This week I've finished my 2019 reading challenge of 52 books - and two weeks early, too! I post reviews or at least ratings of all the books I read on my GoodReads profile, but I'm adding some highlights for you here.
Next year my goal will be the same: another 52 books. The great thing is that I'm already scheduled to write at least five! That automatically brings the needed count down, as I always read through the work during editing stages. It's pretty nifty to have a job which allows you to engage in one of your favourite activities along the way.
Her Body and Other Parties
Carmen Maria Machado
I'm starting my reviews this week with my favourite book I've read this year.
This collection is incredible. I recommend it to literally anyone with eyes. Or ears, I'm sure there's an audio version. Just do yourself a favour and pick it up.
I'm so inspired by the magic realism in this collection. My favourite is a whole series based around a popular TV show, but not as you know it. You have to read it to see what I mean. It's just incredible to me.
In Cold Blood
Truman Capote
Just amazing. I don't know why I waited so long to read this. A classic for very good reason. The portraits painted make you fall in love with the victims and even the killers, a tragic tale on all sides. The overall feeling of a thing that should not have been allowed to happen, one way or another.
It feels very close to what I aim for with my true crime work. A full narrative given as if reading a fictional story, or more properly, as if you were there. I was also interested to learn that Capote's research was aided hugely by Harper Lee.
Bone China
Laura PurcellĀ 
I got a signed copy of this book after seeing Purcell at a talk, which was an added bonus to this one. Her work was new to me so I was interested to try this one out.
It was fairly good until the ending, which pushed it over into a solid favourite. I thought at times it was a bit slow to get going, but now looking back at the experience as a whole I see an inexorable build of the pieces of the puzzle and the increasing pace. I was so gripped from about 350 pages that I had to do a sprint to the end before I could put it down.
I've seen reviews calling the main character weak and complaining that her actions weren't explained, but there's a lot of great subtext here that benefits from a careful read. In the end it all makes perfect sense.

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