Tim’s Book Review of 2019


Themes of the year:

1. Nature writing
Wilding – Isabella Tree

2. The Law
The Secret Barrister – Anonymous

3. Quiz Books
O/S Quiz book
The British Library quiz book

4. Spies
The Spy and the Traitor – Ben Macintyre
A Foreign Country – Charles Cumming
Secret Service – Tom Bradby
White Hot Silence – Henry Porter
Agent Running in the Field – John Le Carre

5. Holocaust Novels/Non fiction
The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris
The Cut Out Girl – Bart Van Es
The Boy who Followed his father into Auschwitz – Jeremy Dronfield

6. Children’s Environmental books
No one is too small to make a difference – Greta Thunberg
Greta’s Story – Valentina Camerinin
A Planet Full of Plastic – Neal Layton

7. Beautiful Children’s Books
A Wild Child’s guide to endangered Animals – Millie Marotta
The Lost words – Robert MacFarlane

Always In Vogue:

1. Great History writing
Normandy 44 – James Holland
The Anarchy – William Dalrymple

2. Top Autobiography
War Doctor – David Nott

Diary of a Bookseller – Shaun Bythell

Unsheltered – Barbara Kingsolver
Transcription – Kate Atkinson

Big Sky (Kate Atkinson’s new one) was GREAT

My longest read of the year:
The Secret Commonwealth – Philip Pullman
(best to read Northern Lights trilogy first)

New Books from Big Authors:
Second Sleep – Robert Harris
Sweet Sorrow – David Nichols

Finally caught up with:
Late in the Day – Tessa Hadley

Big books for NEXT year:
The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary
Saving Missy – Beth Morrey

Great Food Writing:
From the Oven to the Table – Diana Henry
Clodagh’s Suppers – Clodagh McKenna

Best Children’s books:
The Skylark’s War – Hilary Mckay
The Time of Green Magic “

Local Authors:
Unlimited Overs – Roger Morgan-Grenville
The King’s Race – Lionel Beecroft
Legacy – Thomas Harding
A Short History of Falling – Joe Hammond

The Testaments – Margaret Attwood
Girl Woman, Other – Bernardine Evaristo

2. Costa
Normal People – Sally Rooney
(plus Cut out Girl and the Skylark’s War)

3. Women’s Prize for Fiction
An American Marriage – Tayari Jones

Top 10 Bestsellers for 2019:

Dear Mrs Bird – AJ Pearce
Take Nothing With You – Patrick Gale
Washington Black – Esi Edugyan
This is Going To Hurt – Adam Kay
All the Light we Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles
The Librarian – Salley Vickers
Love Is Blind – William Boyd
The Silence of the Girls – Pat Barker
The Salt Path – Raynor Winn

Likely Christmas Bestseller:
The Boy the Mole, the Fox and the Horse – Charlie Mackesy


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