Liv’s 6 Favourite Books of 2019 (So Far)

by |June 28, 2019
Favourite Books of 2019

2019 has been an interesting year in books. Instead of one or two titles completely smashing the market (in the manner of Boy Swallows Universe or Becoming), we’re seen lots of smaller titles picking up steam and there’s been some fantastic books released within the last six months. Asking a reader to pick their most beloved books is a surefire way to induce an emotional breakdown, but I think I have an idea of what my favourite books of 2019 so far are.

From Leigh Bardugo to Max Porter, here are 6 books that have been released this year that I’ve read and absolutely loved.


King of Scars

Leigh Bardugo

Favourite Books of 2019

I’ve enjoyed every book in Leigh Bardugo’s thoroughly immersive Grishaverse series, but this one really hooked me. It picks up with fan-favourite character Nikolai Lantsov, the newly-crowned King of Ravka, as he struggles to maintain peace while also dealing with the trauma from his ordeal in Ruin and Rising at the hands of the Darkling. He’s a charismatic and noble hero, with a vulnerable streak that is frequently provoked by his steely general and confidante Zoya Nazyalensky (another secondary character from the previous novels who is given new and compelling depth here). King of Scars is a thrilling mix of political intrigue and dangerous magic, with a little bit of forbidden romance thrown in to keep things interesting and one hell of a twist at the end. It’s safe to say that this is one of my favourites from Bardugo’s Grishaverse so far.

Buy it here.


Daisy Jones & the Six

Taylor Jenkins Reid

Favourite Books of 2019

Sex, drugs & rock’n’roll gets a distinctly feminist twist in this book from Taylor Jenkins Reid, which tells the story of the breakup of fictional rock band Daisy Jones & The Six in 1979. This book is written as a compilation of interviews with the former bandmates, their crew, and their spouses, in which they overlap and contradict each other to form a picture of a brilliant band caught in creative and emotional turmoil. It’s both a love story and an ode to fantastic ‘70s rock that is just a genuinely cool read and definitely one of my favourite books of 2019 (read my review).

Buy it here.


Lanny

Max Porter

Favourite Books of 2019

Every once in a while you come across a book that is so bloody good that it makes you completely reevaluate what you think of as good fiction, and Lanny is one of those. A clever take on the ‘missing child in a sleepy English village’ trope (in which said child is stalked by a malevolent, mythic entity), Lanny shines a light on the many ways in which we compromise our humanity and creativity as we grow older. I’m in genuine awe of Max Porter’s grasp of language – in his hands it’s so playful and expressive that when the sentences literally begin to meander their way across the page, you barely even notice because it seems to be the most natural thing in the world. This is a thoroughly weird and brilliant little book that I absolutely loved.

Buy it here.


The Confessions of Frannie Langton

Sara Collins

Favourite Books of 2019

If I’m a sucker for anything in this world, it’s good Gothic drama and The Confessions of Frannie Langton has it in spades. Frannie Langton, an educated former slave from Jamaica, is facing the gallows, charged with the murders of her London mistress and her husband. Frannie was found soaked in blood in her mistress’ bed but she claims to have no memory of the murders. Stranger still, she claims that she and her mistress were lovers. Frannie has one chance to tell her story (or as much of it as she remembers) and it’s a tale of love, horror, and betrayal that has closed a cold fist around my heart. Favourable comparisons to Margaret Atwood and Charlotte Bronte are certainly warranted but the startling talent of debut author Sara Collins shines on its own through writing that is luscious, sharp, and devastating. If you loved Alias Grace, Wide Sargasso Sea, or See What I Have Done, this is definitely one to read.

Buy it here.


Three Women

Lisa Taddeo

Favourite Books of 2019

Three Women is a book that I devoured within days. Writer Lisa Taddeo followed three separate women in America over a number of years and recorded their experiences with love, sex, and desire, and how they can betray you. The result is a book that’s unrelenting and yet compulsively readable, with sentences that will occasionally hit you like a punch to the gut. I’ve seen Three Women praised for being non-fiction that reads like fiction, but I feel that this does this book a disservice. The raw power of this book lies in its ability to tell the truth.

Buy it here.


Spring

Ali Smith

Favourite Books of 2019

Ali Smith once again fuses art and nature with stunning clarity in Spring, the third instalment in her incredible Seasons Quartet. Like the books that precede it, this book takes the divided world of modern-day Britain as its subject, and there’s just something so liberating about seeing a novelist of Smith’s calibre wax lyrical about the state of the world. The book first takes up with Richard, a depressed film director mourning the loss of his lifelong friend and screenwriting partner Paddy, and then with Brit, a young woman working as a prison officer in an immigration detention centre. Linking them both is a little girl named Florence with a brilliant goodness in her soul that shines as the novel’s moral core. Reading this is like taking a deep lungful of air after a thunderstorm on a warm spring day.

Buy it here.


Have any favourite books of 2019? Share them in the comments!

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About the Contributor

Olivia Fricot is the Editor of the Booktopian Blog. After finishing a soul-crushing law degree, she decided that life was much better with one's nose in a book and quickly defected to the world of Austen and Woolf. You can usually find her reading (obviously), baking, writing questionable tweets, and completing a Master's degree in English literature. Just don't ask about her thesis. Olivia is on Twitter and Instagram @livfricot - follow at your own risk.

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