I was going to say “In no particular order…” but as I wrote the words, I thought No! I shall give this list an order! So, listed by genre rather than by preference – because, how can you choose between yout favourites? – my top ten are
Deliciously dark and creepy tales to chill the bone and make you wonder at the growing shadows on the walls in these dark months. My reading of 2019 was bookended by Gothic tales: Melmoth and Starve Acre, both powerful and unsettling and unusual novels.
Melmoth, Sarah Perry
Starve Acre, Andrew Michael Hurley
Murder mysteries to keep you guessing and searching for clues. Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad came to what felt like the end of an era in The Trespasser and hopefully not the end of the series; and Lemaitre was a new writer for me but so wonderfully tense!
The Trespasser, Tana French
Blood Wedding, Pierre Lemaitre
Opportunities to escape the mundane realities of our lives and dive (see what I did there, Frances Hardinge?) into another land. Both Deeplight and The Starless Sea were highly anticipated by two writers at the height of their powers.
Deeplight, Frances Hardinge
The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern
Novels to make you take stock and think and review your own position in the world – thoughtful, meditative, lyrical all of them, and all embedded into cracking stories and compelling characters! Emezi was a revelation this year – causing some controversy by their inclusion on the Women’s Prize list – and I am looking forward to diving into Pet soon in 2020.
These novels range from contemporary Nigeria to the States, to Eighteenth Century Italy to Contemporary Brexit Britain, from Istanbul to rural England and challenge our views on death, on the natural world, on identity and gender and family. And they are all gorgeous!
Freshwater, Akwaeke Emezi
10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World, Elif Shafak
Frankissstein, Jeanette Winterson
Lanny, Max Porter
And there we have it: my favourite reads of 2019, as we are about to embark onto 2020. Please comment with your thoughts!
And have a happy New Year!