Happy New Year! For my first post of 2019, I decided to put together a list of the 10 books I am most excited to read this year. January is brightening up just thinking of them! Wishing you all a year of happiness in both the real and fictional world…
1) Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
Markus Zusak is the author of The Book Thief, which is up there with the most moving books I have ever read. I was lucky enough to go to a Q&A with Markus Zusak last year and it was amazing to hear him talk about the process of writing Bridge of Clay. The detail with which he knows his characters is unreal so I cannot wait to get immersed in their story.
I have yet to make a start of Bridge of Clay as I want to make sure I have time to savour it properly but have so far managed to avoid all spoilers! I will be reading it ASAP in 2019 though, in case this good luck doesn’t hold out much longer.
2) And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
My Mum and I have a minor addiction to T.V. adaptations of Agatha Christie’s novels. There seems to be one every Christmas and it has become traditional for us to watch them together! However, I have never read any of the books and would like to find a world of intrigue that I can step into at any time of year…
3) Circe by Madeline Miller
I have loved Ancient Greek mythology ever since the Percy Jackson books of my childhood (my seminar tutor still doesn’t know that’s the reason I know all of the Ancient Greek allusions in eighteenth-century poetry!) I haven’t read anything even vaguely mythical for too long, so, having seen so many positive reviews of Circe, I cannot wait to rekindle my love of these epic stories.
4) The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde’s witty, piercing writing entertained me through my study of The Importance of Being Earnest at A-Level. Reading more of his work is top of my list for 2019, starting with the darker novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Read my theatre review of The Importance of Being Earnest here.
5) Vox by Christina Dalcher
Vox is set in a dystopian world where women’s vocabulary has been limited to no more than 100 words per day. I’m getting The Handmaid’s Tale vibes already – this could be my replacement fixation…
6) East of Eden by John Steinbeck
I studied Of Mice and Men in school and found it achingly emotional, but have given little thought to Steinbeck since then. Recently, I read a beautiful quote from East of Eden:
“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”
It touched a chord and this book was instantly at the forefront of my mind.
7) A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult’s books never cease to leave me emotionally shaken, questioning my preconceptions and unable to separate any clear thoughts from a web of moral ambiguity. Yet I keep coming back for more, and this new release of late 2018 is no exception…
8) Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
I was engrossed in du Maurier’s Rebecca to a degree that, in hindsight, leaves me slightly concerned, given how disturbing the story became. I have it on good authority from another book club member that Jamaica Inn will be just as deliciously subversive.
9) This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay
I happened to mention to a friend that I wanted to read some more non-fiction and This is Going to Hurt came up. I am intrigued to see if Kay’s experiences have any links with my own decision not to pursue a veterinary career just two years into my training.
10) Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Wide Sargasso Sea is the book I am most looking forward to studying next semester. Rhys imagines the story behind the infamous ‘woman in the attic’ of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. It sounds like such a creative extension of Jane Eyre that ‘spin-off’ just doesn’t quite seem to do it justice…
Have you read any of these books? Which one should I put to the top of my list? Let me know what you think in the comments – I would love to hear from you!