The end of the year is near and I am simply not prepared for it. This year has had some amazing reads and some truly magnificent reads. I also went through quite a lot of mini reading slumps? I am just glad that they were mini slumps and month long slumps though.
Night Theatre by Vikram Paralkar
I know I said this in my review of the book but I seriously didn’t know what I was signing up for when I requested it or when I actually started to read it. Vikram Paralkar’s writing is absolutely addicting and Night Theatre is an experience every reader should have at least once in their life. This book, I think, is essentially about hope and it can be different for everyone and how many forms it can take. I am just so glad that I got to read and review it.
The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
What can I say about this series and this author that I haven’t already said before? Everybody and their grandma has probably known about this conclusion and loved it. Katherine Arden has become my auto-buy author ever since I read this book series and The Winter of the Witch was such a great ending for that story. I am just wishing for a re-read of the series simply because while writing this, I am reminded, once again, how truly magical this book is.
Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
Diane Setterfield sets the tone for the book from the very first passage and it’s absolutely amazingly written. Once Upon a River is a love letter to story telling and if you love cozy mysteries with a lot of humanity and characters that are slightly more important than the plot because the plot branches out because of the characters then this is the book you want to read ASAP!
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I had never read anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid before and that seemed like a tragedy on its own because of the hype with Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo but frankly, I really did enjoy Daisy Jones and the Six. I enjoyed its format and yes, there was a bit where I wish there were interludes wherein we could actually read about the characters feelings from their point of view but aside from that, this was a fairly remarkable novel on its own. The music scene of that period, the way characters approached the situations and everything was pretty brilliantly written and for that, this book is in this life.
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Samantha Shannon, an author I knew of but didn’t intend to read anything of. I know, it sounds so bad but her previous books really didn’t appeal to me? Or rather their synopsis didn’t? However with The Priory of the Orange Tree, I knew I had to get it. It was a proper fantasy and it had dragons and badass queens and just….I am weak, okay? Also it turned out to be a great decision to read it because it was absolutely great and I was just obsessed with it while I was reading it. It’s a great book with an additional appeal of it being a fantasy standalone. (Though I am not quite sure about the standalone thing, I think I heard on a podcast that there might be another book set in the world?)
Underland by Robert Macfarlane
Underland is not the usual type of book I would pick up but I am glad that I did this time. The writing is sublime and the topics are pretty important. Robert Macfarlane raises such important questions while he’s spinning a lovely imagery of the earth that it’s almost as if we are in a trance while we are reading it. It’s just a book that I feel everyone should be reading.
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Oh, this book. This story. These characters. I absolutely did not think I would end up loving Red, White and Royal Blue as much as I do. Alex and Henry were such great main characters and their turmoils and their feelings and just the general issues brought up in the book were amazingly well done! I will be looking forward to more things from Casey McQuiston because trust me, this book deserves all the love and hype it gets. It’s just precious, okay?
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
This year I finally read Ruta Sepetys and well, she made me cry. Both times. With The Fountains of Silence , I was ready for the tears because I had already read Salt to the Sea and knew exactly how this author pulls her emotionally charged punches. This book gave me a whole new slice of history that I wasn’t really aware of? A country under a dictator and the normal people trying their best not to get caught in the line of fire but also some people who would rather do something for their freedom than be quiet and safe. Needless to say, this book left quite an impact on me.
To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers
I am including the novella because that’s the only thing I have read by this author and frankly, I have to admit that it’s the best introduction. This book showed me why I love sci-fi and why I need to read more of it. Becky Chambers’ writing is heartbreaking and human and her characters just as brilliant. To Be Taught, If Fortunate is a great example of how much you can pack in a small book. It’s absolutely amazing and even people who aren’t huge sci-fi fans should try it.
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
An amazingly written story and a pretty great introduction to Mayan mythology, Silvia Moreno-Garcia has done us a huge favour by giving this one to us. Gods of Jade and Shadow is a story of defiance, of struggling to get by in life and making the most difficult choices in life. I loved every moment of it, every bit of glimpse into a culture that I am very, very curious about and knew next to nothing about. If you like mythology and folklore, if you truly appreciate solid characters with depth and growth and amazing writing in general.
So, this is it. The top ten standalones of 2019 for me, what do you think? Have you read any of them? Do you plan to if you haven’t already? Do you agree with them or do you have your own to add to the list? Tell me all about it in the comments!
Edit: I am very aware about the mistake I made in taking a book from a series but hopefully I will have time to correct it today itself. Sorry for that.