How was everyone’s Christmas? I hope you all enjoyed some happy holiday time. Now that the festivities are over and 2020 is just over the horizon, I’ve started planning for the new year and reflecting on 2019. As part of all of that, today I’m sharing the books that I read in 2019, and highlighting a few of my favourites!
These were the books I read (including a couple of graphic novels!):
- Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
- The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman
- Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
- The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch
- William Shakespeare Punches a Friggin’ Shark And/or Other Stories by Ryan North
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
- Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bollard
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Teen Boat! by Dave Roman and John Green
- Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch
- The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman
- A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
1. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
From the blurb:
‘Ten…’ Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious ‘U.N.Owen’.
‘Nine…’ At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead.
‘Eight…’ Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by an ancient nursery rhyme counting down one by one… as one by one… they begin to die.
‘Seven…’ Which amongst them is the killer and will any of them survive?
Can you believe that I’ve never read any Agatha Christie mysteries until now? I picked this up at the Lifeline Bookfest, and I am so glad I did – this was an utterly fascinating, gripping read and I really could not put it down. I can’t really say too much about the story as the whole point of it is the mystery… but suffice to say that I was thoroughly engrossed and ended up reading into the wee hours of the morning because I just had to find out how it all ended before I went to sleep! I will definitely be reading more Agatha Christie novels in the future!
2. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
From the blurb:
When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a couple of key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace and two, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.
Soon, Rachel’s relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers…
I know, I’m pretty late to the party on this one! As a Chinese-Australian with Singaporean parents, I had a hugely emotional reaction when I watched the movie, so my husband bought me the book as a Christmas gift and it was the first book I read this year. I normally prefer to read a book before I watch a movie/TV adaptation, but I didn’t mind having it the other way around in this case. I really liked that, while the main story is about Rachel and Nick, the rest of the family members have their own stories to tell which are equally engaging. There were plenty of characters that I really liked, and plenty more characters that I enjoyed disliking! And similar to how I felt when I watched the movie, there was something really special about reading a book that deals with the confusing issue of cultural identity in such an entertaining and funny way.
I’m not going to share the blurb for this one, because my husband has just started reading this series and I don’t want to give away any spoilers!! Lies Sleeping is the latest book in Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series, which is an urban fantasy series that I have described to people as “kind of like a police procedural, like Law and Order, but with magic”. I started reading the series a few years ago and have really enjoyed it. This entry into the series was particularly fun to read, as a whole lot of different plot threads from past books started drawing together from pretty early on, making for a pretty thrilling ride! The only problem with this book was that I felt like I finished it far too quickly – which means I have to wait a long time for the next one!
That’s it for 2019! I’m looking forward to a new year of reading – I’ve still got a short stack of novels that I bought at the Lifeline Bookfest that I haven’t opened up yet. What were your favourite books of 2019, and what’s on your reading list for 2020?