Emily Critchley novel mentor

In January 2019 I had this rather nifty idea (so I thought) of writing down all the books I read during the year as I went along. I dedicated a couple of blank pages in my notepad and began my list (I think with Rachel Cusk’s novel Outline)

I have never owned a reading diary, or kept track of what I read so it seemed, at the time, like an interesting idea, one I might be able to turn into a blog post the following December/January: What an Author Reads in a Year (or something as equally obvious). 

I dutifully kept up my list, writing down each book I read whilst keeping a little code next to the titles to remind myself whether the book was fiction, non-fiction, children’s fiction or a collection of short stories. I felt that, for me, this was pretty organised. 

Around November, I lost the list.

Yep, I have looked everywhere for it.

I get through several black, A4, moleskin notepads each year and I have searched them all numerous times but to no avail. Alas, my lovely list has completely vanished. 

So, instead, in February (when I have finally gotten around to updating the blog and given up all hope of finding my list) I am recording only the selected highlights; just three of my favourite reads (those I can remember) from 2019. 

Next year I will try to do better. 

I have already started making a list of my 2020 reads (on my phone!) although I am now wondering if this post is actually better (shorter/less boring) for just featuring my highlights. And who cares how many books are read by me, or anyone, in a year anyway? 

My favourite (remembered) reads of 2019:

 

Fiction: 

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Reasons to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe

 

Non-fiction: 

Quiet by Susan Cain

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig 

 

Short Story collections: 

Hey Yeah Right get a Life by Helen Simpson

Bad Dreams by Tessa Hadley 

Moral Disorder by Margaret Atwood 

 

Children’s fiction:

The Umbrella Mouse by Anna Fargher

The Goat by Anne Fleming

Boy Underwater by Adam Baron