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Best-Worst of the Years > 2019 - Best and Worst Reads of the Year

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message 1: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1873 comments Mod
Hard to believe it's almost the end of the third quarter of 2019! Which books have been your favorites so far and which ones would you label "disappointments?"

message 3: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 821 comments Mod
Can a disappointment be a book that rated ok, but just didn’t meet expectations? Or do you mean bad? (Asking for a friend... jk)

message 4: by Lilisa (last edited Sep 27, 2019 05:35AM) (new)

Lilisa | 1873 comments Mod
Lol - absolutely! It’s however folks feel about the books. It could be disappointment, felt it was the worst, didn’t like, whatever - no hard and fast rules.

For me, I had high expectations forMalaya: Essays on Freedom, The Bridges of Constantine and The Autobiography of My Mother they were definitely disappointments.

message 5: by Val (new)

Val Favourites:
The Remainder by Alia Trabucco Zerán, Chile
The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Colombia
The Years by Annie Ernaux, France

I liked Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi, Oman, for its insight into a country and culture, but it was not a favourite.

The Pine Islands by Marion Poschmann, author German, setting Japan
From my review: '...a few mildly amusing moments don't make a book funny, especially when most of the humour is in bad taste and reliant on cliches about Japan.'

message 6: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 821 comments Mod
My hands-down favourite for the year so far is Three Ways to Disappear (India). I find myself thinking back to it reasonably often.

Other pleasant surprises came from:
Lying and Dying (Czech Republic) - a new series for me
All of Us in Our Own Lives (Nepal) - for just ringing so true
Beside Myself (USSR) - for making me think
Small Country (Burundi) - for teaching me something
Out of the Silence (Pakistan) - a new author for me

I was disappointed that these ones didn’t meet my expectations:
The Department of Sensitive Crimes (Sweden)
The Kowloon Kid (Hong Kong)
Norwegian by Night (Norway)
Hippy Days, Arabian Nights (Egypt)

Finally, my nomination for just-not-very-good is Doña Nicanora's Hat Shop (South America, unspecified)

message 7: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1873 comments Mod
This is one of my favorite discussion threads - it's great to check out favorites. I've had to restrain myself - I've only added two to my TBR list so far!

message 8: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 821 comments Mod
I’ve been seeing a few ‘best of’ lists this week - best of 2019 and best of the decade. Here’s the list that tripfiction has put together. It contains a few gems I’m hoping to get to next year.

message 9: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1873 comments Mod
Thanks Andrea! I’ve read a few on the list - Bangkok Wakes to Rain, Golden Child, Where the Crawdads Sing, and The Nickel Boys. They were all okay, none of them ended up being on my favorite list though :-( going to have to check my favs to share!

message 10: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1873 comments Mod
Besides what I posted earlier, favorites I’ve read in the last few months:

The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story
The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

I didn’t seem to have as many favs as I’ve had in previous years.

message 11: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1873 comments Mod
I’ve changed the thread name so it’s consistent with previous years. Drop by and share your best and worst reads of 2019!

message 12: by Vya (last edited Dec 09, 2019 01:04AM) (new)

Vya (vyavanvelaris) I don't really have a favorite this year, but these books are good. Child Soldier is a memoir, and really heartbreaking to read. Exit West is a magical realism, but it portrays the flood of refugees to Europe so well.

Exit West (Mohsin Hamid - Pakistan) 4★
Child Soldier (China Keitetsi - Uganda) 4★

These are okay, if not a bit boring. But as I've said in other thread, literary fiction is usually too slow for me.
The Stranger (Albert Camus - Algeria) 3★
My Brilliant Friend (Elena Ferrante - Italy) 3★

This is the major disappointment of this year. I had high hopes for this one, especially because it's about a writer (I also write), but it's mostly told in an indirect manner that doesn't give justice to the story.
The Door (Magda Szabo - Hungary) 2.5★

message 13: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 821 comments Mod
Here’s one more list I thought was worth sharing - it’s for translated fiction. I’d only heard of The Eighth Life, but there are a few others going on my TBR! I’m intrigued by the Molly Ringwald translation, I must admit.

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