Dud books. I read my share this year – although, as per usual, I tried to be positive in my reviews of them. Perhaps I should be more ruthless – only read good books. But how do you know until you actually get amongst the pages? Some of these duds were recommended by critics I respected; others were by authors of the ‘when they’re good, they’re very good’ variety. And, as with Amelia, my yearly average in recent times has not been high. Bit higher than hers – but not by much. Yep, I should be more ruthless. I plug away at a tome I’m clearly not relishing, reluctant masochistically to let the dud go even as my pile of ‘to reads’ increases. In the back of my mind I think that within them some real gems may lie. Sadly, none of those emerged in 2019 for me. Nothing completely rocked my world, in part because of my stubbornness. Still there were some titles that were worthy, listed below. The real highlight of my reading year was the arrival of the adventures of Juno Jones, my daughter’s new series for emerging readers – available for the young things in your world at a bookstore near you.
Others I rated highly were:-
The Lost Man – Jane Harper
The Whole Bright Year – Debra Oswald
The Year of the Beast – Steven Carroll
After the Lights Go Out – Lili Wilkinson
Erebus – Michael Palin
Preservation – Jack Serong
Upstairs at the Party – Linda Grant
The Carer – Doborah Moggach
Good Girl, Bad Girl – Michael Robotham
The Absolutely Remarkable Thing – Hank Green
As a result of reading the accompanying column from Amelia Lester, maybe I should add Tana French’s ‘The Wych Elm’ and Delia Owens’ ‘Where the Crawdad’s Sing’ to that ever burgeoning pile in the man cave. We’ll see how my summer reading progresses.
Amelia Lester’s column = https://www.smh.com.au/culture/books/judgment-day-what-makes-a-book-a-good-read-20191211-p53izn.html