The Best Books I Read In 2019

29 Dec 2019

The Best Books From 2019

It’s that time of year again. I’ve no idea what day it is or what’s going on with my sleeping pattern but I know that I’m supposed to be reflecting on 2019 and planning ahead for 2020. In fact, I’m watching Toy Story 4. I’m okay with my life choices right now. 

Here are my favourite books from the last 12 months. 

The Bees by Laline Paull

What a book. A dystopia set in a beehive and one bee is rebelling against the totalitarian state. Yes, the characters are bees. It’s weird. It’s brilliant. 

Eve of Man by Giovanna & Tom Fletcher

A friend recommended this to me cos she knows I’m a sucker for a bit of YA dystopian fiction and it did not disappoint. Basic premise – until Eve, no female baby had been born for 50 years. She is the last girl on Earth, kept hidden away in the Tower until she is old enough to procreate because the future of humanity rests with her. Whilst not quite as good, if you’re a fan of The Hunger Games, you’ll definitely enjoy this. 

Midnight Chicken by Ella Risbridger

If you’ve come across this beauty, then you may understand why a cookbook has made it onto this list. This book is one of a kind. Part cookbook, part memoir. A cookbook that begins with a story and a suicide attempt. A cookbook full of lovely illustrations and a devastating love story. I have read this book on and off throughout the year. It’s gentle and wholesome and makes you want to cling onto the small, lovely things in life – of which this book is one. 

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert 

A memoir that had been read by millions around the globe and made into a film starring Julia Roberts – you could say I was late to the party. Following a nasty divorce and an intense, unhealthy relationship, Liz embarks on a year-long journey across the world; splitting the year between Italy, India and Indonesia on a mission to rediscover herself. Whilst I found the time in India a little dragging and the whole talking-to-god thing not to my taste, on the whole, this is a really interesting and empowering story, and a great travel tale. 

Unnatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd 

Absolutely fascinating memoir by one of the UK’s most prominent pathologists who has been involved in some high-profile cases including serial killers, natural disasters and freak accidents. I raced through this account of an extraordinary career and would highly recommend – unless you’re squeamish. 

Hard Pushed: A Midwife’s Story by Leah Hazard 

You know the drill with these type of books; I’m sure there has probably been one for every front-line profession now and that’s because they are so interesting. This one – as you probably guessed – gives you an insight into the life of an NHS midwife and some incredible true stories of the women she has cared for.  

Paris For One by Jojo Moyes 

A lovely little book full of heartwarming short stories. One to read if you need cheering up or just want something cute and charming.   

My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

This book kicks off with the main character, Korede, reflecting about the hardest places to scrub clean of blood. Which she knows a lot about; this is the third man her sister has murdered in ‘self-defence’. Examining the relationship between sisters, and what happens when her sister goes after the doctor Korede has long adored, this is a classic love triangle with the added twist of murder. It’s not what you expect, it’s not a thriller or a crime drama, it examines the complexities of family relationships and it’s funny, full of razor-sharp wit. One of my faves from the year. 

A Half Baked Idea by Olivia Potts 

A lovely, lovely memoir about how Olivia turned to baking after the sudden death of her mother and eventually gave up her career as a barrister and enrolled on DiplĂ´me de Pâtisserie at Le Corden Bleu, plunging herself into the world of patisserie. It’s heartbreaking, hilarious and completely heartwarming. Be warned – it’s also interspersed with recipes and will make you very hungry. The banana and Rolo cake is dreamy. 

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood 

I could not wait to get my hands on Margaret Attwood’s new instalment of Gilead’s world and it did not disappoint. I raced through it and, controversially, might have enjoyed it more than The Handmaid’s Tale? Whilst the original will always be a classic, I think I found The Testament’s more accessible and loved finding out more details of the world. Terrifying, but a brilliant book.  

Killing It / The Nursery by Asia Mackay 

An assassin… with a baby. Need I say more? Loved the concept of this; a new mum trying to go back to work after maternity leave, only her job involves assassinating people and she has to keep it secret from her husband. If you like Killing Eve, I can imagine you liking this book series. Am looking forward to the next. 

The Night Shift Before Christmas by Adam Kay 

Following on from his original best seller, which I loved, this is a little stocking-filler of a book where Adam returns to his diaries from when he worked over Christmas as a junior doctor. Short but still just as funny and a great accompaniment to his original memoir. 

Happy reading folks x

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash