Fun Fact: I’ve never read so much in my life. I’ve had plenty of time to read over the last few months, and I’m bloody loving it. Below is a list of some of the best books I’ve read in 2019/2020.
Here’s what I’ve read since we’ve been travelling with a score, based on how much I recommend the book. If you find an (AUS) next to the author, they’re from Australia! I’m thoroughly enjoying watching this list grow, and really appreciate recommendations.
I read mostly on my kindle, unless I find a paperback along the way.
What books do I enjoy reading? Anything I guess! However, I tend to avoid historical fiction and fantasy.
Currently reading: A beautifully foolish endeavour by Hank Green
Taking a hiatus from: Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman (AUS)
Boy swallow’s universe by Trent Dalton (AUS) 10/10
Blew my mind. Wonderfully written. Never wanted it to end.
The importance of being earnest by Oscar Wilde 10/10
I love Wilde, I really do. Hilarious, short and a snippet of insight that is still relevant today, 120 years later.
City of girls by Liz Gilbert 10/10
I absolutely loved this story, and the story telling nature and the setting and … well, all of it.
The lost man by Jane Harper (AUS) 10/10
Gripping. I was literally hooked on this one – the ending was absolutely thrilling.
A little life by Hanya Yanagihara 10/10
Disturbing. Haunting. Moving. I cried. A few times. If it weren’t for the exceptionally terrific writing, I might have ditched it. I highly recommend it! But – beware!
Nine outta Ten:
Vroom with a view by Peter Moore (AUS) 9/10
Fantastic. Inspiring. I wanted to be there with Peter along the way. I still need to try a Livornese ponce.
Becoming by Michelle Obama 9/10
What a woman! What a book! I love everything about Michelle. Read it!
The dry by Jane Harper (AUS) 9/10
Inhaled it. Go and see the film too – believe me – it’s just as good.
Girl, woman, other by Bernadine Evaristo 9/10
Honestly, I found the writing style (similar to a poem) without punctuation tricky to get into. After getting past that, I thoroughly enjoyed the weaving roots of each story intertwined, simply lovely.
The space between the stars by Anne Corlett 9/10
Wow. Look, I didn’t see it coming. It felt so real, so possible, so terrifying and yet so peaceful. What a delightful read!
Where the crawdads sing by Delia Owens 9/10
Poignant, sorrowful, potential and sanguine. I enjoyed the layout and the use of language, but nothing could have prepared me for such a spectacular ending.
The survivors by Jane Harper (AUD) 9/10
This had me hooked from early on. Harper’s ability to capture the scenery as well as her conflicted characters continues to amaze me. I would never have guessed the ending and boy was it a final chapter!
Eight outta ten:
Vroom by the sea by Peter Moore (AUS) 8/10
A great follow up journey, not as sumptuous as the first but still plenty of scenes to drool over.
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman 8/10
A little hard to relate and get into but once over the hump and understanding the big secret (finally!) I was pleased to have read it.
When in Rome, search for la dolce vita by Penelope Green (AUS) 8/10
Relatable to anyone who has moved away from home into the highs and lows of the inevitably crushing culture shock, visa problems and making friends abroad!
Girl by sea by Penelope Green (AUS) 8/10
I never would have travelled to Procida (or knew it existed) if it wasn’t for this book. I’m forever thankful I read this. Procida really is a special place for those who notice the tiny things.
Big sky by Kate Atkinson 8/10
Well written, easy to read and the storyline was neatly wrapped in a bow by the end.
The Rosie project by Graeme Simsion (AUS) 8/10
A very similar feel as book #10, fast paced, a good chuckle here and there and honestly just a really great writer. Great character depth!
Bewildered by Laura Waters (AUS) 8/10
This hiking memoir is the perfect balance of displeasure in the modern 9-5 job (I SO get it!!) compared with the joy of nature.
The farm by Joanne Ramos 8/10
Surreal, scary and downright moreish. I wasn’t too impressed by the ending, but the book had me hooked from the first page.
The natural way of things by Charlotte Wood (AUS) 8/10
Holy Sh*t! I inhaled this in three days. It was horrible, tense, surreal. I was left asking many questions, mostly just: will they survive?
Below deck by Sophie Hardcastle (AUS) 8/10
This book is beautifully written, no doubt about it. It’s poetic and poignant. Small moments of joy can be experienced through Sophie’s wistful descriptions of vast landscapes both in Australia, the Pacific Ocean and Antarctica.
Such a fun age by Kiley Reid 8/10
Easy, fast paced, diverse in opinion and to be honest, a little shocking in parts. Whizzed through it, do recommend.
Educated by Tara Westover 8/10
Wolfed it down. A real-life rags to riches story in terms of education, acceptance and understanding. The woman has far more patience and grace than I’ll ever have. I took issue with the speedy last few chapters and the lack of redemption for a singular character. You’ll know who I mean!
Seven outta ten:
Head over heel by Chris Harrison (AUS) 7/10
Great read, now I really need to head to the heel!
Born to run by Christopher McDougall 7/10
Good, thought I would be more inspired to run, felt left asking more questions
The reluctant Tuscan by Phil Doran 7/10
Mildly funny, a great representation about getting around things in Italy.
An absolutely remarkable thing by Hank Green 7/10
Well written, I enjoyed the playful narrator, but I’m so confused about the ending – I have so many questions!!
The Rosie effect by Graeme Simsion (AUS) 7/10
A little bit slower in pace than the first, but just as surprising and heartfelt.
The salt path by Raynor Winn 7/10
Incredible true story, incredible adventure! Had me pining for another long walk myself.
A hundred small lessons by Ashley Hay (AUS) 7/10
Poetic, meaningful and truly made me feel like I have a few more lessons to learn myself.
The hate race by Maxine Beneba Clarke (AUS) 7/10
An important memoir for all Australians to read. I wanted more from the ending, it seemed to abruptly end.
The weekend by Charlotte Wood (AUS) 7/10
Interesting story, characters and situation, however – it just didn’t have the same pull as The natural way of things, also by Wood. The final chapter seemed a little fast paced.
Too much lip by Melissa Lucashenko (AUS) 7/10
An insight into the lives of a (fictional) rural town in New South Wales. Peer into the dynamics of a typical aboriginal mob. Often dark, comic, hopeful and harsh.
Breath by Tim Winton (AUS) 7/10
Beautifully written. I’d kill to have my way with words like Winton. A surprising turn in the story with a level of sadness I wasn’t expecting. Keen to watch the movie. (Edit: the movie was just okay.)
The yield by Tara June Winch (AUS) 7/10
There are significantly parallel themes in this book compared to the above by Melissa Lucashenko including: land rights, intergenerational abuse and race. Tara’s way with words is a thing of beauty.
After Australia (edited) by Michael Mohammed Ahmad (AUS) 7/10
This anthology is made up of twelve short stories by indigenous, POC, non-white migrant backgrounds predicting what Australia could be like in the year 2050. The standout story for me was Bu Liao Qing by Michelle Law, magnificent. If you think you’ll simply dip in and out of it – think again.
All our shimmering skies by Trent Dalton (AUS) 7/10
Too many stories to tell resulting in half developed characters. The leading role of the novel is the landscape! This book will make you want to travel to the N.T.
Six outta ten:
Maybe the horse will talk by Elliot Perlman (AUS) 6/10
Interesting story on sexual harassment cases in a busy Melbourne law firm. Fast paced, comedic and plenty of dialogue to keep the story flowing. I didn’t hate it, nor did I love it, but it was a good read nonetheless.
Conversations with friends by Sally Rooney 6/10
Thought provoking yes, but I didn’t really enjoy the style it was written. It seemed, the story, in my opinion to not go anywhere.
The monk who sold his ferrari by Robin Sharma 6/10
Edible read, valuable life lessons and practical advice. I found the setting frustration, along with the dialogue.
Stay up with Hugo Best by Erin Somers 6/10
Extremely well written, Erin is a marvellous writer. I just didn’t love the story; I wasn’t captivated by the events that slowly eventuated.
When life gives you lululemons by Lauren Weisberger 6/10
I mean… it was free. A light, easy and fast read. Basically, the perfect book to read while you’re lying on a beach somewhere. Which I invariably did.
The space between: Chaos. Questions. Magic. Welcome to your twenties by Michelle Andrews and Zara McDonald (AUS) 6/10
Chucklesome, honest and broad in topic, this was an exceptionally easy read. If you’re just turned twenty, this is a fantastic book, for a thirty-year old gal, you’ll find it nostalgic however lacking in lived experience. If you’re in your forties and above, expect to roll your eyes.
Five outta ten:
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff 5/10
Took forever to get interesting and then…left with so many unanswered questions.
Three women by Lisa Taddeo 5/10
Insight into the lives of three women (obviously). I hadn’t expected quite so many sex scenes. The message was simple.
Four outta ten:
My big Greek summer by Sue Roberts 4/10
Hard to relate to the main character, lacking depth.
Downhills don’t come free by Jerry Holl 4/10
Jerry is a redneck. He’s sometimes funny, sometimes inappropriate and sometimes an uninteresting writer. But! He is inspiring and has changed the fate of our year-long trip
Three outta ten:
That month in Tuscany by Inglath Cooper 3/10
Lacking depth and really doesn’t detail the life of Tuscany whatsoever. Disappointing.
Less by Andrew Sean Greer 3/10
Life after life by Kate Atkinson 3/10
A very close DNF (did not finish). A really disappointing read that I admittedly began to skip towards the end. If I read Kate Atkinson again, I’d limit it to Jackson Brodie content only.
oh dear… two and below outta ten:
Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift 2/10
Mum asked me to read it. She said it was gentle. I thought it was slow. I found it repetitive, boring and to be honest it dragged.
Secret seduction by Jill Sanders 1/10
Abysmal writing and story line. I thought it was going to be about Italy. It wasn’t. I can’t believe I even mentioned it. It was free.
Please help me add to the list of best books to read! Send me your book recommendations via Facebook or comment below.