Once upon a time, in a kingdom far away, our beloved former book-columnist, Alessandra Gugliotti, gave us her book recommendations of 2019. Now, fifty-two weeks and two days later, here, once more, are three of my own battered favourites to adorn your shelf. Here you will find volumes that will keep you awake past midnight, that will beckon to you to come deep into their worlds, and whose characters will leave an impression on your reading soul.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (the prequel to The Hunger Games series), by Suzanne Collins is an engrossing story that revolves around the life of Coriolanus Snow. It offers a bird’s-eye-view of his victories and sorrows, his friends and foes, and his path to infamy. This story lays down the foundation of the Hunger Games, the sculpting of a dictatorial leader, and a number of familiar ballads. Collins introduces us to her characters, from protagonists to villains, including Lucy Gray Baird, Sejanus Plinth, and Dr Gaul. This novel is fresh from the printing press, and it is a brilliant read, especially if read after the trilogy.
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
This may be the only classic novel I have ever willingly read in a brief amount of time. Within the pages we find Elizabeth Bennet, numerous dirt roads leading to respectable acquaintances, and a myriad of written books. While being a classic romance, this work was written by the clever and ever-resourceful Jane Austen and has numerous laugh-out-loud instances with a handful of memorable minor-characters such as Mr. William Collins and Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Pride and Prejudice is an anywhere-read: a book that can be consumed in any environment from an airport to the front porch.
A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities is the most annotated volume on my personal bookshelf. Written by Charles Dickens, no single detail within these 341 pages is laid waste. Everything, from the blood stains on the brick wall to the familial connection of a governess are significant to the tale. Set during the late 18th century and the French Revolution, Dickens guides readers through the lives of Sydney Carton, Charles Darnay, Lucie Manet, and many others. This is a story filled with genuine brain-human-beings that portray the honest world, and it is a splendid read for Saturday afternoons.
Comment below and share what your top three reads of the year were!