Cultural Wednesday’s Best Books 2019

I love a good book. Fact or fiction it doesn’t matter. One of my great blogging joys in my summer and best book lists. So here we are Cultural Wednesday’s Best Books 2019 book reviews of best titles I have read this year, well these and the ones in my summer list. Perfect present inspiration for bookworm in your life.

The Almighty Dollar by Dharshini David

We live in a global economy and the dollar is the currency that makes everything go round. Dharshini David, the BBC’s Economic Correspondent, follows one dollar on its journey through the world’s financial system. If you’ve ever wondered what globalisation really means then read this book which explains everything clearly and wittily.

Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh first came into my reading life with as a gift from a neighbour. Sea of Poppies she promised me would tell a different tale of colonial life. I was hooked. Gun Island takes you around the world and back and forth through time. Myth and harsh reality of migration mingle in a powerful story. If you’ve already discovered Amitav Ghosh dive in, if not you are in for a treat.

Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

Truman Capote creator of Breakfast at Tiffany’s cultivated a circle of impossibly wealthy women he dubbed the Swans. They shared all their secrets with him in a series of glamorous locations and then he betrayed them all. Swan Song is a fictional story based on real people and real events. Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott takes us back to the 60s and tells the tale of Truman Capote’s downfall.

Circe by Madeline Miller

I loved Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller which retold the story of Achilles from the Iliad. Circe is a return to Greek myths this time retelling the story of the goddess Circe from the Odyssey. Fantastic stuff, especially if you are able to get to the magnificent Troy exhibition currently on at the British Museum to see how the ancient Greeks portrayed the myths.

House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild

Trelawney Castle has been in the Trewlawney family for 800 years. Unfortunately each Trewlawney Earl has rather overspent meaning that the castle is crumbling around their ears. Hannah Rothschild takes us into the worlds of the aristocracy and high finance as the fate of the Trewlawney’s is decided.

Shardlake novels by C J Samson

This year I have spent long periods in Tudor England in the company a lawyer called Shardlake. I’ve always thought that I would enjoy CJ Samson’s Tudor whodunit series but never got round to starting. When the eighth in the series was Tombland set in my home city of Norwich I had to read it. That meant that I had to read all eight. Every single one was a page turning joy. Can’t wait for book nine to appear.

The Hiding Game by Naomi Wood

More time travelling, this time back to Germany in between the wars. More specifically to Weimar, Dessau and Berlin and the Bauhaus art school. the Hiding Game is the story of love triangle that ends badly, don’t they all? On the way we learn much about how the Bauhaus worked and what made it different. A must if you are fan of Bauhaus.

The Surplus Girls by Polly Heron

This is a bit of a cheat because The Surplus Girls isn’t published until 2 January 2020 but I was lucky enough to be sent a review copy and I can’t wait until the summer to share it with you. Belinda Layton was all set to get married but her fiancé was killed in the First World War leaving her to fend for herself. One of the many Surplus Girls left after the War. Set in Manchester Belinda is a mill girl who wants to create a better future for herself. She joins a secretarial college and begins to fall in love all over again, but is he Mr Right?

These are Cultural Wednesday’s Best Books 2019, what have been your favourite books of the year?



  1. December 19, 2019 / 9:08 am

    Nice collection Catherine, my favourite book this year has been The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa that I discovered this month, but aware that’s been published few years ago! Festive greetings, hope France treats you well! X

    • Catherine
      December 19, 2019 / 9:10 am

      Now you mention it I bought this for Mr CW for Christmas a few years ago, time to raid his bookshelves

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