My favourite books of 2019 and some end-of-year stats!

Hello lovely bookish people! Can you believe it’s the end of not only another year, but a decade?! I’m rounding of 2019 in the classic way by sharing my favourite books of the year and a few stats πŸ˜€

As usual, these are not ranked but merely listed in the order I read them. And there’s a mix of 2019 releases and backlist titles πŸ™‚


Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

tell the wolves im home

What I loved about it

  • Lovely writing style
  • Excellent characterisation and character development
  • Raw beauty
  • Gentle and poignant

The Binding by Bridget Collins

the binding

What I loved about it

  • Beautiful prose
  • Immersive storytelling
  • Fully realised characters
  • Great romance

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

radio silence

What I loved about it

  • Wonderfully relatable characters
  • Made me feel SEEN
  • Realistic portrayal of teenage life in Britain
  • Fantastic platonic relationship
  • Great message

Let’s Call It A Doomsday by Katie Henry

let's call it a doomsday

What I loved about it

  • Incredible anxiety rep
  • Wonderful protagonist
  • Realistic dialogue
  • Nice, easy flow to the writing

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James

quiet at the end of the world

What I loved about it

  • Vividly imagined ‘soft apocalypse’
  • Likeable characters
  • Casual diversity
  • Jaw-dropping twists

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

nevernight

What I loved about it

  • Intelligently written
  • Awesome world building
  • Fantastic story
  • Funny!

Foxfire, Wolfskin by Sharon Blackie

foxfire wolfskin

What I loved about it

  • Not a single weak story
  • Phenomenal writing
  • Stunning illustrations
  • Great folklore underlying each story

We Are Lost And Found by Helene Dunbar

we are lost and found

What I loved about it

  • Cinnamon roll characters
  • Wonderful friendship dynamics
  • Raw and heart-wrenching
  • An interesting historical period
  • Respectful storytelling

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

ten thousand doors of january

What I loved about it

  • Gorgeous, magical writing
  • Effortless word choice and sentence structure
  • Book-within-a-book
  • Plucky heroine
  • Wonderful imagery

I feel like I didn’t find as many new favourites this year as I did in 2018 but I’m still thankful for all the wonderful stories I had the privilege of reading and I can’t wait to see what the new year/decade brings!

And finally, some 2019 bookish stats for you because we all love them πŸ˜‰

2019 Stats!

Total books read: 112

Total page count: 40,621

Average page count per day: 111.3

Shortest book: Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist (80 pages)

Longest book: Vanity Fair (912 pages)

Average book length: 360 pages

Average Goodreads rating: 4.0

Female authors: 81!

Male authors: 26

Multiple authors: 5

Audiobooks: 36

Books from my backlist: 28 (must do better!)

Rereads: 11


And that’s 2019 done! Here’s wishing you all a safe, healthy and happy new year ❀

2018 Non-Bookish Favourites!

Hey friends! I love seeing what everyone enjoy besides reading so I wanted to do a quick post highlighting some of my non-bookish favourites from this year πŸ™‚


Movies & TV

I didn’t watch a whole lot of stuff in 2018 as I really was making reading my priority, but I had a few standout viewing experiences.

The Greatest Showman: I gave in to the hype because EVERYONE at work was singing these songs and they were pretty catchy. I’m thankful that this movie definitely lived up to the hype! It’s such an empowering story with a great soundtrack and I really think this one will stand the test of time. Yes, it’s a bit corny but we all need a little of that every now and then, don’t we?

Vanity Fair: At first, I wasn’t really interested in the ITV adaptation of Thackeray’s classic, having never read it. However, the more I saw the adverts, the more intrigued I got. I ended up loving the sarcastic humour of Becky Sharp and enjoyed the show so much that I requested the book for Christmas. And my wish was granted! I will be reading Vanity Fair in 2019.

Bohemian Rhapsody: I’ve always been a fan of Queen’s music but this film has ignited a full-on obsession in me. Seriously, I am now listening to a Queen song every day just to get my fix. Nobody say a bad word about Freddie Mercury or I will fight you πŸ˜‰


Music

I’ve already mentioned that I’ve been alternating between Queen’s Greatest Hits and The Greatest Showman OST. But I did listen to some other stuff this year too πŸ˜‰

George Ezra: Ezra has released some cracking tunes this year. Many of them are, for me, tied together with fond memories of summer days at work, taking the young people I support out for daytrips.

Pentatonix: I’ve loved Pentatonix since I discovered them a few years ago but there was a period at the start of this year when I had their album on repeat in my car CONSTANTLY. I gave them a rest for a few months… and then started listening to their Christmas albums haha. They are so talented (though I’m still devastated that Avi left!)

Kodaline: I also went through a bit of a Kodaline phase in the middle of the year. I just really love the harmonies, as well as the cute stories they tell in their songs.


Experiences

Shrek the Musical: This year, the company of Shrek the Musical did a UK tour and I went to see them on opening night in Belfast. The show was uproariously funny, with some very catchy tunes.

Disney on Ice: I also got to relive my childhood this year by going to Disney on Ice! I took my young cousins and it made a lovely family memory that I will cherish.

Buying a house: It amazes me that this time last year, I went to view a couple of houses to get an idea of the market/housing prices etc. I stumbled upon a house that I loved and decided to pursue it – and in April this year, it became mine! I love living by the sea.

Starting my diploma: Another big development in my life this year was that I was offered a place on a counselling course. This came totally out of the blue as I hadn’t expected to go back to studying until Autumn 2019 but it was too good an opportunity to turn down. I’m so glad to be making progress towards my career goals!


What were some of your non-bookish highlights this year? Did anything take you by surprise? Do we share any favourite movies or music? Let me know in the comments! And if you’re a Queen fan, please join me in my obsession! πŸ˜‰ x

My favourite books of 2018!

Hello bookies! I have been so excited about posting this – I love seeing everyone’s favourites of the year πŸ˜€

A note before we start: not all of these books were published in 2018, I just read them for the first time this year. Also, I’m listing them purely in the order I read them from earliest in the year to most recently; there’s absolutely no way I could rank these!


The Dollmaker of KrakΓ³w by R. M. Romero

the dollmaker of krakow

What I loved about it

  • Some of the most powerful imagery I’ve ever read
  • Characters that were precious and pure
  • Shattered my heart into a million pieces
  • Perfect for all ages
  • Magical and beautiful

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

strange the dreamer

What I loved about it

  • Absolutely STUNNING writing
  • Incredible immersive world-building
  • Complex and fascinating characters
  • Realistic dialogue and SNARK
  • One of the most original stories I’ve ever read

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

the seven sisters.jpg

What I loved about it

  • The start of my new favourite series!
  • Superb character development
  • Sumptuously evocative descriptions
  • Intricate and clever plot
  • Captivates you and doesn’t let go

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

city of brass

What I loved about it

  • Superb attention to detail, including religious and political history
  • Cinematic descriptions
  • Perfectly paced
  • Gorgeous writing that sweeps you off your feet
  • Morally grey characters

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

the winter sea

What I loved about it

  • Instantly likeable protagonist
  • Took me through the whole spectrum of emotions
  • Seamless blending of timelines
  • Scottish accents written perfectly
  • History, romance, even psychology – this book had everything!

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

bone gap

What I loved about it

  • Seriously brilliant cast of characters
  • Stunning writing with beautiful metaphors
  • SO many levels to the story
  • Reads like a fable
  • A genre-bending masterpiece

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

language of thorns.jpg

What I loved about it

  • GORGEOUS writing
  • Subverts every fairytale clichΓ©
  • Dark and twisty
  • Speaks up for women and minority groups
  • The physical book is an actual work of art

The Mermaid by Christina Henry

the mermaid

What I loved about it

  • Brilliant activist protagonist
  • Multi-layered plot that defies categorisation
  • Fast pace
  • Beautiful writing
  • Gorgeous message of acceptance

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews

a thousand perfect notes

What I loved about it

  • Cinnamon boys and sassy girls
  • Great sibling relationship
  • Brutally shredded my heart
  • Retells the life of a classical musician!
  • Cait’s voice was delightfully clear

More Than This by Patrick Ness

more than this

What I loved about it

  • So tender and sweet, it filled my whole heart
  • Brilliantly realistic characters
  • Romance, tragedy, drama – even a sci-fi element!
  • One of the best audiobooks I’ve ever listened to
  • Honestly, it spoke to my very soul

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

autoboyography

What I loved about it

  • Amazing realistic banter
  • The sweetest and most heartfelt romance
  • Hottest first kiss I’ve ever read
  • Handles a controversial subject with tact and respect
  • Positive and uplifting message

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

muse of nightmares

What I loved about it

  • Phenomenal character development
  • Exploration of mental illness in a fantasy novel!
  • Such a satisfying sequel/conclusion
  • Stunning STUNNING writing
  • Potential for an extended Laini Taylor universe?! YESSS

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

small spaces

What I loved about it

  • Such an intelligently crafted middle grade
  • Wonderful protagonist whom I connected with on a deep personal level
  • Fabulous exploration of childhood grief
  • Some genuinely creepy scenes!
  • The resolution is perfect

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

rebecca du maurier

What I loved about it

  • Creepy house setting
  • Symbolism EVERYWHERE
  • The characters are works of art
  • Unreliable narrator
  • A Gothic masterpiece!

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

the queens of innis lear

What I loved about it

  • Incredible world-building
  • Fantastic use of flashbacks and multiple POVs
  • Amazing levels of diversity
  • A setting that is almost a character in itself
  • A fantastic, faithful reimagining of King Lear

I genuinely found so many new all-time favourites this year and I urge you all to read any and all of the books on this list!

I was going to do some honourable mentions but it would honestly be like another 20 books so I’ll leave it hehe. But know that I am just so thankful for all the amazing stories I got to read this year and I can’t wait to see what 2019 holds!

Did any of these titles make it onto your favourites list this year? x