2019 book roundup

2019 goodreads challenge logoMy goal every year is to read 100 books. This year, I read 61, almost half of which were in the first few months of the year (I read 27 books from January-April, then about 10 or so in each subsequent quarter). Being home with pneumonia for a few days is a great way to catch up on unread books.

This list only includes books I finished. There are dozens that I started but didn’t finish (often not even the first chapter) either because they were poorly edited or didn’t hold my interest or that I’m still convinced I’ll finish some day. I also didn’t include textbooks or journals that I read for school or work.

Here’s a breakdown of what I read:

  • 4 (7%) were either kids or young adult; the rest were adult. Of the kids books, 2 were ones I’d read as a kid and was rereading as an adult.
  • 1 (2%) was nonfiction and the rest were fiction. So much for my goal of trying to read more nonfiction books.
  • 3 (5%) were single short stories, and 5 (8%) were short story anthologies.
  • I know the authors of 21 (34%) of the books. 4 (7%) share my publisher and 3 were by someone in my in-person writing group.
  • 28 (46%) were in a series. 5 were the first book and I probably won’t read the rest in the series. 12 were in 3 series I binged within a week of starting the first books.
  • 6 (10%) were from Amazon’s first read program, where they offer a free ebook to Prime members.
  • 7 (11%) were from a different country besides US/Canada/Australia/Britain. 6 of those were part of the Around the World reading challenge, and 1 was one I picked up in India, where I generally buy all the English language books I can find.
  • 18 (30%) were books I didn’t like enough to rate at least 4 stars or above. There were also 9 more I started but chose not to finish.
  • 49 (80%) were ebooks. I’m buying print copies of all my Around the World challenge books, or this number would’ve been higher

Best books I read in 2018:

  • Yarnsworld series by Benedict Patrick. A dark, unique spin on fairy tales. I can’t recommend these enough.
  • Drawing Breath by Laurie Boris. A very emotional, realistic story about the (completely legal, platonic) relationship between a teenage girl and her high school art teacher who’s dying of cystic fibrosis.
  • A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid. A scathing, lyrical take on the legacy of colonialism in Antigua.
  • Enchantress of Books and other stories by Alison McBain. A collection of fantasy short stories.
  • Winter Loon by Susan Bernhard. A coming-of-age story about a Minnesota teen whose life sucks.

If you challenged yourself to read a set number of books in 2019, how did you end up doing? What were your favorites? Anything you particularly disliked?


  1. Great post!

    Yeah, as you know, I’m also a book gobbler, read over 100. But, limited to audiobooks. That limits reading to primarily traditionally published. Wish more self-published authors would create the additional format of the audiobook version. I’ve tried the text-to-voice thing we can do with most systems today, but it’s not the same. Audiobook creating is no more expensive than creating the ebook, and it’s fun, IMO. Most have been reviewed on my site and audible.com

    What did I like most?

    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford – A Japanese internment story.

    Elevation by Stephen King – Think Frank Capra movie written by Edgar Allen Poe :-) Not normally a fan of this guy, but it’s hard to argue with success and story-telling.

    The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon – an oldie but goody

    The Kent Family Chronicles by John Jakes – also an oldie but goody – but terrific. Think I’ve read this series three times.

    Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens A coming-of-age, love story, murder mystery

    The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris – just what you’d think, excellent.

    Lost myself in the Gabaldon Outlander series again, about 400 hours of listening but can’t recommend. VERY Alpha male lead and some homosexual violence. But very historical.

    Of course, I got into some nonfiction surrounding the current political nightmare, like Fear, Anonymous, and shortly, A Real Stable Genius. *sigh* Everyone should read these, at least be aware of what we’re dealing with in our broken democracy.

    So many to read, so little time! So, if I don’t like the book within the first hour of listening, I’m done with it!

    Tidbit? If you read one book a week for 50 years, you’re going to read less than 3000 books in your lifetime. Over 1,000,000 are published every year!

  2. I appreciate your book gobbling! I’ve read a couple that you reviewed on your site, as well as added a bunch more of them to my TBR list.

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