My 2019 in Books

Come see which books I loved and which ones I wished I had thrown out a window in 2019, then share your recommendations for 2020!

Ellie Di Julio's Goodreads book challenge 2019 23/12 books read

Every year, I set a goal on Goodreads. I used to get super ambitious with it (one year I read 100 books!), but since having a baby, I’ve had to adjust my expectations. It’s hard to concentrate on those little black caterpillars when someone’s screaming in your face.

For 2019, I set a now-standard goal of reading 12 books. One per month. I figured that’s my minimum while at home with a toddler—anything above that is gravy. But since it appears that I read 6,347 pages across 24 books this year (counting my in-progress which I’ll finish shortly), it might be time to aim higher.

I will admit that a large chunk of the books I read this year were graphic novels, and YA/children’s ones at that. My inner bookworm feels a mite embarrassed at counting those, simply because they’re so easy to read (and often quite short). But then I remind it that I also read an entire Bible and it shuts right up.

My favourite read this year was Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, followed closely by the Hilda comics by Luke Pearson. I’ve followed Kleon for years and finally reading his masterpiece on being a working artist was a balm to my frustrated creativity. Buy it now. And if you haven’t read (or watched) Hilda yet, you’re seriously missing out, especially if you have a girlchild in your home.

My least favourite was a tie between Tree and Leaf by JRR Tolkien and The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami. Both took ages for me to get through; the only reason I didn’t throw them out a window was a stubborn refusal to let them beat me. The Tolkien is obstructively dense despite the fascinating subject; the Murakami is downright boring despite me having loved hearing “The Second Bakery Attack” on LeVar Burton Reads.

Next year is the also the start of a new decade, so it seems appropriate to up the ante. 20 Books in 2020 does have a nice ring to it. I’m also hoping to read a better balance of fiction and non, as well as intentionally folding in non-cishetwhite authors. But no promises on cutting the number of comics. That stuff is gold, Jerry, gold.

What were your favourite reads for 2019?

What are your recommendations for me in 2020 (and what should I avoid like a flesh-eating fungus)?

Author: Ellie

Uppity stardust. Will eat (almost) anything.

2 thoughts on “My 2019 in Books”

  1. Hi Ellie
    I have read quite a lot of books this year (and last year and earlier).
    The books I have read, that impressed me and readily come to mind are:-‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr, published in 2014. It was a difficult book to get into, but poetic and enjoyable. ‘Burial Rites’ Hannah Kent. Also hard to get into, but it was worthwhile persevering. ‘The Good People’ Hannah Kent, both stories have harsh aspects to them. ‘The God of Small Things’ Arundhati Roy It is a lovely, but sad story, as I remember, I read it a few years ago. I have just picked up ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’ Christy Lefteri. I have only read a couple of chapters, but it is hard to put down. It seems very reader friendly (re style of writing). There have been others, another very good Icelandic one, but names escape me…sadly.

    1. Thanks for sharing your favourites with me! I love that you decide to keep going with a book even when it’s hard to get into. My tendency these days is to give up on them–so much to do, so little time (for difficult books)! Hopefully that will change once my kid goes to school so I’m able to focus more.

      Here’s to another great year in books for 2020!

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