For 2019 I set my Goodreads goal at 30 books and just barely hit it. Whew, it’s been a year. A high-risk pregnancy, car accident, new baby, and series of bad luck at work have me looking forward to 2020. I need a new start of sorts, a fresh take, and a new year is prime for that kind of perspective. I am not big on New Year’s resolutions but I will take the opportunity to turn the page and start fresh.
Here are the books I read for 2019 and some thoughts on my favorites, least favorites, and trends.
1. The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke by Andrew Lawler (4/5 Stars)
2. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (3/5 Stars)
3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (4/5 Stars)
4. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel (2/5 Stars)
5. The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory (3/5 Stars)
6. The Art of War for Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and Exercises by James Scott Bell (5/5 Stars)
7. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (4/5 Stars)
8. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (5/5 Stars) (Reread)
9. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (3/5 Stars)
10. Hunter by Mercedes Lackey (3/5 Stars)
11. Elite by Mercedes Lackey (3/5 Stars)
12. The Mueller Report by Robert S. Mueller III (5/5 Stars)
13. Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer (3/5 Stars)
14. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (3/5 Stars)
15. The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht (4/5 Stars)
16. Wrede on Writing: Tips, Hints, and Opinions on Writing by Patricia C. Wrede (4/5 Stars)
17. The Library Book by Susan Orlean (4/5 Stars)
18. Apex by Mercedes Lackey (3/5 Stars)
19. The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith (4/5 Stars)
20. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero (2/5 Stars)
21. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (5/5 Stars)
22. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (4/5 Stars)
23. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (5/5 Stars)
24. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (5/5 Stars)
25. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (3/5 Stars)
26. The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West (4/5 Stars)
27. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (3/5 Stars)
28. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (5/5 Stars)
29. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (4/5 Stars)
30. Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules by Steven James (4/5 Stars)
Top Five Favorite Reads
1. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
2. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
3. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
5. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
My 2019 Reading Trends
I learned a few things about myself from my reading habits this year.
First, as I get older I find myself increasingly drawn to literary fiction.
Second, I am very disillusioned by self-help books that refuse to acknowledge systemic inequalities and assume all readers have the same privileges. I get that they are (most likely) writing to an audience of upper middle class white women in suburban regions but to not address any unfairness seems completely blind and very not 2019.
Finally, I have not read a YA novel this year that made me feel much of anything. My selection of authors might very well be the cause here. I didn’t try any really exciting authors who offer a new voice. That is something I plan to remedy in 2020. YA is one of my favorite genres and I can’t imagine not reading it. I know it’s a viable genre, I just need to find the good in the tide of mediocre.
Overall, with the year I’ve had, I’m happy with my reading accomplishments. More good reads than bad ones including falling in love with a new author, Min Jin Lee, whose entire body of work will definitely be making its home on my book shelves soon.
Here’s to only 4 star and up books in 2020!
What were your favorite (or least favorite) books you read this year?