What I read in 2019

It’s time for my annual what-I-read-last-year blog post! Here’s the breakdown for 2019,

  • I read 78 books, which surpassed my goal to read 60 books by 30%.
  • According to my Goodreads ‘Year in Books’ page, I read a total of 25,807 pages. I’m not sure how accurate the page counts are, considering different editions of books, (ebooks vs. print, hard vs softcover, etc.). My shortest book was 203 pages, and my longest book was 549 pages.
  • I read nearly everything with my Kobo, and most of my books came from the library. (I love Overdrive integration!) I bought some books as well.
  • I unintentionally reread a book that I first read in 2015, but didn’t realize it until I was partway through, so I kept going.
  • I read my usual mix of fiction and memoir, with some other non-fiction here and there, but tried to expand to include more new-to-me authors.
  • I enjoyed most of the books I read, and gave up on a few I didn’t. No more slogging through!
  • I reviewed very few books because I hate the idea of hurting an author’s feelings. (And to think, I wanted to be a music critic when I was growing up!)

Here are the covers of everything I read:

What I read in 2019

Southern Lady Code
Inappropriation
The Knockoff
Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear... and Why
The School Gate Survival Guide
Sometimes I Lie
Kathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-Ins: My A-Z Index
The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation
Educated
Face the Music: A Life Exposed
Winter Solstice
Ayesha At Last
Nine Perfect Strangers
This Love Story Will Self-Destruct
Winter in Paradise
Eating The Cheshire Cat
Daisy Jones & The Six
Bitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office
The High Season
Vegas Girls


Melissa’s favorite books »

Some of my favourite reads were:

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I read this book in less than 24 hours within a week of its release. I love both oral history-style writing and rock biographies so a story of a 70s rock band and their magnetic singer felt like a book that was written just for me. Looking forward to the screen adaptation that is in progress. The Show Your Work podcast had a great two-part interview with Taylor Jenkins Reid, which definitely worth listening to now if you missed it back in May (Part 1, Part 2).

Becoming by Michelle Obama

This was a long memoir, but I really enjoyed how Michelle Obama told her story. We would all do well to have someone like her in our lives: smart, funny, and insightful.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

This book drew me in quickly and told the stories of a couple who immigrated into the U.S. from Cameroon, and of the wealthy family they worked for in New York City. Taking place just before and during the 2008 recession, it humanized a lot of issues that have been in the news ever since.

Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis

This book of essays was a quick, fun read. Lots of snark and ridiculousness along with some life advice you may, or may not want to take.

Scruples by Judith Krantz

I added this to my to-read list after I heard Judith Krantz had died. I discovered I wasn’t the only one who did that – there were a lot of holds for it at the library. The book itself was a fun read, if a bit dated.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

I kept putting this book off, even though the premise appealed to me. Once I finally started to read it, I wondered why I had waited. I read it quickly and really enjoyed it.

Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of “The View” by Ramin Setoodeh

This was a super dishy read that I borrowed from the library on a whim. The author seemed to know many of the subjects well, or at least well enough to get them to talk. I’m surprised so many of the women went on record.

What I Read in 2018 Part 2: The Details

As noted in Part 1, I read 63 books in 2018. I missed my goal of 70, but that was a pretty ambitious goal. 63 books over 52 weeks is still a lot. (An aside, here is a fun article about Canadians and their reading habits that I found when I was trying to figure out how many books the average Canadian reads in a year.)

As for the books themselves, I read mostly fiction (a mix of contemporary, romance, thrillers and beach reads) with some memoirs sprinkled in. I abandoned more books that I used to, but I don’t like to track that because it feels mean. I have come back to books I’ve abandoned in the past and enjoyed them which reminds me that frame of mind when reading a book is important.

I didn’t rate or review many of the books I read. I’m not sure if that’s because I don’t want a less-than five-star review to hurt an author’s feelings, or if I was just lazy about it. I’m not sure if I will take specific action on this during this year’s challenge. No sense in overthinking it.

I will share my favourite reads here though. Here is a list of the books I really enjoyed in 2018, in reverse order from what I read them in. I’d love to know what your favourite reads in 2018 were.

 

What I Read in 2018 Part 1: The List

I’ve done the Goodreads Reading Challenge every year since 2013, and 2018 was only the second time I didn’t meet my goal. 2018’s goal was an ambitious one: 70 books read over a one-year span. I ended up finishing 63 books in 2018.

Here’s what I read in 2018. I’m having trouble with the Goodreads widgets this year so I’m going to split my annual what-I-read post into two parts this year. This post for the actual list of books, and a second post for the details.

Melissa’s bookshelf: read-in-2018


goodreads.com

What I read in 2017

It’s time for my annual what-I-read-last-year post! My Goodreads profile tells me I read 79 books in 2017 – the most books I’ve read in a year since I started tracking! The link leads to some stats about the books I read – you may need to be a Goodreads user to see it, despite me changing my settings to make my profile public.

I know a lot of people don’t like ebooks, but I read nearly all of those books on my Kobo. I know I wouldn’t read nearly as much if I didn’t have easy access to library books via the Toronto Public Library’s Overdrive page and new this year, the new Libby app. (And this is not a sponsored post; I just really like this stuff.)

And now, here is the full list:

I'll Take You There
The Couple Next Door
Notes from the Blender
From a Good Home
Play
Lead
Deep
Shockaholic
Wishful Drinking
Behind Closed Doors
The Year We Turned Forty
One More Day
Breaking Out of Bedlam
The Affair
Leave Me
The Second Sister
The Things We Keep
Never Too Late
The Conjoined
This is How It Always Is


Melissa’s favorite books »

I tried to leave more ratings for the books I read this year. I’m a generous rater and I don’t like leaving ratings on memoirs – it feels like I’m rating someone’s life – so I didn’t rate everything I read. I left reviews sporadically. I always feel like my reviews are too light/simple when I see some of the longer/more-thought-out ones so any reviews I did leave are pretty superficial, which is fine.

There were a few books I slogged through this year, but if I really didn’t like a book, I abandoned it and didn’t add it to Goodreads. That way, I didn’t screw up my tracking. I liked most of the books I read, but here’s a list of the books that I really enjoyed, in the order that I read them throughout the year:

For 2018, I’ve upped my reading challenge from 55 to 70. I think I can do it. What have you been reading? I’d love to hear your recommendations!

Thoughts at the end of 2017, in no particular order

  • There’s just so much to be thankful for right now. 2017 was a mess for so many, many reasons, but on a micro/personal level, it was pretty good.
  • Run‘ by the Foo Fighters was the song of the summer.
  • Go to War‘ by Nothing More was the song of the fall.
  • I read way more books than I challenged myself to read – that post will come in a few days.
  • I’m pretty sure the only concert I saw this year was the Metallica Worldwired show in July – Sean saw more stuff but had to go with other people (or by himself) due to childcare issues
  • I hired a house cleaning service to come to my house once a month and it makes such a difference to my home and my feelings about it. It feels awkward to admit this out loud, but feeling awkward about it is also a bit shame-inducing. Time to just own it and say it out loud.
  • I’m working at home more which saves me money on commuting and lunch costs (I’ve never mastered bringing my lunch to work – too many restaurants near the office). I’m more productive and I still get dressed every day.
  • My loved ones and I are reasonably healthy and content.
  • Life is mostly small, and that’s okay.
  • I’m trying to write more by journaling. I’d like that to lead to other things, but I’m not working as hard at it as I should if I really want it.
  • I’m restless and itchy to create stuff, but still lost in the ‘no one cares what you have to say’ thought pattern. Which leads to not creating, which adds to the restlessness. It’s a bad hamster wheel to be on. Writing this less-than-interesting post is a baby step.

 

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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