RS (rainbowstevie) wrote,

Top 10 Book Buys of 2019

Merry Christmas Eve day, y'all! The original topic at That Artsy Reader Girl was "books I hope to find under my tree," but since I have way too many books at the moment and definitely am not getting more until next year, I thought it would be more fun to talk about the best books I've bought or otherwise acquired in the year leading up to Christmas.

I was going to take photos of my actual books for once, but in true RS fashion I currently don't know where half of them are, so stock covers from Goodreads it is.

Also I promise I will calm down a bit on the text blocks after the third one.

top 10 2019 a
1. The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter - Russell T. Davies
I've barely cracked the cover on this and I don't know when I will, but I'm just giddy about it. Not insisting on this for Christmas 2010 is probably the biggest book regret of my life, not least because if I'd gotten it sooner, apparently I could have downloaded the season 1 scripts that were removed from this 700+ page edition to make room for more new content (the website no longer exists). In the frenzied Tennant-era fandom revival I'm in for Doctor Who, who could ask for anything more than a detailed walkthrough of the showrunner's creative process for his final season?

2. April and Oliver - Tess Callahan
This $2.25 clearance book blew into my life and gave me an immediate book hangover and I'm still so in love with it. I reread passages over and over for days, envisioning every tiny motion and expression between the title characters. I devoted an entire Tumblr tag to my spiral. I looked for artistic edits, found supplemental music. I looked for interviews with the author to pick over for character insights and desperately, successfully, sought out an earlier draft in short story form on JSTOR. I even checked out the audiobook, just to see if I got anything else out of someone else's verbal inflection. I've never seen such electric chemistry between two people just leap off the page like that.

3. A Short Walk to the Bookshop - Aleksandra Drake
SAMESIES. I evaluated this purchase decision very, very carefully while scrutinizing the (limited) reviews and the sample/preview, since it was not available secondhand or in libraries and unlikely to be for a long time, if ever, but ultimately concluded I had to go for what sounded like the age-mismatched hurt/comfort romance of my dreams. Never have I ever been more satisfied with a book I spent so much money (ELEVEN DOLLARS!!) on without reading it first. This self-published book is from a first-and-foremost Tumblr user, so I had whole tags under her blog* filled with page after page about the creative process, character sketches, writing exercises, supplemental edits, etc, and I SOAKED my brain in them while rereading passages over and over, grateful to have it in hand instead of trying to scroll back through an ebook on my computer screen.

(*unfortunately, she has since locked her Tumblr down to sign-in mode, which means you can't view posts by tags or in archival mode, only infinite scroll from the most recent. I can't believe I didn't smash the like and/or reblog buttton on every single post while I had the chance.)

4. The Leaving - Lynn Hall
Currently my favorite teen novel of hers, and now one of my favorites of hers all around. Every sentence is so clear and rich. The rural Iowa setting is so vivid, and the brief chapter showing her young, independent adulthood in the city, landing a decent entry-level office job w/ no experience and living in a boarding house, is so perfectly time-locked to the early 80s it makes me happy-sigh.

5. Appaloosa Summer - Tudor Robins
Basically, every sentence is perfect. This is the teenage dream life I wish I could run away to at the beginning of every summer, written down in story form.


6. Fancy Free - Betty Cavanna
I mentioned this before on TTT, but I plucked this 1960s teen novel out of an antique store for under $2 and my face hurt from smiling the whole time I read it.

7. Bonny's Boy Returns - F.E. Rechnitzer
Sequel to a cute children's book I read a few years ago about a Cocker Spaniel (the titular Bonny's Boy), this usually goes for $15+, so when I spotted a copy for $5 on Thrift Books, I snatched it. It's so old and forgotten I can't even find a summary or single review of it online, so I'm excited to find out what it's about! (My copy doesn't have a dust jacket and I can't even get it from ILL because no libraries in-state have it.)

8. Five O'Clock Charlie - Marguerite Henry
Thanks Goodwill! Henry's picture books are the only ones I don't mind having in paperback over hardcover, because all I really want are the color illustrations, and it was awesome to add this to my collection for under $1.

9. Brunette Ambition - Lea Michele
This actually made my "Christmas wishlist" TTT post last year. I didn't get it for Christmas -- but I did find a brand new copy on the library's sale shelf for $1 in June, so honestly that's better. She's just so pretty and I love the entire contents of this lifestyle book, which is full of fitness & nutritional inspiration in addition to fun personal stories.

10. The Geography of Lost Things - Jessica Brody
I still haven't read it but I am breathless with anticipation to do so; meanwhile, it is just so GORGEOUS that I have hardly ever had a more beautiful book on my shelves. Give whoever designed this cover a medal.

Anyone else know any of these?

NOTE: Most comments are screened and will be unscreened at my earliest opportunity.
Tags: top ten tuesday

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