End of Year Wrap-Up

2019 Reading Recap

Hi! … remember me!? HA! So back in late August my computer finally gave up the ghost. I had a good 6 year run with it, but it was still sad to see it go. And then I got a case of the cheaps and didn’t want to buy a new one. So I put it off and put it off until finally I realized that my phone and iPad just was no longer cutting it. It was time to get a new computer. So I got the new computer, but still had no interest in blogging. Oops. I’ve gone back and forth for the last 4 months whether or not I wanted to even return to this page. And so I hadn’t. Until I started to see everyone’s yearly recaps. And I decided that I wanted to hop on and at least do a recap because I had my best reading year in a very long time and I wanted to share it with you. Although if you are a friend of mine on Goodreads, you’ve probably seen all my updates. Instead of posting reviews here, I’ve just started leaving reviews there and I’m content with that. I don’t know where this blog will go in the future, but I’d like to at least post a monthly recap so I can keep track of things that way. I highly doubt I get back into the swing of things regularly – I simply do not have the time anymore. Garrett is very involved in sports and scouts right now, and Katelyn is starting to express interest in wanting to get involved in something as soon as she possibly can (how is she going to be going to kindergarten this fall!??!) And I am really no longer interested in receiving ARCs and having deadlines to meet. I think that’s why the second half of my reading year in 2019 was so much better than the first half – I read what I wanted, when I wanted to. It was refreshing and I loved every moment of it. Anyway, you probably aren’t here for all that nonsense … so I’ll get right down to the nitty gritty of things. My year in review:

In 2019 I was able to finish 70 books. That’s my highest number since 2009! WHOA! I also allowed myself no guilt about abandoning books, and I ended up setting aside books.

Of my 70 books:

  •  61 were fiction and 9 were non-fiction
  •  14 were published in 2019
  • 30 had male authors and 40 had female authors (BIG win for me there – I’ve always had more male authors than female)
  • 39 were by new-to-me authors (yay for new authors!)
  • 33 books were from a series. (9 of which were new-to-me series.)
  • 63 books were in physical format, 5 e-books and 2 audio. (Audio just doesn’t work well for me to be honest)
  • 20 were checked out from my local library. That means I read 50 from my own shelves – HUGE WIN!
  • My presidential reading challenge is still going … at a snail’s pace. I got through John Adams and started on Thomas Jefferson but then I kind of fizzled out. I found myself wanting to go back to George Washington. And I wanted to pick up one more John Adams. I think I’m going to rethink this challenge and just pick up whatever interests me. I think it’s the “in order” part that is slowing me down. Again I do my best reading when I’m free of the restraints, so I really think I need to just read in whatever order catches my fancy for this challenge to really work for me.

2019 Favorites

Oh my … this always proves to be so difficult each and every year. I went back to my Goodreads page and sorted my books by rating. I found that I only gave 8 books a 5-star rating (I’m pretty stingy with that 5th star…) Of those 8, only 6 of them still stick out to me today, so those are the ones I’m going to list here:

I'd Rather Be ReadingSo if you’ve been here awhile, you know that I am a Modern Mrs. Darcy book club member. I have been for nearly 2 years. So I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t read her second book before, it sounded right up my alley. And it was! I read this short book of essays in a single sitting. I absolutely flew through them and loved every second. And related to each and every word on every single page.  All book lovers should read this book! These are our people 😀

The Last RomanticsThis book was on the MMD Summer Reading Guide. It was available at my library and so I picked it up and took it on our summer vacation. And I hate to admit that I basically made my husband drive the entire way home because I was so caught up in this book. The actual contents of this one are super fuzzy to my memory (darn it – I should have blogged about this one at the time!), but I remember really loving this one.

Midnight in ChernobylOk. This one I finished a few days ago, so I remember it quite well! This is a non-fiction account of the Chernobyl accident. I wasn’t even a year old when Chernobyl happened, and my only information about it was basically a nuclear explosion where everything had to be deserted. But I had seen this one mentioned on my Goodreads feed and my library had it on the new shelf one day so I picked it up. I was not expecting to be so taken by this one. It reads so incredibly easy. And it’s so informative. And some of the details are simply chilling. The second chapter is very difficult and heavy on the science, but other than that it’s a super simple read. I even bought my father-in-law a copy for his Christmas gift. Everyone should give this one a shot!

Ask Again, YesThis one was another MMD Summer Reading Guide book. It was also a Book of the Month Club pick. Again, my memory is fuzzy on this one… but I did jot down a few notes after finishing, so I’ll just write those here: This was a great read! The story was raw and emotional. It unfolded slowly at first but it quickly picked up speed and I loved every minute of it!

The Silent PatientThis one was another Book of the Month Club pick that I picked up earlier in the year and then let it languish on my shelves. But I kept seeing literally everyone rave about it. So my curiosity drove me to pick this one up and I am so glad that it did. It definitely lived up to the hype! I was totally drawn into this book and read it in about two days. I just could not put it down. And let me just say … THAT TWIST! Ahh! If thrillers are your thing – read this one, it does not disappoint!!

A Woman is No ManAnd last but not least (I went in alphabetical order…) this one was another Book of the Month Club pick. I kind of went out on a limb when I chose this one. It did not sound at all like my kind of book. But for some reason it spoke to me. And then I let it sit on my shelves for a few months until it fit some Goodreads challenge call out I had and I decided to finally pick it up. I was not expecting to love it so much! The story gave me all.the.feels! It was heartbreaking but yet a very important story that needed to be told.

So there you have it… there’s my 2019 reading wrap-up. I really did have my best reading year in 2019. Not just in numbers … but also in quality. I branched out and read a lot of things that aren’t my “normal” reading. Of my 6 favorites, only 1 is a thriller – that’s crazy to me! But then I look back at my overall reading list and realize that while I did read a lot of thrillers (30 of them…), I read a lot of other genres as well. Contemporary fiction was a big genre for me this year. I even read (and gasp!…enjoyed) a few romance novels. And while I know that I’m never going to be as active on here as I once was (and to be honest… I don’t want to be), I hope to be able to pop in occasionally and update.

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