book. The different point of views were written all so beautifully that you really understand each side of the characters. The theme of family and the struggles of loving a family member and their secrets at the same time, is wonderfully explored in the book.

I think the events and quotes in this book will last with me a long time, and I hope the message it tells across will help everyone who reads it to be more aware of different races, religion, and beliefs, and the struggles some families have to go through in life.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Blogpost| Goodreads | Movie trailer

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I rarely read young adult novels, but when I do read a good one I’m also impressed by how much message and genius can be contained in something that at the same time feels so lightweight and an easy read.

This book was not only a quick read but also a touching story, with a compelling story and a raw writing style that feels so personal that you cannot help but related to the characters. I loved Starr’s point of view, and her personal struggles with her friends, her love for her family, her neighbourhood, her bravery and yet her humannes to feel pain, fear, anger, and sadness.

It’s relevant, it’s important, and yes it doesn’t solve all the problems in the world. It does not really dig into any real problems really deep nor in detail. But it’s excellent because it’s available for younger audiences, and it’s able to raise awareness towards police brutality and the lives of people of color in America, read in an enjoyable, uplifting way and gives us all hope and sparks a little fire in us to try and help the Starrs and Khalils in the world.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Goodreads | Series trailer

38447._sy475_The Handmaid’s Tale is probably one of the most highly recommended, most talked about modern classic literature, specifically dystopian-feminist genre books ever. I am so happy to find that it lives up to its hype and regret not reading this sooner. Overall the tone of the book is slow, even relaxed, with the underlying sense of urgency of the brewing political climate in the world, but the narrator Offred is also very focused on her own world, her past and her own personal problems, and these are the kinds of books I just adore.

However  it is nothing but boring. Something interesting is always happening, and by the last part everything become even more so because we are all so invested in these characters. The topics in this book are so interesting and we can spend hours dissecting the different moments of this book, but I’ll spare you the time and just urge you all to pick it up if you haven’t.

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

Blogpost| Goodreads

Elif Batuman

I was so surprised to find this book in my favourites list, because when I first read it I didn’t think I would love it so much and that it would really stick with me for so long. Reading Elif Batuman’s The Idiot was like cycling up a hill overlooking the sea – it’s difficult and heavy and tiring, but you get to see such beautiful scenery that it really feels worth it. And by the end of the journey you look back through the road you went through and you barely remember the pain or the trouble you had to endure, because it was all part of the journey.

Ultimately this book is indeed a coming of age story, about Selin’s youth and her experience living abroad. Her love life plays a huge part in the story, and I loved how she would express her feelings in such a melancholic way, knowing that the man she loves does not love her back. I loved all the characters that come across her story, especially her closer friends who seem very fictional but also quite similar to someone or a combination of people I might know. I feel like I wish I was like Selin when I was her age, or even like her at this moment. She’s clever and sophisticated, but at times she also doubts herself and is afraid of her choices. She is a depiction of teenagers in a lovely way, and this book will stay with me for a long time.

Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb

Blogpost| Goodreads

Robin HobbNot my only Robin Hobb book that I read last year, but definitely my favourite, this is the third and final book in the Farseer trilogy, the first of many instalments in Hobb’s incredible fantasy world. I just found this book to be such a perfect conclusion to the series, to Fitz’s journey, and you couldn’t really feel the length of the book because you just really enjoy every step he takes and every page you turn.

It made me laugh alone in the train, brought tears to my eyes, and made me want to read more and more about the characters and the world. I adored all the scenes and the moments, I loved how I get so attached by all of the characters, and how Hobb was able to transport me to another world. It’s exciting, it’s action-packed, and most of all have incredible life-like characters, and a main character that feels so human.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Blog postGoodreads review

25899336An inspiring and heartbreaking memoir about a doctor, a husband, a person with a story to tell. Kalanithi was able to write so beautifully and eloquently that it’s impossible to stop reading. I loved how humble he was but how he also didn’t shy away from the fact that he know how good he is at his job. Instead he doesn’t boast about it but talks about how he think it’s the career he pursues because it was his calling, and not just a job.

Every part of this book was so beautifully written and captivating and interesting and inspiring for everyone, even if you do not have a medical background. It’s perfect for fathers, for couples, for doctors, for cancer patients or survivors, and for anyone who has a heart and wants to be inspired. So go read this book if you haven’t.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Blog post | Goodreads review

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A gently captivating story, written in an uncommonly simple way that surprisingly was able to bring tears to my eyes, Min Jin Lee weaves years of the life of a family, from generation to generation in this groundbreaking novel.

All in all, with amazing characters, such enjoyable writing and a beautiful story told through this book. I laughed and cried and was frustrated together with all the Pachinko characters in the book. It might seem like a big book that is hard to tackle, but I loved every second I spent reading it. If I have to pick one book from this whole list to ask you all to read, it’ll be this one. So definitely give this a try if you haven’t.

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Blog post | Goodreads review

Sally Rooney depicts the life of a young woman in her university years, hard-willed but also soft in heart, with a strong personality and deep love for her friend. I adored our narrator Frances, maybe because I’m the same age as her, and maybe because of her varied flaws shown throughout the book. Maybe also because Frances felt like an old friend – or even more, she was who I wish to be when I am younger, and even now a part of me still slightly wishes I could be like her.

I flew through the last two-thirds of the book in one sitting. And what I found about Frances’s story is that nothing is perfect, relationships are messy, friendships fall apart and then fall together again, same goes with money and parents and life in general. Everything all of us are doing is just going through the motions, finding what makes us happy and attempting to keep those things and people. And isn’t that the main thing we want in life for ourselves and our loved ones in the end in our own daily lives? To be happy, rooting for each other despite all our mistakes and flaws?

What were your favourite books of 2019? If you made a post, definitely link it down in the comments, I would like to give them a look as well.

 

17 thoughts on “The books that made my year – Favourite Books of 2019

  1. Great list! I’ve just started reading the Handmaid’s Tale and I already love it. I think the first chapters are kind of hard to understand because Atwood draws us into her world without any explanations, but the more you read, the better it gets. I’ve heard that the ending is quite ambiguous so I’m looking forward to finishing it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Linda! I totally agree. I hope you really enjoy it, and cannot wait to hear about your thougths on it! Definitely link your post here when you post a review of it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The Idiot is such an underrated novel that I think should be talked about more in the internet!! Ah, Conversations with Friends is not really what everyone likes, but I personally really loved it. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I tried to TV series for the first few episodes, but it was a bit too dark for me at the moment. I’m really interested to give it another go though, it’s so beautifully shot and written.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice selection! I read Pachinko last year too, and loved it. It’s one of those books that I had to push on all my family members too — and they all loved it as well. The Hate U Give is so powerful. I still need to see the movie version!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lisa! I definitely need to recommend more books to my family and friends. I think Pachinko will touch a lot of people. The movie of The Hate U Give is very accurate to the book, I’d highly recommend!

      Like

  3. The Idiot is SO GOOD – I DNFd it last year but for whatever reason decided to give it another shot a couple of months ago and now its my favourite fiction read of the year so far! Batumans writing is so compelling; I cant wait to see what she comes out with next!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh I’m so glad to share that feeling with you! I think also Batuman isn’t a very “mainstream” popular author, but I’m hoping to read something else by the author this year 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The trilogy is super good, and I’m already in the second book of the next trilogy, the Liveship Traders. Thanks for linking your post, I will definitely check out your list 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Reading Elif Batuman’s The Idiot was like cycling up a hill overlooking the sea – it’s difficult and heavy and tiring, but you get to see such beautiful scenery that it really feels worth it.” What a great way to describe a book – I can think of reading experiences that I’ve had like this as well, and it’s always so rewarding once you get to the end and realise how much you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

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