Books I Read in 2019

2019 was a year of “should reads”. As you might expect, most of the books a person is told to read end up disappointing. Eat and Run, though a “must read” for runners, did not inspire me. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and Ragtime (both read with my book club) may be great books, but they weren’t books I was excited to read.

On the other hand, I found a few hidden gems. Marathon Woman is a book I’ll return to again and again. Same for The Bell Jar, which felt at times as though it was written by my subconscious. I treated myself to another N.K. Jemison book and some silly Sarah J. Maas fantasy, as well as Life and Fate, an incredible piece of Russian literature. Lastly, I forced myself through Dark Money, which gave me a stomach ache but I’m ultimately grateful to have learned from.

Going into 2020 I’m planning on a lot more “fun” reading. But in the meantime, here are the ratings from 2019.

Rating System

If you’re unfamiliar with my rating system, here’s how it works:

  • * I couldn’t finish reading it, I hated it so much
  • ** I finished the book, but I wish I had the hours back I spent on it
  • *** It was about as expected, glad I read it but I wouldn’t recommend it
  • **** I really enjoyed reading the book, and would definitely recommend it to others
  • **** I MUST OWN THIS NOW! ! I want to reread it over and over and over

Looking for past years? Here’s 2018, 20172016201520142013, and 2012.

Books I Read in 2019

  • Heir of Fire, by Sarah J. Maas****
  • Daemon, by Daniel Suarez***
  • Absolute Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons*****
  • Marathon Woman, by Kathrine Switzer*****
  • Circe, by Madeline Miller***
  • The Amber Spyglass, by Philip Pullman**** (re-read)
  • Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann***
  • Lirael, by Garth Nix****
  • King of the Wyld, by Nicholas Eames***
  • Deliverance, by James Dickey***
  • Eat and Run, by Scott Jurek**
  • Absalom, Absalom, by William Faulkner***
  • Abhorsen, by Garth Nix***
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers***
  • Appreciating Mom through the Lens of Alzheimer’s, by Don Mesibov*****
  • Life and Fate, by Vasily Grossman*****
  • A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles****
  • Reborn on the Run: My Journey from Addiction to Ultramarathons, by Catra Corbett and Dan England***
  • Queen of Shadows, by Sarah J Maas***
  • The Stranger, by Albert Camus***
  • Zen Keys, by Thich Nhat Hanh***
  • The Dispossessed, by Ursula K LeGuin***
  • The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath****
  • You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, by Sherman Alexie***
  • Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee***
  • Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been: Selected Early Stories, by Joyce Carol Oates***
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling*** (reread)
  • Empire of Storms, by Sarah J. Maas***
  • Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo***
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling*** (reread)
  • Running the World, by Becky Wade****
  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky, by Mark Sullivan ***
  • Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, by Alexandra Fuller****
  • Baker Towers, by Jennifer Haigh***
  • Tower of Dawn, by Sarah J. Maas***
  • Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas R. Hofstader***
  • Hateship, Loveship, Friendship, Courtship, Marriage, by Alice Munro****
  • Ragtime, by E.L. Doctorow***
  • Stranger Things Happen, by Kelly Link***
  • Last Night in Montreal, by Emily St. John Mandel***
  • Kingdom of Ash, by Sarah J. Maas***
  • The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith***
  • River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, by Candice Millard***
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy***
  • Patriot Games, by Tom Clancy**
  • Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English, by Natasha Solomons***
  • An Instance of the Fingerpost, by Iain Pears***
  • Eleanor Olliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman***
  • Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys***
  • Educated, by Tara Westover****
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by JK Rowling**** (reread)
  • Story Genius, by Lisa Cron*****
  • The Umbrella Academy Apocalypse Suite, by Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba***
  • The Children’s Hour, by Marcia Willett***
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by JK Rowling**** (reread)
  • Factfulness, by Hans Rosling****
  • The Broken Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin***
  • The Heart of the Matter, by Graham Greene***
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by JK Rowling**** (reread)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow, by JK Rowling***** (reread)
  • Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou****
  • Play It As It Lays, by Joan Didion****
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch***
  • Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens****
  • The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls****
  • Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, by Jane Mayer***
  • The Kingdom of Gods, by N.K. Jemison****

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