Looking back at 2019 – books, travel and stuff

I’ll be utterly frank and say that 2019 has been an exceedingly stressful year, and not just because I quit my job and went travelling. It feels very much like several years have taken place since January, and I am slightly shocked that 2019 is ending at all, as it seems to feel never ending. Politics is in shambles across the world, I have seen three new countries and, apparently, somehow, in all of this I have read about 70 books, drawn multiple pictures, threw a Mad Hatters Tea Party and knitted until my knuckles cracked.

I keep seeing posts about the best books of the decade, whether a personal list or a fancy schmancy list full of Literary Type books that I can’t read without intense frustration. But here’s me, barely able to remember what I read this year, let alone in the years preceeding or the years where I was at university or a teenager or anything. So not doing a decades post. Maybe in 2030. That requires too much thinking at this point and I’m tired.

I haven’t actually managed to get all my reviews up on here for the books read since September, when I disembarked the UK for the Southern Hemisphere. I did write on here that I was aiming to get through my kindle backlog, and, in fairness to me, I had succeeded in carving a huge chunk out of my kindle reading list. I read a lot in Australia. Because I haven’t reviewed all of them, I have decided that I am not going to. If I really wanted to review them, I already have. I have forgotten some of the books I read already, and if it weren’t for goodreads I simply wouldn’t have a clue.

Notable Reads in 2019

I think my favourite book of 2019 was The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. Or at least, I read it fairly recently and I straight up adored it enough to ask for the huge hardback for Christmas. My least favourite book of the year was Lullaby by Leila Slimani and I was absolutely delighted to be able to finish the Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series across various libraries in New Zealand. Other notable mentions go to being sent an advance copy of Mark Lawrence’s Holy Sister, which I loved, and The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker which stayed with me long after I turned the final page.

I listened to several audiobooks, espeically on various buses around Australia, including some books I had already read. It was fascianting to listen to The Night Circus after reading it some years ago, and I picked up things that I had forgotten. I would like to listen to audiobooks more next year, even if it’s just getting through the ones I bought on audible in preperation for travelling!

Things I didn’t get around to

The Game of Thrones series. I have all the books on my kindle, but despite somewhat enjoying the TV series (and watching the entire thing during the duration of Season 8. That was a fun month for my poor housemate) I am finding the first book even harder on rereading than it was on the inital read, but I know I have forgotten too much to power straight to book 2. It’s a series I am stubbornly refusing to DNR at this point. There are lots of other things I haven’t gotten around to this year, but this is the one annoying me the most.

Awesome Adaptations

Its been a year for absolutely grand book to screen adaptations! Good Omens was an absolute job to watch, and I swear to Someone that episode 3 got me through some tough anxiety riddled days. So much in fact, that I want to cosplay Aziraphale when I go to comic con in the Spring. I loved the book, I loved the show, I love the radio drama. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett created something honestly fantabulous.

His Dark Materials (currently on BBC/catch up) was absolutely mind-blowing. I confess I was a little wary of some of the casting because it was so far from what 13 year old me had in her head reading HDM for the first time, but it’s been an incredible whirlwind of a TV show that I love as much as I did the books, and has made me want to squirrel myself away in the airing cupboard and re-read the entire series – which I confess is made slightly difficult by the fact we do not actually have an airing cupboard and I am now far too big to curl up there anyway.

I haven’t watched the new adaptation of A Christmas Carol yet, but it’s on my list. And, there’s a new version of Emma in the works and Little Women will be out in January. I’ve got a few more to look foward too.

2019 has been a long, stressful year…

…but there have been many good things and new friends having been made. It’s been one heck of a rollarcoaster (and hey, I went on one of those at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland! First rollarcoaster since I was a wee un so skydiving has been useful for something) and I can’t imagine 2020 will be any less of one, but I got to see some of the world, experience new things, meet new people, find new imaginary worlds and laugh. Lots and lots of laughing.

Whoops I’m getting overtly sentimental. Better dial it back.

2020?

I don’t really have plans for 2020. I will keep reading, keep making, my friend and I are going to Comic Con and dress up. Beyond that…. who knows?

New year, new decade, new adventures. Here we come.

Happy New Year!

Bea

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