What I read in 2019

Reading is pretty much my absolute favourite thing to do. If I’m left to my own devices, I will never switch the TV on, but I will always read. You hear a lot these days about ‘self-care’. I don’t go in for the whole bath and hot chocolate and blanket thing, reading is my self-care. I have a book with me wherever I go, because how would I cope if I was left with nothing to do for five minutes?

I read with my lunch, I read while I’m waiting for my son to come out of school, I read just before I go to sleep and I read whenever I have five minutes to myself.

I read a good mix of books in 2019. There were plenty of my old favourites – the psychological thrillers – as well as few of what I would call ‘feel good fiction’ – not exactly romantic fiction, but with nothing particularly bad happening and definitely not literature. There’s also been a couple of literary novels, a couple of biographies and a couple of romantic novels too.

I don’t read very heavy literature or things I feel I ‘should’ read to make me seem intelligent or educated. I read for enjoyment and escapism, not to struggle to understand the words and the sentences.

In 2019 I read 41 books, which is one more than last year, despite the fact that the two Hilary Mantel books and Becoming took me a long time to read.

So what did I read in 2019?

This year I’ve read:

So which were my favourite books of the year? It’s a really tough choice, and there were a number of others that came very close, but I think my absolute favourites were:

  • The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder
  • The Lost Man
  • Bridge of Clay
  • The Family Upstairs
  • Wolf Hall

What were your favourite reads of 2019? Let me know in the comments below.

Books, Reading, Books I reading in 2019, 2019, What I read in 2019


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. I always say that reading and sleeping are my two superpowers! I read some amazing stuff in 2019, tough to choose my favourites but probably:

    1. Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel. Both rereads and basically perfection in book form.

    2. Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth. An incredible, almost Shakespearean play.

    3. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov. Had never read it before but it’s a classic for a reason. Deeply brilliant, not at all safe, deeply disturbing.

    Honourable mentions to:

    *Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice
    *Milkman by Anna Burns
    *The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
    *The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin
    *There there by Tommy Orange
    *lots of Kate Atkinson
    *my tenth (?) and most terrifying yet reread of 1984

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    • I wish I had sleeping as a superpower! I do remember you falling asleep in clubs! It is amazing how much you read. Apart from Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies and the Kate Atkinsons, I haven’t read any of these, so I will have to look out for them, thanks!

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  2. I totally agree with you about reading being a self-care. I’m exactly the same, it’s a way of escaping and surviving for me. I’ve only read two of the books from your list. Would love to tackle Wolf Hall one day.
    My top favourite books from last year were Storytellers by Bjorn Larssen, The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson and Malamander by Thomas Taylor.

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    • I don’t know what I do without reading! It is one of the greatest pleasures in life. I know that one of the books we both read was one neither of us really liked. I will look up your favourite reads and see if they would appeal to me, thanks. I really can’t recommend Wolf Hall highly enough! It is a big commitment, but so worth the effort.

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  3. I’ve switched to audible books now because mainly I can crochet at the same time. I love seeing what other people have read. This year I enjoyed discovering Matt Haig, so I’ve read a few of his books. I also read the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood for the first time. The only book I’ve read on your list is Normal People by Sally Rooney.
    I do a book linky on my blog which you can join in with if you wish. I’ll use my blog link in my comment website.

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    • I would love to join in your book linky, please!
      I know a lot of people enjoy an audio book and I wouldn’t rule them out myself for the future. I read a Matt Haig a couple of years ago, but possibly it wasn’t one of his best, as it didn’t inspire me to read any more! I know a lot of people really rate his work, so I should probably try another one. I was pretty underwhelmed by Normal People. For me, it really didn’t live up to the hype. I need to read The Handmaid’s Tale. Strangely, I have read nearly all of Margaret Atwood’s other books, but somehow I’ve never got round to reading The Handmaid’s Tale – and there’s no point me reading The Testaments until I’ve read that.

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  4. Wow you do read a lot! I’m not a fan of the TV either but I find myself ending up messing about doing work or social media so I don’t get to read as much as I’d like. I do swear by your recommendations when I choose a book though, you’ve even managed to persuade me to try a few thrillers which never used to be my sort of thing at all! I still prefer non-fiction though and I think my favourite book last year was Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall 🙂

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    • I’m so pleased to hear that you like my recommendations, thank you! I find it impossible to work in the evenings (or even in the afternoon, tbh), so I prioritise reading over most things. I’m not a big fan of non-fiction – I usually manage a couple of biographies a year, but that’s all. x

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  5. I was interested to see how much we’d overlapped & I think the answer is 6 books, although most of those 6 I read prior to last year (Hilary Mantel & CJSansom mostly). The only two I read last year were Bee Larkham & Transcription. My favourite read of last year was The Sixteen Trees of the Somme (not a First World War book despite the title).

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    • That’s interesting that we’ve overlapped by six books. That’s probably quite high! I’m glad you said your favourite was Sixteen Trees of the Somme, because I bought it after seeing it on your blog a few months ago. I haven’t got round to reading it yet, but I’m looking forward to it more now!

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  6. I read every night before bed for around an hour and I love it. There are a few on your list that I want for my birthday, The Family Upstairs and The Hunting Party. I only wish we lived nearer so we could swop books x

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    • I’m impressed that you can read for an hour at bedtime! I always read, but can usually only manage about five minutes as my eyes are shutting! The Family Upstairs is particularly brilliant, I’m sure you will enjoy it. It would be great to swap books. I do have one friend I swap with, but I generally buy far too many books! X

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  7. I managed to read 100 books last year (just novels, I didn’t include all the picture books that I read for Story Snug!). I now have at least two books on the go, one on my phone for when I am out and about, a proper book to read at bedtime and sometimes a children’s novel too.

    Favourite reads last year include In the Light of What We See by Sarah Painter, The Island by Victoria Hislop, No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton, Girl in the Window by Penny Joelson and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and I’ve just finished The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary which I loved!


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    • Wow, 100 books is impressive! I only count the books I read for myself too – I read some with my daughter and used to read kids’ books for work. I can only cope with one book at a time (I carry it around with me when I’m out), but I do like the idea of having a book on your phone too. The only one of your favourites I’ve read is The Hunger Games, which was a favourite of mine a few years ago. I loved The Flat Share too!

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  8. I only read 13 books in 2019 but a few of them were in your list. Reading more is my one goal at the moment for 2020. I enjoy it and want to learn to feel less guilty about doing things that I just enjoy. My absolute favourite from last year was Little Fires Everywhere. Highly recommend. xx

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    • Good luck with reading more this year! I never feel guilty about reading, although I must say I do find it hard to do when the kids are at home. I have got Little Fires Everywhere lined up ready to read – I bought it mainly because of your recommendation! x

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  9. I think it is great doing a round up like this. I probably read about 50 books. My favourites were definitely The Carson Chronicles series by John Heldt, although I did read the earlier titles prior to 2019

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    • Thanks very much. I would have thought you had read more than 50 books! I will have to take a look at The Carson Chronicles series. I’m always on the lookout for recommendations.

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  10. I know I read your reviews throughout the year but it’s interesting to see them all listed in one post like that. A great selection of diverse novels #readwithme

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    • Thanks very much. It was a good year of reading!

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