Another great year has ended with it the best books that graced the earth. 2019 wasn’t really the best reading year for me, I have been juggling my profession and personal stuff like crazy and let just say reading and blogging took the back seat this year. Despite this I was still able to read noteworthy books, I may not have made it quantity wise but the quality of the books I enjoyed the past year, I can definitely live with.
1. Not That Bad by Roxanne Gay
Not That Bad by Roxane Gay is a deep and raw collection of essays. It tackles rape culture told in varying perspective. This is such a powerful read, it should be a required reading. Have everyone in your life read this, especially the men in your life. It was a heavy read but so important! I have learned so much in reading this – and before this I thought I knew enough, turns out I am wrong. I know so little. Reading this book was a very bitter pill to swallow but something that should be fully addressed, and should be talked about more openly.
2. Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
I have always been a fan of Laini Taylor’s writing. There was not single book she has written (that I’ve read) that I didn’t like. She has this whimsical way of story-telling. One of the best fantasy writers that I’ve ever read. Strange The Dreamer is magical in all sense of the word. It is not the usual fantasy we come across each day. It has so much more to offer. What I like best about Laini Taylor’s works is the quality of the writing style. Lyrical and well-executed – giving you the full experience. The kind of story that will stay with you, the kind of story you’ll definitely go back to.
3. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the kind of book you never thought you ever needed. Eleanor was such a great narrator, funny without even trying, heck without even knowing it. This book is hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time. It was so much more than the high praises it was constantly getting. Eleanor Oliphant is not the likable kind. I have always found it funny whenever people rates a book low because the main character was not likable. I always expect the characters to be as real as any human being one comes across with, and to be honest, not everyone is likable, I myself is not everyone’s favorite and that’s okay. Why should it be any different with characters in a book? This is the kind of book that makes sense as it goes, from loathing Eleanor to loving her and understanding her better. I can say this is my ultimate fave book of 2019.
4. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Ackkkk another book that made me so giddy. I have loved The Kiss Quotient and I was ecstatic about The Bride Test and it definitely did not disappoint at all. Helen Hoang has now a special place in my heart. Another auto-buy author. This book gives the right amount of sexy and sweet, with dash of some family dynamic. I loved loved loved the Asian representation. Asians are represented more and more into books and movies and I appreciate this a whole lot! Another plus point for The Bride Test is it is an own voices book. The Autism Spectrum was explained in a way that many people could understand it better and in simpler terms. You can really tell that the author knows her craft and is not afraid to use it.
I am glad this book did not suffer the proverbial second book syndrome. It is beautiful and engaging in its own right. Can’t wait for book three!
5. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
Lock Every Door is the very first book I have read by Riley Sager. His name has been rounding the internet for quite some time already but I never got the chance to read his works until Lock Every Door and boy was I missing out. I breezed through this book. It grips you like a vise. This book is a solid page turner. The kind that keeps you at the edge of your seat. It will give you the creeps and the chills at first, but as you plunge deeper you’ll learn that it isn’t just a simple scare, something more profound lies underneath. Ahhh I wish I could say more, but I don’t want to spoil it to anyone. Here’s one thing I just learned, this will be made into a TV series, can’t wait how it will turn out! That would be exciting!
6. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Reading this book felt like a wonderful vacation! You have to give it to the duo to come up with fresh and unique rom coms every time. Unhoneymooners is not an exception – it is funny, sexy and cute! The best summer read if you ask me.The Unhoneymooners is quite addictive, just impossible to put down. And did I mention I love the humor in this one? It was so beautifully crafted, reading it felt like a true vacation. What I also love about this book is the conflict towards the end, how you thought everything is as smooth-sailing as one implies it to be, then bam! Loved that it wasn’t just some shallow conflict just for shock value, it was what the book needed to give more texture and to make it everything but a cliche. By the end my cheeks hurt from smiling a too much. Gahhhh I just love Olive and Ethan okay?? If you are looking for a fun and light read make it your life’s mission to read this one and all other books by these amazing authors!
7. On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous has got to be one of the most lyrical book I have ever read. This book floored me. It was so beautifully written. The kind of book that would stay with you for days, even years! It was short but it was dense. I have tabbed so many passages, I think this is my most tabbed book. This is not just briefly gorgeous, this book is eternal. A masterpiece! I am so in love with Ocean Vuong’s writing style – it was powerful yet melancholic, lyrical yet precise.
8. All The Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
All The Ugly and Wonderful Things is a highly controversial book. I know that this book ain’t for everyone. It is the kind of book that will challenge you as a reader. It will make you uncomfortable but at the same time root for the characters. You’ll be conflicted all the way but will end up appreciating the story. It was controversial as it was a masterpiece. It was an unconventional love story spanning years. The most unlikely couple yet a big part of me roots for them so bad. It’s like I wanted to be in the book and explain to people what’s between Wavy and Kellen.
Wavy, Kellen, Donal and all other characters are so distinct and impactful, the kind you’ll be thinking about long after you’ve read it. Bryn Greenwood is such an exquisite story teller. I’m silently cursing myself for not reading this one sooner. This book definitely made it to my top books of 2019!
9. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
The Nickel Boys sent me into an emotional turmoil. As if there’s this inexplicable weight on me that I just couldn’t simply shake off. I was more than sad reading this book, it was harrowing and unimaginable. Such an impactful read. Unforgetful. It would creep up in your head without preamble, and you’ll feel hollowed out and just extremely heart broken. The same feeling I felt when I read A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It was unsettling, I can’t stop thinking about it. It was a short book but wow, it gave out more than you could hope for. And that ending, I was too stunned, I had to process everything. Such a well written book that tackles racism, discrimination and so much more. A required read if I say so my self.
10. Ice Planet Barbarians series by Ruby Dixon
Not a book but a series. It was 2019 when I finally been swayed to read the Ice Planet Barbarian series. And my goodness, it is a series that keeps on giving. It just keeps getting better and better each book. I love how as the book progresses the plot thickens, the setting expands, the characters evolve. Everything else gets better and more engaging. When you look past those covers and focus on the story of each book you’ll understand how it isn’t just smut, it is so much more. It had depth and a real story that is truly entertaining. If you’re just a tad bit curious, I say go ahead and read the first book, it wouldn’t hurt to do that. You can thank me later!
Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie
A powerful book! It was liberating and thought-provoking. Presented in a simple letter form that gave so much impact and hits home more than it intends to. There are differences in customs and cultures presented here, at least a little different from Asian type of upbringing, but what was written here is universal. The fifteen suggestions transcend cultures, customs, idealogies and race. It encompasses everything and that’s how feminist books should be written. It is not selective in its pursuit for equality nor it gives misconceptions, if for anything it debunks certain “feminist concepts” — feminist lites, which to be honest I may or may not have been one. This book lets you unlearn what you’ve been fed to believe and what you thought was right and acceptable all along. It was a blessing reading this one. I have learned so much. It is insightful and relevant, I couldn’t help but pass it on to someone else and let them be enlightened and be educated more. I’m gonna talk about this book as passionately as it deserves!
So there you have it, my top books of 2019. I hope 2020 will bring more quality books. Happy New Year everyone may you all find your favorite book this year!