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Best books of 2019

I have read over 200 books last year. That’s not counting the ones I started and only got a third of the way in before deciding I wouldn’t continue.

‘But that’s your job! To read books!’ I hear you cry.

Well unfortunately that is not actually a primary part of my job and rarely do I get to sit at the desk and read books. However I do love reading (why else would you own a second hand book shop?) and so choose to read when I have the time. In order both to do my job more effectively and to keep my brain ticking along I choose to read a wide variety of genres and styles. I make an effort to read a different genre to the previous book I just finished. So as I speak I am currently reading a classic, after finishing a science fiction book and previous to that was a young adult book which was after a nonfiction book about the Los Angeles Public Library.

Have you ever kept track of which books you read and been surprised by what you actually read as opposed to what you thought you read? It wasn’t until I started working at a bookshop (over ten years ago now) that I truly understood both how many books I devour and how many of those are fantasy! In the course of writing this blog post it was fascinating to see my reading habits and how many fantasy books I actually read (a lot) but also how many Australian non fiction books I read this year (10 and two more on the shelf for January).

So I got to the end of the year and realised that with that many books swirling around in my brain I wasn’t sure which I had loved and which were just OK. It has been terrific to see which books have made a lasting impression beyond what I initially thought when I closed the cover. With all of this in mind, I made a list and thought I would share it with you. I have separated this list into the various genres as I am aware that not everyone reads every style of book. I'd also like to mention that this is obviously not a 'new release' best of list - these are the books I read for the first time in 2019 and impressed me beyond any others I read last year. All purely subjective opinions!

Australian Fiction:

The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi


The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan


The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke


Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe


The Rook by David O’Malley

Young Adult:

Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina


How to Make a Movie in 12 Days by Fiona Hardy

Short Stories:

Singing my Sister Down by Margo Lanagan


The Swish of the Curtain by Pamela Brown

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