This post is in continuation with my previous post where I describe who 2019 was for me books wise. In that post I also list out the top non-fiction books I read in 2019. You can find that post here (https://akhil.me/2019/best-non-fiction-books-i-read-in-2019/).
I actually like reading fiction a lot. I have mentioned many times that audiobooks are my primary medium of consuming books and in those terms listing to fiction is the best. Not only does it require less concentration compared to a typical non-fiction but also is more enjoyable with the voice acting done by the narrators.
So here’s a list of the best fiction books I read this year.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood - This along with its prequel “The Handmaid’s Tale” is categorically the best piece of fiction I read in a long time (barring the Discworld books. Nothing can displace them in my heart). I am a sucker for dystopian fictions and these books deliver 100% on that front. The first book came out in 1985 while this one came in 2019 only. The writing so crisp and consistent that you will not feel even once that there is a difference of 3 decades among the books. The first book has already been adapted into a widely successful TV series by the same name. I am sure you have realised that I haven’t said anything about the books and the story itself. That’s because I want you to find about it yourself. I had no clue about the story when I first started listening to it and it hit me like a train, in a goo way. Highly recommended. (PS: This book won the Booker prize this year. It’s that good). Link: https://amzn.to/2PRSyYP
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite - This book came out of nowhere and just wowed me. I stumbled upon this book while randomly browsing Goodreads and somehow it convinced me that I should read it. It was a pretty short book but that doesn’t mean the story or the writing was any less. The story is about a dysfunctional family of a woman and 2 daughters told from the perspective of the elder daughter who has to deal with her younger sister CONSTANTLY MURDERING HER BOYFRIENDS. Its funny, it’d dark and eerily relatable. Link: https://amzn.to/2Mm0C1W
The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis - This is satire at its finest. It’s the kind of satire which makes you laugh and then hits you in the gut with a reality check. The story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, a Junior Tempter. The uncle’s mentorship pertains to the nephew’s responsibility in securing the damnation of a British man known only as “the Patient”. (summary from Wikipedia). This premise was enough to get me procure this book immediately. It is a short book but that doesn’t reduce its impact in any way. Lewis does such a good job of sincerely highlighting the flaws in human process of belief in himself and the entity that can be called. He highlights how humans are clearly incapable of differentiating between what’s good for us and what we feel is good for us. All this heavy stuff in an immensely entertaining package with an very high re-readability. As a matter of I have decided to give it a reread as I writing this post reminded me of how good it was. Short. Funny. Thought provoking. Good. Link: https://amzn.to/3953tGd
The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - I’ll be honest. I picked up this book as I was actually feeling the deficiency of a good science fiction in my life and one can never go wrong with Vonnegut. This book as everything any good sci-fi should have. Good ingenious scientific setup, rich and graphically detailed world building and immensely satisfying character development. If sci-fi is your thing, go for it. Link: https://amzn.to/397CeuB
Morgana by Neven Iliev - This book is the fourth instalment in the “Everybody Loves Large Chests” series ;). I swear to god, if you do not know about the series already and have read this name for the first time your scepticism about the seemingly vulgar name is natural. But trust me, this book is not about the large chests that you are thinking about (although larger than normal breasts do make appearnce in the story a few times but they are not what the 4 books are about). This follows the life and evolution of a low level “chest shaped” dungeon monster which frees itself from the dungeon and progresses in life at such a rate and skill with adventure that it ends in a book that is really hard to put down. This book was my first foray into the ‘Lit-RPG’ genre and I am thankful that I started this book. Neven Iliev is a pretty phenomenal writer who writes good consistently and publishes a new instalment frequently, unlike some big name authors who want the readers to die waiting for the next book. (Staring intently at you GRRM). Audiobook would be the best form of consuming this series since the narrator Jeff Hayes is a true artist. If you want a fun, light and more importantly new kind of a read this series is what I would recommend. This is a very tasty book. Link: https://amzn.to/2PTrTer
Here are a few books which though did not make the top 5, are absolutely brilliant reads which you might like.
- Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
- Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan
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I have helped many startups in building their products and I would be happy to have a chat with you about your idea. Catch me on twitter at @akhilrex