• Noha Badawi

Books I loved in 2019.

2019 was the year I decided to no more stress over my Goodreads reading challenge. And I survived! I set myself a small target, and over-achieved it. It was tough year anyways - reading wise - I wasn't excited for that many books, but towards the end it things started to pick up and I can honestly say that I did love some of the books I read. I knew from the start that not many will make the favorites' list but hallelujah some did. So, now I'll stop my blah-blah talking and start telling about these books I loved.

My first favorite was actually the first read of the year, I started my 2019 with a City Of Brass - a 2018 favorite - reread to pick up Kingdom Of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty which definitely blew my mind. I loved it even more than book 1, it was action-packed and the plot took on a whole different and exciting twist. I honestly can't wait for the third and final book; which I'm sure will make it to my 2020 favorites list. Afterwards, I dived into a World War II novel. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah destroyed me, in every beautiful way possible. It takes you right in the middle of French families, copping with war and life. Those who chose to fight back in the means available to them; emotional, triggering and twists your heart in every way.

For a while after these books, I kept on reading and reading but nothing hit home. It was kind of disappointing until the minute I held The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. As beastly as it was, I loved how it made it possible to read such a rich and intense fantasy plot in just one book. It was historically rich, a major plot spread across the world of the book, magic, romance and action. It was really a fantastic and enjoyable read. Then came into my life the most enthralling, poetic and heart-warming read; The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. It's still impossible for me to describe how this book made me feel. It took me to a whole other world, wrapped me up between its shelves and I felt safe and protected there. I didn't want to leave, I didn't want the book to end, I didn't want it to be over. I believe in heaven and I believe that one day, the starless sea will be my own.

Afterwards, I've been dragged into the world of Pierce Brown with Red Rising and oh boy Golden Son drove me completely insane. I read and listened to the audiobook and let me tell you that across the book I grew even more attached to the characters, and it was painful to watch all that happened to them happen. Those last 10 pages had me screaming, bawling my eyes and pulling at my hair like a crazy person and if you think you survived the Red Wedding in GOT; you have no idea what's in store for you.

And then I ended my year with the most wonderfully painful, heart-wrenching read of all; The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris and this book succeeded in taking over my life, thoughts and entire being for 2 days straight. It was all I could think about, I felt a lot reading it and it such a ride. You can't help but feel for Lale and Gita, gasp at the atrocities they survived, the war, the children tortured, the women suffering and the men working their hands bloody for just a small piece of bread. It was an intense and deep read and the perfect choice to end 2019 with.

I read a total of 37 books and only 6 made it to my list which is not the usual but again quality over quantity every day. Now, I'm excited to pick up some interesting reads in 2020 and many of them to make my favorites list.



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