My Favourite Reads/Listens of 2019

Much like yesterday’s post of my least favourite books I read this year, today’s post of my most favourite and highly recommended does not come in any particular order. They are just good, solid reads that I wish I could have erased from my mind so I could have the pleasure of experiencing again for the first time.

The book on here that I would class as the most underrated, yet one of the best would easily be ‘The Builders’ by Daniel Polansky.


Bone Ship

The Bone Ships by RJ Barker:

My review can be found here.

What’s not to like about this one? It has everything I love in a book from a gorgeous cover to a wonderful plot with incredibly well-fleshed out characters in a real-feeling world. Reading this is like walking into the world itself as you just pick up on the atmosphere and make it your own. It’s also the start of a new RJ Barker series, so that’s always a bonus.

I also have massive love for nautical books. So I had high hopes going into this and was not disappointed. Some seriously interesting concepts being played around with by Barker and I look forward to seeing more in the years to come.


The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff:

My reviews can be found here for Nevernight, Godsgrave and Darkdawn.

I listened to the audio book versions of these and was blown away by the brilliant narration, excellent plotlines and stunning characters. The swearing made it feel more real as, lets be honest, if you were getting put in deadly situations, I’m sure you’d swear like a dockworker, too. I was bitterly disappointed that it was only a trilogy but really happy to see all three books hold up so well. It’s often the case that books get poorer as the author pushes on. Thankfully, Kristoff has too much talent and focus for that. He also has a concept or two that were entirely unique to me which is always a plus if done right (which it was).

And it has footnotes! I’m a sucker for footnotes as I often find it adds a nice dose of humour in what can some times be a dark and dreary piece.


The Builders by Daniel Polansky:

My review can be found here.

I first came across Daniel Polansky at London Comic Con back in October 2018. He has an awesome personality and a sarcastic wit to match my own. Struck me as the sort of guy that if he was told one more sentence would cause his own death, he’d be hard-pressed whether or not to be sarcastic about the situation or keep quiet.

The first book of his I read was The Straight Razor Cure in his ‘Low Town’ series. I was after something a tad shorter and kept reading good things about this novella. What’s not to like about a hyper-violent novel full of grim battle, expertly crafted plot lines and humour? Oh, and did I mention that the entire cast of characters are woodland creatures? You don’t know joy until you’re read of a badger wielding heavy weapons. Everyone should read this for the sheer fun factor.


One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence:

My review can be found here.

Having not enjoyed the first series by Lawrence and not tried the second. I picked up the Book of the Ancestor series on audio book and immediately wanted more Mark Lawrence. I am a dungeon master in a Dungeons and Dragons group so the D&D factor in One Word Kill really appealed to me.

It’s only a short, two-hundred paged novel, but it’s packed full of excitement and juicy plot. I have the rest of them on my kindle I just keep forgetting to get around to them. May have to make it my goal to finish the trilogy this year.


The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton:

My review can be found here.

It’s strange to call such a simple cover beautifully elegant, but I just feel that it is. So they’re the words I’ll use. This ‘who dunnit’ with the unique twist of the protagonist reliving the same day over and over, each day awaking in the body of a new host, is quite possibly one of the finest works I’ve read/listened to. It would certainly make my list for top ten books I have ever read. It’s always first on my list of things I suggest when people are desperate for a new read. I really can’t praise it much higher than I did in my review, I suppose.

Black Ocean

Galaxy Outlaws by J.S. Morin:

My review can be found here.

This one is a must for anyone who was a fan of Firefly and was disappointed when the show got cancelled. The author said at the end that he wrote this as an ode to Firefly as he wasn’t quite ready for it to leave his life. It’s eighty-five hours of pure brilliance and easily the best value for 1 credit I have ever spent on Audible. Any lovers of Science Fiction (funny sci-fi at that) needs to give this a go. The eighty-five hour run time is a bit daunting, but the story being told is so good that the time flies by and leaves you wondering why there isn’t another forty hours left.

Can’t recommend it highly enough (and I hated Firefly, so that’s saying something).


Hamilcar: Champion of the Gods by David Guymer:

My review can be found here.

Hamilcar is one of those larger than life characters that not only thinks he is the greatest warrior of his time (and any other for that matter) but knows he’s the greatest. His story is told in first person narrative through Hamilcar’s own eyes. This way of storytelling is my favourite and just makes any story fly by, in my opinion. The bonus of this POV is that we are treated to Hamilcar’s brilliantly unique wit and humour throughout his trials and tribulations.

For anyone who has never really gotten into the Warhammer Age of Sigmar setting, this is an excellent starting point. I knew very little about it and found that Hamilcar’s perspective on things was a very gentle way to ease me in. It also has Skaven. Anyone who doesn’t love the ratmen as a villain needs their heads checking.

20 thoughts on “My Favourite Reads/Listens of 2019

  1. So glad to hear you enjoyed The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. It was my favourite book of last year and one of my favourite of all times. It’s nice to see someone enjoying it and I’ve been seeing some more negative reviews and started questioning if maybe I was looking at it wrong.

    The Builders looks really interesting and gone straight on my TBR. I love something different and quirky and this just seems to fit that perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Evelyn Hardcastle was literally my favourite for the past few years. I saw someone put it on their worst list the other day and was left scratching my head. But then I have put some cult classics and fan favourites on my least favourite list too.

      Oh, god, The Builders is 200 pages of pure joy. Absolutely loved it. It’s one of those that flies under the radar. Needs all the love it can get πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad to see The Bone Ships figuring among this list of awesome books! I’m definitely excited to see the next installment in that trilogy. R.J. Barker knows his shit! πŸ˜€

    I definitely want to get my hands on that Mark Lawrence trilogy someday though. They seem pretty short but they’re so expensive hahaha

    Also need to read those books by Mr. Kristoff. I think I’m making a mistake by not trying one out.

    Thanks for sharing these, Aaron! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All the good things I keep hearing about the Nevernight series as a whole makes me want to give it another go. Evelyn Hardcastle was such an interesting book I can’t wait for the authors next one. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you know what his next book might be? I haven’t kept my ear to the ground or know if there’s any info. I’ll certainly be wanting it, though.

      Ahh, what did you not enjoy on your first run through? I just remember a bit near the end of the second book. Literally just stood there after listening (audio book) and just took a minute. Was intenseπŸ‘Œ


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s