2019 Reading - Part 2

My reading slowed down a lot in the second half of 2019. Still I managed to read 33 books in 2019 so I think that’s pretty good. (Honestly, I don’t really measure the number of books as much as I hope to read things that are memorable and meaningful.)

20. To Throw Away Unopened by Viv Albertine
To Throw Away Unopened was super raw, timely read for me. It cut a little close to the bone in some parts.

21. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
I set On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous aside. I could tell it was good, the line-up was just all wrong of On Earth, then Viv Albertine and this. I needed something lighter.

22. Eventide by Therese Bohman
Eventide was the light interval I needed. Forgettable but did its job.

23. No One Tells You This by Glynnis MacNicol
Cast No One Tells You This aside. If you’re looking for a book about spinsterhood, I much preferred Spinster. This grappled with questions I don’t care to grapple with (much handwringing over children, turning 40 etc.)

24. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
First time I read a book while also watching a TV production of it. I love both versions of The Handmaid’s Tale - it made me appreciate the updated elements of the TV show better. Sometimes, I can feel when Atwood feels chuffed she’s written a great line and that bothers me…

25. The Land Where Lemons Grow by Helena Attlee
So beautiful, sensual, Italian. I would watch a documentary made out of The Land Where Lemons Grow. Prepare to google images of places and art as you read this.

26. Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry
Godot meets In Bruges. I loved Night Boat to Tangier. Kevin Barry is a national treasure. This is my favourite from this selection.

27. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Where the Crawdads Sing was just lovely to read. I would reread.

28. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Gobbled The Testaments. Thought Atwood did a good job evolving the story, incorporating all the fan speculation and still writing something that stood apart from the TV show.

29. The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
Read The Friend on a flight. Thought I would love it (dog!) but if you want a good dog novel, Paul Auster’s Timbuktu still holds a special place in my heart.

30. Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
Ask Again, Yes was a nice little yarn. Nothing too memorable but enjoyable to read.

31. The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Water Dancer had such a good opening, but what Coates has in writing, he still lacks in character development. A long book of people proselytizing at each other rather than truly interacting. Some special moments that kept me going. Glad I finished despite its flaws.

32. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
The Dutch House was sooo good but I felt the ending was abrupt and too tidy and didn’t do the story justice.

33. Lampedusa by Steven Price
Wrapping Lampedusa right now. December's been a manic month so this has felt like a slog. But when I'm actually reading it I enjoy it tremendously.

If you want to follow along with what I'll be reading in 2020, Instagram provides more "in-the-moment" updates. Follow me here.
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