My usual monthly review has had a yearly twist for December. For my last post of the decade (feels very weird writing that…) I’d like to take a little look through my reading over the last year and see what I’ve enjoyed and discovered.
I spoke about my 2019 Books of the Year over in this post, but wanted to talk about some other bookish blogging highlights in this post, a more overall review, if you will.
My Year in Books…
/ Author Discovery of the Year: Laura Purcell
I read three books by Laura Purcell (The Corset, The Silent Companions and Bone China) and fell for her easy-to-read tone of voice infused with Gothic narratives and sharp characters. She plays with horror conventions too, to add a delicious, creepy twist to her stories.
/ Author Interview of the Year: Elly Griffiths
Speaking of the Gothic genre… I was so lucky to have a chat to a truly brilliant, bestselling author, Elly Griffiths. She wrote her first stand-alone novel this year – one with a distinctly Gothic flavour. I loved it and she was kind enough to talk to me about her inspiration, amongst other things. Also, she hails from the South Coast of England, the same part of the world as me, so I recognise a lot of the places she references in her books, which is always very enjoyable.
/ Audiobook of the Year: Once, Twice, Three Times an Aisling by Emer McLysaught and Sarah Breen
I am a big fan of the Aisling series of books, but this one was the first I’ve listened to on audiobook and it honestly brought so much to the story for me. The reason it’s my top one of the year was that hearing such an Irish story read in vibrant Irish accents made it so real. By the end, I felt that Aisling was a genuine, real person and I am now heavily emotionally invested in her. I can’t wait for the next book, which I will also be listening to on audiobook!
/ Debut of the Year: The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal
OK, there is a bit of theme to these picks as The Doll Factory also has Gothic undertones. Clearly 2019 was the year this genre became my favourite. This was an exciting, atmospheric, brooding book that I enjoyed so much and an author I am excited to see what’s next from. I also love the fact that Elizabeth Macneal is a potter (makes clay pots, vases etc, rather than being a huge Harry Potter fan, although she well might be) and makes her fab pieces alongside writing books.
/ Bookish Moment of the Year: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
It’s the book everyone thought she wouldn’t write, so when Margaret Atwood dropped the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale on the world in September, it genuinely felt so exciting. Seeing the launch parties and advertising everywhere (which rarely happens for book releases) only hyped things up for me; it’s been a long time since I had so much anticipation about reading a book! And did it disappoint? Nope! Full review here…
I’m ending with this little fact… I thought I’d take a picture of my favourite books for this post but when I looked through the list, 8 out of 10 of them were library books, so I didn’t have them to snap. I love this stat; it’s a testament to my love of libraries and all their amazingness. If I’m going to end my year with a bookish message, it’s this one: embrace your local library, they’re a beyond fantastic resource!
Wishing you all a bookishly wonderful 2020! Happy New Year!!