Books I Read in 2019 and What I Want to Read Next

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This year saw a lot of changes in my life and a suddenly very busy schedule from second half of the year onwards. This meant 1) a much shorter list of books read compared to previous years and 2) me switching almost entirely to ebooks from about May onwards. Previously, I’d never been an ebook person, preferring only paperbacks, but necessity called for a change. Thankfully, I found a really good ebook application that made the transition a whole lot easier.

Books I Read in 2019

Nevertheless, I’m happy to say that the books I read this year were almost all of a high quality and worth my time. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Reza Aslan, Zealot—review here.

2. Stephen King, Carrie—review here.

3. Paulo Coelho, The Spy—review here.

4. Madeline Miller, Circe—review here.

5. Teo You Yenn, This is What Inequality Looks Like—review here.

6. Stephen King, Pet Sematary
I did not write a review for this as I read it during an exceptionally busy period and simply wanted to unwind with a fun book, but I’ll probably do one up soon!

7. Neil Gaiman, American Gods—review here.

8. Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

9. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Good Omens—review here.

10. Esi Edugyan, Washington Black—review here.

11. Jack Kerouac, The Sea is My Brother—review here.

If I had to choose, I’d say that the top three reads were Good Omens, American Gods and Circe. A common thread amongst the three of them is the mix of good storytelling, an engagement with larger important and relatable themes and remarkable writing.

Non-Book Reads/Listens in 2019

This year, I also began reading quite a bit of short fiction, non-fiction and poetry from online magazines. My current favourites are The Sun Magazine and Narrative Magazine. My favourite blog for short, quick reads remains Austin Kleon’s blog.

Here are a few exceptionally memorable pieces of writing I’ve come across this year:

  1. Leila Chatti, Not All of Us Get to be Ghosts
    A short and haunting poem I just can’t seem to get out of my head.
  2. Amy Meng, A Theory and Other Poems
  3. Katherine Seligman, Someone to Listen
    A beautifully written non-fiction piece on depression, death and human connections.
  4. Sarah Kay, The Type, Dreaming Boy, Table Games
    Some outstanding spoken-word poetry!
  5. Bill Barich, A Real Writer
    This is a remarkably well-written memoir reflecting on what it means to be a “real” writer. It provides some delightful insights while remaining readable and funny.

2020 Reading Goals

With 2020 coming up, I don’t see my schedule slowing down at all. But I do have some reading goals in mind, the first of which is to read from a paperback at least once in a while. The second of which is to read more short fiction, and perhaps improve my own writing of short fiction. I also have my eye on a list of books to read next.

  1. Brenna Twohy, Swallowtail
    This year, I’ve really fallen in love with reading, listening to and writing poetry. I’ve been completely obsessed with Button Poetry on Youtube and lately, my favourite has been Brenna Twohy, Sarah Kay and Alicia Harris. Check out this video of one of Twohy’s poems, which is in Swallowtail!

2. Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
This has been a book that’s been on my TBR forEVER.

3. Gwenda Bond, Suspicious Minds
A book I got months ago, it acts as a prequel to my all-time favourite Netflix series, Stranger Things.

4. Osamu Dasai, No Longer Human

5. David Eagleman, Sum: Forty Tales From the Afterlives

6. Terry Pratchett, Discworld Series

7. Neil Gaiman, Stardust

8. Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

7. Diana Evans, Ordinary People
This book is way out of my usual range of interests, but I’ve been seeing it lying around the house for a while now and the first few pages have intrigued me.

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