Finnian Burnett

Author, Educator, Cat Person

I had a great reading year on 2019. I read a couple I wish I hadn’t (Hi Dave Eggers), but for the most part, I got to sink my teeth into some fascinating, compelling, and well-written books.

*Though this is my 2019 reading year in review, these books aren’t all from 2019. These are just the books I read this year.

The first book I read in 2019 was Sandman by Tammy Bird. Here’s my review from Goodreads.

SandmanSandman by Tammy Bird

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I should note first that I don’t normally read thrillers. I read this one because I heard the author read a five-minute snippet from this book at a reading and it was visceral enough to make me want to check out the book. Once I was in, I was deeply in. The characters are well-rounded and interesting with their individual foibles and their real human conversations. I love how the author delved into the psyches of the different characters, especially when dealing with people who don’t normally get a voice in fiction. The book gave me several gasp-out-loud moments. There were enough twists to keep it interesting and, without giving anything away, a couple of times when I was sure the author was going to do one thing and they took it another direction instead. I liked the bits of comic relief and the human stories behind the mystery. One important aspect of this book is the very real look into a character with autism – something we need more of by authors who do so with the same sensitivity, insight, and love that this author did. I look forward to more from this author.

View all my reviews

I also got to read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishigur – a book I read back in January that I still keep thinking about.

I read Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern based on the recommendation of my friend Nikki who forever gets to recommend books and movies to me because she is always right.

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon was one of the highlights of my year. This incredible spec-fiction, science fiction book is compelling and beautifully written.

After reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, I couldn’t read anything else for several days. It stuck in my mind and heart for a long time. I still have Nickel Boys, another by Whitehead, on my TBR list, but since I know it’s going to wreck me, I’m waiting for the right time.

After that, I was looking for something light and fun and I found it in the The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Such a fun romp through a universe in which a cyborg girl, based loosely on the Cinderella legend becomes an unlikely hero.

I don’t know how I can pick a book of the year for 2019. There are too many amazing books and so many that I’ve missed. Instead of picking a single book of the year, I’ll say of the 28 books I read in 2019, these are the six you shouldn’t miss.

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