Fact: I’ve never read so much in my whole 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.
From the below, I guess you can assume I mostly enjoy travel memoirs, but occasionally a little gem sneaks in to open the mind and… perspective.
- Head over heel by Chris Harrison (AUS) 7/10
Great read, now I really need to head to the heel!
- My big Greek summer by Sue Roberts 4/10
Hard to relate to the main character, lacking depth.
- Boy swallows universe by Trent Dalton (AUS) 10/10
Blew my mind. Wonderfully written. Never wanted it to end.
- Born to run by Christopher McDougall 7/10
Good, thought I would be more inspired to run, felt left asking more questions
- 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.
- 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.
- The reluctant Tuscan by Phil Doran 7/10
Mildly funny, a great representation about getting around things in Italy.
- That month in Tuscany by Inglath Cooper 3/10
Lacking depth and really doesn’t detail the life of Tuscany whatsoever. Disappointing.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 importance of being earnest by Oscar Wilde 10/10
I love Wilde, I really do. Hilarious, short and snippets of insight that are still relevant today, 120 years later.
- Big sky by Kate Atkinson 8/10
Well written, easy to read and the storyline was neatly wrapped in a bow by the end.
- Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff 5/10
Took forever to get interesting and then…left with so many unanswered questions.
- 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.
- Less by Andrew Sean Greer 3/10
- 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!!
- 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.
- 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 trip. More on that here.
- 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!
- 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 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.
- Becoming by Michelle Obama 9/10
What a woman! What a book! I love everything about Michelle. Read it!
- 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 dry by Jane Harper (AUS) 9/10
- 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 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 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 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?
- Stay up with Hugo Best by Erin Somers 6/10
Extremely well written, Erin is a marvelous writer. I just didn’t love the story, I wasn’t captivated by the events that slowly eventuated.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 (#33). The final chapter seemed a little abrupt.
- 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!
- 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 (#15 was a great read by her) I’d limit it to Jackson Brodie content only.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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!
- Maybe the horse will talk by Elliot Perlman (AUS) – currently reading
Please help me add to the list of best books to read! Send me your book recommendations via Facebook or comment below.