Best Fiction Book

Despite my sporadic posting, two more categories remain in The Second Annual Karissa Reads Books Literary Awards. Today we focus on the Best Fiction Book read in 2019.

This is a big category because fiction makes up the largest chunk of what I read. I started out with a list of 15 books and have narrowed it down to my top ten:

Lampedusa by Steven Price

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

Aria by Nazanine Hozar

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride

Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Lanny by Max Porter

Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut

And the Winner is…

A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr

Surprised? I was too. This book wasn’t one I was familiar with before I saw it on a list of books recommended by Michael Ondaatje (who happens to be my favourite writer). It’s short and light on plot but so beautifully and evocatively written. I read it in January of this year and yet no other book of 2019 quite came close. As I looked over my lists and jotted down titles, A Month in the Country continued to stand out, making it the clear winner in my mind.

Looking over this list, I think you might get a good sense of the kind of reading I enjoy. I like contemplative books, I’m okay with quiet thoughtfulness and strong characters and slow plot. I like history and the ability to travel by reading on a page. I enjoy a bit of magic realism. As I settled on my top ten I saw that it wasn’t a list that would appeal to every reader but it’s a list of books that I find beautiful and expressive and each one has stuck with me throughout the year.

Friday will be this year’s last category: Best Book Published in 2019.

6 thoughts on “Best Fiction Book”

  1. Oh hurrah! So glad to see that your winner is already on my TBR and I should definitely be reading it soon – it does sound wonderful. Glad to see we both ranked The Night Tiger in our shortlists too, and Lampedusa is one that I added to my wishlist after you reviewed it, although I don’t plan on reading it till after I read The Leopard. Haha – and you also made me acquire The English Patient on the grounds of your previous praise of Ondaatje, so maybe I should just hold you responsible for the state of my TBR… 😀

  2. Ok the way you described yourself as a reader makes so much sense to me-no wonder you loved Lampedusa! I’ve read barely any Michael Ondaatje, which I feel guilty about because he’s such a canlit legend, but he also doesn’t NEED anymore readers I suppose, so I don’t feel all that guilty when I think too hard about it.

    1. Yep, Lampedusa was exactly my kind of book! I will let a book get away with a lot if I think it’s beautifully written and I tend to enjoy novels written by poets. I love Ondaatje’s work so much. He certainly doesn’t need more readers but he also seems so lovely when I’ve seen him read. My definite favourite is In the Skin of a Lion, if you haven’t read that one.

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