Published: 17 October 2019
Genre: Romance novel, Magical Realism, Psychological Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Romantic fantasy
2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Published: 13th September 2011
Genre: Novel, Romance novel, Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, High fantasy
The circus arrives without warning. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Against the grey sky the towering tents are striped black and white. A sign hanging upon iron gates reads:
Opens at Nightfall
Closes at Dawn
As dusk shifts to twilight, tiny lights begin to flicker all over the tents, as though the whole circus is covered in fireflies. When the tents are aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign lights up:
Le Cirque des Rêves
The Circus of Dreams
The gates shudder and unlock, seemingly by their own volition.
They swing outward, inviting the crowd inside.
Now the circus is open.
Now you may enter.
Published: 5 November 2019
Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Historical fantasy, Romantic fantasy
4. The Binding by Bridget Collins
Published: 31 December 2018
Genre: Novel, Magical Realism, Alternate history, Historical Fiction, Fantasy Fiction
Imagine you could erase your grief.
Imagine you could forget your pain.
Imagine you could hide a secret.
Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.
He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.
In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded.
Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.
5. Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver
Published: 21 March 2019
Genre: Thriller, Ghost story, Suspense, Horror fiction, Gothic fiction, Historical Fiction, Paranormal Fiction, Metaphysical fiction
“Something has been let loose…”
In Edwardian Suffolk, a manor house stands alone in a lost corner of the Fens: a glinting wilderness of water whose whispering reeds guard ancient secrets. Maud is a lonely child growing up without a mother, ruled by her repressive father.
When he finds a painted medieval devil in a graveyard, unhallowed forces are awakened.
Maud’s battle has begun. She must survive a world haunted by witchcraft, the age-old legends of her beloved fen – and the even more nightmarish demons of her father’s past.
Spanning five centuries, Wakenhyrst is a darkly gothic thriller about murderous obsession and one girl’s longing to fly free by the bestselling author of Dark Matter and Thin Air. Wakenhyrst is an outstanding new piece of story-telling, a tale of mystery and imagination laced with terror. It is a masterwork in the modern gothic tradition that ranges from Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker to Neil Gaiman and Sarah Perry.
6. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Published: 26 August 2014
Genre: Novel, Historical Fiction
Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam–a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion–a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.
“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .”
On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office–leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.
But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist–an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .
Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand–and fear–the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?
Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.
Published: 28 June 2016
Genre: Novel, Thriller, Suspense, Historical Fiction
Published: 2 May 2013
Genre: Novel, Romance novel, Psychological Fiction, Contemporary romance
9. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Published: 1 January 1934
Genre: Novel, Mystery, Crime Fiction, Detective fiction
The Queen of Mystery has come to Harper Collins! Agatha Christie, the acknowledged mistress of suspense–creator of indomitable sleuth Miss Marple, meticulous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and so many other unforgettable characters–brings her entire oeuvre of ingenious whodunits, locked room mysteries, and perplexing puzzles to Harper Paperbacks…including Murder on the Orient Express, the most famous Hercule Poirot mystery, which has the brilliant detective hunting for a killer aboard one of the world’s most luxurious passenger trains.
Published: 10 September 2019
Genre: Magical Realism, Bildungsroman, Historical Fiction, Coming-of-Age Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Historical fantasy, Romantic fantasy
What is on your 2020 reading list?