2019 Reading Year in Review

2019 was quite a year of reading for me. I easily completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge by reading 34 books, which beat my previous record of 33 books in 2018.

The Books

All the books I read in 2019, in order of date read:

  1. Nomad, Matthew Mather
  2. Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  3. Batman: Nightwalker, Marie Lu
  4. Sanctuary, Matthew Mather
  5. The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
  6. Way Station, Clifford D. Simak
  7. American Gods, Neil Gaiman
  8. A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman
  9. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
  10. On the Come Up, Angie Thomas
  11. The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman
  12. Life, the Universe and Everything, Douglas Adams
  13. Akata Witch, Nnedi Okorafor
  14. The Last Firewall, William Hertling
  15. Zeus Is Undead: This One Has Zombies, Michael G. Munz
  16. Superman: Dawnbreaker, Matt de la Pena
  17. The Sellout, Paul Beatty
  18. The Robots of Dawn, Isaac Asimov
  19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
  20. Stories of Your Life and Others, Ted Chiang
  21. A Man With One of Those Faces, Caimh McDonnell
  22. Checking Out, Nick Spalding
  23. The Flight of the Silvers, Daniel Price
  24. The Third Twin, Ken Follett
  25. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
  26. The Song of the Orphans, Daniel Price
  27. The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep, H.G. Parry
  28. Randomize, Andy Weir
  29. The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
  30. Summer Frost, Blake Crouch
  31. Recursion, Blake Crouch
  32. The Princess Bride, William Goldman
  33. The Rosetta Man, Claire McCague
  34. Game Changer, Douglas E. Richards

Fun Numbers

I read a total of 13,818 pages, with an average book length of 394 pages. The shortest book was 28 pages (Randomize, by Andy Weir), while the longest book was 748 pages (The Song of the Orphans, by Daniel Price).

I read 22 authors I hadn’t read before, including Aldous Huxley, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Neil Gaiman, Nnedi Okorafor, Patrick Rothfuss, and Ted Chiang.

I’ve currently been reading for 75 weeks consecutively. My longest daily streak of 2019 was 115 days.

Biggest Surprises

Sometimes I read a book simply because it’s been steeply discounted or it’s available on Prime Reading. I love it when I thoroughly enjoy these books. I got hooked on Daniel Price’s Silvers series, and I can’t wait until he releases the conclusion in 2020. Clifford Smoak had me wondering how I’d never heard of him; Way Station was absolutely riveting. But Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove was probably the biggest suprise of the year. It was heart-warming, tearful, and Ove is one of my favorite characters.

Biggest Disappointments

I read two books in 2019 that are considered sci-fi classics yet underwhelmed me. Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land was interesting and thought-provoking, but ultimately filled with too much misogyny and racism for me to fully enjoy. Heinlein wasn’t trying to be controversial—that I could have respected—but his language towards women and minorities were either a reflection of the times or his own personal biases and it ruined the book for me.

On the other hand, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was intentionally controversial and disturbing. I was fascinated with the dystopia he created, until the book devolved into religious advocacy. Less disappointing, but disappointing nonetheless.

Favorite Book of 2019

Settling on a single favorite is always tough. I finally got around to reading The Princess Bride, and it’s every bit as fun as the film adaptation. I love Isaac Asimov, and Robots of Dawn is no exception. I already mentioned my affinity for the Silvers series and Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind is the fantasy series I can finally get behind (sorry, Harry). Many others left a lasting impression, including The Sellout, Stories of Your Life and Others, and The Underground Railroad, but my favorite book of 2019 is…

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

Not only was it a pleasant surprise, but it tugged at my heart strings, made me laugh, made me cry, and reminded me why I love to read.