Warrick Wynne’s Poetry Pages

reading, writing and the connections

2019 Books of the Year

I almost feel ashamed, this year, at all my list-making. So many articles I’ve read recently, some from people I really respect, at the silly vanity of lists, the presumptions and the exclusions.

I liked what Maria Popova had to say over on Brain Pickings where she wrote:

‘Long ago, when the present and the living appealed to me more, I endeavored to compile “best of” reading lists at the close of each year. Even then, those were inherently incomplete and subjective reflections of one person’s particular tastes, but at least my scope of contemporary reading was wide enough to narrow down such a selection.

In recent years, these subjective tastes have taken me further and further into the past, deeper and deeper into the common record of wisdom recorded decades, centuries, millennia ago, drawn from the most timeless recesses of the human heart and mind. Outside the year’s loveliest children’s books — a stratum of literature with which I still actively and ardently engage — I now nurse no illusion of having an even remotely adequate sieve for the “best” of what is published each passing year, given that I read so very little of it (and given, too, that this particular year I birthed the first book of my own — itself the product of a long immersion in the past). But of the books I did read in 2019, these are the ones that will stay with me for life.’

So, I’m keeping it brief this year, conscious that I don’t read particularly widely, that I don’t always read in the ‘present’ and my tastes are my own.

1. The Overstory by Richard Powers (F)

2. The Journals of Lewis and Clark by Lewis and Clark (ed by Bernard De Soto) (NF)

3. Nobody Move by Dennis Johnson (F)

4. A Season on Earth by Gerald Murnane (F)

5. Blue Highways by William Least-Heat Moon (NF)

6. The Pull of the River by Matt Gaw (NF)

7. The Salt Path by Raynor Winn (NF)

8. Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe (NF)

9. The Outrun by Amy Liptrot (F)

10. Haunts of the Black Masseur by Charles Sprawson (NF)

F: Fiction, NF: Non-Fiction, S: Stories, P: Poetry

Whatever you think, enjoy your reading.


Written by warrick

December 22, 2019 at 7:14 pm

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