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Books of the Year 2019

It’s been another fantastic year full of books and we’re delighted to present our Books of the Year list for 2019. Our staff have chosen their top recommendations of new books from the year and we hope that you’ll be inspired to borrow at least one of them from the library or buy a copy for yourself. See the full list. Let us know what you think on Twitter and Instagram using @readingagency and #BooksOfTheYear.

Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves
Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin
My Name Is Why by Lemn Sissay
Supper Club by Lara Williams
The New Me by Halle Butler
Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls
Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession
The Two Lives of Louis & Louise by Julie Cohen
The Offing by Benjamin Myers
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
Know My Name by Chanel Miller

East African Diasporic Writers

To mark Free Word’s Writing Our Way Home season exploring shelter, belonging and safety, we’ve put together a reading list with Somali-British poet Amina Jama featuring writers of East African heritage. The reading list was inspired by Amina Jama’s Somalinimo (till I dhimo) installation at Free Word – an immersive recreation of a 1990s Somali living room, which pays homage to Black Britishness, migration and the creativity that arises from displacement. Which of these have you read? Let us know what you think on Twitter and Instagram

Travelling With Djinns by Jamal Mahjoub, and
Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong'o, and Abdulrazak Gurnah
Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Desert Flower by Waris Dirie
Little Mother: A Novel by Cristina Ali Farah, Giovanna Bellesia-Contuzzi, Victoria Offredi Poletto, and Alessandra Di Maio
Keeping Hope Alive: How One Somali Woman Changed 90,000 Lives by Dr. Hawa Abdi
Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, Denys Johnson-Davies, and
Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed
Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire, and
Nairobi Heat by Mukoma Wa Ngugi
Beneath the Lion's Gaze by Maaza Mengiste
The Consequences of Love by Sulaiman Addonia
Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
The Kitchen-Dweller's Testimony by Ladan Osman, and Kwame Dawes
Sea Migrations: Tahriib by Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf, and Clare Pollard
My Name Is Why by Lemn Sissay
A Silence You Can Carry by Hibaq Osman, and
East African Literature: Essays on Written and Oral Traditions by Editor: Egara Kabaji

Themed booklists

We’ve collected together some of our previous booklists on a variety of themes and topics. Take a look to find your next read.

Books of the Year
Non-fiction November 2019
NaNoWriMo – Debuts of 2019
Food, Glorious Food
Space Chase
Changemaker Reads
Side-splitting Stories
Dementia friendly booklist from Wendy Mitchell
All The World’s a Stage
International Women’s Day
Lasting Letters
Tall Tales
International Migrants Day
Books of the Year 2018
Inspiration for NaNoWriMo: Debuts of 2018
Non-fiction November
Spooky Reads
Summer 2018
Book to film adaptations
Inspirational Women
Pride 2018
Books of the Year 2017
Debuts of 2017
STEM Non-Fiction
A splash of colour for a grey day
Science fiction from the last twenty years
Women in translation
Hot, hot, hot!
Books to make you laugh and cry
Travel books
Romance reads without the cheese
Marmite reads
Back to school
City vs. Country