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Best read of 2019?


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#26 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 21 November 2019 - 07:34 PM

Everybody hated the Slap, it is notorious for it.

(and why why why are you doing that ellipsis thing?)

#27 Zeppelina

Posted 21 November 2019 - 07:43 PM

Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston :wub:

#28 JBH

Posted 21 November 2019 - 07:45 PM

View PostTyfle Hour, on 21 November 2019 - 05:26 PM, said:

The Overstory by Richard Powers.Loved it!
I'm still going with Boy swallows Universe.  So many people recommended it, but maybe it was overhyped to me, as I'm not loving like I thought I would.

I loved The Overstory too, but no one I recommended it to did.  But Boy Swallows Universe still ends up on top I think.

LB I found The Slap confounding. I hated it, but was compelled to keep reading. It was engaging and held my interest but provoked a strong negative reaction. I suspect the author would be happy with that.

#29 carls888

Posted 21 November 2019 - 07:45 PM

The Binding by Bridget Collins
Southern Discomfort by Tena Clark
Small Fry by Lisa Jobs-Brennan
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Educated. A Memoir by Tara Westover

#30 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 21 November 2019 - 08:06 PM

View PostJBH, on 21 November 2019 - 07:45 PM, said:



I loved The Overstory too, but no one I recommended it to did.  But Boy Swallows Universe still ends up on top I think.

LB I found The Slap confounding. I hated it, but was compelled to keep reading. It was engaging and held my interest but provoked a strong negative reaction. I suspect the author would be happy with that.

yes it was hugely popular among friends, colleagues etc. i just couldn’t get into it, thought his characterisation was way off and...i don’t know, can’t quite put finger on it! i wanted to like it. i didn’t even bother with his second novel, but this new one does intrigue me.


#31 Let-it-go

Posted 21 November 2019 - 08:32 PM

Such pressure!!!

Maybe The Hearts Invisible Furies.

#32 Kirralee2015

Posted 21 November 2019 - 08:34 PM

View Postfraidycat, on 20 November 2019 - 09:28 PM, said:

Everything that Michael Robotham has written.  I read it all this year so i say take your pick. Particularly anything with the Joe o'loughlin  character.  FREAKING AMAZING!!!

I only discovered Michael Robotham this year.  Have loved everything he has written!

#33 Kirralee2015

Posted 21 November 2019 - 08:36 PM

View PostBeAwesome, on 21 November 2019 - 06:55 PM, said:



Biggest disappointment was Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty.


I couldn't agree more, so disappointing!

#34 Sunshine streaming

Posted 21 November 2019 - 08:39 PM

Maybe you should talk to someone by Lori Gottleib

Edited by Sunshine streaming, 22 November 2019 - 10:36 PM.


#35 marple

Posted 21 November 2019 - 08:40 PM

love michael robotham
  i raced through the slap, ive read worse.

otherwise - my goodness what an erudite forum we are.

my meagre offering  " a nearly normal family" is a bit plebby. still its a good read and thats what i want from a book.

my 25yo ds is currently reading ' why nations fail' or something equally fun. sheesh. when did reading become so hard, and dull and difficult. it is supposed to be a joy

deleted quote as the books seemed great

Edited by marple, 21 November 2019 - 08:48 PM.


#36 mamatomia

Posted 21 November 2019 - 08:50 PM

My best reads this year

The Lost Man by Jane Harper
The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani
The Erratics by Vicki Laveau-Harvie
Cardinal by Lousie Milligan
Educated by Tara Westover
Normal People by Sally Rooney

Books I didn't like

Boy Swallows Universe
Milkman by Anna Burns

I also love Michael Robotham. I don't like Liane Moriarty's writing.

#37 marple

Posted 21 November 2019 - 08:54 PM

View PostLucrezia Borgia, on 21 November 2019 - 05:41 PM, said:


Mary Beard’s SPQR - A History of Ancient Rome



ta for this recommendation . i have just ordered this for my sister for xmas

#38 Riotproof

Posted 21 November 2019 - 08:58 PM

View PostLucrezia Borgia, on 21 November 2019 - 07:28 PM, said:

yeh me too....it just can’t hold my attention, so many people recommended it to me but i dunno....

kind of like the Slap....i think i’m the only person who didn’t love it. mind you..he’s written another book - called Damascus - that looks really intriguing, i’m tempted....

It's not really similar to the slap, because the intentions are different. He's a bit like our friend Leunig.

Boy Swallows Universe is different because even when it is ugly, even when it is awful and you're full of despair, there is light and love. And he manages to pull you in, to this often violent, often awful story.. you can almost smell it.

#39 marple

Posted 21 November 2019 - 09:02 PM

why have i never heard of this boy swallows universe book?

#40 marple

Posted 21 November 2019 - 09:03 PM

del as made me seem tragic

Edited by marple, 22 November 2019 - 08:45 AM.


#41 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 21 November 2019 - 09:05 PM

View Postmarple, on 21 November 2019 - 08:54 PM, said:



ta for this recommendation . i have just ordered this for my sister for xmas

it’s good....it’s quite daunting...telephone book-like in its size, but she’s such a great writer, makes it all so relatable - and she’s very funny too. eg there’s this great anecdote of a public loo facility unearthed at Pompeii (i think, from memory) - they found this great graffiti whereby the romans were hanging sh*t (pardon pun) on the old great greek philosophers, painting them taking a dump in the facility. you always imagine the ancients as these kind of static , unimaginative beings, frozen in time - but she brings them to light in all their puerile antics.


#42 Riotproof

Posted 21 November 2019 - 09:10 PM

View Postmarple, on 21 November 2019 - 09:02 PM, said:

why have i never heard of this boy swallows universe book?

I have no idea. It has been huge in the last year.

Have a listen to him on conversations if that suits. https://www.abc.net....on-rpt/11269436

#43 Crombek

Posted 21 November 2019 - 09:31 PM

I’m also adding No Friend But the Mountains. It was tough, and not particularly enjoyable, but my gosh did it stay with me.

It’s so dependent on the reader though. I clearly need some magic in my reads. Everyone I know loved The Dry. I thought it was...fine. It was bland. I was a bit bored. I didn’t really care about any of the characters or what they did.

Do love Daisy Jones and the Six, but no one else I know did. I listened to an audiobook though which had such a good cast.?

#44 born.a.girl

Posted 22 November 2019 - 07:53 AM

View PostBeAwesome, on 21 November 2019 - 06:55 PM, said:

I've started this about 4 times and haven't been able to get into it.

My favourite is Daisy Jones and the Six.

Runner up would be YA Book 'On the Come Up'.

Biggest disappointment was Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty.



I've read the first 6 in the series and still loving them.


I'm another who couldn't get into Boy Swallows Universe, but I haven't given it a good go, yet, trying to read a page at a time, in a hurry, between other things does not work for many books.  I'm on the wait list at the library again so will give it another go.

Many people were like that with Milkman (Anna Burns), too - got rave reviews, people either loved it or hated it.

My sister only got 1/4 of the way through and gave up (and it's rare for her to do that) so I thought I'd keep going until 1/3 the way through, and it took me to that point to 'get it'. The last 1/3 was fantastic, and now I rave about it.

#45 born.a.girl

Posted 22 November 2019 - 07:56 AM

View Postmamatomia, on 21 November 2019 - 08:50 PM, said:

My best reads this year

The Lost Man by Jane Harper
The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani
The Erratics by Vicki Laveau-Harvie
Cardinal by Lousie Milligan
Educated by Tara Westover
Normal People by Sally Rooney

Books I didn't like

Boy Swallows Universe
Milkman by Anna Burns

I also love Michael Robotham. I don't like Liane Moriarty's writing.

I read two of her books in quick succession, so have trouble remembering which is which, now.

Conversations with Friends, was equally good, for me.

Was warned Milkman was very hard to get into, so I persevered long after I'd normally give up, and it paid off. Did you get to the end?

#46 born.a.girl

Posted 22 November 2019 - 08:04 AM

Anyone on the lookout for a new author could look at Kamilla Shamsie.  I've read about half a dozen of her books now and they were all great.

#47 Riotproof

Posted 22 November 2019 - 08:41 AM

Boy swallows universe really needs a quiet sit down read. It’s not one to start while you have a lot of distractions.

#48 71Cath

Posted 22 November 2019 - 08:56 AM

View Postfraidycat, on 20 November 2019 - 09:28 PM, said:

Everything that Michael Robotham has written.  I read it all this year so i say take your pick. Particularly anything with the Joe o'loughlin  character.  FREAKING AMAZING!!!
100% this.

Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris

#49 hills mum bec

Posted 22 November 2019 - 09:04 AM

My favourite book this year was The Chain by Adrian McKinty.

Three way tie for second with The Binding by Bridget Collins, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton.

Special mention goes to the Jack Reacher novels I read this year by Lee Child and anything written by Karin Slaughter.

#50 FiveAus

Posted 22 November 2019 - 11:12 AM

I could not get into Boy Swallows Universe at all.
Hated The Slap.
Sent Nine Perfect Strangers back to Audible for a refund.




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