Despite my sporadic posting, two more categories remain in The Second Annual Karissa Reads Books Literary Awards. Today we focus on the Best Fiction Book read in 2019.
This is a big category because fiction makes up the largest chunk of what I read. I started out with a list of 15 books and have narrowed it down to my top ten:
Lampedusa by Steven Price
Transcription by Kate Atkinson
Aria by Nazanine Hozar
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride
Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
Lanny by Max Porter
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
And the Winner is…
A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr
Surprised? I was too. This book wasn’t one I was familiar with before I saw it on a list of books recommended by Michael Ondaatje (who happens to be my favourite writer). It’s short and light on plot but so beautifully and evocatively written. I read it in January of this year and yet no other book of 2019 quite came close. As I looked over my lists and jotted down titles, A Month in the Country continued to stand out, making it the clear winner in my mind.
Looking over this list, I think you might get a good sense of the kind of reading I enjoy. I like contemplative books, I’m okay with quiet thoughtfulness and strong characters and slow plot. I like history and the ability to travel by reading on a page. I enjoy a bit of magic realism. As I settled on my top ten I saw that it wasn’t a list that would appeal to every reader but it’s a list of books that I find beautiful and expressive and each one has stuck with me throughout the year.
Friday will be this year’s last category: Best Book Published in 2019.