So as an English student I have a lot to read, all the time.

*Also, cheeky disclaimer: This isn’t actually all of my 2019 books, this list begins from around May 2019! Before that I read lots of apocalypse and Victorian and Romanticism novels for uni

But summer of 2019 I had A LOT more than normal. I was soon to be 3rd year English student I didn’t get ‘a real break’ from my degree as I had a looooong list of books to read for my course alongside books for my dissertation and the books I’ve wanted to read just because. So a lot of this list comprises of books I have been studying last term but I thought some of you might be interested in what I’ve read all the same.

As I have done reviews on some of these books already and some are fairly well known I thought I’d keep it short and sweet and just give a sentence or two about my opinions on some of the books. I hope you enjoy. Let me know if you have read any of these and what you thought about them.

I have broken my list into 4 categories just so you get a bit more of an idea about what I have read and why;

  • Dissertation reading, these are all revolving around the idea of environmental crisis which is what I’m doing my creative dissertation on so these are all genre and inspiration research
  • Regular reading, so this is my typical ‘out of uni’ reading, so a bit of current modern popular fiction. It’s my; ‘I’m reading it just because’
  • Modernism reading, this was my core module at uni last term so I was trying to get ahead by reading these over summer
  • Short story reading, these are anthologies and collections of which I have read some select stories from which I read for my short story module

Also this list is of the books I can remember reading, I may have forgotten some🤷‍♀️


The Death of the Grass – John Christopher

I did a review on this book here

Silent Spring- Rachel Carson

This book has been amazing research for my dissertation! Its all about the affects of pesticides with the looming image of a silent spring as a result of the pesticides affecting the food chain. A really important read if you’re interested in environmental novels. I’m now actually using it in my environmental literature module

Doggerland – Ben Smith

This book is based off the idea of land being submerged by water over hundreds of years. It’s such an interesting premise and one of my favourite books on this list.

Drowning World – Alan Foster

This was a weird sci-fi novel meet the idea of a drowning planet. Many of the political tensions and environmental issues were really interesting to look at and consider in comparison to our society today (despite this book being written a long time before about a totally different species)

One hundred apocalypses and other apocalypses – Lucy Corin

This collection has a series of multiple apocalypses from the everyday to the end of the world apocalypse.


Eleanor Oliphant is completely Fine- Gail Honeymoon

I did a review on this here:

We are Completely Beside Ourselves -Karen Joy Fowler

I did a review on this book here:

Expectation – Anna Hope

This book was about 3 women all going through their own issues separately and together. They started it as roommates, but this story follows their journey since they moved apart and had to face the struggles of being a grown up adult woman. Really enjoyed this read!

Normal People – Sally Rooney

I did a review for this here

My sister the serial killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite

I also did a review for this one too here

Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone – J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets – J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling


The Good Soilder -Thomas Maddox

I actually wrote my essay on this, it is an interesting book to look at in regards to an unreliable narrator. In that sense I find it a similar ish book to The Great Gatsby.

Passing – Nella Larson

This book was so interesting to read! It was about passing as a ‘white’ or ‘black’ person in society. I also used this for an assignment cause it was so interesting.

To the Lighthouse -Virginia Woolf

Once I got my head around it in when I finished it I realised how awesome this book actually is. It’s all about consciousness and life. Gotta love Woolf ❤️ (just takes me a bit longer to get what’s going on)

Ulysses – James Joyce

Okay so in premise this book sounds good… but honestly I couldn’t get on board with this book. I know Joyce is renowned in literature but I just can’t -personally. If you can understand this book, good on you! I had to write 800 words on a passage in it in regards to language which was interesting to be fair but the novel as a whole was a bit much for me!


What we talk about when we talk about love – Raymond Carver

I found carver really interesting to look at in regards to his style of dark humour and exploration of relationships. Some are very comical if you have a dark humour brain!

Wyoming stories – Annie Proulx

I read a few of Proulx stories for an essay I was writing to go with my story as I found her a perfect style guide for manipulating setting and characterisation. But also she’s a really interesting writer to read, it’s never quite what you expect!

Well done if you made it this far down my 2019 reading list!

I’m now collating a list of books to read for 2020. I obviously have course books too for my environmental module and professional writing so they have to go on there but any recommendations please let me know in the comments ☺️

Here’s an image of as many of the books listed I could take a pic of while I was at home so sadly I couldn’t get a complete pile 👀 You’d think I’d be super smart after reading all that:

Here’s my current bookshelf picture for my final semester at university!

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you’ve read any of these or are adding them to your 2020 reading list